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Using the Internet Explorer Web Browser

We will be learning to use Internet Explorer because it is available on almost everyone’s machine. If you choose to use another browser, you will find that most of the skills you learn can be used on other browsers, but the titles might be a little different. Internet Explorer has many features that improve accessibility. Most all features referred to here can be used in different ways by people with disabilities.

This is a picture of a weather report for Augusta, ME on www.yahoo.com. It’s in an Internet Explorer browser on the computer. In the top right hand corner of the Explorer window there is a title bar. The three buttons are used to minimize, maximize, and close the browser.

The next row, beginning on the left with “File,” is the menu bar with pull-down options.

The next row (3rd row), beginning on the left with “Back,” is the standard buttons toolbar with icons that are easily accessible buttons.

The row labeled “Address” shows the address of the page you are on. Look to the right of the address box. This is a down arrow. If you click on the arrow you can see (and choose from) a list of the web sites that you visited recently.

The Home Page

When you open or start any browser it will automatically go to a web site. This site is called a home page. You can return to this site from any other site by clicking on the Home button on the standard buttons bar.

Find a Site

The first thing to try is to view a website. There are two easy ways to do this. One way is to simply type the website address in the address box. The address is also known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). You don’t need to type http://. The program will supply that for you. If the address starts with “www,” you may need to type it in. Let’s try an example:

TYPE: www.yahoo.com

Now, press Enter, or click on the Go button. The Go button is to the right of the address section. The Home page of Yahoo.com has many topics listed. Move your cursor over any subject and click. For example, find “weather” in the list of subjects. Click on weather and then see what happens. It brings up a new window that tells you all about weather. Do you see where it asks for the name or zip code of the city that you want the weather report for? Type that into the box and press the Enter key.

When you’re tired of the weather, click on the “Back” button. You can find it on your browser on the third row, at the far left. Keep clicking (or hitting) the Back button until it brings you to the Home Page of Yahoo.com. This is where you started. OK, now put your cursor over another subject (how about Movies?) and click.

Try different topics and don’t be shy! You can’t break it! The worst that can happen is that you get to a page that doesn’t interest you. Hit the Back button or click on Home.

The Status bar is at the bottom of your screen. On the left side of the bar it shows the current web location. If you move your cursor over a link on the web page it will show the link to that page.

Here’s another example.

TYPE: www.whatis.com

Now, press Enter, or click on the Go button. The Go button is to the right of the address section. Whatis.com has wealth of information for the beginning internet user. On the left side there is a list of subjects. When you click on one it will explain how things work. The right side contains a dictionary of terms. Move around in the site and use the Back button to go back to previous screens and the forward button (right next to the Back button) to move in the other direction.

Favorites

Your computer can remember your favorite website addresses. It can remember many of them. This is a lot easier than typing in the address every time you use the World Wide Web. Internet Explorer uses the Favorites button to do this. (Netscape calls this a Bookmark).

To make your computer remember your favorite websites, first go to the Home Page of the site. Then click on the Favorites button that is on the second menu line, next to “View.” A pull down menu will appear. Move your cursor over the line “Add to Favorites” and click. A box will appear on the screen. Click on the OK in the upper right corner of the box. The next time you want to go to that site first click on Favorites. Then, when the pull down menu appears, move the cursor down to the website you want and click. The website will load into your browser.

Moving Around

The easiest way to learn to find sites is by practicing. Here are a few exercises using some of the Standard Buttons.

What You Do What You See
Click on Favorites and choose one of the websites you stored there. The website will load into the browser.
Type in a new URL --> www.yahoo.com Nothing happens yet.
Press Enter, or click on the Go button that is to the right of the Address window. The site starts loading. Note the lower left corner of the screen. The display will let you know what the program is doing.
Type www.msn.com in the Address box. As soon as you see anything on the screen, click the Stop button. The site will stop loading.
Now click the Refresh button. The site will reload.
Click on the Home button. You will return to the home site.
Click on the Back button twice. You will go back two pages.
Click the Forward button once. You will go forward one page.
Now click on the down arrow at the right of the Address box. It will show a pull-down list of sites that you visited.
Click on any site in the list. That website will start loading onto your screen.

The Stop button is very handy if your machine takes a long time trying to load a site. Some websites with lots of pictures (graphics) take more time to load into your computer than simple sites. The Refresh button will reload a site that doesn’t work the first time you try to connect with it. The Refresh button can also reload a site that changes often or has expired. (Some sites will expire when you return to them during a session and you will get a message telling you to refresh.)

Printing

Sometimes you will want to print a page from a web site. First check to see if the computer you are using is connected to a printer. Then click the Print button in the browser. Many web pages will print in landscape view (along the long side of the page instead of the short side. To print in portrait view (the way most people usually print), go to the word File on the menu bar then choose: File - Print - Properties - Orientation - Portrait, then click OK OK. (This series of commands may be different on your computer. You may find it under File - Page Setup.)

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Table of Contents | What is the Internet? | What is a Browser?
Getting on the Internet | Using the Internet Explorer Web Browser
Size of the Screen | How to Search | Internet Explorer Menu Items