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Summary:

The more time I spend with the web development portion of the web worker community, the more I hear people say bad things about Internet Explorer. But it’s a fact of life that you need to make your sites work in IE – and worse, you […]

ScreenshotThe more time I spend with the web development portion of the web worker community, the more I hear people say bad things about Internet Explorer. But it’s a fact of life that you need to make your sites work in IE – and worse, you need to check them in multiple versions of IE. IETester is a free tool to make this just a bit easier. It gives you a browser without a whole lot of features – but the key feature it does have is the ability to make new tabs use the rendering of IE5.5, IE6, IE7 or IE8 beta 1. Thus with four quick clicks you can see your site in all the recent iterations of this browser.

IETester itself is a work in progress, and has bugs of its own. But as a first line of defense, it’s worth a look: use it to see whether your site looks wonky in older versions of IE, and if it does, fire up a virtual machine with the real thing to check further. It comes from the makers of DebugBar, a full-featured IE plugin for web development.

  1. Thanks for the tip Mike.

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  2. Wow that is pretty sweet. I can’t stand testing old IE versions, and using browsershots or a VM is a pain. This looks pretty promising.

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  3. A Mac version would be super swell.

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  4. Black Bellamy Monday, June 9, 2008

    NOTHING beats a dedicated install. If you or your team are creating/working on websites and you don’t have a separate machine just for testing IE then you fail.

    And you need the original IE. The one your users will be using. Not some adulterated version tweaked for testing.

    I’m not knocking IEtester or netrender or whatever for casual use, but if you’re a professional there is no excuse.

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  5. I’ve been using it for the last two weeks. Conclusion: Very nice and reliable tool. Except for the known bugs i could not find any differences between the rendering of the real browsers and IEtester. Two thumbs up :-)

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  6. @Blank Bellamy — I used to be in the same school of thought, that this was just another gimmick that imitated IE. However, I gave it a go and tested it, the results of which can be seen here: Test Results

    IETester’s rendering was identical to the original. (Taking different resolutions into account and the limitation of browsershots).

    I’m very happy with it and I have replaced all my virtual machines with one instance of IETester.

    – Martin

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  7. Looks good, I’m going to give it a try. A couple of alternatives include the web browser Lunascape http://www.lunascape.tv/ – it contains 3 rendering engines and the software Multiple IEs from Tredosoft http://tredosoft.com/downloads

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