Internet Basics Lesson 2: What is a Web Browser?

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A web browser is a software program used to access and navigate the Internet. You need a browser to view web pages. The browser window looks similar to other windows you may have used in the past. For the most part, it acts very much the same. This is the Windows Internet Explorer browser window. The website shown is

Internet Explorer Browser Window

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How to Open a Browser

On your DESKTOP look for the Internet Explorer Icon. Using your mouse, double-click on the icon. (If you cannot double-click you may single-click with your mouse on the icon, and then press enter on your keyboard.) It may also be found by a point and click on your Start Menu button on the bottom left corner of your desktop. Go to All Programs and when the menu opens, click on Internet Explorer.

The Internet Explorer icon looks like this: Internet Explorer Icon 

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Browser Window Explained

When you open your Browser, the first webpage you see is the HOMEPAGE. You may set your homepage to any website of your liking. Usually, the homepage is the website you visit most often while using the Internet. In this example we are seeing the Clinton Essex Franklin Library System website at .

Home Page

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This is the Address Bar. Here is where you would enter the website’s address.

Using the Address Bar

To do this you must first point and click your mouse on the address bar. Then you may start typing if the previous web address is selected. If you have a blinking vertical line (insertion point) you will need to use the backspace or delete button on your keyboard to erase the previous web address. After the previous text is gone, you may now type in the web address where you wish to visit. When you have entered the complete address for the website, you press the ENTER button on the keyboard.

Typing in the Address Bar

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Shown here are some common buttons used while browsing the Internet. They are found on the Address bar or in a toolbar near the address bar at the top of your browser window.

 Browser Navigation Buttons 

These are SCROLL BARS. Using your mouse, click on the arrow heads at the ends of the bars to navigate around the webpage.

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To navigate within a specific website, you may use hyperlinks. Hyperlinks are words, buttons, or objects which are connected to another page within the website. They are used for navigation. When your mouse is on top of a hyperlink it will change to this symbol:  Hand Cursor.  That way you know that you are able to point and click on that object to go to another area.

Interesting Tidbit

Many people chose to use a search engine as their homepage. Others may decide on using their email provider’s website. What is important to know is that you may change your homepage to whatever you would want. To do this:

  1. Go to the website that you want to mark as your homepage
  2. Click on Tools on the Menu Bar
  3. When the menu list opens up, point and click on the Internet Options command:

  4. 4. A dialog box will open like this:

  5. Chose the button that says Use Current, then click the OK button in the lower right hand corner of this dialog box.
  6. Now your homepage is set.

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Vocabulary and Glossary

Address Bar
A horizontal area at the top of the browser window where you enter the web address of the website that you would like to visit.
A browser is a software program used to access and navigate the Internet. It is used to enable users to view web pages.
When you start your computer, this is the first main screen that you see. Here you will see icons and your start menu button.
When you open your browser, this is your starting point. You homepage is the first website that opens when you first start your browser. You may change your homepage at any point.
A word, button, and/or image that when clicked will go to another webpage either within the same website or to another web address.

The Internet is an information system connecting computers globally. It is an electronic communications pathway. It includes all the physical telephones lines and other cables that link computer s to computers.

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More Information

Internet Safety

To visit the previous websites, place your mouse over the underlined link above then click. You must be connected to the internet in order for the link to work.

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Brought to you by the Clinton Essex Franklin Library System
and supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds,
awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.