Accelerator (Internet Explorer)

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Ie8 accelerators icon.png
Developed byMicrosoft
Latest release
Extended fromXML
Open format?Yes, As part of Microsoft Open Specification Promise
WebsiteOpenService Accelerators Developer Guide

Accelerators are a form of selection-based search that allows a user to invoke an online service from any other page using only the mouse introduced by Microsoft in Internet Explorer 8.[1] Actions such as selecting the text or other objects will give users access to the usable Accelerator services (such as blogging with the selected text, or viewing a map of a selected geographical location), which can then be invoked with the selected object. According to Microsoft, Accelerators eliminate the need to copy and paste content between web pages.[2] IE8 specifies an XML-based encoding which allows a web application or web service to be invoked as an Accelerator service. How the service will be invoked and for what categories of content it will show up are specified in the XML file.[3] Similarities have been drawn between Accelerators and the controversial smart tags feature experimented with in the IE 6 Beta but withdrawn after criticism (though later included in MS Office).[4]

Support for Accelerators was removed in Microsoft Edge, the successor browser to Internet Explorer.[5]


The "activities" icon of IE8 Beta 1.

Microsoft introduced accelerators in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 as "activities". It later renamed this to "accelerators".[citation needed]


Accelerators are included in IE8 by default as a type of add-on.

Sample Accelerator[edit]

This is an example of how to describe a map Accelerator using the OpenService Format:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<openServiceDescription xmlns="">
    <name>Map with</name>
  <activity category="map">
    <activityAction context="selection">
      <preview action="">
        <parameter name="b" value="{selection}"/>
        <parameter name="clean" value="true"/>
        <parameter name="w" value="320"/>
        <parameter name="h" value="240"/>
      <execute action="">
        <parameter name="where1" value="{selection}" type="text"/>

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New and exciting features". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  2. ^ Mary Jo Foley. "IE 8 to feature WebSlices, Activities". CNet Blogs. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  3. ^ "How do I make my site 'light up' with Internet Explorer 8?". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  4. ^ Paul Thurrott. "Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Review". Windows IT Pro. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  5. ^ "A break from the past, part 2: Saying goodbye to ActiveX, VBScript, attachEvent…". Microsoft Edge Dev Blog. Retrieved 4 September 2018.

External links[edit]


Wikimedia Accelerators[edit]