Browser notes is a Wikipedia page aimed at helping contributors and readers learn of issues with various web browsers. There is no perfect browser for viewing Wikipedia.

Please list the pros and cons of particular browsers for viewing and editing Wikipedia articles. Limit your contributions to practical drawbacks and actual experiences with various browsers in interaction with Wikipedia. If you wish to report a bug to do with Wikipedia's interaction with a browser, see Wikipedia:Bug reports and feature requests.

No browser wars, but if you must comment at length, take it to the Browser notes talk page, please.

Please change the order of the browsers to place the Consensus Best Browser first on the list for each platform and continue in order of preference. Keep comments brief.

Most browsers support a direct interface for searching Wikipedia. See Help:Searching for more information.

Firefox and Gecko-based browsers Edit

  • Section "[edit]" links may be misplaced for some sections.

Google Chrome and Chromium Edit

Opera Edit

  • Superscript text creates a few pixels of extra line space. There is a fix, though with the fix the superscript/subscript text looks <small> and slightly raised or lowered instead of superscripted or subscripted, making it hard to determine what is superscripted or subscripted in some instances.
  • Quotes not displaying on Wikipedia pages properly?
    • Click on View → Encoding → Automatic Selection.

Internet Explorer and MSHTML-based browsers Edit

Old versions of IE demonstrate poor support of relatively recent (e.g., post-1999) W3C Web standards, but are still in use. As a result, certain elements may not look or work exactly right, although generally a workaround of some kind is implemented server-side if possible. Among the most visible issues are:

  • Prior to version 7, IE does not support alpha transparency of PNG images, showing an opaque grey background instead.
  • Prior to version 8, IE does not render the <q>...</q> tag with quote marks.
  • Prior to version 10, IE does not support CSS3 columns, showing text formatted using {{reflist}} or {{div col}} in a single column.
  • IE running on Windows XP does not override the display font where glyphs do not exist in that font, such as for passages of multilingual text or IPA used for pronunciation. Templates exists to work around this deficiency (see Template talk:Polytonic, Template talk:IPA, Template talk:Unicode).
  • Due to increasing incompatibilities in scripting, JavaScript has been disabled for IE 6 and 7 on all projects.

Browsers on macOS Edit

Safari Edit

OmniWeb 4.5+ Edit

OmniWeb is no longer maintained, but is still available for download.

  • v?: Does not display popups at all.

Shiira Edit

Also has been discontinued.

  • 1.2.2: Problems with authentication.
  • 2.2: Upon crashing, it may lose recently added bookmarks.

Google Chrome Edit

  • 32.0: Does not display IPA fonts correctly

Firefox Edit

  • 41.0.2 works well.

UNIX/Linux browsers Edit

Konqueror Edit

  • Konqueror may trigger automatic protection that Wikipedia has in place to make it harder for some spiders if a web shortcut for Wikipedia is enabled and used. Make sure Konqueror is identifying itself to Wikipedia, preferably as itself.

Dillo Edit

  • Absence of Dillo from the support matrix at means no official support.
  • In Debian 11 at 2022-09-18, Dillo 3.0.5-7 works nicely for reading. =8~) May allow editing.(?) Attempt to upload to Commons fails with a misleading error message mentioning the server. Better to say uploading from Dillo is not supported.
  • To allow login, add this line in ~/.dillo/cookiesrc
.org    ACCEPT
  • Formats quite nicely, but no CSS.
  • A version not supporting UTF-8 renders special characters as gibberish but a patch solves the problem. As installed in Debian 11, Dillo is patched.

Warning: Many console browsers will convert text in edit boxes to the encoding in use by your terminal (or what the browser thinks is your terminal's encoding which may not be the same thing) either at page load time (links and lynx) or when editing a field (w3m). If your terminal encoding is UTF-8 this is not a problem but if your terminal is using a legacy encoding (or is using UTF-8 but your browser thinks it's using a legacy encoding) then this is likely to destroy characters that are not present in the encoding your terminal is using when you save the page after editing.

ELinks Edit

  • Text only, but renders tables and frames.
  • Supports HTTP authentication.
  • Users can use their text editor of choice to edit textarea fields.
  • Problems with editing UTF-8; set "User-agent identification" (in setup->option manager->protocols->http) to something like "Lynx/elinks/%v (textmode; %s; %t-%b)" to get non-ascii characters as hex codes.
  • View is enhanced (especially of diffs) by using the following user.css and lua hook file (place in ${HOME}/.elinks and enable via option manager)
1. place in ~/.elinks
2. set user css to be "user.css" (no path, relative to ~/.elinks)
3. use document colors: use 1 or 2

.diffchange {
	color: red;
	font-weight: bold;

.diff-deletedline {
	color: green;

.diff-addedline {
	color: cyan;
} {
	color: cyan;
	font-weight: bold;
lua preformatting function 

1. lua has to be installed before compiling elinks; if this
   is the case, it is used by default
2. place this file in ~/.elinks

this file does:

show <del> and <ins> element, make <s> more evident

preformatting for wikipedia pages: since elinks ignores the
class attribute of <td> tags, we move it into the inner
<div> element



function pre_format_html_hook (url, html) 
  -- formatting for <s> <del> <ins>
  html = string.gsub(html, '<[sS]>', '<s>[S:')
  html = string.gsub(html, '</[sS]>', ':S]</s>')
  html = string.gsub(html, '<[dD][eE][lL]>', '<s>[DEL:')
  html = string.gsub(html, '</[dD][eE][lL]>', ':DEL]</s>')
  html = string.gsub(html, '<[iI][nN][sS]>', '<s>[INS:')
  html = string.gsub(html, '</[iI][nN][sS]>', ':INS]</s>')

  -- diff-addedline and diff-deletedline classes
  if string.find(url, "diff=", 1, 1) or testing then
    html = string.gsub(html, '<td class="diff[-]addedline"><div>',
                             '<td><div class="diff-addedline">')
    html = string.gsub(html, '<td class="diff[-]deletedline"><div>',
                             '<td><div class="diff-deletedline">')

  return html

Links Edit

  • In old versions the login may be broken. (Try to check referrer sending and cookie handling. If everything fails try to use ELinks, and check the same settings.)

Lynx Edit

  • Users can use their text editor of choice to edit textarea fields (this feature needs to be enabled at compile time)
  • Forces wrapping of very long lines in a textarea, which is a problem in editing some articles.
  • Display options for non-ASCII characters affect editing.
  • Most tables are rendered as simple text.
  • Viewing of diffs and redlinks can be improved by adding the following to the lynx.lss configuration file:

PDA & cell phone browsers Edit

See: Wikipedia:Wikipedia on PDAs and Help:Mobile access.

Browser add-ons & proxies Edit

Ad-busters Edit

Opera kiosk mode filtering Edit

  • May block access to articles if they begin with blocked strings such as "ad"

Atguard, Norton Internet Security, WebWasher Edit

  • On default settings, disallows access to articles beginning with the word "ad" (ad hoc, ad hominem etc.)

Adblock Filterset.G Updater Edit

  • Filterset set blocks /ad/ in URLs, use Adblock Plus and Filterset.G Whitelist to bypass (whitelists Wikimedia related URLs)

Unwanted effects Edit

Some browser extensions are not fully compatible with Wikipedia or may have unwanted effects. Some extensions add text like when editing <div class="myEventWatcherDiv">, QuickiWiki Look Up or <a class="ktg6us78hf8vdu7" href="javascript:void(0)">. Most of these are detected by Edit Filter 345 which issues a warning message.

Consent-O-Matic Edit

  • May break wikilinks during editing, e.g. changing [[foo]] to [foo-en] or [[foo|bar]] to [foo|bar-en] (discussion).

Dictionary of Numbers Edit

  • May arbitrarily remove strings starting with numbers when editing (discussion)

NoScript Edit

  • Intentionally blocks scripts (user-configurable by website) but may prevent fallback to the normal behaviour for browsers without JavaScript enabled, e.g. breaking the "New section" feature for some users (discussion)

WikiTweak Edit

  • Has a "QuickiWiki" option which may arbitrarily add the string "QuickiWiki Look Up" when editing (discussion)

StumbleUpon Edit

  • May display italics markup <i>...</i> in page names instead of rendering in italics (discussion)

Skype Edit

If you find the Skype icon in an unexpected place, like in this image, your browser is likely misinterpreting a set of numbers as a phone number.

Web filtering Edit

Displaying ads Edit

  • Some browser extensions including Codec-C and InfoAtoms may add ads to Wikipedia pages without properly informing the user (discussion)

File page bypassing Edit

Search plugins Edit

Plugins that can be used to search Wikipedia more easily.

Textarea tools Edit

Lynx Edit

  • Allows any text editor to be used once the option is set.

Konqueror Edit

  • Internally highlights misspelled words in textareas.

Safari Edit

  • Underlines misspelled words in textareas if you check the Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling as You Type option. Control-click or right-click for a list of suggested corrections.

OmniWeb Edit

Internet Explorer Edit

  • IESpell adds spellchecking to Internet Explorer.
  • External is a small program that may help you use any external program to edit the textareas in the browser

Opera Edit

  • Opera 10 and above: inline spelling checking based on the dictionaries called Hunspell.
  • pre Opera 10: Supports the spelling checking on Windows and Linux if you install GNU Aspell. Instructions are available from Opera.

Mozilla and Firefox Edit

  • Universal Edit Button adds an extra icon in the address bar for the editable pages
  • Wikipedia Extension
    • Adds a toolbar with various formatting functions and quicklinks to most Special: pages.
    • Not tested on Mac
    • Make sure you get the latest version, 0.7.1 as of this writing; download at is out-of-date and does not work on 1.0
  • SpellBound adds spellchecking to Firefox, supporting international dictionaries. Download from here for Firefox up to 1.0.x and from here for Firefox 1.5.x. Firefox 2.0.x has spellchecking built in.
  • These tools add an option to the browser to use an external editor on a web page textarea.

Safari Edit

  • UnicodeChecker allows in-place conversion of Unicode text to HTML entities and back. Requires OS X Mountain Lion (10.8). Freeware.
    • Great for editing text in non-ISO-8859-1 character sets on the English-language Wikipedia (Cyrillic, etc.).
    • Works as a system service from a menu (Safari→Services→Unicode→), or keyboard shortcut (command-shift-8).
  • CocoAspell adds international spelling dictionaries to the inline spell-checker. Freeware.
    • Based on UNIX Aspell.

Old and discontinued browsers Edit


The latest version (3.0 from 1997) of NCSA MOSAIC will not load Wikimedia pages due to lack of support for the HTTP 1.1 host header system.

NetPositive Edit

NetPositive ran only on BeOS. Not all elements of the CSS recognized, though still fairly functional. NetPositive has issues with some HTML entities on repeated editing (replacing entities by the character glyph), so be careful.

Netscape Edit

The very old Netscape Navigator, cannot edit long pages. See Wikipedia:Article size.

On Unix in version 4.x: Problems with <div> marked images; sometimes crashes when one writes a new article or heavily edits an existing one.

On Mac OS in version 4.5: overlapping text and quick bar under cologne blue settings, may add weird space in text; some encoding issues.

Internet Explorer for Mac Edit

Internet Explorer for Mac OS X runs only on classic Mac OS.

  • 4.5: logging off from one wiki to another. Some encoding issues.
  • 5.2.3: Some text is invisible, with no apparent pattern. The words disappear mid-sentence, or even mid-word, and reappear a few words or sentences later.
  • 5.5: sometimes freeze the edit window

Opera on Mac OS Edit

  • 5.0: cut long pages in editing mode; encoding issues. Overlapping text and bar in some pages (prefs)
  • 6.0: add undesirable blank lines, crashes unexpectedly

iCab on Mac OS Edit

Side toolbar appears in wrong location (below any main text).

Old Firefox Edit

Prior to Firefox 2, the find-as-you-type text search ignored the edit window. Bugzilla@Mozilla bug 189309 documents the issue, which does not occur in the newer version, Firefox 3.

Prior to Firefox 3, when editing, Firefox changed all non-breaking spaces (hexadecimal 0xA0) to breakable spaces (hexadecimal 0x20). Bugzilla@Mozilla bug 218277 documents the issue, which does not occur in the newer version, Firefox 3.

Safari on Windows Edit

Safari on Windows renders fonts using its own algorithm that yields results differing slightly from the native Windows font renderer.[1]

Palm OS 5.4.5/Blazer 4.0/PalmOne Treo 650 Edit

Default settings

    Default monobook skin rendering on the Treo650's Blazer.
    Site is unreadable (Wikipedia:Main Page alternatives/(simple layout)). Prior to everything downloading (and thus, prior to final rendering) page displays as plain text with links and basic formatting. After final rendering, the page is squashed into a thin vertical strip a few characters wide. This effect occurs with either "wide page" or "optimized" views. Same effect with the main front page, the "table free pages", and all article pages.
  • Registered users can work around these problems by configuring a different skin such as Cologne Blue or by installing their own style sheets for the various skins.
  • If the page loading is stopped midway, the original "non-rendered" version remains and is fully functional and readable. Timing when to stop the load (after content loads, but before the styling loads) is very difficult.
  • In Fast Mode, using the option to disable CSS may also provide usable results (tested on Blazer 4.5 - Treo 700p)
  • Large pages do not display completely. Editing large sections of text may not be successful.

Cologne Blue

  • Readable and quite usable; logging in from a Palm device to switch to Cologne Blue may be a problem. After logging in, use the "my preferences" link at the top of the page to select different skins.

User installed style-sheets

  • Wikipedia allows users to create accounts and upload style-sheets (amongst other things) to override/customize the rendering of pages via skins when logged in as that user-account. A style-sheet is required per skin. In the examples that follow the default monobook skin is assumed to have been selected. It is best to create a separate user-account for handheld viewing as the resulting rendering is illegible on most desktop browsers.
  • To start-off key in the URL for the per-user-account monobook style-sheet - into the browser. Replace the italicized user-account-name in the URL with the account name for handheld viewing. The site might complain that the page was not found - which makes sense as it has not been created yet.
  • Click on the edit this page tab at the top of the page. Copy in the boxed contents below into the edit region.
#column-content {
    margin: 0 0 0 0;
    line-height: 1em;
    float: none;
#content {
    margin: 0.0em 0 0 0; /* Change the 0.0em to 2.8em to make */
                         /* extra white space at the top of a wiki page */
                         /* The 0.0em causes the tab buttons at */
                         /* the top ("edit this page", etc) to disappear */
                         /* on gecko based browsers. In such a situation hit */
                         /* "alt+shift+e" to edit this page */
    line-height: 1em;
    padding: 0 0 0 0.2em;
/* Something about the above two sets of lines makes all content flow */
/* linearly down the page */
#column-one {
    padding-top: 0px;
    line-height: 1em;
#p-logo {
    position: relative;
#globalWrapper {
    font-size: 100%; /* Sets all fonts to normal size */
    line-height: 1em;
#contentSub {
    font-size: 100%; /* Sets all fonts to normal size */
    margin: 0 0 0 0; /* Removes margins */
    line-height: 1em;
    color: #FFFFFF; /* Sets the background to white */

ul, ol, li, dt, dd, p, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 {
    line-height: 1em;
} /* Packs lines nicely*/

div.tright, div.tleft {
    border-width: 0 0 0 0;
    line-height: 1em;
    padding: 0 0 0 0;
} /* Shrinks thumb picture frames as much as possible. */

div.thumb div div.thumbcaption {
    line-height: 1em;
    padding: 0 0 0 0;
} /* Shrinks thumb picture frames as much as possible. */
  • Save the page by clicking on the Save page button at the bottom of the edit window.
  • On your handheld, browse over to and log in as the user-account created. This will be hard with the single-character width rendering - but it'll be the last time you'll have to - if all goes well.
  • Key in a favorite Wikipedia page. If it renders badly, hit the refresh button. Thereafter rendering should be legible. Sample screenshots follow:
Rendering of the beginning of an article using custom user.css.
Contents section (list items) rendering using custom user.css.
Inline article image rendering using custom user.css.
Regular paragraph rendering using custom user.css.

See also Edit

References Edit

External links Edit