Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0 provides a number of settings you can use to fine-tune the way the program functions. Many of these settings can be found under the Advanced tab of IE 6.0’s Internet Options Window. To access the Advanced tab, click Tools | Internet Options and select the Advanced tab. From this tab, you can configure the way IE 6.0 handles security, accessibility, multimedia, printing, browsing, and more. To illustrate the usefulness of these advanced settings, here are three quick ways you can use them to customize IE 6.0.

Open a new window
For example, if you add the Address toolbar to the taskbar, you can type in a URL to quickly access a site or resource. The default behavior for IE is to reuse any existing window to display the URL. So, if you already have a page displayed in IE, entering a URL in the Address bar will open the resource in the existing IE window. This can be a hassle if you weren’t finished using the other site. This same behavior applies to shortcuts you open from other programs, such as hyperlinks in an e-mail message.

Figure A

To cause IE to open a new window instead of reusing the existing window, deselect the option Reuse Windows For Launching Shortcuts (see Figure A).

Don’t resize images
Another change you might want to make is in the way IE handles images. By default, IE resizes images to fit the window. This often distorts large images and can be a real pain if you frequently use IE to view images on the Web. You can also change this behavior from the Advanced tab. Just disable or enable the Enable Automatic Image Resizing option. Figure B shows an example of an image that has been automatically resized.

Figure B
The image on the right has been automatically resized by IE 6.0, while the image on the left has not.

FTP options
If you’re having problems using FTP through a firewall or DSL connection, you need to enable passive FTP from the Advanced tab. Select the option Use Passive FTP, and while you’re there, investigate the option Enable Folder View For FTP Sites. If you enable this setting, IE displays remote FTP folders using the same type of folder view it uses for local folders. Deselect this option if you want IE to display the folders using HTML instead.

Learn more about IE 6.0
Check out these other TechRepublic articles and columns for more Internet Explorer tips and tricks: