Browser

BrowserA software program that allows a person to explore the Internet in an easy to use way. Navigating the Internet through a series of links the user can browse the Internet. Examples of popular browsers are Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. The picture is of the Google Chrome browser and a good example of a browser.

Each browser has a navigation toolbar, like the ones shown below that help also illustrate how the Internet browser toolbar has changed over the history of Internet browsers. This navigation bar is the most essential portion of the browser and will always at least contain the Back arrows and address bar.

Internet browser bar evolution

Overview of browser bar buttons and options

As can be seen by the above picture, over the evolution of the Internet browser the buttons and options have changed. With this in mind, understand that some of the options mentioned below may not be visible in your browser.

Back - Used to visit the previous page that referred you to the page you are currently located at. This button is the button you'll use most while browsing on the Internet and as shown above is a large arrow pointing to the left.

Forward - Like the back button this button moves you forward a page, if you have gone back first. If you have not gone back and your browser shows a forward button, it will be grayed out, as shown above.

Tip: Hold down the Ctrl key while pressing the left arrow to go back or the right arrow to go forward.

Stop - Stop the loading of a website, this button may need to be used if the page is taking too long to load or encountering problems.

Tip: Press their esc key at any time to stop loading a page.

Refresh (Reload) - Most Internet browsers cache web pages, so you do not have to download the full page each time you visit the same site. On some pages, you may want to refresh the browser to get the latest version. This button can also be used to reload a page that has been aborted because of an error.

Tip: Press the F5 key or Ctrl + R to refresh the page from the keyboard.

Home - Go back to your default web page. This is the same page that loads when your browser loads.

Search - Open your default search page or search for text found in the Address or URL text field. Today's browser have a search bar integrated into the search engine and can also use the address bar as a search bar.

Favorites - View or visit a website in your favorites list. The term "Favorites" is used with Microsoft Internet Explorer, in other browsers this may be known as book marks or a hotlist.

Print - Print the page you're visiting. If you don't see a print button, it can also be accessed by clicking on the "File" drop down menu or pressing Ctrl + P on the keyboard.

Font (Size) - Increase or Decrease the size of a font.

Tip: Holding down the Ctrl key and pressing either the + or - on the top of the keyboard also increases and decreases the font.

Mail - Open your e-mail program.

Edit - Edit the web page you are currently viewing in an HTML editor. Today, no longer found in browsers.

Full Screen - Make the browser window full screen removing all of the toolbars. Often this option is entered and exited by pressing the F11 key on your keyboard.

History - View the history of pages that have been visited since the browser history was last cleared or created.

Tip: The shortcut key for history for most browsers is Ctrl+H.

Browser related help pages

Also see: ActiveX, Address bar, BHO, Bookmark, Browse, Cookie, Cross-browser, Internet, Internet terms, Konqueror, Lynx, Mosaic, Netscape, Omnibox, Plug-In, SeaMonkey, Tabbed browsing