How to Customize
your web browser and increase the speed
and safety of your surfing experience.
There are three major players in
the internet browser game: Microsoft Internet
Explorer (comes with Windows), Safari (comes
with Mac), and Mozilla Firefox (the only one you
I highly recommend
Firefox. Read on to find out why you
should use it too...
*This is an Open Source browser.
This means that the code that developers use to
create the browser is public and therefore
created and refined by many, many people.
This collaborative effort makes sure that there
are very few security holes and flaws in the
program. After all, many heads are better than
*Microsoft's Internet Explorer
is prone to attacks from hackers (virus's, worms
and other scary things). It also may not view
all pages the way they are correctly intended
(however, Microsoft does tend to design some of
its own pages specifically for its own browser).
*Firefox will work on just about
any computer, Windows, Mac or Linux.
*One of my favorite features is
the integrated spell check.
*Firefox manages your downloads
for you, restores your previous session
including all tabs when you restart it, provides
search suggestions in the integrated search box,
manages your passwords and much more!
*Firefox Version 3 has some
find out more here.
*It is highly customizable.
download simple add-ons that will greatly
improve the tasks you do on a daily basis.
Choose from hundreds of "browser extensions"
that will simplify your life.
*Now here's the fun part!
Add-Ons Page is too much for you, the
following are some of my favorites.
Delicious- the best social bookmarking
tool out there. Get your bookmarks on
any computer and search them instantly via
tags for each page.
Pic Lens- search photos and images from
many popular sites in an easy and super cool
FoxyTunes- control any media player
right from your browser.
Fox-it Reader- get rid of Adobe Reader,
its slow and limiting. Fox-it allows you to
edit pdfs and won't drag your system to a
halt when it loads.
Change the look of Firefox
*Don't forget to set your custom
homepage. The browser will let you open
several tabs at once and then bookmark all of
them when you open it. For example.
I do not have just one home page. When I
open Firefox it opens Yahoo Mail, Google Docs
and Netvibes, each in their own tabs. Now
*Learn a few other tips on my
California Discovery Educator Network Blog post.
*Customize your bookmarks
toolbar (known as links in Internet Explorer).
Select View > Toolbars>
Bookmarks Toolbar. This will make them
appear on the top row under the address bar.
When you mark a webpage as a favorite, save it
in the Bookmarks Toolbar Folder.
*Have you ever had a webpage
open and were not sure if it was the most recent
and updated edition? You can hit the refresh
button on your browser (usually a circular
arrow) or you can just hit the F5 button.
*Want to go back to the previous
page, but hate moving your cursor to the "Back"
button? Just hit "Backspace" or Alt and the back
arrow. This saves a lot of time if you navigate
back and forth frequently.