Have you ever wanted to create your own web browser? It’s not a bad idea considering all the data such a browser should know about you will reside on your own computer.
Follow the simple steps below to create a free basic browser that reflects your personal taste. We will use Visual Studio for this activity, but there is very little code to deal with.
Installation and Updates
To start, you must download the Visual Studio Community Edition by Microsoft which remains absolutely free. The software is updated frequently, so you must migrate to its latest version. Visual Studio might be a bit clunky and oversized, but it has many free templates, including web browsers.
Once the installation finishes, you can launch the application directly.
Procedure to Create a Browser Application
Select the option to create a new project. Scroll down to the Windows Forms App in .NET framework. Here it is useful to recall the fundamental definition of a web browser. It is nothing but a form that calls up on websites and documents and presents them for clearer visual display.
Give the web browser a name and click “Create.” For my private browser, I named it “Fantastic Browser.”
Once the program launches, you will see an empty form with no data. Click “Toolbox” on the left panel. You can also enable it from the “View” icon. Scroll down to select “WebBrowser.”
There are two panels you need to edit in the workspace. One of them is a “Properties” panel that contains all the details about the browser window. Here, you can decide the margins and size of the overall browser window, tab stops, and whether or not to enable scroll bars.
The other panel is the main form. Here you will find a small menu item you must click: “Undock in Parent Container.”
Once you click “Undock,” you will be able to manually resize the borders of the browser window. This portion will showcase the display contents of the website. Save the application and move to the next step.
Creating Browser Menu Items
To create browser menu items, you will need to use a Toolbox option called “Button.” Click on the text and drag it to to any position in the main form window.
Likewise, you will also need a “Textbox” menu item from the Toolbox to receive the websites you want to visit.
Once you arrange all the buttons and the textbox, you can place them in such a manner so that they resemble a browser’s basic window. The buttons are arranged symmetrically by Visual Studio which allows you to create equal space between them without any trouble.
The shape, size and colors of the buttons can be further modified from their “Property.”
In the next step, go to individual button properties and rename the buttons. I used “Behind” for “back,” “Ahead” for “forward,” “Refresh,” and named the home button with my own name. You may use small iconic images, enable tab stops between the buttons, and achieve other minor modifications.
Double-click on any of the renamed buttons to edit its code from its default location. For the back button, you will use
webbrowser1.GoBack() to govern action that has to follow a button click. For going forward, it will be
webbrowser1.GoForward() and likewise, there are options for going home and search.
To use the textbox for typing URLs, use
webBrowser1.navigate(textbox.text). You can use any given URL for your “home” button.
Run and Save Browser
Once you finalized the navigation path for all your buttons and textboxes, you can create additional options from “toolbox.” I went for a “horizontal scroll bar.” There are also options for search engines but no omnibox at the moment. However, you can always create more options if you learn Visual Studio a bit more.
Click the “Start” button on top of your Visual Studio window. It will run the browser inside the form project. You can test your results for your homepage or a search engine. Also, if you maximize the browser window, you will not feel it is any different from a regular browser.
Remember to save your browser project as a .csproj program. You can launch it directly from Visual Studio in the future. You can further change the icon from Windows’ “Setting” and “Personalization.”
If you want maximum privacy, nothing comes close to having your own browser. The above procedure will help you create and run your own browser from your PC or Mac. If you want more options, Visual Studio has some really advanced programs, but it requires a knowledge of enhanced code.
Will you be creating your own browser anytime soon? Which other programs have you used to create them? We look forward to hearing from you.
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