With 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.
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.