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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Tips for Better Surfing

Internet Explorer is filled with shortcuts and tricks for better speed and more pleasant surfing. For example:

Full-Screen Browsing

The Web is supposed to be a visual experience; losing a bunch of your monitor’s real estate to toolbars and other window dressing isn’t necessarily a good thing.

But if you press F11 (or choose View→Full Screen from the Classic menus), all is forgiven. The browser window explodes to the very borders of your monitor, hiding the Explorer bar, toolbars, and all. The Web page you’re viewing fills your screen, edge to edge—a glorious, liberating experience.

You can return to the usual crowded, toolbar-mad arrangement by pressing F11 again—but you’ll be tempted never to do so.

Picking a Home Page

The first Web site you encounter when IE connects to the Internet is a Microsoft Web site—or one of Dell’s, or EarthLink’s; the point is, you didn’t choose it. This site is your factory-set home page.

Unless you actually work for Microsoft, Dell, or EarthLink, you’ll probably find Web browsing more fun if you specify your own favorite Web page as your startup page.

The easiest way to go about it is to follow the instructions shown in Figure 15-9.

Google makes a nice home page; so does a news site. But here are a couple of possibilities that might not have occurred to you:

  • A blank page. If you can’t decide on a home page, or if your mood changes from day to day, set up a blank—empty—home page. This setup makes IE load very quickly when you first launch ...

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