Friday, March 20, 2009

Testing web sites with Microsoft SuperPreview

I found the blog post "Microsoft SuperPreview: a New Way to Test Websites" on, and thought the tool sounded interesting.

Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview allows developers to compare how a page is rendered in different browsers at the same time. The tool is a similar concept to Adobe Meermeer (reviewed by Josh Catone in December 2008), but SuperPreview can be used as a standalone application and a free version is available.

From the Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview for Windows Internet Explorer page:

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer is a stand-alone visual debugging tool that makes it faster and easier to migrate your sites from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 7 or 8. With Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer, you can ensure that your Web sites work correctly in Internet Explorer 8 while also maintaining compatibility with earlier versions of Internet Explorer.

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer shows your web pages rendered in Internet Explorer 6 and either Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8, depending on which version you have installed on your machine. You can view the pages side by side or as an onion-skin overlay and use rulers, guides and zoom/pan tools to precisely identify differences in layout. You can even compare your page comp to how the targeted browsers render the page.

So it seems this is a way to test how your web site looks in IE6 if you have IE7 or IE8 installed on your PC. The SitePoint article says that it lets you compare how pages render in different browsers whereas the Microsoft page says it lets you compare how pages render in IE6 to whatever version of IE you have installed on your PC, so I'm assuming you can't test how the site would look in Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, etc and compare to IE6. I haven't downloaded and tried this tool yet, but may in the near future. Has anyone downloaded this and tried it out? If so let us know if you can test non-Microsoft browsers.

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