Friday, April 11, 2008

Only When You Have To

This is a beautiful button. This button will save you from the shackles of Internet Explorer. This is a follow up article on my post called Firefox Rox, in which I outlined the many benefits of using Firefox over Internet Explorer. One of the drawbacks of using Firefox is that certain sites just don't work in Firefox. It can be a hassle to go find an Internet Explorer shortcut, then re-enter the website address just for those couple of sites. The solution? IE tab.

IE tab is an add-on for Firefox which enables you to use Internet Explorer from within Firefox, all with the simple click of a button! You can also tell the add-on which sites you would like to use in Internet Explorer all the time and it will open those sites in IE by default upon future visits (like your company Intranet for example). This is awesome, so let's get it installed and look at an example.

Installing IE Tab

- Make sure you have firefox first
- Using Firefox, go to the IE tab download site (
- "Add to Firefox" the latest version if you can, if it says you can't, take the second last version
- Follow the instructions to install it and restart firefox

Using IE Tab

Now that IE Tab is installed, you need to do a bit of configurating. The first thing to do is put the IE tab button right up where you can see it. I like to put it right by the home button. To do this you will need to customize your toolbar.

First, right click right up beside the Help menu on the grey/brown area. From here you should be able to choose Customize... from the menu.

Next, find the IE tab button in amongst all the other buttons.

Finally, drag the IE tab button right up beside the home button and hit Done to the button menu.

Sweet, now you have an IE tab button! So here's how it works, whenever you visit a website and it looks like junk or you know it should be run in Internet Explorer, ask your self a question: "Do I really need to go to this website?". If the answer is no, don't go, it's not worth it. You risk frying your computer and will end up in the same mess you were before you had Firefox. If the answer is yes I absolutely have to go there, simply hit the IE Tab button. This will immediately load up that website in the Internet Explorer format within Firefox.

Using the same site over and over

Now what if you visit that site all the time and you don't want to hit the IE Tab button every time you visit? For me that's my work webmail access. It brings up outlook inside my browser, but it looks awful in Firefox. So here's the drill:

- I visit the site
- Hit the IE tab button
- In the Firefox Menu go to Tools>IE Tab Options
- The website address is prefilled, so I just hit the Add button, then hit OK.
- Done

If you don't see the IE Tab Options, you can always go to Tools>Add-ons, click on the IE Tab Options from there and enter the website address.

There you have it. Now you have no reason not to use Firefox. You can have your cake and eat it too!

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