Microsoft

Make the Internet Explorer app run in two windows

A secret hidden in the Internet Explorer app that will allow you to have two tabs open on the screen at one time and position them side-by-side.

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In last week's article, Take a look at two great features in Windows 8.1, I showed you two features in Windows 8.1 that have really helped me to feel more comfortable using modern apps on my desktop machine. The new Start Screen, which shows your desktop wallpaper in the background thus making the two interfaces feel more like one, and the new Snap feature, which allows you to have more than two modern apps open on the screen at one time.

While using the new Snap feature with my modern apps, I've become accustomed to having two or more apps on the screen at the same time and began to wonder about having two Internet Explorer apps open side-by-side on the screen at one time. Unfortunately, I discovered that you can't open two instances of the Internet Explorer app. But after a little more investigation, I uncovered a secret hidden in the Internet Explorer app that will allow you to essentially have two Internet Explorer tabs open on the screen at one time and position them side-by-side. In this article I'll show you how it's done.

Modern apps – what's in a name?

Before I get started, I have to clarify one point concerning the name that Microsoft has given the apps that appear on the Start Screen and my use of the term Modern app. I received email from a couple of readers wondering why I called the apps modern.

I'm sure that everyone knows that these apps started out being known as Metro apps that ran in the new Windows 8 Metro UI. Many people still know them as Metro apps and the term still appears quite frequently. However, a couple of months before the Windows 8 release, Microsoft abandoned the name. While it was rumored that there was a copyright dispute over the name, there was never any verification.

In the interim period, with no official guidance from Microsoft, the term Modern app began to appear since the word modern was closely associated with the Metro name. Because there was this close association, the term Modern app stuck with many folks, including me.

However, soon after the Windows 8 launch, Will Tschumy, a principal user experience advisor at Microsoft, announced that the new name was to be Windows 8 Store applications. This was soon shortened to Windows Store app. I see this term once in a while, but I still use Modern app.


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Snapping Internet Explorer

When you launch the Internet Explorer app from the Start Screen, it fills the full screen by default, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Fig A 12-6.png

By default the Internet Explorer app fill the full screen.

Once it is up and running, you can use the Snap feature to put the Internet Explorer app window on half of the screen, as shown in Figure B. However, you cannot open a second instance of the Internet Explorer app. So it appears that there is no way to have two side-by-side Internet Explorer app windows on the screen at the same time.

Figure B

Fig B 12-6.png

While you can Snap the Internet Explorer app window on half of the screen, you can't open a second instance of the Internet Explorer app.

Using a tab

Using an Internet Explorer tab, you can essentially open two side-by-side Internet Explorer app windows. To begin, right click at the bottom of the window to bring up the Tabs bar. Then select the New Tab button, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Fig C 12-6.png

Bring up the Tabs bar and select the New Tab button.

 

When you see the New Tab screen, enter the address of the site that you want to open, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

Fig D 12-6.png

Enter the address of the site that you want to open.

Once the website opens, right click at the bottom of the window to bring up the Tabs bar again. Now, right click on one of the tab thumbnails and select the Open tab in new window command, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

Fig E 12-6.png

When you right click on the tab thumbnail, select the Open in new window command.

As soon as you do, you'll see two Internet Explorer app windows open side-by-side, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

Fig F 12-6.png

Opening the tab in a new window, essentially puts two Internet Explorer app windows on the screen.

What's your take?

Which term do you use to describe an app: Metro App, Modern App, or Windows Store App? What do you think about this technique to open two Internet Explorer windows side-by-side? Is it something that you will use in the future? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.



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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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