If you are web designer, web master or an online shop owner, you will probably want to test your website in various browsers. As much as we hate Internet Explorer, it is still used by a large number of people and it just can’t be ignored, as much as we wanted to. However, testing on different version of IEs can be a difficult task since you are only allowed to install a single version of IE on your Windows. If you are using IE 9, you won’t be able to test on IE 7 or 8, and vice versa.
IE Tab is an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to load a page using the IE rendering engine in a Chrome tab. With this extension, you can test out your sites in different version of IE without leaving Chrome.
Note: IE Tab only works in Windows
Open up your Google Chrome, go to this URL and install the IE Tab extension.
Once installed, at any website that you want to render with IE, you just have to click the IE Tab button at the system tray. This will open a new tab and render the current URL you are at with the IE engine.
IE Tab supports IE 7, 8 and 9. It doesn’t support IE 6, and I don’t think any web developer will want to support IE 6 too. If you are still using IE 6, please upgrade to IE 8 or 9 immediately.
Right-click the IE Tab icon and select “Options”. At the bottom right box is the Compatibility Mode where you can get it to render in different version of IE. For the best result, it is best that you are already running IE 9 (or later) in your Windows, so you can test out IE 7 and 8 as well. You will have to restart the browser everytime you make a change.
There is also an Auto URL mode where you can enter URLs that need to be always rendered with the IE engine. When enabled, everytime you go to the specified URL, it will be opened in IE Tab. The same goes for the AutoURL Exceptions where it works the other way round.
I have previously used different ways to test sites on IE and most of them didn’t turn out to be a good experience. IE Tabs has done well without requiring you to install extra software that will mess up your registry, or even your current version of IE. If you are a web developer and are using Chrome, this is one tool you will definitely find useful.