Internet Explorer users and IE-only websites still exist, so even Chrome fans have to use IE occasionally. Why bother launching Internet Explorer when you can run it in a browser tab? IE Tab is ideal for web developers and anyone needing an IE-only website.
IE Tab for Chrome was developed by the same people that created IE Tab for Firefox. It can emulate a variety of IE versions and automatically launch IE-only websites in IE mode, so you don’t even have to think about it. User Agent Switcher for Chrome is another option for IE-only websites, but it just makes Chrome pretend it’s Internet Explorer – IE Tab doesn’t pretend, it is IE.
The IE Tab extension embeds the Internet Explorer Web Browser Control included with Windows. If you’re using Mac OS X, Linux, or even Chrome OS, it won’t work. Remember to keep Internet Explorer updated – IE Tab is only as secure as the version of IE on your system.
IE Tab has a variety of uses:
- Web Development – View web pages in IE 7, IE 8, or IE 9 mode.
- IE-Only Websites – Load IE-only websites within Google Chrome.
- Outlook Web Access & Sharepoint – Use features that only work in IE.
- ActiveX Controls – Run ActiveX Controls, an IE-only technology
After you install IE Tab, you’ll get an IE Tab icon on your toolbar and an IE Tab submenu in your right-click menu. Click the button to load the current page in an embedded IE window.
IE Tab doesn’t integrate perfectly with Chrome – each IE tab frame has its own address bar. To bookmark a page, click the bookmark icon on the IE Tab toolbar. IE Tab will create a bookmark and save it to the “IE Tab” folder on your bookmarks toolbar. When clicked, the bookmark will load the current page in an IE Tab.
You can tell it’s using Internet Explorer because it isn’t rendering MakeUseOf properly. (To be fair, the drop-down menu works properly when IE Tab is set to IE 9 mode, but it uses IE 7 compatibility mode by default.)
Open the options page by right-clicking the IE Tab icon on your browser’s toolbar and selecting Options. The options page is divided into four panes.
The IE Options button is a quick way to open the system-wide Internet Options dialog – IE Tab uses Internet Explorer’s system-wide settings.
The Auto URLs feature allows you to automatically open defined URLs in IE mode. You can define rules using wildcards or regular expressions – or just enter an exact path to a specific web page. When you navigate to any of the pages that match these rules, IE Tab will take over.
The Auto URL Exceptions box can narrow down overly broad Auto URL rules. If there’s a good page that would match one of your Auto URLs rules, you can whitelist it here.
IE Tab emulates IE 7 by default, but you can emulate different IE 8 or IE 9 modes if you have a newer version of Internet Explorer installed. You must restart Google Chrome after changing this setting.
Windows Explorer in Chrome
I’m not sure why you’d want to do this, but you can embed Windows Explorer in Chrome with IE Tab. Just type a local file system address, such as C:\, into IE Tab’s address bar.
The embedded Windows Explorer works just like the Windows Explorer windows on your system. This feature takes advantage of the close relationship between Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer.
For more great Chrome extensions, check out our list of the best Google Chrome extensions.
Do you still have to use an IE-only website – maybe an internal web app on your intranet? Or have you fully escaped IE’s clutches? Leave a comment and let us know.