Install multiple versions of IE on your computer for testing


Are you a web designer looking for a way to test your web site in different versions of IE? Firefox and Safari are easy to test in because they can all be installed on the same computer at the same time, however, IE only allows one version of itself to be running at any one time. This is can be very annoying for web developers because they either have to have multiple boxes or test using online services.

Earlier I had written about a cool web site called BrowserShots, which basically lets you view what your webpage will look like in about 20 different combinations of browsers and versions. It’s a great tool, but there are many times when you want to interact with a site on each browser in case you’re using Javascript, flash, or other types of code.

Luckily, there is a freeware application from TredoSoft that makes it possible to run different versions of IE, all the way from 3.0 to 7.0 at the same time! Now that is cool! Basically, it uses some sort of hack found in 2003 that uses DLL redirection.

Once you download it, you’ll get the option to select which versions of IE you want to install, including IE3, IE 4.01, IE5, IE5.5, and IE6.

Unfortunately, the installer will only work on Windows XP, it’s not meant for Windows 2000. Anyway, after it is installed, you’ll see the shortcuts conveniently created in your Quick Launch bar.

So what about IE 7 you may be asking? Well there is a way to install IE7 in what is called “standalone” mode, which means it won’t interfere with the other versions on IE already installed. You can on how to do that here. This way, you can test your web site in IE 3 to IE 7. These guys seem to be pretty active, so hopefully they will be able to get IE8 to work as well once it’s out of beta.

And that’s it. You should now be able to open all the different versions of IE up at the same time on the same computer!

Overall, it’s a great program slapped together by some guys who saw a need that had not been filled. It may not work perfectly all the time (IE might crash somtimes), but it’s definitely worth throwing on a test box if you’re a full time web designer, blog designer, Javascript programmer, etc. Enjoy!

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