IETester – testing and debugging in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8

Like all web developers, I need to test how my pages look in different browsers. Doing this on Firefox, Safari, Opera and the whatever version of Internet Explorer you happen to have on your machine is easy, as they all happily run alongside each other on the same machine.

But what about the different flavours of Internet Explorer (IE)?

Whilst IE8 was released a while ago and is a huge improvement on IE7, there are still many people out there using IE6, for different reasons, and of course some people just haven’t upgraded to IE8 yet and are still using IE7. So you, as the web developer/designer still need to cater for all these users and ensure that they get a consistent experience across browsers.


This is where IETester comes in. As it’s described on their website:

IETester is a free WebBrowser that allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP

for me, it’s a major advancement on other solutions out there, such as MultipleIEs from Tredsoft which can install different versions of IE on your machine. The main different here is that IETester is the one application that runs the different flavours of IE within itself, opening up in tabs in much the same method as Firefox and IE7+ use.

And it’s free.


In addition to IETester, if you download DebugBar you can debug your pages in all the offered versions of IE, changing the CSS etc. on the fly.

I have had some issues, with the tabs crashing occasionally, but the application itself hasn’t crashed, just the one tab and it provides you with a feature to re-open the last crashed tab.

There are also forums for reporting bugs and posting comments so all in all it seems well supported, and remember that it’s free.

I have only been using this for a day, but already I have found it tremendously useful and will continue to use it int the future.