Little-known browser commands and functions

Fred Langa

No matter what browser you use, chances are good that you’ve never even heard of some its powerful and useful commands, features, and functions.

Here’s a guided tour to some of the most interesting — and unfamiliar — functions in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.

Power beneath the top-level menus

Today, about 75 different browsers currently are in use across all the major computing platforms, although just three browsers dominate on Windows: Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.

As each of those browsers has evolved to its current version, developers have added new features, functions, and commands — including some powerful, special-purpose ones that don’t appear on the usual, top-level menus.

Here are some of the more useful and interesting obscure features and functions to be found in the big three. I’ll focus on the most current of these browsers: IE9 (site), Chrome 19 (site), and Firefox 12 (site). Previous versions often have the same or similar functions and features. (If you’re still using an older version, check your browser’s Help file for specifics.)

The specialist’s approach to Internet Explorer

Did you know that IE9 supports over two dozen command-line parameters (software switches) you can use to install and launch IE in specific modes for specific purposes?

For example, the -k switch immediately starts IE in true, full-screen, kiosk mode — with no frames, menus, toolbars, or other distractions visible. Instead, kiosk mode takes 100 percent of the screen to display whatever webpage or other HTML content you specify.

This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.

Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.

= Paid content

All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2012-06-21:

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.