Tech Tips for Windows
We're not primarily a technical site, but every so often we make a technical discovery that is too good not to share with our readers.
Did you know that you can toggle graphics display via screen button in Internet Explorer 4?
Microsoft doesn't make the method obvious, and it's not hard to figure out why. Many web sites are advertiser supported. When you turn off the graphics, you reduce the income stream of the site proprietor, and the advertising base that ultimately supports the dissemination of information on the web. Microsoft has positioned itself as a web portal; they derive major income from sale of ad space on their site, on Slate, on MSNBC, and even within their newer browser-interface products. They no more want you to bypass the ads than a TV station wants you to bypass the commercials.
But the choice is yours, and the speed and productivity you will gain are significant.
The image toggle capability is
Here's how to make the feature really fly.
When you install the IE4 Powertoys, you get a program in your Links folder called "Toggle Images.exe". Your Links folder can be displayed on the Explorer bar by clicking View -- Toolbars -- Links. But while you control the content and positioning of the Links section of the toolbar, "Toggle Images" is initially going to be tough to find and use.
With "Links" checked, your Toolbar may look something like this:
Don't see a convenient Toggle Images button? That's because the Links bar is a folder... a wordy folder that is being displayed in the horizontal. You can scroll using that little arrow on the far right, but you know you're not going to bother.
So, to improve the Toolbar, try this:
Your toolbar may now look something like this:
Notice your Links shortcuts have become convenient function buttons. Stick a stock image -- and links to websites that display images you don't want to see -- into "ImageCheck.html". Whenever you want to check whether images are toggled on, click the "IC" shortcut, and the image will load (or not) on the fast local page. Whenever you want to toggle the function, click "TI". Whenever you want the rest of your Links, click on the "mo" folder for a convenient drop down.
This fabulous feature has saved us loads of time, and should be especially valuable in a corporate environment, where waiting around for images is the last thing you want to be doing.
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