8 top tips for IE 7

Must-try tips, tricks and hacks for getting the most out of Microsoft's latest browser

Header and Footer printer codes

Variable: &w What it prints: Window title
Variable: &u What it prints: URL of the current page
Variable: &d What it prints: Date in short format (4/16/2007)
Variable: &D What it prints: Date in long format, including the day of the week (Monday, April 16, 2007)
Variable: &t What it prints: Time in 12-hour clock format (5:26:43 PM)
Variable: &T What it prints: Time in 24-hour clock format (17:26:43 PM)
Variable: &p What it prints: Current page number
Variable: &P What it prints: Total number of pages
Variable: &b What it prints: Right aligns the following text
Variable: &b &b What it prints: Centers the text between &b and &b
Variable: && What it prints: An ampersand (&)

5. Change the IE window title

Take a look in the upper left-hand corner of the IE title bar. What do you see? Most likely the name of the site you're visiting, followed by "Windows Internet Explorer," or possibly "Internet Explorer brought to you by" followed by the name of your hardware manufacturer. Maybe you don't want to see that hardware manufacturer name there, or perhaps you want to put your own branding on the title -- your own name or the name of your company.

It's easy to do, using the Registry Editor. Here's how:

  1. Run the Registry Editor by typing regedit at a command line or the Windows Vista Start Search box.
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.
  3. Look for the String value named Window Title. If one doesn't exist, create it by choosing Edit --> New --> String Value and naming it Window Title.
  4. Double-click the Window Title value, and in the Value Data field, type in the text that you want to appear in IE's title bar. Click OK.
  5. Exit the Registry and close IE. When you restart IE, the new title will appear.

6. Get around IE fast with keyboard shortcuts

Mousing and clicking in IE can slow you down. A much better bet is to use keyboard shortcuts. The following lists some of the most useful ones.

General and navigation shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut: F11 What it does: Toggle full-screen mode
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-F What it does: Find a word or phrase
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-N What it does: Open the current Web page in a new window
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-P What it does: Print the current page
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-+ (Ctrl and the plus sign) What it does: Zoom In
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-- (Ctrl and a hyphen) What it does: Zoom Out
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-0 What it does: Return to 100% view
Keyboard shortcut: Alt-Home What it does: Go to your home page
Keyboard shortcut: Alt-Left Arrow What it does: Go backward one page
Keyboard shortcut: Alt-Right Arrow What it does: Go forward one page
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-R or F5 What it does: Refresh the current page
Keyboard shortcut: Esc What it does: Stop downloading the current page

Tab shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-T What it does: Open a new tab
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-click What it does: Open a link in a new tab in the background
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-click What it does: Open a link in a new tab in the foreground
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-W or Ctrl-F4 What it does: Close a tab (it will close IE if only one tab is open)
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Q What it does: Open Quick Tab view
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-Q What it does: Display a drop-down list of all open tabs
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Tab What it does: Switch to the next tab
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-Tab What it does: Switch to the previous tab

Address Bar shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut: Alt-D What it does: Jump to the Address Bar and select the URL
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Enter What it does: Add http://www. to the beginning and .com to the end of text you enter in the Address Bar
Keyboard shortcut: Alt-Enter What it does: Open the selected URL in a new tab
Keyboard shortcut: F4 What it does: Display a drop-down list of addresses you've previously visited

Search Bar shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-E What it does: Go to the Search Bar
Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Down Arrow (with your cursor already in the Search Bar) What it does: Display a list of all of your search providers
Keyboard shortcut: Type search term, hit Alt-Enter What it does: Open search results in a new tab

For more keyboard shortcuts, head to the IE 7 Quick Reference Sheet from Microsoft.

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