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Q&A

Q1:My page works great in both Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, but shows some problems in other browsers. The problem is that I don't want to give up the cool stuff in my pages just to make them compatible with everybody's browser. What do I do?
A1: Many Web authors in that situation put a disclaimer on the top page, saying “This page is best viewed with Internet Explorer” or words to that effect. Often, the disclaimer is accompanied by a link to Microsoft or Netscape for downloading a compatible browser. The disclaimer says, in effect, “If you wanna enjoy everything my page offers, go get an up-to-date browser.”

A few years ago, I would have called that practice a cop-out, a callous disregard for those not willing to dance to Microsoft's or Netscape's tune. But like it or not, so much of the Web today works properly only through one of these browsers that anybody using another browser is likely to be encountering problems with more than half the pages he or she visits. That person has already decided to accept that many pages won't look quite right to him, which takes you off the hook (a little).

Q2:I installed some other browsers for testing, and now when I go online one of those browsers opens rather than Netscape. And when I do use Netscape, it doesn't work right. How do I get Netscape back?
A2: Most browsers want to be your only browser, so when you install them, they have a bad habit of making themselves the default browser on your PC, the one that opens automatically for most Internet activities.

The easiest way to make Netscape the default browser again is to reinstall it from the CD-ROM, which should also fix any little troubles that may have cropped up since you installed the other browsers.

That won't get rid of the other browsers, which will remain ready for your Web page testing. But it will make Netscape the default Web browser again so that the other browsers don't appear unless you deliberately open them.


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