Preview a Web Page in Multiple Browsers with BrowserShots

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BshotHeadDo you have to work on websites that will be viewed on MANY different systems and MANY different browsers? Well then how do you preview a web page on all of these systems?

Do you have a quadruple booting system? Access to lots and lots of computers with all the different versions of browsers installed like Internet Explorer 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8?

How about Firefox .9, 1, 2, 3, 3.5 and what about Windows, Linux, Mac OS or BSD?

You know there has to be an easier method to preview a web page right?  So here we are again to provide it for you! I found Browsershots from the Make Use Of Directory located here. The direct link to the application is here.

When you get to the site you will see a screen that looks similar to this:

preview a web page

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On closer inspection you can see your options. The operating system is at the top and the individual browsers are below it. From the most popular to the most obscure you can find everything here.  There are also options for Mac OS and Open BSD that  are cut off in this screen shot.


Go ahead and type in a URL in the box that says Enter URL Here. That is the domain you want to see screenshots of. Check the check boxes for each browser you want a screenshot returned. And then there are more options below the grid.


The other options include Screen Size. By changing this from Don’t Care to a resolution like 1024 pixels wide that will emulate being the resolution of the user’s screen. I normally leave this on Don’t Care unless wrapping is an issue.


Next up is Color Depth which ranges from 8 bits to 32 bits. Again I normally leave this on Don’t Care.


JavaScript on the other hand I enable. This way I can see if all my Java based widgets are working and displaying properly cross platform and cross browser. This is a HUGE help for me in WordPress development.


Java I enable and Flash I enable. Select your appropriate options and submit your browsers shot request by hitting submit next to the URL field.


That will bring you to a screenshot request page. This is where you can wait until your pages are displayed. They can take anywhere from instantly to 3 minutes depending on how busy the server is. Simply refresh the page and as the shots come in they will be displayed.


After refreshing a few times and waiting, you will be able to see thumbnails of each screenshot. After about an hour of inactivity they start to expire and disappear. If you continue refreshing and looking at them they will stay longer. You can see below one of my images expired.


Clicking on a thumbnail will bring you to the image full size. This is where you can analyze the page for errors. You can download the zip file containing all your shots by hitting the download x screenshots button on the thumbnail screen.


Use this to help you master your cross platform web mastering skills! Do you have another favorite site that helps you preview a web page you’re designing? Share them with us in the comments!

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