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Microsoft Expression Web 4 SuperPreview Online: See Your Website as Others See It

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Microsoft has extended its SuperPreview feature in Expression Web 4 to include an online service. Kathleen Anderson shows how to use this new feature to review your sites in browsers and operating systems that aren't available on your own Windows-based PC.

One of the most frustrating issues for a web designer is the inability to view a website exactly as the site's visitors will see it. Even if you install all the browsers available for your operating system, you're probably limited to running that one operating system, with just one version of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Expression Web 3 introduced a new feature called SuperPreview, which was designed to help you see and debug layout issues in your web pages by allowing you to preview pages in multiple versions of Internet Explorer[md]even without having those versions installed. Expression Web 4 introduces the SuperPreview Online Service, which extends the capability of SuperPreview to include support for additional browsers and operating systems. Currently the service supports Safari 4 for the Mac. This article shows you how to take advantage of the SuperPreview Online Service to find and debug problems in your web pages, giving your site visitors a superior experience no matter which browsers they choose.

Getting Started with SuperPreview Online

The SuperPreview Online Service is available to licensed users of Expression Studio 4 or Expression Web 4. If you're using a trial version of either product, you need to upgrade to a licensed version before you can use the SuperPreview Online Service.

The quickest way to sign up and activate the SuperPreview Online Service on your computer is to launch Expression Web 4 SuperPreview and click the sign-up icon (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 Click the Sign-up icon to create a SuperPreview Online account.

Enter a valid email address and click "Send e-mail." At the specified address, you'll receive an email message with the subject "SuperPreview online service activation," containing a validation link. To complete the sign-up process, click the validation link in the message (see Figure 2). To activate the service, launch SuperPreview and click the Activate icon. In the SuperPreview online service activation dialog box, click Activate. When the service is activated, remote browsers will be available for preview.

Figure 2 Clicking the Activate icon gives you access to the SuperPreview remote server.

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