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Access Internet Explorer 8 developer tools

One of the nice things about Internet Explorer 8 is the handy collection of developer tools that comes with it. Of course, these are used mostly by website developers for various tasks when testing the pages they have created, but some of the simpler developer functions are useful to everyone. For example, you can disable the images on a web page and you might want to do this to speed up the web, to hide adverts, or to save on ink when printing out a hard copy of a web page. There are a few other items that you might find useful to know too, such as how to choose the compatibility mode for awkward web pages that aren't displaying correctly. So how do you access the developer tools?

All you need to do in Internet Explorer 8 is to press the F12 key. Now if you have a laptop, it might not have an F12 key, so this is easier said than done. However, you may find that it is on some other key and you have to hold down the Fn key as you press it. You can always go to the Tools menu and select Developer tools if you can't press F12 though.

Here's a simple function: Go to any web page and hit F12 to open the developer tools window and then select Images, Disable images. The web page is reloaded, but without any of the images. You may find this a bit less distracting.

If you try to print the page, you may find that the images are still printed though. However, if you go to the Cache menu and select Clear browser cache, you'll find that the images no longer print. Click the little down arrow next to the printer icon in the browser's toolbar and select Print preview to see how a page will print.

Another useful option is to select Images, Show image dimensions, which could be useful if you want to know how big a photo is. You can also display its filesize too.

The Browser Mode menu in the developer window enables you to choose between Internet Explorer 7, 8 or compatibility mode. You should try each of these if you find that a web page does not display correctly. There is also a Document Mode menu and you can choose Quirks mode, Internet Explorer 7 standards or Internet Explorer 8 standards. Try each mode if the page you are viewing does not display correctly.