What is a Browser?

What IS a browser? Glad you asked... It's a computer program that allows you to search for and interact with different types of things on a web page. Games, images, videos, Flash movies, music and more are accessible because of your browser. With out a browser it would be very hard to surf the web at all. If you are new to the WWW see: World Wide Web Basics. The parts of a browser are described below.

Parts of a Browser (see diagram below)

Display Window
The Display Window is the frame through which you see this website right now. It's the main viewing area of the browser.
Title Bar
The Title Bar is the very top thin rectangular area of your browser window. In both Internet Explorer and Firefox it's the blue bar the top. You'll see the title of the web page you are viewing there. The title you should see up there right now is "What is a Browser?"
Address Bar
The Address Bar is the long thin box under the Title Bar and above the Display Window (see below). The Address Bar displays the Internet address of the page that is being displayed by your browser. You can also type the Internet address of a web page into the Address Bar and click "Enter" to view that page. There are other things on the Address Bar as well, like the 'Back' and 'Forward' buttons. The buttons you have displayed depend on which browser and which version of that browser you have.
Menu Bar
The Menu Bar is the long thin box of the browser that has the File, Edit, View, Favorites, and Help dropdown menus. Some people prefer the Toolbar Icons instead (see next).
Toolbar Icons
The Toolbar and its icons is above your Display Window and below the Title Bar. This is where you'll see the Home, Favorites Center, Print icons and more.
Status Bar
The Status Bar is the long thin box right below the Display Window. The Status Bar shows all sorts of stuff depending on what you're doing at the time. Move your mouse so that your cursor is over a link and you can see the Internet address (also known as a URL) of the link in the Status Bar. Click that link and you will see in the Status Bar a visual representation of the loading speed of the page you are about to see.
Scroll Bars
Scrollbars only appear if the page is too long or too wide. A vertical scrollbar (right side of the Display Window) is used to move up or down a page. A horizontal scrollbar (bottom of the Display Window) is used to move side to side on a page.

Diagram of the parts of a web browser.

Most Popular Browsers (in order of popularity)

Now when someone asks you the question, "What is a browser?" you should be able to answer them with some authority. :-) You know that a browser is computer program that let's you view and interact with pages on the web. You know the basic "clickable" parts of a browser.

Wanna try another browser? Click on one of the links above and download a new and different browser. They're all free. If you use Internet Explorer now, why not try FireFox? It's faster than Internet Explorer.

Website Building Tip

Browsers perform many duties.

HTML is the basic language of the Web but a browser must also process many other languages in order to display pages.