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Web Browsers

Web Browsers

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Author: Sophia Tutorial
Description:

Determine the functionalities of web browsers to complete tasks.

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Tutorial

what's covered
In this lesson, you will learn about web browsers. You will explore some common options and better understand the functionality of this tool. You will also see how this understanding can increase your technology and productivity skills. Specifically, this lesson covers:
  1. Web Browser Options
  2. Functions and Features of Web Browsers
    1. Address Bar
    2. Bookmarks and Favorites
    3. Using Tabs

1. Web Browser Options

A web browser is a software application installed on a computer. Many digital devices come with a default web browser already installed. For example, most computers that use Windows 10 come with Microsoft Edge. In contrast, computers running macOS come with Safari. There are several other popular web browsers including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Popular Web Browsers

Most people have a preference for which browser they like to use. They all perform the same functions, but they each have their own unique features. For instance, Microsoft Edge has the highest memory storage, followed by Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, then Apple Safari. For speed of internet applications, Mozilla Firefox generally runs the fastest, followed by Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and then Microsoft Edge. There are several other features that vary by browser, such as bookmarking, tabs, functionality, and ease of use. You’ll likely want to try each one to see which is the best for you.

Technology: Why Employers Care
It’s ideal to be comfortable with all major web browsers, especially Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. You will find that different corporations prefer different browsers. Additionally, some software will only work with certain browsers. For instance, if you need to watch or create training videos, the software to view the video may work in Mozilla Firefox but not Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. If you want to use a program to convert files from one format to another, such as PDF to Word, the program may work in Chrome, but not Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox.

term to know
Web Browser
A software application installed on a computer.


2. Functions and Features of Web Browsers

Web browsers are what allow you to interact and search the internet. Anytime you are visiting a website, you are using a web browser. You access and open your browser by clicking on its icon. Once you have it open, you can navigate to a specific website or search for something.

2a. Address Bar

The address bar appears across the top of the browser window and displays the URL of your current webpage. You can use it to navigate to webpages, and in many browsers it also functions as a search bar. If you know the URL of the site you want to go to, such as sophia.org, you can type it in the address bar. If you’re not sure of the URL, you can type in the key words, such as Sophia, and it will pull up results in a search engine. You’ll learn more about key words in the next lesson.

term to know

Address bar
The bar that appears across the top of the browser window and displays the URL of your current webpage.
2b. Bookmarks and Favorites

There are likely some specific websites and webpages that you visit frequently, such as sites for your courses, career development sites, or resources that you use in everyday life. For instance, Sophia web pages and your bank’s website are likely pages that you visit frequently. Web browsers let you save these webpages for easy access. In Microsoft Edge they’re called “favorites,” while other browsers usually call them “bookmarks.”

Edge, Chrome, and Firefox all include a star in the address bar to the right of the webpage’s URL. By clicking the star, you add that particular webpage to your favorites or bookmarks. The browser will give you the option of renaming the bookmark, which can help you keep track of what you’ve saved. You can also organize your bookmarks in folders so you can find them easily.

It’s easy to find the websites you’ve saved to your favorites or bookmarks bar, but if you have several favorite websites, it can be difficult to find them in your favorites. In this case, you’ll want to organize your favorites or bookmarks into folders and sub-folders. You may have a folder for school, with a sub-folder for each course. Or, you may have a recipes folder with sub-folders for entrees, appetizers, and desserts. Organizing them in folders will help you find them quickly and easily without cluttering your favorites bar, making you more productive

 in your personal and professional life.

term to know

Bookmarks
Specific websites and webpages that you visit frequently and have saved in your browser’s bookmarks or favorites for ease of access.
2c. Using Tabs
Imagine you’re using the web browser on your laptop to read a recent news article. You want to check the social media sites of news stations to learn more about the topic, but you don’t want to clutter up your screen by opening a whole new browser window. Luckily, you can simply open a new tab in the same window and conduct another search while the news article remains open in the first tab. You can easily switch back and forth between the two webpages by clicking on the tabs at the top of the browser window. You can also switch tabs by clicking the Control and Tab keys together on your keyboard.

You can see multiple tabs open in the following image:

The ability to keep multiple webpages open simultaneously saves you time from going back to URLs that you previously opened, helping you to complete tasks more efficiently.

Productivity: Skill Reflect
Review what you have learned about the address bar, bookmarking, and tabs. Do you currently use these features to save time? How can you better use these features to be more productive?

term to know

Tabs
A feature that allows users to view more than one document (usually a webpage) within a single window.
summary
In this lesson, you learned there are several options when it comes to web browsers. You reviewed several key functions and features of web browsers. For example, you learned how to locate and use the address bar. You also reviewed how to create and use bookmarks, favorites and tabs. You gained an understanding that all browsers have the same main functions, but each one does offer some unique features. Finally, you learned how the effective use of web browsers and their functions will improve your overall understanding of technology and digital tools, as well as save you time and increase your productivity.

See you in the next lesson!

Terms to Know
Address Bar

The bar that appears across the top of the browser window and displays the URL of your current webpage.

Bookmarks

Specific websites and webpages that you visit frequently and have saved
in your browser’s bookmarks or favorites for ease of access.

Tabs

A feature that allows users to view more than one document (usually a webpage) within a single window.

Web Browser

A software application installed on a computer.