Testing pages in different browsers

If you've worked around Web sites for any length of time, you've no doubt been told repeatedly to test your pages in several browsers. If you're new to this stuff, it may sound ridiculous.  After all, HTML is just HTML, right?  Well, yes ... and no.

HTML is just HTML, but different browsers render HTML differently.  In addition, some browser developers add custom elements that function correctly in their own browsers but not in competing browsers.  (For example, the MARQUEE element works only in Internet Explorer.)  Thus the advice to test your pages in different browsers is very important and very sound, especially if your audience may use other browsers.

In FrontPage 2003, you can easily test your pages in a browser by using the Preview in Browser button .  Plus if you click the down arrow, you will get a list of browsers and different resolutions.  For example, if you wanted to see what your page would look like on a machine with 800x600 monitor resolution, you could choose the Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 (800 x 600) item.

In addition, you can add browsers to the list by clicking Edit Browser List.  When you add a browser to the list, you can also add items for the different resolutions for which you want to test your pages.  And (my personal favorite) Preview in Multiple Browsers works very well for displaying your page in all the browsers in the browser list.

One HUGE caveat thought: If you're showing your page in both Netscape Navigator and Mozilla, you may get a message asking you to choose a profile. IMHO this user experience just sucks.  Navigator and Mozilla both use the same profile by default and should use different profiles not the same because you can't use the same profile in two browser windows at the same time.  Therefore, you have to create a new profile. (I've never been successful at saving the profile so that the browser would always use it, so I always get the dang message and have to create a new one every single time.) However, to fix this, there's a check box called Don't ask at start up.  Check it!  You will likely still have to create a profile, at least once, but from that moment on, you shouldn't be asked again ... at least in theory.  I've never been successful at this one either.