IE7Pro update reminds us why it's easy to love

IE7Pro updates with a few extras for making its Internet Explorer enhancer all the more optimal.

IE7 Pro

Internet Explorer 7 disappointed many of our users by offering far too few features much too late. After all, Firefox was way ahead with tabbed browsing, greater stability, and a seemingly bottomless pit of extensions. Then came IE7Pro, one extension with enough oomph to make IE7 worth using.

IE7's bump up to Version 2.0 doesn't actually add a whole lot more than a chance to remember what we liked about the app in the first place, but there is new support for 64-bit machines, and a hot-key combination (Control+M) that shrinks IE windows to a tray icon. In order to rustle up some revenue while keeping the program free to use, IE7Pro announced it runs search from a Google-powered toolbar, and presumably runs operations from the proceeds. Finally, Version 2 replaces the download manager with a MiniDM that's not actually so mini.

The big show, of course, is IE7Pro's major assist to Microsoft's market-dominating browser. There's a lot here--ad- and Flash-blocking, spell check (which requires installing an dictionary,) and tabbing features. Double clicking shuts down a tab, while typing a URL automatically opens it in a fresh tab. That shaves off time and steps in the course of a browsing day.

IE7Pro mouse gesture
Respite from the scroll wheel--a mouse gesture made in IE7Pro pushes down a Web page. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Other features track your tabbing history, and, like Firefox, help restore tabs after a session crash. IE7Pro borrows from RoboForm with an option to save data for filling in online forms, and borrows from Greasemonkey user scripts to enhance Web experiences; for instance, quickly downloading YouTube videos.

Let's not forget IE7Pro's handy mouse effects. Hold the right mouse key and sweep in four directions to move the page north, south, east, or west. Your scroll wheel finger will appreciate the break. Another mouse gesture activates a new way to open a link in a new tab--just drag and drop the link into adjacent white space.

Users who haven't updated from IE 6 can still take advantage of most features in IE7Pro.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.