Text Only Browsers: – Did you ever find yourself in a situation when you are browsing something important or saving some data and the slow internet speed kills it all? Well, we all go through such situations every now and then, and we are left midway wondering what to do next! At this point, what we need is a Text Only Browser that can help us browse only in text mode minus the graphics. The interfaces of these browsers are extremely simple in layout and function quite speedily.
When you open some of the text based browsers you will find options to browse through different websites, and for some you will need to use shortcut keys to navigate. But wait, the benefits of these browsers don’t stop here as these browsers are occasionally used by programmers as well. Experience uncomplicated browsing and reading without the graphics, identify the viewing habits of web crawlers and track the ease of your web pages using Text Only Browsers.
So, let’s take you to the world of some of the best Text Only Browsers that are free and some are even open source.
Lynx easily leads the text based browser category as it is the oldest text based browser and highly susceptible to configuration. It is a complete browser and not an extension as you must have thought. What’s good here is that even though it is the forbearer of the Text Only Browser category it works with most of the operating systems like Windows, Unix, etc. and even with their latest versions.
The text interface of Lynx resembles more of a command line that makes it extremely easy to navigate. When you run this text-only-browser it takes you directly to their homepage. Press the “G” key, input the desired website URL and hit the “Enter” button to open up a new website. Use the four arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate through the webpage. You can also see the instructions on the shortcut keys mentioned at the bottom of the screen.
You can also use the web version of Lynx) which is totally different from the text version), however, it allows you to view only verified websites and not just any web page.
Compatibility: Unix, Mac, VMS, Windows 95/98/NT, DOS386+, OS/2 EMX
WebIE is a text based browser that is available to download for your Windows OS free of cost and that gives you access to websites in text form only. While it is specially designed for the visually impaired or who those have no vision completely, it can also be used by everyone in case they do not want to run a graphical website.
In order to begin text browsing, you simply need to enter the URL and there you go! Since the browser is completely based on text you will not be able to click open any hyperlinks. You can get access to the hyperlinks, by rather pressing “Ctrl+Enter” on the word that says “Link” placed before the hyperlink. The loaded website will not be in its original pattern.
Apart from opening up a “Link”, there are several other shortcut keys which you can use navigate across WebIE. So for example, if you want to go to the Headline you can press Ctrl+H or to access the graphical version of the website you can press Ctrl+I. For more shortcuts refer to the “Help” option within the “Manual” button.
Additionally, you can change the font options like the size or the color and assists you with several other features like arranging favorite web pages, activating or deactivating pop-ups, view RSS newsfeed and more. Save the web page in TXT or in HTML format, login to your email accounts, take a printout of the web page or seek help from the support team, WebIE does a lot more than the regular Text Only Browsers.
Compatibility: Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, or Windows 8. 32- or 64-bit
One of the open source text based browser suited for your Windows OS is Elinks that comes with an elementary interface that more resembles a Command Line. On opening Elink you will see a prompt that asks you to enter the URL. Simply type the website URL to open the web page, hit the OK button and then the Enter key to start browsing.
The original pattern of the website is maintained on this text based browser, while white text appears on the black background. You can simply use the up and down arrow keys for navigation, and to open a hyperlink you can press the right arrow key. The left key, on the other hand, is used to go back to the last browsed page. Same as the WebIE, you can press the “G” key to open a dialog box where you can enter the website URL and browse the web page.
There are many other shortcut keys which you can find on the Elink’s Documentation Webpage. To “Reload” a page, get the “Close Tab” buttons or access the “Bookmarks” you can right click on the graphical user interface of Elink. One of the easiest text only browsers, Elink is available to download for free.