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I had a perplexing situation this morning that I am sure some others have come across before.


I was trying to get the ID of an element in my CRM system I am developing. IE8, with the built-in Developer Tools has made this a MUCH easier process than it had been in the past. No more hunting through pages of code; now I can get what I am looking for with a simple click of the mouse. As I have done countless times before, I went to the Tools and selected ‘Developer Tools.’ Usually this would launch the Developer Tools and I would be in business. But this time, nothing – nada. No windows, no messages, nothing.

I then tried to use the F12 shortcut key to get the Developer Tools to display. No dice there either, though the taskbar did indicate that the developer tools were being displayed. I tried clicking on the icon in the taskbar but that did not produce any results either. I was now convinced that I had a much more serious issue on my hand.

First, I tried to re-register iedvtool.dll. This did not work

Next, I completely uninstalled and reinstalled IE8. This did not work either.

Finally, I decided to try one last Hail Mary pass before I resigned myself to hunting for elements the old fashioned way. I would try ALT + SPACE and see if somehow the developer tools area was minimized off the screen. Sure enough, pressing ALT + SPACE and then selecting MAXIMIZE made the trusty IE8 Dev Tools appear once again.

What I discovered was that the developer tools will remain in the state they were in when they were closed. In my case, I had the dev tools minimized off the screen, and rather than reseting when I closed IE, the tools were still minimized off the screen when I opened the program again.

A simple fix to a seemingly complex problem!

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