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How to Use a Web Browser: Part 2

This is a continuation of our article about how to use a web browser, and deals with other features of web browsers.

Have another look at the area around the address bar, which is outlined here in red:

Internet Explorer version 8: address bar

At the right–hand end of the address bar, you will see a red cross and a couple of blue arrows. To the left of the address bar, you will see an arrow, pointing left. These three features are very useful.

The Back Button

The left–pointing arrow is the back button. It allows you to return to the previous web page you visited without having to type anything in the address bar or the search bar. Once you have used the back button, a right–pointing arrow will appear next to it, to allow you to move forward to later web pages.

The Refresh Button

The two blue arrows are the refresh or reload button, which allows you to refresh the page you are on. In other words, it will allow you to visit the page again, to see a more up–to–date version. You can do the same thing by pressing the F5 key on your keyboard.

The Stop Button

For various reasons, pages sometimes load very slowly. If you want to stop a page loading, just click the stop button, the red cross.

Differences Between Browsers

Other web browsers include these same features but display them differently. For example, here is the Firefox browser:

Firefox browser

You’ll notice that the refresh and stop buttons are situated to the left of the address bar rather than inside it.

Here is Opera:

Opera browser

All web browsers contain plenty of other features, some more useful than others. You can find out more by exploring the menus at the top of the screen. The ‘Help’ option is always a good place to start. Here are some techniques you may find useful:

Printing a Web Page

You can print a web page by either clicking ‘File’ then ‘Print’ or by pressing the ‘CTRL’ and ‘P’ keys simultaneously (‘CMD’ and ‘P’ on a Mac).

More than One Web Page at a Time

If you need to refer to several web pages repeatedly, it’s usually much quicker to open each page in a separate tab than to keep clicking the back and forward buttons. There are four methods:

  • If your mouse contains three buttons, you can hover over a link and press the middle button on the mouse, which will automatically open the new page in a new tab.
  • If your mouse contains only two buttons, you can hover over a link and press the right–hand button on the mouse, which will cause a menu to be displayed. Select the option marked ‘Open Link in New Tab’.
  • In the menu at the top of the screen, click ‘File’ then ‘New Tab’.
  • Press the ‘CTRL’ and ‘T’ keys simultaneously (‘CMD’ and ‘T’ on a Mac).
  • Click the small tab to the right of your existing open tabs, marked with a plus sign in the Firefox and Opera examples above.

Going to the Top of a Web Page

If you are stuck in the middle of a long web page, you can return to the top easily by pressing the ‘CTRL’ and ‘Home’ keys simultaneously (‘CMD’ and ‘Home’ on a Mac). You can probably work out that ‘CTRL’ and ‘End’ takes you to the bottom of a page.

I Can’t Read the Small Print

Almost all web users will have encountered a problem which modern browsers can easily remedy: text that’s too small to read comfortably.

The most common solution is to move yourself closer to the screen. Offices are full of people with slightly less than perfect eyesight, squeezed right up against their computer monitors. Needless to say, this is not recommended.

Instead, read our instructions on how to change the font size in your browser.

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