Browsers – Gateway to the Internet – Part 1

Browsers allow you to access the Internet (World Wide Web) from a system with a Net connection. The most popular browsers are

1) Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

2) Mozilla FireFox

3) Netscape Browser

4) Apple’s Safari

Browser Features

Browser features are presented as icons/buttons/ menu items in a toolbar.

Following are the brief explanations of most popular features, which you come across in most of the sophisticated browsers.

a) Address field

Allows you to enter or display the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for a webpage. An URL represents the unique address for a file located on the internet. An Address field is text box which allows you to enter the text; in this case, an URL or a web address. The text box comes along with a downward facing arrow located next to the field. Clicking the downward pointed arrow, allows you to see the recently visited websites. Again, clicking anyone of these URLs will take you to the respective website.

The process to enter website address in this address field is

1) You can enter the respective website address in the Address Field text box and can press Enter on the Keyboard.

2) In some browsers, a button labeled “Go” next to the Address Field is given; clicking this button initiates a server request once you press it after entering the respective web address.

3) Most of the browsers free you from typing “http://” whenever you type a web address;
they will add “http://” for you when you press return or enter.

b) Autofill Forms Button

Autofill forms button can be looked both as a convenient and also as a dangerous feature.
This feature allows you to add your already type-in data to the targeted fields. But when using Autofill, please be mindful of the information you are providing. It is also advisable to check the information you are providing using Autofill; unless the site to whom you are providing is a trusted site.

c) Back Button

Allows you to go back to the previous page opened in a particular browser window. In some browsers, a downward arrow is provided; clicking this arrow allows you to see the previous pages that you can then choose from

d) Favorites or Bookmarks

You can create a shortcut to your favorite web pages by using the Favorite (or Bookmarks) menu or button. This is a very important feature and it works a little differently in each browser. You can also organize your Favorites menu item to place your bookmark in a folder or particular place in the list. You can either choose Show All or Manage Bookmarks to create folders and/or rearrange your bookmarks.

e) Close Button

Allows you to close the window or tab

f) Minimize Button

Allows you to minimize the window or tab

g) Maximize Button

Allows you to maximize the window or tab

Fonts — Larger or Smaller

Most of the browsers provides Font button; allows you to change the size of the text Larger or Smaller.

h) Multi-Window Browsing

Allows you to browse multiple web pages simultaneously

i) Forward Button

If you are on the current page and want to see previous visited page, you are supposed to click the Back button. Once you are on the previous page, again to come back to current page, you need to click the Forward button.

j) History Button

Allows you to view the earlier viewed pages date-wise, week-wise, and month-wise.

k) Home Button

Whatever URL you mention under the browser preferences or options text box, you can visit that page by clicking Home button.

l) Customized Toolbar

You can add your own frequently used buttons to this toolbar. These toolbars can be shown or hidden also.

m) Menu Bar

This is where you see drop-down menus like File, Edit, View, History, Favorites or Bookmarks and Help.

n) Print Button

Allows you to print the webpage by clicking this button.

o) Refresh or Reload Button

Click Refresh or Reload button to update the webpage you are currently viewing.

p) Restore Button

Allows you to restore the size of the window; this option is helpful if you want to see more than one window at the same time.