Using Microsoft Internet Explorer



  Starting Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer's Main Screen

Navigating a Web Site

Using Internet Explorer to Find Information

Keeping Track of Where You've Been

Finding Other Web Sites

Printing a Web Page

Getting Help

Changing Internet Explorer's Configuration

Internet Explorer's Main Menu

Internet Explorer's Toolbar


     Microsoft Internet Explorer is a web browser developed by Microsoft Corporation1. It is assumed that Internet Explorer has been installed on your computer and configured for your use – please see the documentation accompanying the Internet Explorer distribution disks for information re installation and initial configuration.

     These notes are based on versions 3.02 forWindows 95 and 3.01 for Windows 3.1 – differences may be found with other versions2.Internet Explorer also comes in several varieties: different combinations of the browser client, the mail client, and/or the TCP/IP stack and dialler. These notes refer to the features of the ‘browser only’ combination3. [See the Microsoft web site for more information about these different combinations – specifically, see:]

     Note that the screens shown here are from aWindows 95 computer – slight differences in the screen layout will be found with computers using Windows 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups. However, all the functions described below will be the same regardless of the type of computer being used.

Starting Internet Explorer

NOTE: See the section on Changing Internet Explorer’s Configuration for information on how this HOME location is defined.

Internet Explorer’s Main Screen

As with all Windows software packages, the Internet Explorer screen has a title bar, main menu and toolbar at the top of the screen, a status bar at the bottom of the screen, and when required, scroll bars on the right and just above the status bar.

Title Bar            #  Address Field and Links Button
@  Main Menu      Display Area

$  Toolbar             Status Bar

 Click here brief descriptions of the Main Menu and Toolbar Items.      An area of this screen which is not common to other Windows packages, and which is an important feature of the Internet Explorer screen, is the Address Field. It shows the URLUniform Resource Locator – or ‘address’ of the current page. In the diagram above, it shows the URL of the SRHIP home page – 4

     When you click on the Links button (to the right of the Address Field), a new set of buttons appears. These are used to access a variety of web resources(click here for more detail on the Links Toolbar).

Internet Explorer Screen

Navigating a Web Site

     Information displayed through Internet Explorer is contained in ‘web pages’ located in ‘websites’ which are set up by organizations or individuals for a particular purpose. A web site may exist on a single computer or it may be spread out over several computers. It doesn’t matter to the user as the web browser (in this case Internet Explorer) does all the linking for you.

     A web page can contain whatever its designer wants – text, graphics, menus, links to other pages or other internet services. Web pages are designed usingHTMLHyperText MarkupLanguage – a programming language that results in the graphical display you see on your screen. A home page is simply a special type of web page – the first point of contact with the organization or person providing the information.

     A link may show up as a highlighted and/or underlined word (usually a different colour than the rest of the text), a picture (graphic) or an icon (symbol). When you click on a link with your mouse, you will be taken to the web page that contains the information represented by the link. For example, in the screen shown below, you can get to the site for a particular DHC by clicking on its name (e.g. Grey Bruce) OR by clicking on the area of the map (near Owen Sound) which represents that county (or counties).

Internet Explorer Screen

       Therefore, navigating a web site is as simple as following the links that are of interest to you. Read the instructions or descriptions provided and make your selection by clicking on the appropriate link. When you are not sure whether something is a link, move your mouse over the word or picture and watch to see if the mouse pointer changes to look like a hand (rather than the usual arrow pointer). If this happens, that word or picture is a link.
Here are some ‘tips’ as you start out on your first journey exploring the web:

Using Internet Explorer to Find Information5

After exploring the initial web site (your HOME location), check out the wide range of information sources provided through the Links Toolbar – if this toolbar is not currently visible, click on the Links button to the far right of the Address field.
Button Description
Best of the Web Access to a wide range of information sources, grouped by topic.
Today’s Links Articles, announcements and new sites considered to be of interest to MSIE users – changes daily.
Web Gallery Information and resources of interest to users and builders of web sites. 
Product News Information about Internet Explorer and other Microsoft products.
Microsoft Link to Microsoft’s home page.

     A wide variety of services are provided here, and these change over time as Microsoft adapts to meet the needs of its users.6 For example, here is a copy of the initial page of Best of the Web, which can also be accessed by selecting it from the GO menu:

Internet Explorer Screen

  You can also access a number of search facilities directly by clicking on the Search icon on the main Toolbar (or by selecting Search the Web from the GO menu).

Internet Explorer Screen

Keeping Track of Where You’ve Been

Before long you will have found many web sites that you will want to return to regularly. Rather than having to access them in what may have been a rather convoluted route in the first instance, you can add these sites to your list of Favorites, providing more direct access to them in the future.

Internet Explorer Screen

       To add a site to your Favorites List: with the site you want to mark currently on the screen, select Add to Favorites. . . from the Favorites menu. Either accept the name provided in the dialog box OR replace it with your own. [See diagram on previous page.]

     To access a site currently on your list of Favorites, simply open the Favorites menu and click on the site you want to access.

Internet Explorer Screen

       You can rearrange, delete and group your list of Favorites by selecting Organize Favorites from the Favorites menu.

Finding Other Web Sites

     As you explore, you will find links that take you to other web sites and the information contained in them, some of which you will make note of for future use by adding them to your list of Favorites. But this is only ONE way of finding other sites. Web site addresses (or URLs) are all around us – on television or radio, in magazines and newspapers, on business cards or brochures, and given to us by friends and colleagues.

     When you want to go to a web site whose address or URL you have been given, you need to provide that address toInternet Explorer directly. This can be done in one of 2 ways:

  1.  Click on the Address Field to make it active and then type the newURL in place of what’s currently there. Press Enter to askInternet Explorer to go to that web site.
  2. Select Open from the File menu and type the URL in the box provided. Click on the OK button or press Enter to ask Internet Explorer to go to that web site.
Internet Explorer Screen   Once you get to the new site, you can add it to your list of Favorites for future reference.

Printing a Web Page

     Printing the web page currently displayed on the screen is as easy as clicking on the Print icon on the Toolbar. As with other Windows software, it will be printed on the default printer, as this is currently defined through Windows.

     Before printing a web page, however, it's a good idea to check how long it really is and whether you actually want the whole thing. A web page can be of any size -- it may be the equivalent of less than one printed page or a hundred printed pages!

     You can control how much you print, along with other things, by selecting Print from the File menu. Here you will be presented with a standard Windows Print dialog box from which you can specify how many pages you want to print. The PageSetup option can be used to change the appearance of the printed page.

Getting Help

     The best source of information about Internet Explorer is the Help menu. Selecting Help Topics will take you to a standard help system where most questions will be answered.

Internet Explorer Screen

       Microsoft also makes a lot information available on its web site, so accessing Microsoft on the Web from this menu will provide the most up-to-date information, including a set of Frequently Asked Questions. Another service provided via the Microsoft web site is the Web Tutorial (found on the Help menu). This is a good starting point for those who are new to the World Wide Web and using its resources.

Internet Explorer Screen

       Computer magazines and books can also be good sources of information, although these are quickly out of date due to the rapid rate at which new versions of the software are released.

Changing Internet Explorer’s Configuration

     Options, found on the View menu, is where changes are made to the way Internet Explorer operates and looks. The General section, or tab, provides opportunities to change what gets displayed, the colours of the text, background and links, and to customize the Toolbar.

Internet Explorer Screen

       Note the other tabs along the top of the Options dialog box. Clicking on any of these other tabs – Connection, Navigation,Programs, Security and Advanced – will provide access to other things that can be changed. For example, the location of the StartPage (or HOME location) is established on the Navigation tab.

Internet Explorer Screen

  NOTE: The easiest way to change thisStart Page location is to first go to the page you want to be your HOME location and then access the Navigation tab in theOptions dialog box. Simply click on the Use Current button to change the Start Page to the one currently on the screen. See the table below for a brief description of the types of changes that can be made in the various sections of the Options dialog box.
 Options Tab Description
General  Items related to screen colours, layout of the toolbar, and controlling the display of images, sounds and video.
Connection Items related to your modem connection.
Navigation Items related to the location of your Start Page and the History folder.
Programs Items related to the configuration of Mail and News and your file type list.
Security Items related to controlling content displayed, the use of certificates and the use of ActiveX and Java.
Advanced Items related to when warnings are given – e.g. before accepting a "cookie".

For more information, use the Find feature in the Help system to find all the topics related to Options.

Overview of Internet Explorer’s Main Menu and Toolbar Buttons

A. Main Menu
Menu Item Description


File items related to opening, saving, printing and checking the Properties of web pages 


Edit standard Windows items – undo, cut, copy, paste, find – plus an option to edit the HTML code of the current page
View items related to controlling the screen display, refreshing the screen, looking at the ‘source code’ for a web page and changing Internet Explorer’s configuration
Go items related to moving around, accessing the history folder (web pages accessed during the current session), and accessing a variety of web resources
Favorites used to add to and organize the list of Favorites (or specially marked sites) 


Help contains a number of ways to get help, from an online tutorial to online support 


B. Toolbar Buttons
Back clicking on this button takes you back to the previously selected web page 


Forward clicking on this button takes you forward one (previously selected) web page 


Stop clicking on this button will cause Internet Explorer to stop trying to load the currently selected address 


Refresh clicking on this button results in the current web page being reloaded or refreshed 


Home clicking on this button takes you back to the Start Page identified on the Navigation tab (found under Options on the View menu)
Search clicking on this button takes you to Microsoft’s Search the Web screen (same as selecting Search the Web from the GO menu) 


Favorites clicking on this button is the same as opening the Favorites menu 


Print clicking on this button causes the current web page to be printed on the default printer defined under Windows 


Font clicking on this button changes the font of the current display on your screen – each click results in a change to the next sized font – see Fonts on the View menu 


Mail click on this button to access the Mail and News features (if installed) 


Edit click on this button to edit the currently displayed web page – same as selecting Current Page from the Edit menu 


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