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Just installed IE8 which causing pages not to render correctly

Ie8, Css

3:52 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm a Firefox user but just upgraded from IE7 to IE8 just to verify that my sites look good under IE8.

I immediately noticed that my pages that use CSS are totally screwed up with IE8. These pages look fine with Mozilla, IE6 and IE7.

I found a reference on the web to include the following meta tag:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />

This made no difference whatsoever, is there any tag that would allow IE8 to go back to IE7 compatibility mode?

Thank you

4:09 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Good question. I was just considering the idea of updating to IE8, had heard of the css breakup of pages. I would like to load IE8 to use as a view tool while still using IE7 as my default. Wonder if there is anyway of loading IE8 and keeping IE7 as my default.
6:14 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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jason1989, in IE8, you can invoke Compatibility View browser-side with a button (or Page > Compatibility View). If what you see when you do that is different from what you see when the meta tag is installed, it would seem the tag isn't working.

This looks relevant, though I only skimmed it: [blogs.msdn.com...] . It appears there's more than one tag you can use, depending on what you want to happen.

As I recall, IE7 renders in standards mode (which greatly affects CSS rendering) if there is any doctype declared. Some CSS features will only work (at all) in IE7 if a doctype is declared. Absence of a doctype invokes quirks mode, in which case certain CSS, notably including CSS flyout/dropdown menus, won't function.

Artsyrat, there is an option in IE8 to "display all sites in Compatibility View", at Tools > Compatibility View Settings.

[edited by: SteveWh at 6:23 pm (utc) on May 18, 2009]

8:26 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for that link. Apparently the meta tag should have been inserted immediately after the <head> tag and I had it inserted within the <head></head> tags.

Nevertheless, I simply added the value to the entire website as an HTTP Header and it solved the IE8 CSS rendering problem I had.

10:52 am on May 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I really don't understand the point of IE8 if you have to put in a line of code that makes it emulate IE7. Why not make it emulate Firefox or Opera at least they work properly most of the time.

I've just gone down the conditional route and on my latest site I have 3 conditionally commented style sheets for IE8, IE7 and IE6 and below. It is easy to do and in my mind better because you then start to understand the specific problems with IE8 rather than ignore them by emulating IE7.

I can't wait for IE9, IE10 etc...

Artsyrat - There is a programme called "IE Tester" which installs a browser that emulates IE's version 5.5 to 8. It also leaves your current version of IE alone. I use it and apart from an annoying habit of crashing every now and then for no apparent reason it is a useful tool. No links allowed so you'll have to google for it.

10:57 pm on May 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I downloaded IE Tester. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm looking at it right now, trying to test a page in IE8 and IE Tester will only test it in the default. I'm looking for some sort of instructions or help tab but there is none. How do I get it to work in other than the default IE?


12:12 am on May 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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To get multiple IE versions running:
- use a virtual machine (virtual PC for winfows is free at Microsoft, Mac users can use Parralels or Fusion or so), install windows XP SP3 with IE6 in it and activate it. Don't upgrade IE6. Clone this and then upgrade the copies to IE7 and IE8 respectively: there you have 3 different virtual machines that are clean (no add-ons, no nothing: the basic no-frills installation).
Microsoft offers a free images for virtual PC with IE verisons installed in it. These images are time-bombed, so you need to download them again regularly.
- there are ways to get mutiple versions running next to one another on a windows host, but there are a few drawbacks to it (I gave up on it long ago)
- some websites do stuff too, but I find it much more easy to have a real copy running on my box

IE8: in all honesty it's not that bad on being standards complaint. With my way of not adding anything not needed by standards compliant browsers and saving all the stuff legacy IE versions require into version specific conditional comments, I've yet to run into the first IE8 issue.
Developing a lost of known problems in IE8 and tryign to get Microsoft to fix them for a change (no bugs in IE6 and I7 that aren't security or patents they didn't want to pay for are fixed at all)

Pushing IE8 into IE7 mode is at best a short term solution till you can fix it properly. Try to move the hacks and workarounds for legacy IE versions into a conditional comment and see if just offering IE8 the standards code you also offer to Firefox, Safari and Opera etc doesn't solve the problem.

I for one would really welcome a small sample that triggers problems in IE8 (and the solutions to it), I'm sure it'll help quite a few of our members over time.

3:13 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'd be interested to find out what your initial issue was, jason1989? Could you post the HTML and the relevant CSS?

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