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Currently when I want to check how web pages look and behave in IE7, I switch the rendering mode of Internet Explorer 8 to IE7 under "Developer Tools". Unfortunately this procedure needs to be repeated for every new tab and window.

Is there a way to make that selection permanent?

Edit: Virtual PC or equivalents is something I'd rather avoid. In this case, the rendering accuracy of the above-mentioned approach is good enough.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

As per my comments, Jason's answer about using the free VHD's provided by Microsoft to use IE7 itself for testing is really the best way to go - how are we to know that IE8 is entirely accurate when trying to emulate IE7?

However, if you really wish to use compatibilty mode, and you are testing a site that you control, you can add the following meta-header. Obviously, you'll probably only want to do this while testing.

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />

When IE8 loads a page with this in the header it will automatically switch in to IE7 compatiblity mode.

You may also find it useful to read the Microsoft MSDN article Defining Document Compatibility.

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I think it would be easier for you to use the Vista/IE7 IE Application Compatibility VHD for VirtualPC.

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I suppose it depends on the definition of "easier": I'd have to download the thing, install it and run Virtual PC every time I want to look at a webpage. Not to mention the 2GB RAM recommendation of VPC. – Saul Oct 15 '10 at 17:30
@Saul: Well, doing all those things does not take long, and is not difficult to do. As for RAM, having more is always better. – paradroid Oct 15 '10 at 19:37
Thanks for the suggestions but I am not looking for a virtual pc solution. – Saul Oct 18 '10 at 17:40
@Saul, if you want to accurately test how a web site looks in IE7, then surely using IE7 for the job is the best way to do it? Even if it requires a little more effort, it's the correct way, and is exactly why MS provides these VHD's with versions of IE - so that web developers can test accurately without having to buy and run several different OSes and machines! – DMA57361 Oct 19 '10 at 8:51
@DMA57361: So far I am satisfied with the accuracy provided by "Developer Tools" option in IE8. That is reason why I am looking for configuration advice and not something else. – Saul Oct 19 '10 at 10:02

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