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If you’re in web development or web design, you probably know how hard it is to get sites to work correctly in all the different browsers. The most difficult of them all, most people would agree, is Internet Explorer. Not only does it do funky things when it renders web pages, but each version does things differently and it won’t let you have multiple versions installed at the same time.

So what’s a web designer to do? Although there’s a wonderful website Browsershots which can give screenshots in almost any browser/version out there, sometimes a screenshot is not enough.

Enter IETester. It’s essentially a Windows-only web browser which emulates the rendering and JavaScript engines of Internet Explorer versions 5.5, 6, 7, and 8 Beta 1. You can browse websites just like you would in any other web browser, with an option for each tab you open to render as one of the four versions. Although it doesn’t have all the features that an actual web browser would have, it’s great when you need to test websites, or if a particular site requires Internet Explorer but doesn’t work with the version you have.

One feature I like in IETester, which I’d actually like to see in Firefox, is its multi-paned view. As you can see in the screenshot below, the pane on the right side has a tab which is in IE 8 mode, and the pane on the left side has a tab in IE 7 mode and another tab hidden behind the drop down menu. This makes it really easy to compare side by side, without having to open a whole new window.

test your site in multiple browsers

Do you use IETester? What do you think of it? I’d love to know how you feel about this program in the comments below, or if you know of something better.


  1. Vince
    December 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Awesome software!

  2. sem
    October 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Internet Explorer can be such a pain. I usually just use Mozilla Firefox but even then you want to make sure the site works for everything. This is a great, easy way to test the sites.

  3. rebecca
    September 22, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    not bad

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