Question: Our district has a Web site for professional development that requires us to login. However, when I try to use the Safari Web browser on my Macintosh computer, I get an error message saying I must use Internet Explorer for Windows. Is there a way to work around this problem?
The IT Guy says:
There may be, depending on the type of browser input which your district Web site is requiring. This is actually a fairly common problem in the business world as well, as many online banking sites and others use pages set to test for browser compatibility and reject any browser except Microsoft IE, and sometimes accept only the Windows version of IE. Obviously this phenomenon must bring Microsoft much glee, but it causes justifiable frustration for users like yourself.
It is not very hard to create accessible websites that â€œplay wellâ€ with a variety of Web browsers, and I would encourage you along with others in your district to make that case to the IT department responsible for creating and maintaining the Web site in question. In the meantime, however, you may be able to take advantage of a â€œdebugâ€ feature in Macintosh OS Xâ€™s Safari Web browser. By default, the â€œdebugâ€ menu is turned off in Safari, and it requires a command in the terminal (yikes!) to enable it. Thankfully, you can download a free AppleScript from VersionTracker which will make this change for you. Visit Safari Debugger to access the fix. But quit Safari before double clicking the AppleScript. Then the next time you open Safari you should see a â€œDebugâ€ menu on the right side of the menu bar at the top of the screen. Choose DEBUG — USER AGENT — WINDOWS MSIE 6.0 to make all websites you visit identify your Web browser as if it were Microsoftâ€™s finest.
Again, depending on the Web features used by the site, this may or may not work, but in many cases it will be enough to â€œget you in the doorâ€ and access Web content previously reserved for just Windows IE users.
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