ⓘ Avant Browser

Avant Browser

ⓘ Avant Browser

Avant Browser is a freeware web browser from a Chinese programmer named Anderson Che, which unites the Trident layout engine built into Windows with an interface intended to be more feature-rich, flexible and ergonomic than Microsofts Internet Explorer. It runs on Windows 2000 and above, including Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 are supported.

Version 2012 released October 2011 was separated in two editions: Ultimate edition, which added the Gecko layout engine used by Mozilla Firefox, allowing the user choose between both layout engines, and Lite edition which contains only the Trident layout engine.


1. History and development

Avant Browser was largely inspired by Opera, the first major browser to have a multiple document interface. The developers objective was to wrap a comparable interface around the layout engine used by Internet Explorer, thereby achieving Opera-like ergonomics without suffering the frequent problems that browser had rendering pages tested only in Internet Explorer. In fact, it was initially released under the name "IEopera", though this was soon changed due to trademark concerns.

Later, Avants developer, Anderson Che, has concentrated on adding user-requested features, and Avant was among the first browsers to have popup blocking, advertising server blocking, and one-click disabling of potential security vulnerabilities such as ActiveX, Java and JavaScript.

The Avant Browsers default search engine is a version of the Yahoo! search engine renamed Avantfind and is given a custom look. Other search engines are available via the address bars "Quick Search" facility, and instructions on how to change the default to an engine of the users choice have been posted by the very active Avant Browser user community.

The community has also created other tools and extensions for Avant, including registry files which allow it to use the Information Bar and other security enhancements of Windows XP SP2.

The developer also used to have a sister project known as Orca Browser, an Avant-like shell of Mozillas Gecko layout engine as used in Firefox 3 using similar approaches to Flock. Orca Browser project is now discontinued. Gecko layout engine was included in Avant Browser version 2012 Ultimate edition, alongside the traditional Trident layout engine.

Avant was one of the twelve browsers offered to European Economic Area users of Microsoft Windows in 2010.


1.1. History and development Avant Browser 11

Avant Browser 11 build 130 released on January 26, 2011, introduces more new features than any previous version. These include support for many toolbars that are compatible with Internet Explorer, a facility for users to create their own scripted toolbar buttons, and a password and form-filling wizard. The overall trend though seems to be a gradual movement away from Avants Internet Explorer roots.

More radical is the addition of a native bookmark system in place of sharing Internet Explorers Favorites. These bookmarks may be stored online - as can feeds, autofills, and browser settings. This allows the user to synchronize any number of Avant installations on different computers. Avant can still share Internet Explorers Favorites. This option was reintroduced by the developer after some users lamented its loss.

Another innovation is that Avant may now be run from a USB flash drive or other portable storage device such as an MP3 player without needing to be installed. In conjunction with Avants session saving facility, this allows the user to halt a browsing session on one PC, move to another and resume viewing the same web pages.


1.2. History and development Avant Browser 2012

Avant Browser 2012 Ultimate edition build 3 released on October 25, 2011 added the Gecko layout engine the rendering engine used by Mozilla Firefox, and the most recent release build 168 released on April 6, 2012 also included the WebKit layout engine the rendering engine used by Safari, making Avant Browser a three-engine browser. Layout engine is selectable by the user.


2.1. Features Tabbing

  • Tab locking, duplication, and drop-and-drag arrangement
  • All pages open in single process, reducing resource demands
  • Multiple home pages
  • Can restore open pages after system crash
  • Progress bar on each tab optional
  • User-customizable tabbed interface
  • Undo menu for last 25 closed tabs
  • Automatically save and reopen any number of pages

2.2. Features Tools

  • Customizable right-click menu entries
  • URL alias facility to create keyboard shortcuts to favorite sites
  • Blocked URL record
  • Facility for user to add custom-made function buttons
  • Feeds
  • Bookmarks
  • RSS feed reader built in
  • History
  • Tray icon - keeps Avant running in system tray for fast access optional
  • Mouse gestures customizable
  • Quick translation menu
  • Autoscroll facility for hands-free reading
  • Advanced search
  • Automatic page refresh at custom intervals
  • Compact mode - saves interface space
  • Sidebar access to
  • Context-activated floating toolbars to save and edit images, text and Flash
  • Highlight marker to find keywords on any page the words also used by the search engine
  • Full desktop mode - hides toolbars
  • Page zoom slider - 25% to 500%
  • Boss button - quickly hides browser
  • 15 interface languages available so far
  • Compatible with many Internet Explorer toolbars and add-ins, including Google toolbar
  • Full screen mode - hides toolbars and taskbar


2.3. Features Appearance

  • Accessory application allows user to create own skins
  • Range of bundled skin options 21 total
  • Fully skinnable
  • All Buttons and menus are optional
  • Most functions may be accessed from either toolbar buttons or menus
  • Highly customizable
  • Toolbars can be rearranged freely

2.4. Features Security and privacy

  • Browsing tracks cleaner - can clear traces automatically
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 security extensions can be integrated
  • Multiple proxy servers may be configured
  • Push-button quick blocking of unwanted items
  • Customizable black/white lists for popups and ad servers

2.5. Features Search

  • Search bar with separate engines configurable for web, images, groups, directories and news
  • Search within site, search within page, and target word highlight buttons
  • Quick Search facility - user can configure any engine for searches from the address bar
  • Similar websites toolbar - searches in background for pages that relate to the current

2.6. Features Bookmarks and online storage

  • Online secure bookmark, feed and setting storage - allows access of same browser setup anywhere
  • Optionally uses Internet Explorer favorites
  • Bookmark validation
  • Portable flash drive version allows running of Avant without installation
  • Bookmark toolbar for fast link access
  • Bookmark search
  • Bookmarks can be arranged in task-orientated groups that can be opened together or individually
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