Browser Testing: 3 tools you can’t live without

Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 don’t render the same. Also, Firebug 1.0 is less buggy than Firebug 1.2. So, at this point, it really is necessary to run multiple versions of Firefox in your development environment, similar to how most of us have been running IE6 and IE7 on the same machine for years. What? You haven’t been running IE6 and IE7 on the same machine? Didn’t know it was possible? Here are three tools or links that you need to check out if you do any cross browser testing (which I hope you do).

Here are some links to help you out:

  • Multiple Firefox: I have both FF2 and FF3 installed on my laptop. I develop in FF2 with Firebug 1.0, and have FF3 with FB1.2 for testing. Instructions for running multiple Firefox apps on the same box can be found here:
  • IE6 on Mac/ IE6 on Linux: I have a mac, so for quick IE6 checks I have IE6 installed in my Mac OSX. This isn’t a perfect rendition of IE6, but it’s good enough for quick tests, not final QA. To install IE6 on your mac, go to
    . I also sometimes work on Ubuntu 9.04 (a linux box), and have IE6 for Linux installed.
  • Multiple IEs: To install IE7 and IE6 on your PC, or in your Parallels or VMWare Windows environment on your mac, you must install IE7 as your main IE application, and then you can go to to install earlier versions – IE6, and even earlier.It does not support IE7, which is why IE7 (or IE8) needs to be a regular installation. Multiple IEs does NOT work on Vista.

Unfortunately there are a few quirks with running MultipleIE and IE6 on Mac- but I would say MultipleIE matches the crappiness of IE6 at about 99.9%.

These are links that I am always forwarding to people, so I figured I would finally blog them. Cheers!

-Estelle Weyl

This entry was posted in Browsers, firebug, IE7, Web Development. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Browser Testing: 3 tools you can’t live without

  1. Vayu says:

    Hey Estelle.

    Thanks for sharing. Here are a couple of other ways to check for browser compatibility.


  2. Jonathan Schmid says:

    As MultipleIE doesn’t work on Vista, a better solution would be to install VirtualBox and run XP with IE!

  3. stoimen says:

    I don’t agree MultipleIE is not working on Vista, but anyway it’s a very nice article! Thanks.

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