Last Updated on July 19, 2015.

Browser Help: Tune-Up Your Web Browser

There are lots of Web browsers to choose from and different ways to tune them up a notch.Alternative methods to browse the Web

A browser is the software that enables you to see or hear Web pages. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, Safari and Opera are popular graphical browsers, and Lynx is a well known text browser. Many individuals who are blind or have impaired vision surf the Web by using screen readers such as Jaws, Window-Eyes, IBM Home Page Reader and Hal, to name a few.

Designed with Usability and Accessibility in Mind

This site has been designed with the intention that all users should be able to read or listen to its content regardless of their Web browsing device. Unfortunately, graphical browsers still do not behave identically.

There is no sure-fire browser guaranteed to render pages as designed without crashing. Selecting the right browser depends primarily on your operating system (Microsoft Windows, Macintosh or Linux).

Get More Out of Your Browser

Whatever Web browsing technology you use, it's a good idea to check for updates a couple of times a year. Newer browsers tend to load Web pages more quickly and to provide more features that allow users to customize viewing and printing preferences.

How to Check Your Browser Version

Look at the top of the browser screen. Above the buttons will be a series of menus, and at the far right is one entitled, "Help." Click on that and go to the bottom menu item. Depending on your browser, it will read something like, "About Internet Explorer," "About Safari," or "About Chrome." Click on that item, and the next screen will show you what version you have. Often, if you are using an older version, the screen will include a link to check for updates.

Make Your Browser Work for You

Most all browsers allow you to adjust the settings in your browser to optimize your Web experience. The specifics of each scenario below will vary among browsers, but the principles are common to all.

Text too small and hard to read - or too large and clunky?

Look at the top of the browser screen. The second or third item from the left will be titled View. Select the viewing size that makes it easy for you to read without straining your vision. Generally, too, the text size you view is also the size that will be printed.

Tired of printing out pages with the right margin chopped off?

Before you print out the page, click on File, then Print Preview. If you can see that you'll lose the right margin, then go back a step and click on File, then Page Layout. Change the page orientation from portrait to landscape, and perhaps even extend the margins a bit. Now print.

Want to save ink and printing time or, conversely, do you want to print out background images and wallpaper?

Then turn on or turn off "Print Background Colors and Images" within your browswer settings usually under "Print Options".  

Last Updated on July 19, 2015.

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