Two IE9 tricks

I’ve been using Internet Explorer 9 since it was in early beta, after I realized that FireFox 3.6 and 4 took an eternity to launch. IE9 is awesome–it’s fast, very stable, and it just stays out of the way when I’m browsing. Here are two of my favorite tips. (Disclaimer: These may have been available in previous versions of IE, but I never found them.)

Widen the URL bar

The default URL bar is distressingly small. When you get a website with a long domain name that uses SSL, all you can see is a few characters. There’s an easy fix. If you hover over the left edge of the leftmost tab, the cursor turns into a double “resize me” arrow. I widen the URL bar to occupy a little more than half of the screen width, which lets me use five or six tabs comfortably.

Change the default download location

I hate digging around the Documents folder after I download something, so I used to click Save As and browse to my desktop to make the file easier to find later. No need for that anymore. Click the gear icon next to the tab well, or press Ctrl + J. This brings up the View Downloads dialog. Click the Options link in the lower left corner, then browse to your desired default location.

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