How can you quickly view pages in IE while using Firefox?

A common frustration for those that try to use Firefox as their default browser in a managed corporate/educational setting is that the browser will not render IE only web applications. While IE View made it easier for users to view sites in IE while browsing in Firefox it was still a less than seamless experience as a separate browser would have to be launched and loaded.

Then along came the IE Tab extension.

Honestly speaking it isn’t all that revolutionary (Netscape 8 had similar functionality) but it is one of those extensions like Copy Plain Text that seems like it was always there once installed. You can quickly set up a list of sites that will be automatically rendered in Firefox using the Internet Explorer engine… sharepoint portals, payroll, those quirky proprietary vendor monitoring web apps. There are also plenty of other on-the-fly methods of switching rendering engines (handy for a quick check of css renderings etc).

Do keep in mind this is an unofficial workaround and it would be a good idea to test if an application / site breaks in the actual Internet Explorer browser before contacting your help desk or similar support structure.

Quick Walkthrough:

  1. Click the Install button on the IE Tab extension page. Wait for the security box to countdown then confirm the installation.
  2. Restart browser.
  3. Go to the Tools dropdown menu, then select Extensions.
  4. Find the entry for IE Tab and either double click on it or select it then click the options button at the bottom of the extensions window.
  5. IE Tab Site Filter is (as of 1.07) the default tab that shows in the interface – just use the add site dialog box at the bottom and click OK when you’re done.

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