Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar Now in Beta 3

Several new tweaks added to the toolbar's user interface.

Microsoft is shipping Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar Beta 3. The release features several tweaks to the toolbar's user interface. For example, a single button on the IE command bar now lets users toggle the bottom panel -- which provides access to all the toolbar's features-on or off.

"After discussions with a number of Web developers, we decided that having the menus only available in the bottom panel made sense for most scenarios, so the toolbar at the top has been removed to avoid duplication of commands and the loss of screen real estate that entails," Dave Massy, a senior program manager in the IE group, said in a post on Microsoft's IEBlog in January.

Microsoft launched the first beta of the toolbar at the company's Professional Developers Conference in September 2005. "The developer community has asked for a long time: 'Where is the free developer toolbar for IE?' This tool will help developers to explore their HTML documents," said a posting on the IEBlog at the time.

Developers can use the toolbar to explore the Document Object Model (DOM) tree and find elements on the page, disable IE settings, view information, outline elements, control images, resize pages to common screen resolutions and measure pixel content on pages.

The IE Developer Toolbar works with both IE6 and IE7, according to statements online.

Beta 3 also adds a feature called Style Tracer, which can be used to find in which style sheet a particular rule is set. The feature lets the developer right-click on the current style and select "Trace Style." This brings up a window with the source of the style sheet, highlighting the rule being traced.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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