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Internet Lesson 4

 Browser Basics - Common Web Browsers

Today, Internet Explorer is the most popular web browser. Other browsers include Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Each one has its own look and feel, but they have the same goal: to display web pages correctly. For most web pages, any well-known browser will work.

A web browser is the tool that you use to access the World Wide Web. In order to get the most out of the Web, it's important to understand the various features of a browser. In this lesson, we'll talk about navigating the Web with a browser, downloading files, bookmarking your favorite web sites, tabbed browsing, plug-ins and

Like most modern programs, browsers use a Graphical User Interface (GUI), which means you can navigate by pointing and clicking with a mouse instead of just typing. Some devices such as mobile phones use different types of GUIs, such as touchscreens. However, many of the principles remain the same.

Navigating to a Web Site
To get the most out of your web browser, there are some basic concepts that you need to be familiar with.

Address Bar

Browsers have an address bar that shows the web address (also called a URL) of the page you are on. To go to a different page, you can type an address in the address bar and then press Enter (or Return).

Most of the time, you will get to a different page by clicking on a link. A link can be text or an image, and it's usually formatted to stand out so you know to click on it. Many text links are blue, and they may also be underlined.

A link may lead to another web page, or it could lead to a document, video, or any other type of file. If you're not sure if something's a link, hover the mouse over it. The pointer should change to a hand symbol.Hovering over a link

Navigation Buttons

Sometimes, after you click on a link, you might want to go back to the previous page. You can do this using your browser's Back button. Once you've pressed the Back button, you can press the Forward button to follow the link again.

When you use the Back and Forward buttons, your browser may use its web cache to display the page. The web cache stores recently-viewed web pages so that they don't need to be downloaded again. That's usually good because it speeds up your web browsing, but sometimes you want to see the most up-to-date information
on the page. You can use the Refresh button (sometimes called Reload) to tell the browser to load the page

If a page is taking too long to load, or if you've typed in the wrong URL, you use the Stop button to stop the page from loading.

There are some instances where you don't want to use the navigation buttons. For example, in some online stores, you shouldn't refresh the page after purchasing an item, as it could cause you to purchase the item twice.

Search Bar
Most browsers have a built-in search bar for performing web searches. We'll talk more about those in the next lesson.

If you've found a page you'd like to go back to later, you can add it to your Bookmarks (sometimes called Favorites). Bookmarks make it easier to find a page later on. Instead of having to remember the exact web address, you can just scroll through your bookmarks until you see the name of the page.

l In Internet Explorer, you can add a bookmark by clicking Favorites and then Add to Favorites. Other browsers are similar, but they may use different wording.

Browsing History
Suppose you visited a page a few days ago but forgot to bookmark it. You can find the page again by using your history, which is a list of web sites you've visited. Usually, pages will stay in the history for a certain number of days. To maintain privacy, you can delete your history at any time.

Viewing Your History
To view your history in Internet Explorer, click Favorites and then click the history tab.

Deleting Your History

In Internet Explorer, click Tools and then Internet Options. From there, you'll be able to delete your History or manage your history settings.

Internet Options

If you're using a browser other than Internet Explorer, the process of viewing and deleting history will be a little bit different.

Tabbed Browsing

Many browsers allow you to open a link in a new tab. This allows you to keep the current page open instead of going directly to the new page. For example, if you're reading an article that has a link in it, you can open thelink in a new tab so that you can finish reading the article. Then, you can go to the new tab to view the link.

Three different tabs are open in this window. Tabs are designed to make browsing more convenient. You can open as many links as you want, and they'll stay in the same browser window instead of cluttering up your desktop with multiple windows.

l To open a link in a new tab, right-click the link and click Open in New Tab (the wording may vary from browser to browser). To close a tab, click the "X" on the tab.



Downloading Files

Your browser can display many different types of documents, media, and other files. But there are times when you'll want to access a file outside your browser. Downloading enables you to do this by putting the file onyour computer in a place where you can access it.
For example, suppose you needed to complete and print a form that you found online. You could download it to your desktop, then open it with the appropriate program (such as Microsoft Word) to edit it.

How to Download a File

If you click on a link to a file, it may download automatically, but sometimes it just opens within your browser instead of ownloading. To prevent it from opening in the browser, you can right-click the link and select Save Target As... (different browsers may use slightly different wording). You'll be able to choose the folder
where the file is saved. Since the process of downloading a file varies from site to site, it may require some trial and error.

Downloading a file
For various reasons, many sites do not allow you to download content. For example, YouTube does not offer a way to download its videos.

Saving Images
Sometimes you might want to save an image to your computer. To do this, right-click the image and select


Save Picture As....

Saving a picture
Some sites do not allow images to be saved to your computer.

Plug-ins are programs that are installed in your browser that enable it to play various types of media, such as video. Examples of plug-ins include Quicktime Player and Flash Player. If you don't have the correct plug-in, the site will usually provide a link to download the plug-in. Once you have the necessary plug-ins, you'll be able to enjoy streaming video from sites such as Hulu, and play games on sites such as Newgrounds.