Simplifying Cross Browser Compatibility Testing

Microsoft Expression Web includes the capability to render web pages using a variety of different rendering engines. Importantly it includes the IE6 rendering engine so you can render pages in both IE6 and IE7 or IE8 on the same machine. We’ve now made available a free version of Expression Web SuperPreview which includes most of the functionality in Expression Web. According to the blurb:

“Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer shows your web pages rendered in Internet Explorer 6 and either Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8, depending on which version you have installed on your machine. You can view the pages side by side or as an onion-skin overlay and use rulers, guides and zoom/pan tools to precisely identify differences in layout. You can even compare your page comp to how the targeted browsers render the page.

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer not only shows a high-fidelity rendering of how pages will look on different browsers, but it also identifies the element’s tag, size and position, applied styles, and location in the DOM (Document Object Model) tree so you can quickly fix the error.”



Definitely worth a look.

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Comments (5)
  1. ElbowOfSamedi says:

    Does this feature also work with non Microsoft based browsers?

  2. Alan Savage says:

    Perfect for static content pages. However, for sites with dynamic content the tool is not that useful). To make this tool useful for real world web application development you need to be able to interact with the website in Expression Web SuperPreview.

    Would also be great if other browsers could be used-as it only supports IE6,7, 8 and Firefox.

  3. Terry Brown says:

    agree with Alan – I think it’s great for getting an initial layout of a page, and the overlay ability rocks for that – it certainly sped up my work on a recent project in getting the overall pay layout and cross browser issues resolved.

    However, as soon as you get down to interaction testing (jquery, accordions, dynamic slideup/slidedown etc.), it’s back to Virtual PC and IE6 image unfortunately, which is a shame – missed a trick with that I think.


    Terry (@terry_brown)

  4. Tim says:

    Got all excited with the first look at this, thought it was goodbye to the various Virtual Machines…. but to not have any interaction.

    I was wondering if it supported JavaScript (for jQuery, IE6 issues) but since you cant even click a button gave up….

    Also wont help with IE6 rendering issues on different OS (NT, 2K, XP) that wasted a few days of time last month :/

    Great, but for very very limited cases…. I hope there are plans to extend and improve.

    Also now MS has a buy in to jQuery maybe they could help get all the IE6 bugs in it resolved

    Infact anything to help ease cross browser dev/testing.

    Nice start, but way to limited  

  5. MikeO [MSFT] says:

    @ElbowOfSamedi – No. Expression Web 3.0 included SuperPreview with FireFox support.

    @Alan, @Terry, @Tim – As you say, the sweet spot right now is definitely static content. I’m not pretending we’ve solved the problem in one single step :-). But it is v1 (of SuperPreview) and it is a useful tool. Every little helps. Mike

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