Testing Multiple IE Versions, VPC’s and Super Preview

It’s been almost 2 years now since we first shipped the Internet Explorer testing VPC’s so that you could test IE6 and at the time IE7 on the same machine.  We understand the need for people to test IE6, IE7 and IE8 on the same machine, and remain committed to shipping the VPC’s! 

The VPC’s will remain an important component of testing your sites, because they give you a real, and accurate way of seeing how your site interacts with not just rendering, but JavaScript, and other components in the browser. 

But there’s a new option that will work fantastically for testing layout and rendering of pages, Expression Web SuperPreview.  SuperPreview allows you to compare multiple rendering engines side by side, or even super-impose one over the other.  For example, you could see what a page looks like in IE6 under the same page in IE7.  Does everything line up, are the images in the right place, are the right fonts used.  SuperPreview for Internet Explorer is free and can be downloaded on the Expression Web website.

The limitation of SuperPreview For Internet Explorer is that it only supports the different rendering engines of IE.  Now that’s great, but we all know that IE is not the only browser on the internet – wouldn’t it be great if you could do IE8 overlaid on Firefox 3.5?  But you can!  The full version of SuperPreview that comes with Expression Web, supports all of the IE rendering engines, and also supports Firefox!  The full version of SuperPreview comes with Expression Web, which will be available later this summer – keep an eye on on the Expression website for when it’s released.


The big difference between SuperPreview and a lot of the other tools you can use online is that SuperPreview is either free (with the only IE limitation), or you need to purchase it as part of Expression Web; but once you’ve purchased it, it’s yours, it’s not a service you have to pay for every month, or per use.  And most of those online services don’t give you the ability to interact with the DOM, do overlays, and a lot of the other cool features that SuperPreview has.

Soma has a really great blog post about Expression Web 3, and goes into some cool detail about SuperPreview.


PS: I’m working on updating the next set of VPC’s.  We’re trying something new this year, so hopefully you’ll see them sooner and with more regularity. 

Comments (10)
  1. Kris says:

    Is Expression 3 available for trial download?

  2. Mike Webb says:

    I highly recommend the blueprint CSS framework.  It’s cross browser compliant and handles error laden ie6 and ie7 as well.

  3. redsquare says:

    I would prefer a hotfix that fixes ie6 than all these fancy tools.

  4. Jack says:

    Over 250M, a large installer 🙂

  5. Arif Sheikh says:

    I found your post very useful. Does Microsoft have any similar tool for Visual Studio 2008? Currently I’m using VPC for different browsers (IE6, IE7, IE8). Thanks in advance for your help.

  6. tforster says:

    Isn’t this perhaps a case of too little too late? IE6 has become such a thorn that more and more developers are simply writing it off and not bothering to support it at all anymore.  Even highly popular public sites such as Digg and YouTube are rumoured to be abandoning IE6.

    As far as side-by-side comparison we’ve had that for a few years now by way of plugins for FireFox.  Granted they don’t show overlays and that would be a nice feature.  However, given that most web developers have enjoyed working with FireFox and the many excellent development plugins it’s going to take some substantial features to entice them to purchase Super Preview.  

  7. Glad to hear the VPC images will be maintained, I know I greatly appreciate them.  Also, because it appears that SuperPreview can only work with directly addressable pages?  

    I’ve installed it and see that you can’t interact with the page/site/app, only inspect a page, is that correct?  Can SuperPreview be launched from IE passing in the currently rendered page in order to get deep within a web app?

  8. JEROPS says:

    This looks like a fantastic tool in a web developer’s arsenal.

  9. GC says:

    Doesn’t work with Jquery – panes freeze !

  10. Tony says:

    it was great meeting you! I’ll definitely be making use of this app 🙂

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content