Getting Started

 

Install IE Tab from the Chrome Web Store

Once it's installed, you should see the IE Tab icon to the right of the Chrome address bar.

Now navigate to any page and click on the IE Tab icon to open the page with the IE rendering engine. That's it!

 

Auto URLs

 

Right-click on the IE Tab icon and select "Options" to see all of the options, including the Auto URLs.

Auto URLs are one of the most important features of IE Tab. You typically need IE Tab for just a subset of the web pages you visit. For example, you might want to use IE Tab for all of your Microsoft Sharepoint pages. Auto URLs enable you to specify which pages should be opened in IE Tab automatically so you don't have to click on the IE Tab icon.

Auto URLs are specified as a filter string in one of two ways:

Exact string match with wildcard

With this mechanism, you specify a string that matches the full URL that should be opened with IE Tab. You may use an * to represent any sequence of characters at that point in the string. Note again that the entire string must match the URL, so it is common to include an '*' at the end of the string. Here are some examples:

  • file://*
  • http://www.microsoft.com/*
  • *java-applets-server*
  • https://www.hr-sharepointsite.com/*

Regular expressions

Regular expressions allow for more power in specifying your match strings. These are ECMAScript regular expressions.

A regular expression is indicated by prefixing the regular expression with "r/". Here are some examples:

  • r/https?:\/\/www\.microsoft\.com\/.*
  • r/https?:\/\/[^\/].*activex.*

 

Per-URL IE Compatibility Mode

There is an option to set a single default IE compatibility mode for all URLs. But sometimes you need different URLs to use different compatibility modes (e.g. one URL runs in IE 8, another in IE 9).

This can be accomplished using an Auto URL advanced option, which means prefixing the Auto URL string with square brackets and setting the corresponding compatibility mode designator in the brackets. This will determine the compatibility mode to be used whenever a matching URL is opened. The following compatibility modes are available:

  • ie7s - IE 7 standards
  • ie8s - IE 8 standards
  • ie8f - IE 8 forced
  • ... you get the picture
  • ie11f - IE 11 forced

Here are some examples:

  • [ie8s]http://www.microsoft.com/*
  • [ie10f]http://internal-sharepoint-server/*

 

Local Network Support

(This feature only applies to the Mac & Chromebook versions of IE Tab)

IE Tab for Mac & Chromebook uses remote servers to render the web pages. These remote servers will not have access to URLs that can only be accessed from your local network.

But IE Tab provides a means of sending all requests back through your local computer to access those URLs. This will be slightly slower than normal since all requests have to make an additional round-trip, but performance is normally acceptable if the web site uses caching intelligently.

There are two ways you can enable this local access:

  • Enable it for all IE Tab usage. If you are only using IE Tab to access local network URLs then turn on the option "Resolve all URLs through local network". But if you are using IE Tab for both internal and external URLs, then do not enable this setting as it will negatively impact performance for the URLs that are not local, use the following functionality instead:

  • Enable it for specific URLs. You can use an Auto URL advanced filter to force IE Tab to use your local Network for specific URLs. You do this by adding [local] to the Auto URL, for example: [local]http://intranetserver/*
 

Other Options

 
Right-click on the IE Tab icon and select "Options" to see all of the options. These options are described below:

Enable session sharing between tabs

By default IE Tab creates a new session for every new tab. This means new session cookies which may require you to log in again. If you enable this setting then session cookies are kept alive for the duration of the Chrome browser session so account credentials and other things will be re-used in new IE Tab tabs.

Replace IE Tab icon with current site icon

When this option is enabled it will try to discover the site favicon for the page that is loaded and use it for the favicon in Chrome.

Sharepoint: Enable direct editing of documents

When an Office document link is clicked (e.g. .docx, .ppt, .xlsx), then by default it will just be downloaded (depending on your Sharepoint configuration). But if you turn on this option then instead of just downloading the document, IE Tab can actually launch the Office application with the URL so that the Office application can make changes to the document and the changes will be saved back on the Sharepoint server instead of the user just accessing a locally downloaded version of the file.

Enable Auto URLs

If you have some need to temporarily disable Auto URLs, this is an easy way to do so without actually deleting your Auto URL list. This will typically only arise when you are experimenting with Auto URLs to get them just right.

Open pop-up windows with

If this is turned off, then pop-up windows will be opened in a full IE window instead of a new window.

Open pop-up dialog windows with IE

Popup dialog windows by default are opened with the standard IE rendering engine, but in that case any subsequent pop-ups will also be opened with IE instead of IE Tab. If this is not desirable then disable this option and dialog windows will be opened using IE Tab as will subsequent pop-up windows. This is not the default behavior for legacy reasons because there are some very subtle behavior differences between a dialog windows opened in IE vs. IE Tab.

Use a full window when displaying pop-ups

Some pop-ups may not include the full address bar, making it difficult to determine the address being displayed. This option will force a full window for each pop-up.

Only open Auto URLs in IE Tab

By default, when a page is opened in IE Tab and you click on a link in that page, the link will also be opened in IE Tab.

With this option, you can force IE Tab to only use the IE rendering engine for URLs that are also Auto URLs. So if the user clicks on a link that is not an Auto URL, that link will be opened with , not with IE Tab.

This feature provides additional security against potential IE vulnerabilities because you can force IE Tab to only be used for URLs that you trust.

Never open Auto URL Exceptions in IE Tab

For most situations where you want to restrict IE Tab to specific URLs you will want to use the option "Only open Auto URLs in IE Tab". But in some cases you do want to allow the user to stay within IE Tab while navigating to pages that are not Auto URLs but still go back to Chrome for some very specific URLs. In that case you can use this option and then add the URL that you want to force to open in Chrome as an Auto URL Exception.

Enable beforeunload checking

This invokes the beforeunload handler before shutting down a page that was opened in IE Tab. This is not enabled by default for legacy reasons and it is not generally needed except in very rare cases where a web page is actually trying to perform actions in the beforeunload handler (not recommended behavior).

Forward Chrome cookies to IE Tab

If this option is enabled then when IE Tab is first opened, it will look for any cookies that exist in Chrome for that URL and it will add this cookies to the new IE Tab session.

Enable threaded popup windows

Due to a bug in Windows, under rare conditions some pop-up windows behave differently and may have the incorrect compatibility mode when opened. If you are encountering rendering problems with pop-up windows then you may have to try enabling this option.

Optimize DirectInvoke downloads

When using Sharepoint IE Tab tries to determine if downloads should be loaded directly in a corresponding Office application. However, if your Sharepoint server has some performance problems then enabling the Sharepoint feature above may have a noticable impact on downloads. In that case, try enabling this option. It is not enabled by default for legacy reasons because it conflicts with some very old versions of Sharepoint.

Enable new pointer mode

In very rare cases some modern web sites use a new pointer event to detect clicks, if you have a very modern web site loaded in IE Tab and clicks on UI elements don't appear to be working then you may have to enable this option. But only do it if necessary because for most legacy sites you will want to leave this disabled.

Check redirects for URL exceptions

If you are using the option "Only open Auto URLs in IE Tab" then by default IE Tab only looks at the top-level navigation and it ignore_user_abort redirects when determining whether the URL should be opened in Chrome. With this option enabled IE Tab will also look at redirects and opendir a URL in Chrome if either the first navigation or a subsequent redirect is to a URL that is not an Auto URL.

Enable DEP Policy

This enables DEP policy for the IE Tab Helper process which is rendering the web page. Leave this on to behave the most like IE.

Enable ATL DEP Workaround

DEP policy may break some ActiveX controls. IE implements an exception for a very specific data execution sequence that some ATL-based ActiveX controls use and this option enables that same workaround in IE Tab. Leave this on to behave the most like IE.

Add IE Tab request header ("X-IETab: 1")

This adds an HTTP request header to every request made by IE Tab. This may enable you to configure a proxy to filter requests made specifically by IE Tab. For example you may want to allow requests from IE Tab but disallow requests from IE itself, especially if you are running an older, less secure version of IE.

IE Compatibility Mode

Set your desired compatibility mode for IE. Note that you must have at least that version of IE installed for this setting to work.

Auto URL Exceptions

Auto URL Exceptions provide you with a simple mechanism for excluding some URLs from being Auto URLs. If a URL matches an Auto URL Exception string, it will not be opened in IE Tab even if the URL also matches an Auto URL. The format for Auto URL Exceptions is the same as the format for Auto URLs. See above.
 

Deployment

 

NOTE: The following features require an enterprise license. You can read more about enterprise licensing here, or feel free to send us an email at support@ietab.net if you have any questions.


There are three components necessary for a full IE Tab deployment:

The Extension

The most direct way to deploy the extension is to use the ExtensionInstallForcelist Policy. You can read more about that policy here: ExtensionInstallForceList policy.

For deployment, you can use the standard Web Store id for this policy:
hehijbfgiekmjfkfjpbkbammjbdenadd;https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx

But for licensed enterprise customers, we recommend you use the enterprise install point:
knnoopddfdgdabjanjmeodpkmlhapkkl;https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx

The Enterprise version of IE Tab includes permissions that would otherwise have to be manually enabled by your end users. Read more here.

We also offer version-specific install points for our enterprise customers who have a maintenance contract. Using the version-specific install-points enables you to control and fully test what is deployed and avoid the chance of something going wrong when we make updates to the extension.

We especially recommend this service if you are not auto-updating because we may push an update that expects a later version of than you have installed.

The IE Tab Helper

IE Tab requires that the IE Tab Helper application be installed. The IE Tab Helper can be installed using our .MSI installer which can be found here: IE Tab Helper.

The GPO Settings

You have complete control over all of the IE Tab Options via GPO. The IE Tab ADMX / ADML templates can be found here: GPO Template.

Installation of the ADMX is simple:
  1. Local Machine: Navigate to %windir%\PolicyDefinitions
  2. Domain Controller: Navigate to %systemroot%\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions
  3. Copy the .ADMX file into this directory.
  4. Copy the .ADML file into the \en-US subdirectory.
  5. Run the Group Policy editor and find the IE Tab settings.

NOTE: You must have a valid license and the IE Tab Helper installed for IE Tab to respect the GPO settings.
 

Developer Tools

 

Console Errors

All error messages are displayed in the error console. Any error message that happens within the page that is loaded in IE Tab will be prefixed with "IE: " in the console. Here is an example:

> IE: Error: Object doesn't support property or method 'addEventListener'. Source: http://www.mywebsite.com/thepage.html:12

Executing in-page script

From the console, you can execute code within the IE Tab page with the special "ie.eval" function. Here are some sample commands and responses from the eval statement:

> ie.eval("document.URL")
IE: http://www.ietab.net/
> ie.eval("(function() { return 'Mode = ' + document.documentMode; })()");
IE: Mode = 10
>