Today we're going to go over browser anatomy. If you do not know what a browser is, take a look at our Understanding Browsers post. We're going to use the Firefox window in this instance, so go ahead and open up your own window to follow along.
1. Browser Window - The entirety of the browser is contained within this window. Just like other program windows, you're able to minimize/maximize/and close (#9) this window using its controls.
2. Browser Menu - Each browser has its menu in different places. Go ahead and hover or click on the menu to see all the options. Generally, "print" "email" and other basic browser functions can be found in the menu.
3. Active Tab - Think of a filing cabinet. The active tab is going to be lit up more than others and allows you to jump from tab to tab in order to switch windows. Each window holds a different webpage or URL. (#4) the inactive tabs keep browser pages that you are currently not on, or using, open.
5. New Tab - Button to create a new tab. Ctrl+T opens a new tab and Ctrl+N opens a new window.
6. URL Bar - Your way to navigate the browser, enter a URL (web address "www.example.com") into the bar and hit 'Enter'. This will forward you to your desired page. The large <- arrow is the back button. The Star icon allows you to "favorite" or "bookmark" the webpage. The circular arrow icon will refresh the page. We'll go over URL path-ing lager.
7. Search Engine Bar - This bar, much like the URL bar allow you to input searches directly to your desired engine. This one being for Google (note the Google icon). The Yahoo search bar is also on this window. These are downloadable plugins if you do not have one. They are not necessary.
8. Add-Ons and Plugins - I have several developer plugins as well as screen-capturing, client-agent, and eyedropper additions. Usually you can assume that the small icons are add-ons and are not necessary.
Clearing Your Cache - In order to increase page load speed, your browser will cache (save) the webpage assets and code. Sometimes, when a webpage has been updated the browser will still load the cached version. In order to see the updated version you will need to clear your cache by either hitting the f5 button (function 5) or holding shift while you click your refresh icon. The browser menu also has the option but you may have to dig for it.