Internet Explorer Mobile

Oh what a lovely browser </sarcasm>. I admit I do use it for browsing the mobile web (i.e. site designed only for mobile browsers), it works well with those sites and I need one keypress less than Opera Mobile when paging through the mobile twitter site. However, if required to visit a traditional web site on my phone, I will use Opera Mobile. IE mobile’s rendering of traditional web pages is comical enough to almost win me a WebJam (and I did not have to dance).

The fun really starts when you try to build a site that works in both traditional web browsers and mobile browsers. IE mobile applies both screen and handheld stylesheets. Which can cause chaos. Even knowing this is not enough, I you try to counteract the screen stylesheet by removing styles in a handheld stylesheet, you need to do it properly.

To remove a background-color you can not do it by shorthand with background: none; or even background-color: none; you need to do it with background-color: #fff;

And I strongly recommend a white background and dark text for web pages intended for mobile devices, because you never know how some mobile web browsers will render a page and often text will appear on a different background than you intended.

To remove a background-image, again you can not do it shorthand with background: none; you need to do it with background-image: none

Then there is lists. You have absolutely no control of padding-left of list items with IE mobile. There is set default amount of padding, roughly 2em and nothing you can do to decrease it, as negative margin or text indents do not work in IE mobile.

2 Responses to “Internet Explorer Mobile”

  1. Johann Says:


    have you looked at Linking CSS for handheld devices revisited? ;-)

  2. Nick Says:


    Never thought about using JavaScript to hide the screen stylesheet for IE Mobile. I just do not trust IE Mobile and JavaScript. But this does look like an alternative solution.

    Thanks for info on NetFront, getting quite a few visits from people browsing via PS3 at work.