Sunday, 9 February 2014

How-to: Enable Compatibility View in Internet Explorer 11


Or perhaps I should have called this "where's that dam' button gone?"

In Internet Explorer 11, the compatibility view button is removed from the address bar; supposedly because document modes are now deprecated. But there's a long tail of development in which X-UA-Compatible meta tags are not or cannot be added to website HTML headers.

However, what if some sites still don't render properly?


If you recall Internet Explorer 8 onwards, there was 'compatibility view' button on the address bar - the little broken page icon (hint, the page was broken largely because your dam' browser broke it, Redmond). It was to help users deal with web page rendering issues by switching to the older compatible mode of rendering the same web page; at the cost of disabling the new standards supported in edge mode.


One thing I need, that only works in IE, is a remote desktop app for my current client's intranet. RDWeb may be a bit long in the tooth but it still works and is a vital part of the infrastructure.


The good news is the compatibility view remains in IE11 and can be enabled per site.
  • Click on the Settings icon in the top-right corner of IE11
  • Select the Compatibility View Settings item in the drop-down menu. This opens the compatibility mode dialog
  • Check the "Use Microsoft compatibility lists" checkbox to enable compatibility view. Unticking that checkbox will disable the feature meaning it won't use lists that Microsoft provides to correctly render web pages
  • You can force specific sites to always render in compatibility view by adding them in the compatibility view list using the "add this website" option, if, or until, developers are update those websites to work in IE11's edge mode.
So not only do I have to find the duck tape and chewing gum, in IE11 I have to go find it in the basement. That's progress Seattle-style. RC


Post-script: Guess what? Blogger's editor doesn't work properly in IE11. If you put it into compatibility mode, it doesn't work AT ALL - blank page. Nice one. [sigh]. Back to a proper browser. RC

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