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Microsoft® Internet Explorer
- Basic Operation -

Internet Explorer Reference Screen

The diagram below illustrates the Internet Explorer screen, under Windows 3.1, and locates the various parts:

labeled Internet Explorer screen grab

If you DO NOT see a line of moving text scrolling from left to right below this paragraph, chances are you are NOT using Microsoft's Internet Explorer!

Microsoft's Internet Explorer is available for Windows 95, NT, 3.1, WFWG3.11 and MacOS.

Feel free to read through this section anyway - basic Browser operation is very similar. You may find some of the specific features of I.E. are not supported by your Browser, in which case you won't see them. To fill you in on what you're missing, three specific I.E. features are used here:

  1. Watermarks - fixed backgrounds - text and images can scroll up the screen, but the background does not;
  2. Marquees - scrolling lines of text within the document - similar effect to some Java applications you may have seen scrolling across your status bar (eg Netscape V2 or higher), but won't run out of memory on your Mac or PC;
  3. Table colors - (yes, I know, that's the American spelling - but Web page code is all written is USEnglish!) which allows you to specify different background colo(u)rs for specific cells in tables (handy for highlighting important data or use as a graphical element).

Moving around a Web Page in Internet Explorer - how it works:

If you move your pointing device (mouse, stylus etc) around this page you will notice it will change from an arrow to a pointing hand as you move over the highlighted underlined text and some of the pictures on the screen. Wherever this change occurs, you have found a "hypertext link." If you "click" on any of these links, your browser will load that link. The link could be to a place within the same page or document, another document at the same site, or a document on the other side of the world.

How to tell where a link goes to, and what happens when you click on one:

Internet Explorer has a status bar across the bottom that gives all sorts of useful messages.

If you position your pointing device over a

The status bar also displays useful information that can tell you what your Browser is doing like loading document etc:

Status Bar

Once you have contacted your destination, and Internet Explorer starts loading the document, your location URL is displayed in the Address bar at the top under the box menu icons:

Address bar

Following "hypertext" links can take you all over the world. For example, some links of our own WWW Interesting Links Page can take you to England. Other links off those UK pages could go to the USA, and so on. On the Internet, it doesn't cost any more to "go to" Europe, than it does to see our own users Home Pages.


Before we go any further, a few tips to prevent you getting too lost ... the back arrow in the icon bar will step you back through previous pages one step at a time.

The forward arrow right next to it will take you forward one step at a time.

The "File ... More History" menu item from the top menu bar, and clicking on the drop down arrow at the end of the Address bar will give you a list of the sites you have "visited" each session. If you can remember the page you want to go back to you can select it by clicking on it.

The easiest way to cancel loading a page that is taking too long, or was chosen by mistake, is to click on the stop icon from the icon menu bar.


If you REALLY get lost, click on the home icon . This will bring you back to our own Home page.

Internet Explorer Help:
If you position your pointing device over any of the icons in the icon bar, a small drop-down box will tell you briefly what each icon will do. More help is available from the Help main menu item. Internet Explorer's Help is built-in with your I.E. installation, on your own machine. It is quite easy to follow (even if some parts sound a bit like "chinglish"!).

How to go to a site (URL) you already have from another source:

"URL" stands for "Uniform Resource Locator". It is the Internet address of a Web Page. A URL can be expressed as words, or as numbers. If you already have a location URL from for example a magazine or publicised over the media (TV, radio or newspaper), you can go straight there fairly simply. There are a number of options to choose from:

  1. Choose File... Open from the top menu bar and type the URL in the Address box. Press Enter or click on the OK.
  2. Select the Open Open (location) Button icon from the icon Menu Bar, and type the URL in the Address box. Press Enter or click on the OK.
  3. Click in the Address bar of the main screen and type in the URL. You should notice the word "Address" changes to "Open" when you click in that box.

PLEASE NOTE: it is VERY important to enter the text EXACTLY as you have seen it printed. If you enter capitals where it should have been lower case, and vica-versa, you won't be able to find it. Computers are very fast idiots, and most internet servers are case sensitive. They won't correct your spelling mistakes. If you have heard a URL over the radio, unless they tell you otherwise, assume the entire location is in lower case, and try that first.

This all assumes the people publicising the URL got the spelling right in the first place!

If you find a site that really interests you, and you want to be able to go back there again, mark it. Select "Favorites ... Add to Favorites" of the top menu bar, and Internet Explorer will place a permanent entry in your favorites list.

Favorites ... Add to Favorites

SUMMARY: At this point you should now be able to recognise a "Hypertext link", follow links, mark sites that really interest you, and be able to move back and forward to previous sites.

How to save or print a document to keep for reference or read off-line:

If you find an interesting document you want to keep for reference, or read later, you have a number of choices:

  1. Save the document using the File ... Save as option of the top menu bar.

    TIP: If you want to preserve any hypertext link reference, use the save as htm (or html) option. You will however need to use a Web Browser to read the document, and the links probably won't work unless you're on-line.

    To save the document as easily readable text you can load into your word processor, or editor, use the save as plain text option.

    Graphics won't save with the document in html or text modes. To save graphics from within Internet Explorer, position the pointer over the graphic and press the right mouse button. Mac users or single button mouse users try positioning the pointer and holding the mouse button down. In either case a drop-down menu should appear and give you the option of saving the image (*See copyright reference below).

  2. Print the document using the File ... Print option off the top menu bar, or the Print Icon Print Icon off the icon menu bar.

    Graphics will print within the document, backgrounds in most cases will not.


  1. Authors can up-date their material easily and frequently on the Internet. If the information is important, add it to your Favorites so you can access the most recent version.
  2. *Copyright: all material on the Internet must be assumed to be copyright unless specifically stated otherwise. Copyright laws and penalties for breaches may vary from country to country. Saving a document for later reading or a picture for personal use is generally not a problem. Some authors even allow re-distribution of their material with certain conditions and limitations. If you wish to reproduce someone else's material, and they haven't indicated their re-distribution requirements, ask them first. If you want to quote sections verbatim from someone else's work, give them full credit for it. If in doubt about your use of other peoples material, ask the original author. Otherwise, read from a number of sources, digest, understand, and re-write using your own words.


Microsoft's Internet Explorer will run quite happily even if you are not connected to the Internet (ie if you are making your own Home Pages, or reading pages you have saved on your own machine). When you run Internet Explorer off-line, it will may tell you it can't initialise the network and can't find our server (which is reasonable - unless you dial in to our server - it won't be able to find it!!). Just clear the error message and select File ... Open ... Open File and load your file.


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Copyright ©1996 Albury Local Internet. May be printed as a whole for individual reference, but may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express written permission.