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Introduction to Web Browsers

World Wide Web browsers are such an integral part of the Web that people new to the Net, when asked who their Internet service provider is, will often answer "Netscape" or "Internet Explorer" (the two most popular Web browsers) instead of YHTI. That's because the Web browser is what you use to "see" the Web and travel from page to page and site to site. You're using a Web browser right now to see this page.

So what is a Web browser? A browser is a software program that lets you find files saved on remote computers called Web servers. Browsers open the files, which are commonly called "pages," and display their information in its window.

Web browsers can't open every kind of file. To display correctly, Web pages must be created using a special "formatting language" called HTML, or HyperText Markup Language. The browsers use the HTML commands to display formatted text (like the words you're reading now), graphics (like the "Using The Internet" logo at the top of the page), sounds, and video.

Browsers let you move between Web pages, or "surf the Web", in several ways. The most common way is by following links. Links, or "hyperlinks," are highlighted and/or underlined words, phrases or graphics that connect one Web page to another. You'll know when your mouse is pointing at a link because your cursor becomes a "hand" icon.

One of the amazing things about the Web is that the page you are reading could be on any one of millions of computers, anywhere in the world, and it doesn't matter where. Your Web browser takes care of finding the computer, opening the files, and displaying the pages for you.

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