Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Tour the interface and browse the web, part of Learning the Microsoft Edge Browser.
- [Instructor] Basic browsing with Microsoft Edge, as with any web browser, is pretty easy. You may already be familiar with the basics, especially considering that you're probably already watching this course in a web browser, but let's take a quick tour of the Edge interface to familiarize ourselves with its layout and from there, we'll continue to build on the basics that we cover here. So, Edge comes built into Windows 10. If you look down on your taskbar, you may already see the Edge icon down here and you can launch it right from the taskbar. You'll also find Edge by going to the Start menu and then scrolling down here through the list of applications.
You'll find it under M for Microsoft Edge. If you don't have Edge pinned to the taskbar, you can right-click on it here and you'll find the Pin to Taskbar option here. Since I already have it in my taskbar, I have the option here to unpin it, but I want to leave it there so I'm just going to click outside of this to deselect and then I'll come down to my taskbar and start Edge from here. And here we have the main Edge window. What you see when you first open Edge depends on how your copy of Edge is set up. You may see a listing of your most visited sites or a feed of the daily news, or you may just see a blank window like I have here.
Later in the course, we'll talk about how to customize what Edge displays when you first open it, but for now, just know that the main part of the Edge window here shows you the content of whatever web page you're visiting. You'll need to supply the address for a web page or perform a search, but once you load what you're looking for, it'll be here in the main section of the window. So, this is the address bar up here. You type in the address or a search term here to bring up content. So, for example, I'm going to go to a site at www.landonhotel.com, I press Enter and the site loads, and I can scroll down to browse the site now.
Now, at this point, you should start to get familiar with the structure of a website address, usually it'll have the structure that you see here. A lot of web pages begin with www, not all of them, but it is pretty common. Next you'll see a dot or a period and then some main word, in this case, Landon Hotel, and at the end there's another dot and a three letter extension. Most websites in the United States use .com, but there are a lot of other three letter extensions for different uses and for different countries, so all of this information can be different but these three sections are pretty typical.
The part of the address that follows the www is commonly referred to as the site's domain name, and the entire address of a web page is known as the URL, but you can just call it the web address or just the address. Now, if you're going to a website that does begin with www, you can actually forget about that part. You don't really have to type it. So, for example, I can just type in amazon.com and Edge will assume that it begins with www because that's the most typical format, and when I hit Enter, that site loads and you can see the full address up here now.
Let's type in another address and this time, instead of clicking in the address bar, I'm going to use a handy keyboard shortcut and press Ctrl+l. So, if I hold the Ctrl key and tap l, now my address bar is selected and I can just type in the address of the site I want to visit, explorecalifornia.org. I'll hit Enter and that page loads. Now, I didn't type in www because it's not necessary in this case and this address doesn't end in .com, it ends with .org, but the structure is still pretty much the same. Now, if you don't know the address for a website or if you don't even know what website you want to visit, but you know the topic that you're interested in, you can perform a search instead of typing in a full website address, but you'll continue to use the address bar for searching as well.
If you type anything into the address bar that doesn't conform to the structure of a website address, basically, anything that doesn't end with a .com, a .org, a .edu, and so on, Edge assumes that you're trying to do a search. So, if I press Ctrl+l again, this time instead of typing an address, I'm just going to type the word Stonehenge and when I press Enter, that'll perform a search for Stonehenge. Now, by default, Edge uses a search tool called Bing. If you prefer a different search engine, you can change the default and I'll show you how to do that in a later movie, but here are my search results in Bing and this gives us an opportunity to talk about links, which are central to the browsing experience.
Generally, but not always, links are indicated by underlined and differently colored text, so notice as I roll over some of the blue text here, it becomes underlined. Now, images can also be links. Basically, if you point your mouse at something in Edge and the mouse cursor changes to a hand with a pointing finger, that means the item is a link. So, notice my mouse looks like an arrow here but when I roll over this link, it turns into that pointing finger and it does so over here when I go over certain images as well. And when you click on a link, it'll take you to some other page.
Now, notice here that each of these search results also has an address listed below it, so if I were to click on this link, it would take me to the address we see here. Notice that this address has the standard structure we talked about. We have www.history.com and then it's followed by a slash and then several other characters. This is just a standard web address, or URL, but look at this one here near the top. This one does not begin with www, it begins with en, which, in this case, stands for English, so we have en.wikipedia.org.
So, not all addresses begin with www, but they do have that same structure. Let's click this link and it gives me the address for that page now appears here in the address bar, so this is one specific page on a website called Wikipedia, which, as you probably know, is the most popular online encyclopedia. But to clarify the difference between a site and a page, Wikipedia is the site and it has many pages that you might visit. Any page that you visit on the Wikipedia site will probably have an address that begins with en.wikipedia.org, followed by a slash and the rest of the website address.
And of course, I can also click on any of the links on this page. Again, I see different colored text here and if I roll my mouse over one of them, it becomes underlined, I see the pointing finger, and I can click to go to that page. And from this page, I can click on other links and just continue moving page to page in this fashion. Now, next to the address bar here to the left, you'll find a back and forward button. Web browsers like Edge remember each page that you visited in order, so at any time you can click the back button and it takes you to the previous page you were looking at, and then you can also click the forward button to go forward again, but notice now, the forward button is not available.
That's because I've arrived back at the most recent page I visited. Next to the forward button, we have the circular arrow. This is the Refresh button. Hitting this button completely reloads this page. Now, usually you would hit this button if you think some information on this page has updated since you last loaded it. For example, if you're on a page with the latest scores of a ball game you're following, you might want to reload the page to see if the scores have changed. Notice when I click this button and while the page is reloading, it briefly turns into an X. Now, this page loads pretty quickly, so we only see that X for a moment.
Now, while a page is loading, if for any reason you want to stop it from loading, you can hit that X button. For example, if a page is taking too long to load and you just want to stop it, you can hit the X button. Once you stop loading a page, the button then turns into the Refresh button. Next to that, we have our Home button, and in Microsoft Edge, you can set up a Home Page, which is basically a shortcut to a page that you visit probably the most frequently, and I'll talk about how to set up the Home Page a little bit later as well. To the right of the address bar, we have some more buttons. The first button opens up the Hub here in Edge, this is where you can get the things like your Favorites, which is where you bookmark favorite pages, you can get to your History List where you can find a list of all the pages you visited so you can easily get back to them, and we'll look more closely at Favorites, History, and the other parts of the Hub in later movies.
To the right of that, we have the Notes button, which allows you to draw or make annotations directly on a web page here in Edge. We'll see that in action later, too. And then we have a Share button to share the current page with others via email, social media, or other available options here, but for now, that's the basics of browsing in the Edge interface. And this is all you really need to know to do most regular web browsing, but of course, Edge is capable of a lot more, which we're about to see.
- Touring the interface
- Setting the homepage and default search engine
- Disabling the pop-up blocker
- Creating, organizing, importing, and exporting Favorites
- Adding notes
- Installing extensions
- Clearing history and other website data
- Browsing privately