Internet Explorer 8 and backward compatibility


ie8With the release of Internet Explorer 8, the issue of compatibility has again become a concern for web developers. If your website does not display correctly in IE8, you have a choice of either updating your website to support the latest Web standards or you can force IE8 to display your content as if it were being rendered in an older version of the browser. Luckily IE8 has a compatibility mode which tells IE what browser version it should use to render a page. This will give developers time to update their site for IE8.

A quick fix is to add a meta tag on any page which you want to render as version 7 or below.

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

In the same way specify IE=5, IE=7, or IE=8 to select one of those compatibility modes. A complete table is given below.

ie8 modes

Default Rendering in IE8

So how does IE8 render pages by default. According to the Microsoft documentation, when Internet Explorer 8 encounters a Web page that does not contain an X-UA-Compatible header, it uses the DOCTYPE directive to determine how to display the page. If the directive is missing or does not specify a standards-based document type, Internet Explorer 8 displays the page in IE5 mode (quirks mode).

If the directive specifies a standards-based document type, Internet Explorer 8 displays the page in IE8 mode, except in the following cases:

· Compatibility View is enabled for the page.

· The page is loaded in the Intranet zone and Internet Explorer 8 is configured to pages in the Intranet zone in Compatibility View.

· Internet Explorer 8 is configured to display all Web sites in Compatibility View.

· Internet Explorer 8 is configured to use the Compatibility View List, which specifies a set of Web sites that are always displayed in Compatibility View.

· The Developer Tools are used to override the settings specified in the Web page.

· The Web page encountered a page layout error and Internet Explorer 8 is configured to automatically recover from such errors by reopening the page in Compatibility View.

Serbo-Croatian Translation

This site is a digital habitat of Sameer Borate, a freelance web developer working in PHP, MySQL and WordPress. I also provide web scraping services, website design and development and integration of various Open Source API's. Contact me at metapix[at]gmail.com for any new project requirements and price quotes.

5 Responses

1

Internet Explorer 8 and backward compatibility : CodeDiesel

March 22nd, 2009 at 11:29 am

[...] Go to the author’s original blog: Internet Explorer 8 and backward compatibility : CodeDiesel [...]

2

Marcin

March 31st, 2009 at 3:48 am

Good stuff! Thanks for that. Never browser – new problems. How old browsers react on this?

3

Scotty Donald’s Web Design Blog BETA* » Windows Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility Test Guide

April 20th, 2009 at 12:15 am

[...] Internet Explorer 8 and backward compatibility : CodeDiesel Upgrading your site to run in IE8 Standards Mode is the best option in the long run, but in the interim you can quickly fix these types of issues by running your site in Compatibility Mode. This is described in Jefferson’s post on the EmulateIE7 meta tag. [...]

4

Eugenio Grigolon

May 7th, 2009 at 6:25 am

Thanks for sharing this tip! Very useful!

5

jcal

February 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 pm

hello can you send me a tutorial in backward compatibility in browser

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