Cross browser testing is one the realities of creating web sites & web applications and it’s one of those things that can be a bit of a headache from time to time.
My setup here is pretty standard. I have a newish iMac for my day to day work as well as a Windows laptop. On the mac I run Firefox and Safari while on the laptop I have IE6, IE7 & IE8. That covers me pretty well for the majority of browsers but sometimes I’m working off site, my laptop is playing up or I need to show a client how something looks in IE6 vs Firefox 3 … enter Adobe Browser Lab.
Adobe Browser Lab is a web based service that essentially allows you to enter a URL which it then takes a screen capture of in many different browsers. It’s quite fast, it’s extremely handy and, for the time being at least, it’s free.
You can do side by side comparisons of the screen shots as well as overlaying one screen shot on top of another and adjusting transparency between the two to see any differences.
Of course it does have some limitations. You can’t interact with the content which means that you cant check things like hover states or expand containers or tabs etc. But for the most part it’s still a useful service and it has certainly helped me out a few times.
Like right now in fact as I have just remembered I never bothered to test this site in IE and Browser Lab has shown me that it has some rather bad layout issues. I best get onto that 🙂