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Secrets of IE 7

Friday, December 1st, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

Secrets of IE 7

Are you one of the many who downloaded the new Internet Explorer 7? If so, you might be having some trouble figuring out certain things within the new browser. There hasn’t been a whole lot of help in that aspect, so that’s what I’m here to do today! Also, since we’ve already talked about some of the new security features in IE 7, I thought it would be perfect to continue on with that and explain some other things to you. Here we go!

1.) Disable Plug-ins and Toolbars of IE 6 Before Upgrading

To begin, Internet Explorer 6 plug-ins and toolbars can conflict with the ones in version 7. To combat this, disable all the plug-ins and toolbars in IE 6 before you upgrade to IE 7. This will prevent the browser from crashing due to incompatibilities that may keep the browser from starting up.

To disable the toolbars, you can use the free tool called BHO (Browser Helper Object) Demon 2.0. It protects you from unknown browser helper objects by letting you enable or disable them individually. This tool is available at Once you’re there, go down to the search box and type in “BHODemon.” That will then bring up the free download link for you. It is a small program that runs automatically every time you start the browser. BHODemon scans your registry for BHOs and presents any it finds in a list. By highlighting a BHO in this list and clicking the Details button, you can see information about that BHO. You can even disable it if you wish.

Below is the scenario behind the toolbars that are compatible with IE 7. The fastest way to determine if an add on is causing the problem is to run Internet Explorer 7 with no add ons. You can do this by going to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and then Internet Explorer (No add ons). This disables all the add ons from loading in that instance of Internet Explorer. If the problem goes away, you can manually disable any specific add ons to find the particular one that is causing the problem. Below are instructions on how to manually disable a specific toolbar and a list of known incompatible toolbars that can cause serious issues with Internet Explorer 7.

To disable a toolbar, open Internet Explorer 7 and follow these steps:

In Windows, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and then click Internet Explorer (No add ons). Once you determine which toolbar is causing the issue, you should uninstall the toolbar through the Add/Remove Programs tool in the Control Panel. Then check the toolbar’s Web site for an updated version.

Now, the following toolbars have known issues with IE 7.

Google Desktop – Google’s toolbars can cause Internet Explorer 7 to stop responding when opening new tabs. You need to install the latest version of the Google Desktop for them to work.

MSN 1.02 Toolbar – The MSN toolbar version 1.02 causes Internet Explorer 7 to stop responding.

Microsoft Developer Toolbar and Internet Explorer 7 – The latest version of the Microsoft Developer Toolbar runs correctly with Internet Explorer 7. Previous versions of the Developer Toolbar do not display correctly on systems running Internet Explorer 7 though and they sometimes cause Internet Explorer to hang up.

VeriSign i-Nav™ Plug-in – Users of the VeriSign i-Nav IDN Resolver plug-in might notice that they are unable to navigate to Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in Internet Explorer 7. This is caused by Internet Explorer 7’s enhanced support for IDNs. To navigate to IDNs in Internet Explorer 7, follow these steps: Open Internet Explorer and then click on the Tools button. Click Manage Add Ons and then Enable or Disable Add Ons. Find and click the listing for the i-Nav browser extensions. Then, under Settings, click Disable.

RoboForm Toolbar version 6.3.96 – Opening multiple tabs in Internet Explorer 7 with the RoboForm Toolbar might cause the browser to stop responding.

Cooxie Toolbar version 1.1.05 – The Cooxie Toolbar might cause Internet Explorer 7 to stop responding.

Diodia Toolbar version 2.4.01 – Internet Explorer 7 might stop responding when running this toolbar.

Ask Toolbar by AskJeeves version – Internet Explorer 7 might stop responding when running this toolbar.

Yellow Pages Toolbar version 4.0 – This toolbar does not work correctly when Internet Explorer 7 is installed.

Mojicon Dispenser – This toolbar can cause Internet Explorer 7 to stop responding.

Logos Word Toolbar – Internet Explorer 7 can stop responding if there are multiple tabs open with this toolbar installed.

Adelphia Toolbar version 1.2 – Opening multiple tabs with this toolbar can cause Internet Explorer 7 to stop responding.

2.) Going from IE 7 Back to IE 6

The Add/Remove button in the Control Panel will enable you to uninstall IE 7 and reinstall IE 6 with every other feature of IE 6 being returned unharmed.

Since IE 6 is difficult, if not impossible, to fully remove from Windows XP, a strong argument can be made that upgrading to IE 7 will at least overwrite some of the non-secure components that IE 6 introduced to the operating system.

3.) Search Facility

Unlike Firefox’s inline search facility, the IE search feature always bogged users down. A suggestion for the users to try out the extension for IE can be found here. This works both with IE 6 and IE 7. Inline Search v 1.2 is an extremely useful free add on for Internet Explorer that mimics Firefox’s search behavior. It turns searching on a Web page into a non-modal research experience coupled with a “find as you type” facility.

The non-modal search facility is explained below.

If you search for more than one word, you will find pages that contain all of the words. Use quotation marks to search for a phrase. Also, use quotes for text with punctuation or special characters.

To limit your search to a single group, enter the group name followed by a slash at the beginning of the search string (for example, “PmWiki/” or “Main/”). To list all the pages, enter a slash for the search.

Some special characters need to be enclosed in the quotes as well, including the colon (:), equals sign (=), single quote (‘) and double quote(“).

These integrate flawlessly into IE (version 5.5 or above), which gives it that little extra that makes you a lot more efficient when you are looking for a specific piece of information. I personally prefer an elegant search pane at the bottom of the page to an information hiding pop up. Note that you can still use the default IE search by selecting the Find Item choice from the Edit menu. Inline Search only hijacks the shortcut key. Some shortcuts for using the inline search are:

Ctrl + F To open/refresh the search pane.
Esc To close the search pane when in focus.
F3 or Enter To find the next occurrence.
Shift + F3 To find the previous occurrence.

4.) RSS Integration

IE 7 has much better RSS integration compared to IE 6 and even Firefox. IE presents RSS feeds using a smart view, which lets the user search, filter and sort the entries contained in the feed. There are two modes to the feed reading page: preview and subscribed mode. In the preview mode, you see the feed that is live on the Web site. This is a pretty static experience. By subscribing to the feed, IE 7 automatically checks the Web site (even if IE 7 isn’t running) to see if there are new updates on a scheduled basis. For instance, IE 7 can check every four hours to see if there is new content available for the feed. If IE 7 finds that there is new content, it automatically downloads the new content. It is then available for your reading on the feed reading page.

All subscribed feeds are added to the feed list, located in the Favorites Center. It is in the upper left corner of the frame. Feeds that have new content available are bolded and bolded folders contain a feed with all new content. Notice that my “friends” folder isn’t bolded. I know not to check any of my friends’ blogs, because there’s nothing new to read since the last time I visited.

5.) Printing

IE 7 has an improved support for printing and it is the ability to adjust margins within the print preview. It also has the ability to easily hide and customize the header and the footer, as well as, the shrink-to-fit option. Many people, especially in a business environment, print out all kinds of pages. The improved printing is a small change that can be a big time saver.

6.) Advertisements

Another IE 7 feature worth mentioning for the Web 2.0 crowd is the advertising. The ad networks served up public service ads instead of the usual ones you see in other browsers. Apparently, this is because they didn’t recognize IE 7. I’ve had a quick look around to find a sample for you, but it seems most ad networks have updated now, so it’s probably a non-issue now that IE 7 is in final.

7.) Installation Problems

When you install Internet Explorer 7, your current list of favorites in Internet Explorer 6 will migrate into the new browser, so you won’t have to read your favorite Web sites when you begin surfing the Web. If you encounter a Web site that does not recognize Internet Explorer 7, a new tool known as the User Agent String Utility has been created to help you work around the problem. The utility comes in the form of a small executable file that opens in Internet Explorer 7. For instance, that emulates Internet Explorer 6 by sending the IE 6 user agent string. It also provides a mechanism for you to report problem Web sites to Microsoft so that they can follow up with the affected site owners.

8.) Add Ons and File Menu

An extensive list of add ons have been compiled to make browsing with IE 7 more interesting, productive and safe. In one more attempt to catch up with the buzz Firefox generates for itself in the developer community, IE 7 now elevates the role of add ons, which are program extensions the user can download for customization purposes. The Tools menu now includes a command that takes the user to Microsoft’s Web page for selecting and downloading add ons. There aren’t too many there yet, because the buzz hasn’t quite caught on, but they will come, I’m sure. The File menu has also been disabled, by default, to maximize Web site viewing, which can be accessed by using the Alt key.

So, there you have it. You are now educated and informed about some of the small secrets that lie within Internet Explorer 7. I hope it helps you in being able to use the new browser with more ease and enjoyment!

~ K. Natarajan

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