IETester: Browser Compatibility Check for Internet Explorer

Keywords: web design, web development, testing website, debugging, browser compatibility check for Internet Explorer, website rendering errors

IETester interface

IETester is a free application that allows web designers and web developers to test web pages on multiple Internet Explorer versions at the same time in the same application. It can run on Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP with IE7 minimum. It supports the following Internet Explorer versions: IE5.5 (does anyone actually still use this?), IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9 and even the IE10 preview.

The interface is easy to use with its Office like ribbon at the top containing the browser navigational icons and large buttons to open your web page in a specific version of Internet Explorer, or in all versions at once to catch rendering errors from one version to the next.

While we would not recommend IETester for regular browsing use of course, it is possible to save pages as favourites like in any regular web browser, which is useful if you need to debug a page and come back to check it again later.

A few development tools have also been added under the Dev Tools tab, such as the DebugBar tool, an option to disable caching (disables cache and generates a request to the server) and to disable JavaScript, activeX and Java.

The options tab gives direct access to Internet Explorer’s options and IETesters’ own options, which are very basic. Also available are a print preview and print buttons.

The last tab can show or hide the ribbon, which is useful if you need to maximize vertical screen space.

Less essential finally is a ‘Style’ drop down menu, which allows users to change the application colours (Office 2007 blue style,  silver style, black style and aqua style).

As it is still an alpha release, IETester  may occasionally crash or close a tab without warning and sometimes  has issues with Flash. Also, we noticed that, while generally accurate it can slightly deviate from what the “real” browser shows from time to time. These issues are documented and discussed in the IETester Forum.

Overall, IETester works well as a quick way to locally test your designs in one place with different versions of  Internet Explorer.


Alternative applications and online tools:

Like IETester, Utilu IE Collection contains multiple standalone versions of the browser Internet Explorer, which can be used at the same time.

There are also several free online tools which can take screenshots of your web pages in several versions of Internet Explorer, such as IE Net Renderer or from a massive choice of web browsers, such as

Also available are web-based cross-browser testing environments like the excellent (commercial, requires a subscription after trial period) which allows you to test web pages live in any web browser using remote VNC sessions, as well as taking screenshots and videos.

Another option is to install a virtual machine like Virtualbox.


© 2011 Clifton Web Design