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Using the Address Bar

If you know the URL of the particular Web site you would like to visit, you can enter it by clicking in the Address Bar text box and typing it manually:

Figure 1: Address Bar in Internet Explorer.

When you have entered the complete URL, press Enter on your keyboard to make Internet Explorer load that particular Web site.

If you enter an address incorrectly, either by misspelling a word or entering a space by accident, Internet Explorer might display an error page. This page tells you that Internet Explorer could not find the server that hosts the particular Web site you specified. There are other possible causes:

  • It is possible that the Web site might not be active on the server at the time, or the response back from the server was too slow in order for Internet Explorer to display data in time. (A server that is too slow will prompt Internet Explorer to time out.) Click the Refresh button or try the Web site later on.
  • It is possible that you entered your account information given by your ISP incorrectly, and will need to contact your provider to help troubleshooting this problem.
  • It is possible that the Web site you are trying to access has higher security settings than a publicly available server. For example, if you are an employee of a large company that allows its workers to access the private network from home, Internet Explorer can be configured to encrypt the data so only the intended server at your company will see your data.

In some cases, the Search provider you chose during the initial setup of Internet Explorer might try to find results close to the web address you entered.

Internet Explorer also features an AutoComplete option that will automatically fill in Web sites that you have already visited. For example, if you visited Microsoft's home page in the past, your browser will have saved the URL in the computer's memory. If you want to visit Microsoft's home page again, click your mouse inside the address bar text field and begin to type the address for Microsoft again:

Figure 2: Part of a URL typed in the Address Bar.

Once you have typed the first few letters of the word "microsoft," you will see a list of possible matches listed below the Address Bar text field. Sure enough, Microsoft's home page URL is the first item in the list. Click this entry or press Shift + Enter to visit the site at the top of the list.

All URLs have something called a domain. It's usually the part of a URL that includes the text .com, .gov, .net, etc. In the case of Microsoft, the domain is In the picture above, as we started to type the word "microsoft," other Web sites in the same domain that were visited in the past are shown here. Move your mouse to one of the items in the list and click it to visit that particular site.

Opening a New Window

If you want to view the weather, review some sports scores, and check out the new courseware available from CSULB, you can view each Web page in its own Internet Explorer window.

To open a new Internet Explorer window, click the File menu and click New Window (if the menu bar is enabled):

Figure 4: File menu with New Window selected.

This will open a new browser window, indicated by a new Internet Explorer button outline on the Taskbar:

Figure 5: Stacked icons in the taskbar.

It is important to note that the new window will open to the same Web site that you were viewing when you opened the new window, not your home page. Simply click the Home button in the Command Bar to navigate to your home page. You can also open a new Internet Explorer browser window by pressing Ctrl + N on your keyboard.

Hyperlinks also provide the ability to open a new browser window. When your mouse is hovering above a hyperlink, right-click to display the hyperlink context menu. Click Open Link in New Window to display the target document in a new browser window:

Figure 6: Right-click menu of a link.

Finally, you can open a new window from the Internet Explorer Jump List. Right-click the Internet Explorer icon (or click and drag the icon up) and then click Internet Explorer. This will open a new window:

Figure 7: Internet Explorer Jump List.

Opening a New Tab

Internet Explorer 8 uses browsing tabs. These tabs let you open several Web pages at once in one Internet Explorer window instead of opening several different windows. You can open a new tab in one of two ways using Internet Explorer. Using the Command Area, click the smaller tab found beside the opened tab:

Figure 8: New Tab tab.

When you click the small tab, you will see a new tab that lets you select what you want to do next (or type a new URL in the address bar):

Figure 9: New Tab page.

You can also open a new tab by clicking File > New Tab, pressing Ctrl + T, or using the link in the Jump List.

Using Tabs

Switching between tabs is easy: simply click the title of the tab you want to view. The tab that is currently being viewed is identifiable by its darker blue color:

Figure 10: Tabs with an arrow pointing to the one currently opened.

To close a tab, click the X beside the currently active tab.
When many tabs are open at once, you will see this Quick Tab button appear to the left of the tabs:

Figure 11: Quick Tab button.

Click this button to see a thumbnail view of all open tabs:

Figure 12: Thumbnail view of tabs.

Use the pull-down arrow beside the Quick Tabs button to browse opened tabs by name:

Figure 13: Tabs listed by name.

Using Web Slices

Web Slices let you keep track of a certain Web site as it is updated. This saves you having to open a new tab or window, re-typing the URL, and then looking for the information. Web Slices are very similar to Favorites, only Web Slices can also let you know when content is updated.
In order to use Web Slices, the designer of the Web site you are visiting has to implement them on their own servers. Web Slice-enabled pages will display the Web Slice icon in the Command Bar:

Figure 14: Web Slices button.

Click the Web Slice button to see a message like the following:

Figure 15: Add a Web Slice dialog.

Click Add to Favorites Bar to add this particular Web site to the Favorites Bar:

Figure 16: Web site in Favorites Bar.

When new content is available, the item will become bold, as shown in the image above. Click the Web Slice to see the new content:

Figure 17: New content.

Click the blue arrow to visit the site or click the Refresh icon to check for new updates for this Web Slice. To delete a Web Slice, right-click the Slice and click Delete.

You can also add Web Slices by exploring the web page. Move your mouse around the page. If you discover Web Slice content, a green border will appear around the content and the Web Slice icon will appear on the left:

Figure 18: Web Slice icon on web page.

Click this green button and then click Add to Favorites Bar to add the Web slice.