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Autocomplete Everything

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Note – This tip is for Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher. For those who are still with me, if you have any sites that require a password for access, you’ve probably noticed that IE offers to remember these passwords / usernames for you. Of course, some of you like having your browser remember passwords and usernames for you. All that’s required when you go back to the site is a quick double-click of the username box. Instantly, a little drop down box appears with your username in it. Just click that username and it automatically fills in both the name and the password for you. Cool huh?

In addition to passwords, it also helps you complete web site addresses and assists in filling out web forms. Newer versions of IE and NS have this enabled by default, older versions need you to turn it on manually.

Anyhow, you can tell Internet Explorer (5.0 or higher) which of these features you want to use (and which you don’t) by doing the following:

1. Open Explorer and click your Tools menu, Internet Options .

2. Next, select the Content Tab . You’ll see a Personal Information section. Click the Autocomplete button .

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3. Check / uncheck the boxes you want to change, hit OK and you’re all set. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each one does:

Web addresses – This autocompletes web site addresses as you’re typing them in the address bar. It’s really handy if you have recently been at a site and don’t remember the exact name, just the beginning of the address.

Here’s a tip-in-a-tip - If you’re looking for a page on a certain web site, but aren’t sure what its address is, just type in the name of the site (i.e. www.worldstart.com) and hit your down arrow. All the pages you’ve recently visited at that site will be listed.

Forms – This one helps you fill out forms. Just start typing or double-click the form field and you’ll get a list of what you’ve entered in the past for the same field. Doesn’t always work, but it usually it does (especially if you’ve filled out lots of forms :-) .

User names and passwords on forms – This one will help you fill in your user names and passwords. Usually just double-click the User name field on a sign in form, select your username, and the password gets popped in automatically (after you’ve done it manually the first time).

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That’s it. Note that you can enable / disable the password and regular autocomplete features from this screen. Also note that this screen allows you to clear out all of your passwords and form info should you need to.

Speaking of clearing out all your info, what do you do if you have an entry or two that is incorrect? You know, maybe you accidentally typed your address wrong once, and now every time you type your address in, you get the little drop down with the incorrect address sitting there, mocking you. What can you do? Is there any hope?

Yup—just arrow down to the offending entry and tap your Delete key. Poof! it’s gone.

Now, for the Netscape Navigator way to do it: set up autocomplete by going to Edit, Preferences, Privacy & Security , then click ” Forms “. By checking off the “Form Manager” you can save information you use often, getting as detailed (or vague) as you want by using the “Manage stored form data” option.

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Finally, it should go without saying that using this autocomplete feature is not a very secure way to use your computer. If anyone else has access to it, they can easily get into any of your password protected sites plus gain access to your personal information.

~ Steve

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