Make Internet Explorer More Useful

Internet Explorer, like most applications, has some features that you can display or hide depending on your preferences. Some of these features place tools and handy sites in a more visible position so you don’t have to go looking for them.

We’ll show you four of these handy screen features and explain what they do and why you might want them to be visible if they are not currently visible. If you think you won’t need them then you will learn how to hide them from view. This information will also help you if, on occasion a toolbar or menu disappears – as can sometimes happen. You will be able to determine what is missing and know how to get it back. Here are our pick of four handy features we think will help make web browsing with Internet Explorer more enjoyable.

The Internet Explorer menu bar is not always visible on the screen but you will probably want to see it as it gives you access to lots of handy tools. If you don’t see the Menu bar on the screen you can force it to appear by pressing the Alt button on your keyboard. You can also set it so it is always visible and you do this by displaying the menu (press Alt) and then choose View > Toolbars > Menu Bar. If desired, choose View > Toolbars > Menu Bar to hide it again.

The Status Bar appears across the foot of the Internet Explorer screen. It is a solid gray bar and, if your mouse is held over a link on a web page this bar shows information about the link – so you can see where it would take you if you clicked it. On the right of the Status Bar you will see the current zoom value (100% is the standard size). A flyout menu here lets you change the zoom level. To display the Status bar permanently choose View > Toolbars > Status Bar.

The Favorites bar is another handy bar which can be added to Internet Explorer. This special bar will show links to sites that you specifically want to have visible all the time. To display this bar, choose view > Toolbars > Favorites Bar (if it is already visible, this will hide it). You can add sites to your Favorites bar by visiting the site then click the Add to Favorites Bar link in the top left of the Favorites bar. To remove a site from the Favorites bar, right click the link and click Delete. It is a good idea to add those sites you visit most often to the Favorites bar so they will be just one click away.

One additional bar in Internet Explorer is the Command bar which shows icons for some common tasks and which can be customized. To display it, choose View > Toolbars > Command Bar (if it is visible then this will hide it). Right click the Command bar and choose Customize > Add or Remove Commands. In the rightmost panel are the icons currently displayed on the Command Bar. You can remove any of them by clicking the icon and click Remove. To add other icons, find the icons to add in the leftmost panel and click Add to add it to the Command Bar. Click Ok when you’re done.