Lesson 1
What is a Browser, Anyway?


Home | Browsers | Buttons/Bars | Navigating the Web | Saving Favorites | Customize Browsers

In this lesson, you will:

Read:

As described on the Welcome Page, a browser is a program that provides easy access to the Web.  It helps you locate and display web pages.  The two most popular browsers are IE and Netscape.  They are both graphical browsers.  They allow you to display graphics as well as text.

If you have spent anytime on the Internet, you have probably become familiar with many browser functions.  In this workshop, you will learn additional ways to navigate the Internet. 

In the first lesson you will learn more about browsers.

Practice:

In this step you will learn the purpose of the browser.

Activity

The following two web sites will provide additional information about browsers.  Go to each of the links and read the materials.   

Notice the difference in the way your browser behaves as you go to each of these sites:

When you go to the Whatis.com site, a new window opens to accommodate the web page.  In order to return to the lesson, you need to put your cursor in the upper right corner of your screen and use your mouse to click on the “x”.

                                           

 Here is the “x” that will close the new window so you can find the workshop.

 

When you go to the Microsoft site, that webpage lands in the same place as the workshop page.  In order to return to the workshop, use your mouse to click on the back arrow located in the upper left corner of your screen. 

                                         

Here is the Back Button that will take you back to the workshop.

Activity

Read the content of both of these websites to learn more about browsers.  Pay attention to the directions above to return to the workshop.

Whatis.com

Microsoft

Practice:

In this step you will identify location and learn purpose of the Title Bar.

To the left, the Title Bar displays the name of the Internet page you are viewing.

To the right, there are three buttons, highlighted in yellow.  The underscore minimizes the browser.  It becomes a button on the bottom of your screen.  The middle button shrinks the browser screen making it easy for you to see what else is open on your desktop.  The X closes the browser altogether.  If you close the browser, you will have to open it again to return to the tutorial.  

Example

Activity

Explore the Title Bar experimenting with each of the buttons to the right.

 

Top

In this step you will identify location and learn purpose of the Menu Bar.

The Menu Bar is directly below the Title Bar.  Most IE browser commands can be found when you select one of the buttons and view the menu.  Many items have a right triangle indicating there is more information to be found.  To select items on the menus and submenus, place the pointer over an item and click to open it.

 Example

Activity

Select each of these buttons to see what commands are available to you.  Make sure to go into some of the submenus. 

 

Top

In this step you will identify location and learn purpose of the Button Bar.

The Button Bar (sometimes called the Toolbar) is composed of several different buttons representing some of the most commonly performed tasks. Each of these buttons has a different function and purpose in Internet Explorer.

Example

Activity

The individual buttons will each be discussed later in this lesson.

 

Top

In this step you will identify location and learn purpose of the Address Bar.

The Address Bar displays the Internet address (URL) of the page being displayed.  You can click the down-arrow on the right end of the Address Bar to see addresses of pages you recently visit.  Scrolling down allows you to quickly return to a site you have visited.  You can also type addresses in this area or use saved addresses from the Favorites area to visit web sites.  There are two ways to move to the site you have placed in the Address Bar.  You can either select the Go button to the right of the Bar or simply hit Enter on the keyboard.

Example

Activity

Practice entering addresses in the Address Bar.  Use both methods of visiting sites to see which is best for you. 

 

Top

In this step you will identify location and learn purpose of the Links Bar.

The Links bar allows you easy access to web sites you visit frequently.  If all the sites you’ve saved in the Links folder in Favorites don’t fit on the screen, selecting the button on the far right of the bar will let you see the others.

 Example

More on this in the Favorites lesson.

 

Top

In this step you will identify location and learn purpose of the Content Area.

This is physically the largest area in the browser and displays the websites you visit.  The example below displays only a small portion of the Content Area.

Example

 

Top

In this step you will identify location and learn the purpose of the Status Bar.

On the left, the Status Bar displays what IE is trying to do and how much progress it has made loading a file.  The word “done” appears when a page is fully loaded.  On the right, a Secure Connection icon, which resembles a padlock, appears whenever you are viewing a page that uses encryption to protect sensitive data such as confidential information.  

Example

Activity

Go to a website and observe the progress of the Status Bar.

 

Top

In this step you will identify locations and learn purpose of the Scroll Bar.

Scroll Bars appear on the right and on the bottom of the page as needed.  If IE cannot display all the information on a page on a single screen, you will be provided a Scroll bar to see the remaining content.

Example

 

The next step is Lesson 2.