Browser Differences

by Joe Gillespie — Apr 1, 1999

With the ability to change default font sizes in a browser and to change the gamma with GammaToggleFKEY, it is fairly easy to simulate a PC browsing environment on a Mac screen, but wait, the differences between Mac and PC versions of Netscape and MsIE are even more of a headache and you can't so easily simulate those. You either need to have a real PC or a Windows emulator like SoftWindows or VirtualPC.

The differences between Mac Netscape 3 and Windows Netscape 3 have to be seen to be believed. The handling of tables is completely different for a start. With MsIE 3 on Mac and PC you may fall into the JavaScript 'rollover' trap. Rollovers work in the Mac version but not in the PC version. Version 4 browsers are a little less trouble, unless you try to use Cascading Style Sheets, and then you have serious problems.

The differences between the 3 and 4 versions of Netscape and MsIE provide few surprises on the Mac platform. It is easy to imagine that the Windows versions are equally similar - no way! You need to check your pages in version 3 and 4 of both browsers on both platforms and adjust them accordingly to get the best overall result. Be warned though, getting versions 3 and 4 of Internet Explorer to co-exist on the same PC is no easy task. The trick is to use the 16-bit (Windows 3.x) version of MsIE 3 and the 32-bit (Win95/98/NT) version of MsIE 4.x.

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