How to install multiple versions of IE

Every web designer hates it, but the world loves it. So we’re forced to spend money, time, as well as suffer hair-loss over it. It’s Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Thankfully I’m working on a Mac, and for the last year I’ve been testing for IE6 in Parallels running Windows XP sp2. But when IE7 came out I was forced to make a choice. Since there is no way to run two versions of IE on Windows
(why!?) I was forced to ditch IE6 in order to test in IE7.

Or was I? Thankfully an enterprising soul developed a standalone version of IE7 that would run next to IE6. But IE7 was buggy, at least for me it was. I ‘m no Windows wizard, so the problem could easily have been my XP installation, not IE7. So yesterday I pulled the plug on XP and reinstalled a fresh version *cough* demonoid *cough*. Saving me a nice 5GB of hard-disc space in the process. And it went surprisingly smooth. Perhaps because I always expect the worst possible outcome when dealing with Microsoft software.

Do this:

This installment came with IE7 as it’s default browser. Not a problem, the entrepreneurs have been busy bees and launched a full pack of standalone Explorers, including IE3, IE4, IE5, IE5.5 and IE6. I installed all of them, mostly out of curiosity towards how the older ones would behave.

One problem arises though. They didn’t support png transparency. Yes yes, only IE7 does that. But there are plenty of ways to make at least IE6 support this. But not the included version of IE6. This comment shows how to fix this though. He suggests downloading IE6, unzip it, find two files and replace them in the IE6 folder you already have. If you are a keen web designer and like to serve the majority of the interweb users nice semi-translucent 24bit png’s, and don’t mind spending lots of time hacking your stylesheets this is what you have to do:

  1. download ie60.exe at http://browsers.evolt.org/download.php?/ie/32bit/6.0/ie60.exe
  2. don’t run the exe, just unzip the contents and look in the IEW2K_3.CAB file
  3. locate dxtmsft.dll and dxtrans.dll
  4. place these in the IE6 directory

Note that you’ll need the full version of WinZip, not just the unzipper package. The 45 day demo was good enough for me. There’s a testpage link in the original post as well. Good luck!

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