March 29 (Update 1 p.m. PST)

Getting Around the New ‘Features’ in Internet Explorer 5
How to make it work right

by David Nagel
Senior producer

Internet Explorer 5 failed to display graphics of previously visited sites under the default settings, even when you attempt to reload the images manually.

If you've been able to get through to the Microsoft server to download your copy of the latest Internet Explorer, you may have noticed a few peculiarities. I'm not going to get into many of them here (like why Apple was in the Favorites toolbar twice in the earliest version or why, once you install IE 5, your IE 4.5 becomes virtually unusable), but here are some quick tips to get the thing running like it ought.

Fonts and display
First, you're going to want to go into the Preferences and change the base point size to 12 and the base resolution to 72. This way, at least your browser will display Mac-oriented Web sites the way they're supposed to be displayed. (I think a base font size of 16 is a bit silly. It's an attempt to get the Mac version of Explorer to display Web sites the way the Windows version does. Just count yourself lucky Microsoft didn't decide to change your default gamma as well.)

Of course, the display is just a matter of taste. But for those of use who've been designing sites with the Mac in mind, you'll make all of our lives easier by changing the settings back to the way they were in IE 4.5.

You'll probably also want to change around the Tab function. In the old version of Internet Explorer, tabbing took you from one text field to the next. Now it takes you to each block of text. Go into the Preferences, select Browser Display and check "Tab to just text fields." You'll still be able to tab to text blocks by option-tabbing.

Image caching or lack thereof
Your next task is to change something less cosmetic in nature. You might notice after a while that your browser stops loading images from sites you've already visited. This has something to do with the default caching scheme. I can't explain it, but I have found a cure. Here are the steps:

1. Under Preferences, select Advanced. Under Cache, select Update Pages: Always.

2. Now empty your cache by clicking "Empty Now."

3. Finally, quit and restart Internet Explorer.

UPDATE: If you change the size of your cache or if you go back and try to use IE 4.5 on the same machine, you will need to empty the cache again the next time you launch IE 5, or thesame problem will occur. I'll update this tip as required as more problems crop up. As far as I can tell, this fixes the problem permanently. If you find otherwise, please let me know.

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