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2.1.2 Document Modes

Each major release of Windows Internet Explorer adds new features. As Internet Explorer adds features, there is a risk that websites that are designed for older versions of the browser might not display as they are intended. To minimize this risk, Internet Explorer includes document compatibility, which enables a web developer to specify which Internet Explorer versions that a website is designed to support. Internet Explorer uses the "document modes," such as IE7 mode and IE8 mode, to interpret and render the website. For example, "quirks mode" displays webpages as if users view them with older versions of the browser. For more information, see "Defining Document Compatibility" at [MSDN-DefiningDocCompat].

Internet Explorer 11 is the release documented here with features that contain the highest level of support for industry standards.

The following table shows the document modes that each version of Internet Explorer supports.

Browser version

Supported document modes

Windows Internet Explorer 7

Quirks Mode

Standards Mode

Windows Internet Explorer 8

Quirks Mode

IE7 Mode

IE8 Mode

Windows Internet Explorer 9

Quirks Mode

IE7 Mode

IE8 Mode

IE9 Mode

Windows Internet Explorer 10

Quirks Mode

IE7 Mode

IE8 Mode

IE9 Mode

IE10 Mode

Internet Explorer 11

Quirks Mode

IE7 Mode

IE8 Mode

IE9 Mode

IE10 Mode

IE11 Mode

The standards mode of Internet Explorer 7 implements standards that have the same variations and extensions as IE7 mode in Internet Explorer 8 unless it is otherwise indicated in the individual specifications of the standards that the browser supports, as listed in section 2.2.

The standards mode of Internet Explorer 8 implements standards that have the same variations and extensions as IE8 mode in Internet Explorer 9 unless it is otherwise indicated in the individual specifications of the standards that the browser supports.

The document mode name sometimes includes "standards", such as IE8 standards mode, to differentiate the mode from "Almost Standards" mode. For brevity, the extra word is not included in this documentation.

Note   Almost Standards mode enables the browser to properly render sliced-images-in-tables layouts. Rendering in Almost Standards mode matches standards mode except for the layout of images inside table cells. This type of table layout is handled the same way that quirks mode handles it. For more information, see [MS-CSS21], section 6, Appendix D: Almost Standards Mode.

Inline elements contribute to line height only under conditions described in [MS-CSS21], section 6.2. Otherwise, rendering is handled the same as in standards mode.

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