Internet Explorer 7.0 Catches Up
IE 7 won’t win any awards for innovation, having not quite caught up with features its
free competitor, the Mozilla Firefox browser, came out with two years ago.
But the improved security of IE 7, plus the addition of long-requested features such as
tabbed browser windows, make Microsoft’s new browser a solid component of the OS
rather than the backward stepchild that IE 6 became. (Users of Windows XP can and
should download and install IE 7, if an upgrade to Vista isn’t immediately possible.)
Besides the tabbed windows, IE 7 has (thankfully) copied several other features from
Firefox, Opera, and other non-Microsoft browsers. These include the ability to add
Internet search engines of your choice to IE’s search bar and a default Shink to Fit setting
so Web pages will fit your printer’s paper size.
However, IE 7 has also gained a few new features that other browsers may themselves
need to catch up with.
Pressing Ctrl+Q or clicking the Quick Tabs tab on the IE 7 toolbar tiles all of your
open tabs into a convenient thumbnail view (see Figure 9). When you have a lot
of tabs open, Quick Tabs can save you a substantial amount of time that you
might otherwise spend clicking at random to get back to a particular site
Page Zoom is another handy feature. When you’re viewing a web page that’s
just too small or too large, hold down the Ctrl key and press + to make the page
10 percent larger, – to make it 10 percent smaller, or 0 (zero) to return the page
to its original size.
These special keystroke sequences work exactly the same way as they do in
Firefox, except that IE 7 scales both images and text. (Firefox 1.5 scaled just
text.) The keystrokes work whether you use the symbol keys on the main keyboard
or the numeric keypad.
There’s also a small Page Zoom button on the extreme right of IE 7’s status bar.
You can click it once to scale a Web page to 125 percent, click it again for 150
percent, and click it a third time to go back to 100 percent.
Quick Tabs. Press Ctrl+Q in IE 7 and all of your tabbed windows are tiled, showing
you a thumbnail to help you switch to a desired Web page
Fit the Full URL on Printouts
Sometimes, you want to print out some Web page you’ve found, so you can recommend
the site to a friend later. But if the Web address (URL) is a long one, it’s
likely to be truncated in the footer of the printed page. That’s because IE, by default,
uses a large font and cuts off any of the URL that doesn’t fit on the same line as
You can make URLs print in full almost every time by clicking Tools?Internet Options.
On the General tab, click the Fonts button and then select a Web page font that’s
more compact than Times New Roman, such as Vista’s Cordia New. (This font, which
is similar to Arial, also becomes the default font for Web pages that don’t specify a
If that doesn’t print the entire Web address, give URLs a separate line. To do so, pull
down the Printer toolbar and select Page Setup. Enter &b&u in the Header field to
devote the full header to the URL (aligned to the right). Then enter &d&b&p in the
Footer field to print the date on the left and the page number on the right at the bottom
of each page. (This procedure eliminates printing each page’s title, represented
by &w. A Web page’s title takes up space that’s best devoted to printing the full URL,
in our view.)
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