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by Ray DeCosta

Q. I’m spending more and more time browsing online. What are some tips and tricks to speed things up when using my Internet browser?

A. The two main Internet browsers (Firefox and Internet Explorer) all have some features that will make your surfing life easier. Unfortunately, some of these items are unknown to most people.

1) Don't type "" every time you want to go to a site. Instead, simply type in "somewebsite" and hit Control-Enter! (Hold down the Control key and hit the Enter key.) Your browser will automatically fill in the "http://www." in front and the ".com" behind and take you to the desired site.

2) Want a quick way to put a website on your list of Favorites (or Bookmarks, depending on your browser)? On the left side of the Address bar (where the address of the website appears) is a small icon. This is called a "favicon" and has usually been customized by the website designer. But if it's not, it will look something like a generic file icon. In either case, you may left-click, hold and drag it off to your Favorites where it will become a new entry.

You can even drag it off to your Desktop instead where it will give you instant access to your special website. Just be aware that the favicon was originally designed to fit into a very small space and will look fuzzy when its size is increased. There's an easy fix: just right-click the favicon, go to Properties -- Web Document tab -- Change Icon and select a new one.

Published: Courier 5/1/11 - Page 5C