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ALT TAGS LET IMAGES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

You've surely noticed when visiting Web pages that even before an image loads, you'll often see a descriptive text notation that clues you in to what will appear in that space. While this is most useful to those people who use the old text-based browsers or have images turned off for faster surfing, it's also nice for those of us who just plain get bored waiting for pictures to render.

You can create this effect with ALT tags, and easily add them to your own pages with the Navigator Gold HTML editor. Whenever you choose Insert, Image to add an image to your page, the Properties box includes an area for optional Alternative Representations. Type your descriptive text in the Text box. Note that you can also designate a second image to appear in place of the first, if necessary. This is useful when your primary image is in an unusual format that not every browser will recognize.

 

ALTERATIONS WHILE YOU WAIT

Most of the modifications you'll make to a given image will take place outside the Netscape environment, whether you use a nitty-gritty shareware image editing program or a $900 copy of PhotoShop. However, there ARE some adjustments you can make within Netscape that affect the way your image will display on your Web page. To get an idea, while working on your page in Netscape's HTML editor, go ahead and insert the image onto the Web page (using Insert, Image). Now right-click the image and select Image Properties from the pop-up menu. This will bring up the Properties box. Here you can dictate the size of the image as represented in pixels; indicate whether you want space or a black border (or both) to surround the image--and if so, how much; and choose whether you want text to wrap around the image or not. After you've made your alterations, click OK.

 

ANCHORS AWEIGH

Ever click a Web page link, only to travel just a short distance down the same page? That trick is possible courtesy of "targets," also known as "anchors," and you can achieve the same result in your own Web pages using Navigator Gold's HTML editor.

While most links direct you to the top of a page, an anchor takes you to a particular point on a page. So when incorporating anchors, you're not actually limited to the same Web page; you can link to spots on different pages, so long as they include anchors. Here's how to add an anchor to a Web page.

Put your cursor at the beginning of the line you want to link to. Choose Insert, Target (or click the Target button on the Character Properties toolbar; it looks like an arrow pointing at a bull's eye). In the Target Properties box, provide a name for your target. It can be up to 30 characters long. Click OK. You'll see a target icon appear in your chosen location (don't worry; it's only visible while you're editing a page).

Now, when you create a link, in the Properties box you'll see the target name you chose listed in the box under Select a Named Target In Current Document. Click the name once to select it, and your link is forged. Notice that the Properties box also allows you to locate anchors in other documents you've created. To do so, click the Browse button to track down the other file; then, on the right side of the Properties box under Show Targets In, click the Selected file radio button to see a list of targets on that page. Select the one you want and click OK.

 

ANCHORS AWEIGH

Ever click a Web page link, only to travel just a short distance down the same page? That trick is possible courtesy of targets, aka anchors, and you can achieve the same result in your own Web pages using Navigator Gold's HTML editor.

While most links direct you to the top of a page, an anchor takes you to a particular point on a page. So when you're incorporating anchors, you're not actually limited to the same Web page; you can link to spots on different pages, as long as they include anchors. Here's how to add an anchor to a Web page.

Put your cursor at the beginning of the line to which you want to link. Choose Insert, Target (or click the Target button on the Character Properties toolbar; it looks like an arrow pointing at a bull's eye). In the Target Properties box, provide a name for your target. It can be up to 30 characters long. Click OK. You'll see a target icon appear in your chosen location (don't worry; it's only visible while you're editing a page).

When you create a link, in the Properties box you'll see the target name you chose listed in the box under "Select a named target in current document." Click the name once to select it, and you've forged your link. Notice that the Properties box also allows you to locate anchors in other documents you've created. To do so, click the Browse button to track down the other file. Then on the right side of the Properties box under Show Targets In, click the Selected File radio button to see a list of targets on that page. Select the one you want and click OK.

 

BE A SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHOR

After you've created your Web pages with the Navigator Gold HTML editor, the next step is to publish them to the Web. Assuming you've already got an account with an ISP that provides you with Web storage, here are the steps. (If not, stay tuned for upcoming tips on where to publish your Web pages for free.)

First get your settings in order. Choose Options, Editor Preferences and click the Publish tab. Make sure you've selected the two check boxes for Maintain Links and Keep Images With Document. Next you'll need to check with your ISP about what to put in the Default publishing location fields (or check its Web site first; many ISPs routinely include this info in online FAQs). This is the trickiest part of the whole operation; if you're unable to publish your pages later, it's probably because you screwed up these entries.

The user name and password you supply will likely be the same ones you use to log in to your Internet account. An optional step: On the General tab, supply your name, the paths of any external editors you plan to use, and any other information you like. On the Appearance tab, set any appearance defaults you wish (when creating individual pages, your new appearance settings for a given page will override any defaults you've selected here).

Whew! Now to publish your page: Choose File, Publish (or click the Publish button on the toolbar--it looks like a lightning bolt on a sheet of paper). This opens the Publish Files box, which should incorporate the data you already supplied in the Editor Preferences box. If your Netscape configuration is fairly secure from prying eyes, you can convince this box to save your password so you don't have to supply it every time you publish your Web pages. Just click the Save Password check box near the bottom. If everything else looks good, click OK.

If you're lucky, the page will publish to the Web without any problems. If not, don't despair. Just check your settings again carefully, maybe talk to your ISP, and keep trying. You'll get it figured out eventually. Once it works, it works!

 

MY BABY WROTE ME A LETTER

If you're anxiously awaiting a piece of mail, you can speed things up without modifying the time interval in your Preferences. Every time you click the envelope in the bottom right corner of the browser window--even if there's no exclamation point there--Navigator accesses the mail server anyway and fetches any new mail messages that arrived between server checks.

 

BACK IN THE USA

A reader just wants to know how to go Back using the keyboard. Easy! Just try this keyboard combination: Alt-Left Arrow.

Alt-Right Arrow will take you forward if you've been going back. Remember, a lot of the keyboard combinations are actually listed in the Navigator menus, on the right-hand side.

 

BACK TO BASICS

For the benefit of those who are newly online, as well as those helping someone learn to use Navigator, let's review the basics: those core tips that come in handy most every day. We'll spend the next few days going over some of the simplest and most useful Navigator tips and tricks.

To begin, let's review the ABCs of Navigator:

Ctrl-A selects all the text on a page--even a Web page.

Ctrl-B opens your Bookmarks file.

Ctrl-C copies a selection (then you can paste it somewhere else).

Ctrl-D adds a new bookmark to your Bookmarks file.

Ctrl-E redoes what was undone (in Netscape Mail).

Ctrl-F opens the Find dialog box so you can search a Web page or e-mail for a word or phrase.

Ctrl-H opens the History window so you can see where you've been.

Ctrl-I loads images (for when you have images turned off).

Ctrl-K compresses a folder (in Netscape Mail).

Ctrl-L opens the Location box or, in Netscape Mail, forwards a message.

Ctrl-M opens a new message composition window.

Ctrl-N opens a new browser window.

Ctrl-O opens the Open dialog box, so you can browse your directories for a specific file to open.

Ctrl-P initiates the Print command.

Ctrl-R reloads the current page or, in Netscape Mail, replies to the current message.

Ctrl-S opens the Save As dialog box.

Ctrl-T gets new mail.

Ctrl-U opens the Open Location dialog box.

Ctrl-V pastes a selection that you've copied.

Ctrl-W closes the active window.

Ctrl-X excises (cuts) a selection.

Ctrl-Z zaps (undoes) the last action.

 

CHANGE DEFAULT BACKGROUND COLOR

So when's the last time you changed your background color--the color that shows up behind your e-mail messages and on Web sites where a background color is unspecified? If it's been a while, perhaps it's time for a change.

To choose a new background color, choose Options, General Preferences. Click the Colors tab. Where you see Background, click the Custom radio button. Now click the Choose Color button. Select a color from the chart and click OK. Click OK again to close the Preferences dialog box.

 

MIX CUSTOM BACKGROUND COLOR

Last time we talked about how to change Navigator's browser background color. But the colors in the default palette are often too dark for a suitable background. It may be better to mix up a custom color setting yourself.

To do so, choose Options, General Preferences. Click the Colors tab. In the Background area, click the Custom radio button and click the Choose Color button. When the Color chart appears, click the Define Custom Colors bar.

In the big rainbow color box, click around to see the variations. The color you're actually choosing will appear in the smaller Color/Solid box below. Now click the small arrow to the right of the graded color bar and drag it up near the top, where the colors are lightest, maybe about one-fifth or one-sixth of the way down. When you click around in the big color box, you'll see paler colors in the Color/Solid box.

When you find a color you like, click OK to make your selection and close the Color dialog box. (As a safeguard, you can click Add To Custom Colors first to save this color for future reference.) Now click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.

 

HOW TO USE AN IMAGE FILE AS YOUR DEFAULT BACKGROUND

We've been talking about changing the background color of your Netscape browser, and it's worth mentioning that you can also use an image file as the browser background--though it would have to be a pretty pale and nondescript image to pass muster as an all-purpose background. Anything else would almost certainly induce dizziness and nausea.

On the other hand, it could be a fun trick to play on a coworker.

To use an image file as a background, choose Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. Under Background, select the Image File radio button and then click the Browse button to open the Select A Backdrop Image box. After you select the file you want to use, click Open. Click OK to close the Preferences box.

Now check your Netscape Mail to see exactly what you've wrought.

(To undo the damage, go back through the steps described and just delete the file name from the Image File text box, then click OK.)

 

BACKTRACKING

Sometimes you'll see an actual URL listed among the searches on Voyeur. This isn't as dumb as it looks. Though you might think this is someone trying to get TO a particular site by typing the URL into a search engine text box instead of their browser's Location box--and I'm sure, given what we now know about search engine users as a group, some of them definitely are making this mistake--this is also a way people find out who is linking to their site or how many of the pages in their site are listed in the search engine.

Let's say you have a large personal Web site at www.domain.com/~tipster. If you go to a search engine and enter that URL in the search box, it will (depending on how pages are indexed), tell you every page that contains your URL. Which is to say, any of the pages on your site that are listed with that search engine, as well as any outside page in its index that contains a link to your page. This will include links to individual pages at your site, such as http://www.domain.com/~tipster/greatpage.html, so long as the first part of the URL matches.

 

BEATING THE SYSTEM

In response to a recent tip suggesting work-around names for mail folders--which appear in alphabetical order--a reader writes:

"Instead of using 'AAA' to preface the new folder name, try using an underscore, like this: _Work. It allows the names to be easily recognized and alphabetizes ahead of the A's."

He adds that this trick works well in other Windows applications, such as Windows Explorer. Way to go!

 

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

Like viewing your History file, but not sure you can remember the command? Bookmark it. First pull up your history file the usual way, by typing

about:globalhistory

in the Location field. With the list on screen, right-click the window and choose Add Bookmark. Now, whenever you want to wallow in nostalgia, just choose the History file's entry from the Bookmarks menu. You can use your precious memory (the kind in your head) for something else.

 

BEEN THERE, READ THAT

When you get new mail, the new messages appear in the message window in bold, and there's a green Unread icon in the unread column. When you open the message, it removes the green icon and the bold, marking the message as read. You can, however, make read messages revert back to unread status. Just click the dot in the Unread column--the green icon pops up and the message information appears in bold. (If you change your mind, just click the dot again.)

 

BEGIN NETSCAPE SESSION WITH A MAIL OR NEWS WINDOW

You don't even need to start Navigator with a browser window. If you like, you can begin each session with either your news or mail window. To set this, select Options, General Preferences, then click the Appearance tab. For the On Startup Launch option, select either Netscape Mail or Netscape News. Click OK to close the box and save your changes. The next time you start Navigator, it opens with your selected option.

 

SENDING A BLIND CC:

Ever wondered how to send a blind cc: to someone? A blind cc: is when you send an e-mail message to Fred, but you also send a copy to Wilma--except Fred can't tell that by looking at your message, and the message Wilma gets also shows only Fred as the recipient. It's a great way to hide a long list of recipients.

When you're ready to send a message this way, put your official, visible-to-all recipient in the To: field. Now, in the Message Composition window, click the View menu and choose Mail Bcc. Now you'll see a new, Blind Cc: field in your mail message that wasn't there before. You can add as many names as you like to this field. Just separate each address with a comma and a space.

 

SENDING A BLIND CC WITHOUT REVEALING OTHER RECIPIENTS

What if you don't want ANY of your recipients to know who else is getting a particular message? Well, you can't just enter a slew of addresses in the Blind CC field and leave the To field blank--you must always have a recipient address. But here's a simple trick you can use: Just enter your own e-mail address in the To field.

 

GET BOLD AND CENTERED--WITHOUT TAKING A COURSE IN SELF IMPROVEMENT

To change the way text looks on your Web page, highlight the text you want to modify and click the appropriate toolbar buttons. The five "A's" on your toolbar represent the following text modification options: Decrease Font Size, Increase Font Size, Bold, Italic, and Fixed Width (this one makes your text look as if you typed it on a typewriter). Experiment with these to get the hang of them.

For example, type something at the top of your new home page. "Welcome to My Home Page" will do. Highlight the phrase and click the Increase Font Size button (the one that looks like an A+) two or three times. Bam, bam, bam! Now that's a header! Next click the Center button (this one's a little harder to spot, but it looks like a few centered lines) to center your header in the middle of your page.

 

BOOKMARK YOUR ADDRESSES

Tired of going to the Address Book every time you want to send e-mail messages to your favorite correspondents? Create a bookmark list for your e-mail addresses. To do this, open the bookmark file, then select Item, Insert Folder to open the Bookmark Properties box. Enter a name for the folder, such as "Address Book." Click OK to add the Address Book folder to the Bookmarks list. Now you need to add the e-mail addresses. Select the Address Book folder and then select Item, Insert Bookmark. In the Bookmark Properties box, enter a name for the bookmark. Now, in the URL field, enter the e-mail address preceded by mailto: (for example, mailto:recipient@address.com). Click OK to close the box, then close the bookmark file. Now just click the appropriate bookmark when you want to send an e-mail message.

 

BOOKMARK YOUR BOOKMARKS

Last time we talked about how to view your bookmarks file as an HTML page. If you like the idea but find the method cumbersome, we recommend actually bookmarking your bookmarks file. First choose File, Open File (or File, Open File In Browser, depending on your version of Netscape), then navigate to bookmark.htm--ordinarily it resides in your Netscape directory. Notice that the complete path of the file now appears in the Location box. Right-click the page and choose Add Bookmark. Next time you want to see the page in all its HTML glory, just open Bookmarks and double-click its entry.

 

CREATE BOOKMARK LIST FOR E-MAIL ADDRESSES

Tired of going to the Address Book every time you want to send e-mail messages to your favorite correspondents? Create a bookmark list for your e-mail addresses. To do this, open the bookmark file, then select Item, Insert Folder to open the Bookmark Properties box. Enter a name for the folder, such as Address Book. Click OK and you've added the Address Book folder to the Bookmarks list. Now you need to add the e-mail addresses. Select the Address Book folder, then select Item, Insert Bookmark. In the Bookmark Properties box, enter a name for the bookmark. Now, in the URL field, enter the e-mail address preceded by mailto: (for example, mailto:mary@scots.com). Click OK to close the box, then close the bookmark file. Now just click the appropriate bookmark when you want to send an e-mail message.

 

AMPERSAND IN BOOKMARK TITLE

A reader writes: "Have you ever typed an ampersand (&) in the name field of a Bookmark? It looks fine in the Bookmarks editor, but when you look at it in the Bookmarks drop-down list in Netscape, the ampersand becomes an underscore. To correct this, type two ampersands next to each other where you want the single ampersand to appear."

 

SAVE CHANGES TO BOOKMARKS OR ADDRESS BOOK

Last time we suggested you get in the habit of saving changes to the Bookmarks or Address Book if you have a habit of shutting down your computer without first closing Netscape (or if your computer crashes often). Not sure how to do it? To save changes to the Bookmarks file, go to Bookmarks (Ctrl-B) and choose File, Save As. The default file name should be correct, so just click Save. To save additions to the Address Book, open the Address Book (Window, Address Book) and do the same thing--choose File, Save As, then click Save.

 

HAVE BOOKMARKS CHECK FOR WEB PAGE UPDATES

Who wants to visit sites that don't have anything new to say? You can save yourself from unnecessary surfing by searching your bookmarked sites to find out which ones have changed since your last visit. To do this, open your bookmarks file (press Ctrl-B), then select File, What's New. In the What's New dialog box, select either All Bookmarks or Selected Bookmarks, then click Start Checking. Navigator scans your bookmarked sites and tells you if any data has changed.

 

CREATE A FOLDER JUST FOR NEW BOOKMARKS

Want to keep all your new bookmarks in one neat package? Not a problem. Choose Bookmarks, Go To Bookmarks (or press Ctrl-B). Create a new folder and call it, say, New Bookmarks (to create the folder, select Item, Insert Folder). Highlight the new folder, right-mouse click it, and choose the Use For New Bookmarks option from the menu. Now you're in business. Any new bookmarks you add go to this folder.

 

KEYBOARD COMBO OPENS BOOKMARKS

Press Ctrl-B from the Navigator browser and the Bookmark window opens immediately.

 

QUICK ACCESS TO YOUR HTML-FORMATTED BOOKMARKS

Last time we talked about how to view your Bookmarks file as an HTML page. If you like the idea but find the method cumbersome, we recommend actually bookmarking Bookmarks. First choose File, Open File (or File, Open File In Browser, depending on your version of Netscape), then navigate to the bookmark.htm file--ordinarily it resides in your Netscape directory. Notice that the complete path of the file now appears in the Location box. Right-click the page and choose Add Bookmark. Next time you want to see the page in all its HTML glory, just open your Bookmarks and double-click its entry.

 

EVEN QUICKER ACCESS TO YOUR HTML-FORMATTED BOOKMARKS

Sure, bookmarking your Bookmarks file is a clever move. But if you're a heavy user of those bookmarks, you might as well go all the way and turn that newly HTML-ized bookmarks file into your very own home page. After all, it's a more logical launching pad than the Netscape home page.

To do so, select Options, General Preferences to open the Preferences dialog box. In the Appearance tab after Browser Starts With, click the Home Page Location radio button and enter the full path of your bookmark.htm file (if you can't remember the path, navigate to the page, then cut and paste the path from the Location box). Click OK to close the box and save your setting. The next time you open Netscape, your bookmarks will greet you.

 

VIEW BOOKMARKS AS HTML FILE

Would you like to view your Bookmarks file as an HTML page? Open Navigator and choose File, Open File (or File, Open File In Browser, depending on your Netscape version), then navigate to your bookmark.htm file--ordinarily it resides in your Netscape directory. Click Open, and your bookmarks open in the Navigator window in HTML format

 

LEARN WHEN YOU CREATED AND LAST VISITED A BOOKMARK

Want to know when you or someone else last visited a bookmarked site? Pull down the Bookmarks menu and choose Go To Bookmarks. When the Bookmarks window pops up, right-click the bookmark you want to check and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. The Bookmark Properties box tells you not only when you last visited the site, but also when you created the bookmark.

 

PRINT OUT BOOKMARKED URLS

A reader asks if there is a way to print out a hard copy of his more than 200 bookmarked URLs.

To print out all your bookmarked URLs, use a text editor such as WordPad to open your bookmark.htm file, then choose File, Print. Be sure to use a text editor, NOT a word processor, to open the file (since word processors can introduce excess characters). There's no need to make any changes to the file--just print it and get out of there! Unfortunately, printing this way will get you just the URLs without their descriptive names. To get a list of the names by themselves (without the URLs), right-click the bookmark.htm file and choose Print.

 

HAVE BOOKMARKS CHECK FOR WEB PAGE UPDATES

Who wants to visit sites that don't have anything new to say? You can save yourself unnecessary surfing by searching your bookmarked sites to find out which ones have been updated since your last visit. To do this, open your bookmarks file (press Ctrl-B), then select File, What's New. In the What's New dialog box, select either All Bookmarks or Selected Bookmarks, then click Start Checking. Navigator scans your bookmarked sites and tells you if any data has changed.

 

WHEN NEW BOOKMARKS AND ADDRESSES PERISH

Certain sorts of changes you make to Navigator, such as additions to the Bookmarks and Address Book, get saved routinely only when you exit Netscape. If you have a tendency to shut down your computer (or if your computer is crash prone) without first closing Netscape, you won't find those entries when you start up again. In that case, it's probably a good idea to get in the habit of saving changes when you make them.

 

OH WHERE, OH WHERE HAVE MY BOOKMARKS GONE?

Lost your bookmarks recently? Here's our advice. Search your hard drive for a file called bookmark.htm. There may be several by this name. If so, use a text editor, such as Notepad, to figure out if any of them is the one you want. To do this, in Notepad select File, Open. In the File Of Type (or File Types) field, use the arrow to select All Files. Then locate the bookmark.htm file and open it. Repeat if necessary until you establish which file is the right one, then copy it to the Navigator directory.

 

CLEAN UP BOOKMARK FILE

The more pages you bookmark, the longer your bookmark file gets. Pretty soon you may find that the list begins to extend off the left side of the Navigator window, and parts of the names get obscured (particularly when they're long).

If your bookmark names are falling off the edge of your screen, you have a few choices. First, you can clean up your act, deleting bookmarks you don't need anymore and moving others into submenus. Another option is to shorten bookmark names. Right-click the bookmark, choose Properties to open the Bookmark Properties box, and modify whatever you find in the Name field for brevity's sake.

 

HOME OF THE BOOKMARKS

Sure, bookmarking your bookmarks is a clever move. But if you're a heavy user of those bookmarks, you might as well go all the way and turn that newly HTML-ized bookmarks file into your very own home page. After all, it's a more logical launching pad than the Netscape home page. To do this, select Options, General Preferences to open the Preferences dialog box. On the Appearance tab after Browser Starts With, click the Home Page Location radio button and enter the full path of your bookmark.htm file (if you can't remember the path, navigate to the page, then cut and paste the path from the Location box). Click OK to close the box and save your setting. The next time you open Netscape, your bookmarks will greet you.

 

KEYBOARD COMBO OPENS BOOKMARKS

Press Ctrl-B from the Navigator browser and the bookmark window opens immediately.

 

KEYBOARD COMBO FOR BOOKMARKING SITES

There are a few ways to add a bookmark, but the quickest way is to press Ctrl-D while you're at a Web site. The URL is added to your bookmark list immediately.

 

KEYBOARD COMBOS: UP, DOWN, TURN AROUND

Once you memorize them, keyboard combinations make life easier. Here are two to commit to memory.

To get to the very bottom of a Web page, press Ctrl-End. To return to the top, press Ctrl-Home.

 

LEARN WHEN A BOOKMARK WAS CREATED AND LAST VISITED

Want to know when you (or a loved one) last visited a bookmarked site? Pull down the Bookmarks menu and choose Go To Bookmarks. When the Bookmarks window pops up, right-click the bookmark you want to check and choose Properties from the shortcut menu. The Bookmark Properties box tells you not only when the site was last visited but also when the bookmark was created.

 

OPEN BOOKMARKS TO A SINGLE FOLDER

You probably have many bookmarks organized into several folders. Rather than having all of these folders appear in the bookmark list from the Navigator menu, you can select only one folder to appear. To do this, open the bookmarks page (Ctrl-B), then select the folder. From the bookmark menu, select Item, Set To Bookmark Menu Folder. The next time you access the bookmark menu, only the bookmarks in this folder appear. You can change this option as often as you want, depending on which folder you want to see most.

 

ORGANIZE BOOKMARKS USING SEPARATORS

There are a few ways to organize your bookmarks. You can, of course, create folders that keep your bookmarked sites in related groups. You can also put separators between folders and/or bookmarks. To set these, open the bookmarks page (Ctrl-B), then select the folder or bookmark you want to separate. Select Item, Insert Separator and a separator marker appears after the item you have selected. The next time you open your bookmarks list from the Navigator menu, a separator line appears wherever you inserted one.

 

AMPERSAND IN BOOKMARK TITLE

A reader writes: "Have you ever typed an ampersand (&) in the name field of a bookmark? It looks fine in the Bookmarks editor, but when you look at it in the Bookmarks drop-down list in Netscape, the ampersand becomes an underscore."

To correct this, type two ampersands side by side where you want the single ampersand to appear.

 

CLOSE THE BROWSER WINDOW QUICKLY

Press Ctrl-W to quickly close the Netscape Navigator browser window. Make sure you've saved or bookmarked the page you're on, however, because the browser window closes immediately.

 

ANOTHER WAY TO CLOSE A BROWSER WINDOW

Do you ever have trouble nailing that little X in the top right corner of your Navigator browser window when you want to close it (maybe you end up comically minimizing or maximizing the window instead, launching a short game of chase the X)? Don't get irritated--just shift your emphasis to the other side. You can click the top left corner of the window to close it. You probably have a small Netscape helm icon there. Give it a try.

Ctrl-W will also do the trick, but that's not exactly mnemonic, now is it?

 

HEY, A NEW BROWSER WINDOW

When you want to open a new Navigator browser, simply press Ctrl-N. The new browser opens, while the old one minimizes.

 

PAGE THROUGH ALL OPEN BROWSER WINDOWS

If you have more than one browser window open at the same time, you can scroll through them. To do so, press Ctrl-Tab. Just remember to keep tabs on which browser you're in as you do this!

 

HOW TO STOP BROWSING BEFORE YOU START

If you click a link and decide midclick that you don't want to go there after all, just drag that half-click over to a blank area of the Web page and let go. You won't go anywhere.

If your voyage is already under way when you change your mind, press Esc to halt the transmission immediately.

 

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

Today we're going to start building a Web page using Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor. If you're the creative type, at this point your imagination may be overflowing with visions of sugarplums. That's fine, but do give yourself a chance to learn the ropes before you reach for the stars.

To start, open Netscape, and from the browser window choose File, New. That presents you with three additional choices: Blank, From Template, and From Wizard. We suggest you jump right in by choosing Blank. Later, though, you might want to check out the possibilities available via the other two options. Choose From Template, for example, and you can choose from a series of prefab page designs. Choose From Wizard, and the Netscape site leads you, step by step, through the creation of a standard page. The wizard may be a good choice for those who want to build a page but can't come up with ideas for what to put on it.

Okay, now that we know how to start a Web page, let's learn how to finish one. After you choose File, New, Blank, type something--anything will do--on your page and choose File, Save As. When the Save As dialog box appears, type a name in the File Name box and click OK.

That's it--you just created a Web page. If it felt a bit anticlimactic, wait until tomorrow, when we begin sprucing up your page a bit.

 

CACHE AND CARRY

So how much space should you allot to your disk and memory cache settings? For Navigator 3.x., Netscape recommends a disk cache of 5000KB, with 1024KB for memory cache. Go ahead and experiment, though. If you tend to hit the same handful of sites over and over, or if you don't mind waiting a bit longer to download Web pages, you may not wish to give up so much precious space to the cache.

 

CACHE IN YOUR CHIPS

A reader writes: "With my cache set to an (overly generous) max of 7500KB, I should be storing less than 7-1/2 megs of junk, right? But when I cleared my cache I recovered 45MB of disk space!"

How can this happen? A substantial part of the problem is that cache files get stored in 32KB allotments. Basically, this means all those adorable little Web page buttons and bows--1KB image files--are renting big 32KB apartments on your hard drive. And you're left sweating the difference.

The lesson here is to clear the cache on a regular basis. Go to Options, Network Preferences and click the Cache tab. Click the button that says Clear Disk Cache Now. If it makes you feel better, you can click the button that says Clear Memory Cache Now, too.

 

CACHE CAN USE MORE SPACE THAN ALLOTTED

Here's a question from a reader:

"With my Windows 95 cache set to a (too generous) max of 7500KB, I should be storing less than 7.5MB of junk, right? But when I cleared my cache I recovered 45MB of disk space! How can this happen?"

In your typical Windows 95 installation, cache files get stored in 32KB allotments. Basically, this means all those adorable little Web page buttons and bows--1KB image files--are renting big 32KB apartments on your hard drive. And you're left sweating the difference.

The lesson here is to clear the cache on a regular basis. Go to Options, Network Preferences and click the Cache tab. Click the button that says Clear Disk Cache Now. If it makes you feel better, you can click the button that says Clear Memory Cache Now, too.

Note: Windows 95 users who have upgraded to Windows 98 users can free up disk space with a FAT32 conversion. For more information, search your Windows 98's Help Topics list for "Drive Converter."

 

TAKING STOCK OF YOUR CACHE FILES

A quick way to find out what files are living off the fat of the hard drive is to type

about:cache

in your URL Location box. To see the memory cache, type

about:memory-cache

Finally, to see just the images stored in your cache, type

about:image-cache

 

RECOMMENDED CACHE SETTINGS

So how much space should you allot to your disk and memory cache settings? For Navigator 3.x, Netscape recommends a disk cache of 5000KB, with 1024KB for memory cache. Go ahead and experiment, though. If you tend to hit the same handful of sites over and over, or if you don't mind waiting a bit longer to download Web pages, you may not wish to give up so much precious space to the cache

 

CAN SPAM

Another way that spammers pick up e-mail addresses is by collecting them from newsgroups where people post messages. This practice is usually an automated one, so many newsgroup habitues have adopted a simple trick to avoid winding up on the junk mail lists: They configure their Mail and News Preferences to give out their E-Mail and Reply-To addresses with extra characters. For example, an e-mail address such as user@tipworld.com might be rendered as user@NOSPAM.tipworld.com. Then, in a signature file, the writer would include directions to "remove NOSPAM from address before replying."

If a spam marketer tries to send e-mail to a server called NOSPAM.tipworld.com, the mail will just bounce back. The spammers won't bother combing thousands of messages for such instructions, however, so the likelihood of receiving junk e-mail is much lower. If you try this trick, bear in mind that the spammers pick up every single e-mail address that appears in the post or its headers, so be careful.

 

SENDING A BLIND CC

Ever wondered how to send a blind carbon copy to someone? A blind CC is when you send an e-mail message to Fred, and you also send a copy to Wilma--but Fred can't tell that by looking at your message, and the message Wilma gets also shows only Fred as the recipient. It's a great way to hide a long list of recipients.

When you're ready to send a message this way, put your official, visible-to-all recipient in the To field. In the Message Composition window, click the View menu and choose Mail BCC. Now you'll see a new Blind CC field in your mail message. You can add as many names as you like to this field. Just separate each address with a comma and a space.

 

CHAIN CHAIN CHAIN

We've discussed how to create and save Web pages using Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor. We've talked about adding and modifying text, images, and backgrounds. What else is there? Well, any self-respecting Web page needs a link or three. Here's how to create hyperlinks in your Web page.

Highlight the word or phrase you wish to link, or, if it's an image link you're after, select the image by clicking it once. Now, on the toolbar, click the Make Link button, which looks like a single link from a chain. (Alternatively, you can choose Insert, Link from the menu or just press Ctrl-L.) In the Properties box, on the Link tab, type in the URL for the link. Or, if you want to link to another Web page you've created, you can click the Browse button to navigate to the page on your hard drive and select it. As long as you publish this page to your Web site later, the link should work (though in some cases you may have to futz around with it a bit later). One way to minimize headaches is to purposely mirror, on your hard disk, the directory structure you intend to use online, in your Web directory.

 

CHOOSING THE WALLPAPER

Sometimes you come across an image on a Web page you like so much you want to see it every day. Why not wallpaper your desktop background with it? Right-click the image and select Set as Wallpaper from the context menu. That's it--you've just redecorated your desktop.

 

CLOSEOUT

Certain sorts of changes you make to Navigator, such as additions to the Bookmarks and Address Book, are routinely saved only when you exit Netscape. If you have a tendency to shut down your computer (or if your computer is crash prone) without first closing Netscape, you won't find those entries when you start up again. In your case, it's probably a good idea to get in the habit of saving changes when you make them.

Not sure how to save these changes? Well, to save changes to the Bookmarks file, go to Bookmarks (Ctrl-B) and choose File, Save As. The default file name should be correct, so just click Save. To save additions to the Address Book, open the Address Book (Window, Address Book) and do the same thing: Choose File, Save As and click Save.

 

CLOSEOUT

Navigator routinely saves certain sorts of changes, such as additions to the Bookmarks and Address Book, only when you exit Netscape. If you have a tendency to shut down your computer without first closing Netscape (or if your computer is crash prone), you won't find those entries when you start up again. In that case, it's probably a good idea to get into the habit of saving changes when you make them.

 

VIEW SOURCE CODE FOR A SINGLE FRAME

Frames are like pages within a page. You know how Navigator allows you to see source code for a page? Well, you can do the same thing with a single frame. Click once inside the frame, then choose View, Frame Source from the Navigator menu, revealing the frame's inner secrets.

 

VIEW SOURCE CODE TO LEARN HTML

You probably know you can see a Web page's source code by choosing View, Document Source. Viewing source code is a good way to learn the rudiments of HTML, particularly if you choose a page with a relatively simple design. You can also learn a little more about a Web document, such as its security status and (sometimes) when it was last modified, by choosing View, Document Info.

 

COLOR MY WORLD

When's the last time you changed your background color--the color that shows up behind your e-mail messages and on Web sites where the background color is unspecified? If it's been a while, perhaps it's time for a new look.

To choose a new background color, choose Options, General Preferences. Click the Colors tab. Where you see Background, click the Custom radio button. Now click the Choose Color button. Select a color from the chart and click OK. Click OK again to close the Preferences dialog box.

 

COLUMN REARRANGING

If you want to change the order of columns in the Navigator mail message pane, just grab the column heading and drag it to a new location (to the left or right). You might, for example, want to see your messages by Subject or Date first, rather than by Sender.

 

COMMUNICATOR DNS ERROR MESSAGES

Netscape reports that some customers who buy and install the Communicator 4.x Internet Access Edition or the Deluxe Edition are getting DNS error messages. Apparently the Account Setup Wizard is disabling their dial-up connection, if they already have one. Netscape recommends that you do a custom install without loading the Internet setup.

 

CONSIDER THE SOURCE

There are a whole lot of search engines out there, and just about every one of them includes advice on how best to use their search tools. Usually a button or link marked "search tips," "help," or "hints" appears near the search text entry box. These tips are really worth a look--what you find may surprise you.

It turns out that not every search engine likes the same treatment. Some search engines don't support Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), though most do. Some encourage natural language queries ("How old is Bill Clinton?"), while other search sites are indifferent to them. You get the idea.

 

CRASH, BUT DON'T BURN

If you're having trouble with Navigator crashing or freezing, there may be any number of causes. But here are a couple of all-purpose tricks that can get Navigator back in the swing of things. With Navigator closed, delete your netscape.hst file and cache folder. Don't worry; these will automatically be rebuilt as your browse the Internet. If you've got a bit of time to spare, a disk defrag never hurts. Now reboot your system and open Navigator. Any difference?

 

DEMON SPAWN

Want to prevent Web pages from spawning new browser windows every time you click a link? Try this: Go to Options, Network Preferences, Languages and uncheck the Enable Javascript checkbox.

 

CREATE DESKTOP SHORTCUTS TO IMPORTANT SITES

Some Web sites are just too important to relegate to the bookmark list. When this is the case, you can create a shortcut directly from the Windows desktop. Open the Web page, then right-click a blank area. From the context menu, select Internet Shortcut. Now all you have to do is click the new desktop shortcut to access the site.

 

TURN A GREAT WEB IMAGE INTO DESKTOP WALLPAPER

Sometimes you come across an image on a Web page that you like so much you want to see it every day. If this happens to you, why not wallpaper your desktop background with it? Right-click the image and select Set As Wallpaper from the context menu. That's it--you've just redecorated your desktop.

 

HIDE DIRECTORY BUTTONS

So you don't use those directory buttons that appear in the menu bar in the Navigator browser (What's New, What's Cool, Destinations, and so forth)? No problem--just dump them. From the Navigator menu, choose Options, then deselect Show Directory Buttons. See you later, directory buttons.

 

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Would you like to view your Bookmarks file as an HTML page? Open Navigator and choose File, Open File (or File, Open File in Browser, depending on your Netscape version), then navigate to your bookmark.htm file--ordinarily, it resides in your Netscape directory. (If you can't find it, search for bookmark.htm using Windows Explorer.) Click Open and your bookmarks open in the Navigator window, in HTML format.

 

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE

Here's a great tip from a reader:

"Have you ever typed an ampersand (&) in the name field of a bookmark? It looks fine in the Bookmarks editor, but when you look at it in the Bookmarks drop-down list in Netscape, the ampersand becomes an underscore. To correct this, type two ampersands next to each other where you want the single ampersand to appear."

 

CHECK FOR NEW DRIVERS

Having problems printing Web pages? It may be time to check in with your printer manufacturer's Web site to download a new driver. A driver is a scrap of code that controls a device, ensuring communication between your system software and computer components. Sometimes, especially in the wake of a big change to your computer, you must update these drivers. In addition to manufacturers' Web sites, the larger shareware repositories offer many drivers directly.

 

DUAL VIEW

You probably know that you can see a Web page's source code by choosing View, Document Source. Viewing source code is a good way to learn the rudiments of HTML, particularly if you choose a page with a relatively simple design. You can also learn a little more about a Web document, such as its security status and, sometimes, when it was last modified, by choosing View, Document Info.

 

DUMP THE BUTTONS

Say you don't use those directory buttons that appear in the menu bar in the Navigator browser (What's New?, What's Cool?, Destinations, and so on). No problem--just dump them from the browser. From the Navigator menu, choose Options, then deselect Show Directory Buttons. See you later, directory buttons.

 

CREATE BOOKMARK LIST FOR E-MAIL ADDRESSES

Tired of going to the Address Book every time you want to send e-mail messages to your favorite correspondents? Create a bookmark list for your e-mail addresses. To do this, open the bookmark file, then select Item, Insert Folder to open the Bookmark Properties box. Enter a name for the folder, such as "Address Book." Click OK and the Address Book folder is added to the Bookmarks list.

Now you need to add the e-mail addresses. Select the Address Book folder and then select Item, Insert Bookmark. In the Bookmark Properties box, enter a name for the bookmark. Now, in the URL field, enter the e-mail address preceded by

mailto:

(for example, mailto:gaz@fullmonty.com). Click OK to close the box, then close the bookmark file. Now just click the appropriate bookmark when you want to send an e-mail message.

 

AVOID SPAM WITH MODIFIED E-MAIL ADDRESSES

Another way that spammers pick up e-mail addresses is by collecting them from newsgroups where people post messages. This practice is usually automated, so many newsgroup habitues have adopted a simple trick to avoid winding up on the junk mail lists: They configure their Mail and News Preferences to give out their e-mail and reply-to addresses with extra characters. For example, an e-mail address such as user@tipworld.com might be rendered as user@NOSPAM.tipworld.com. Then, in a signature file, the writer would include directions to "remove NOSPAM from address before replying."

If a spam marketer tries to send e-mail to a server called NOSPAM.tipworld.com, the mail will just bounce back. The spammers won't bother combing thousands of messages for such instructions, so the likelihood of receiving junk e-mail is much lower.

If you try this trick, bear in mind that the spammers pick up every single e-mail address that appears in the post or its headers, so be careful. That's why some mischievous people supplement their signature files with the real or presumed addresses of people they don't like, often in the form of "SPAM to bgates@microsoft.com," for example (naturally, we don't endorse this practice).

 

KEEP E-MAIL HEADERS BRIEF

Of course, sometimes you don't need to see much header information at all. To get a downright terse header, select Option, Show Headers, Brief from the Netscape Mail menu. Now, only important information like the sender's name, the time sent, and an abbreviated subject appear in the header.

 

VIEW DETAILS IN E-MAIL HEADERS

An e-mail message is full of information about the route it took to your mailbox. You usually see a truncated form of the message header, which generally shows the sender's name and address, the date and time sent, and the subject line. If you want to really see where the message has been, select Options, Show Headers, All from the Netscape Mail menu. A long list of domain names and other fairly useless stuff appears.

 

FLAG E-MAIL MESSAGES

You can flag certain messages to make them stand out from the crowd in the message window. This is useful to remind yourself to reply to certain messages. To flag a message, select it and then click the dot in the "flag" column. A little red flag icon appears next to the message. (To make it go away, just click it again.)

 

FIXING THE DATE

A reader named wanted to know how to insert the date into a document automatically and keep it from updating once the document was finished. In other words, he wanted to ensure that when he opened a letter some time after he created it, it would display the date the letter was drafted rather than the current date.

The key is, when inserting the date (by choosing Insert, Date And Time and selecting a format) make sure the Update Automatically option is not selected. When the option is enabled (and by default it is whenever you select Insert, Date And Time), a field is inserted instead of a string of text, and the field is updated continuously.

 

ELIMINATE UNSIGHTLY CLUTTER

Is that old Status Bar bugging you for some reason? Relax. You can toggle it on and off by pressing Ctrl-Alt-S.

 

EMINENT DOMAIN

Netscape has been in the news quite a bit lately because of its efforts to expand and enhance its Web site. The idea is to make the Netscape home page, Netcenter, an all-in-one destination, more along the lines of Yahoo, Excite, AOL, or Disney World. If you'd like to watch the work in progress, remember that you can always get to the Netscape home page just by clicking the big "N" to the right of your Location box.

 

ABBREVIATED DOMAINS WORK WITH DIRECTORIES AND LINKS ATTACHED

You probably already know you can type the heart of a URL ending in .com in the Location box to get to it. For example, you can type

cnn

instead of http://www.cnn.com. But you may not know that the technique works whether you're heading for the site's home page or any other page, no matter how deeply buried in directories and subdirectories it might be. As long as you know the rest of the URL, you can type it in. For example, you could type

cnn/tech/space

for the address http://www.cnn.com/tech/space.

The downside to all this convenience is that it takes Navigator a while to sort things out. So if you're a fast typist in a hurry, you may find it quicker just to enter the complete URL.

 

THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE

Assuming you use Netscape Mail as your mail client--and it makes a perfectly good one, by the way--if you have new e-mail messages waiting, an exclamation point appears beside the tiny envelope in the bottom right corner of your browser window. Click the envelope to read your mail. If no exclamation point appears there, that just means you have no new mail registering since the last time you accessed the mail server.

 

ENVELOPE PLUS EXCLAMATION POINT EQUALS NEW MAIL

Assuming you use Netscape Mail as your mail client--and it makes a perfectly good one, by the way--if you have new e-mail messages waiting, an exclamation point appears beside the tiny envelope in the bottom right corner of your browser window. Click the envelope to read your mail. If no exclamation point appears there, that just means you have no new mail registered since the last time you accessed the mail server.

 

ERROR MESSAGES: WHEN NO DOESN'T ALWAYS MEAN NO

Don't be completely put off when dismal-sounding error messages greet your attempts to reach Web sites. Always try again at least once. Though a "404 Not Found" message may mean exactly that, sometimes it just indicates that a Web site reorganization has taken place--one that you may be able to outsmart.

Erase the end of the URL to see if it gets you back on track. For example, in the fictitious URL http://www.mydomain.com/pages/pagefour.html, you could delete the "pagefour.html" part of the URL and press Enter to find out if there's an index assigned to the /pages directory. Experiment to find out what works.

When a message tells you it couldn't locate a DNS entry for a particular server, don't walk away mad. The server may be down but not out, so definitely try again later.

The "Document contains no data" message is notoriously inaccurate. Always try to reach this one again immediately; maybe two or three times.

 

EXPRESS MAIL

You don't have to open Netscape Mail first to compose a new mail message. From the File menu, choose New Mail Message, or just press Ctrl-M. Of course, if you're already in the Netscape Mail window, you can click the To Mail button on the toolbar.

 

FAULTY ID (NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR)

If you had a Verisign Digital ID with any version of Netscape Navigator 3.0, and then upgraded to Communicator 4.x, your ID will not work correctly. Here is how Netscape says to fix it: Create a new user profile with your Navigator 3.0 directory as its working directory; start Communicator using the new profile. Your Verisign ID should be listed under your personal certificate. Export the certificate and then restart Communicator with your normal profile. Import the certificate. You can then delete the temporary profile you made in the first step.

 

I'D RATHER FIGHT THAN SWITCH

Want to use multiple signature files? Rather than switch profiles or Preferences, put all the signatures into a single text file, then just delete the parts you don't need

 

USE THE FIND COMMAND TO SEARCH WEB PAGES, MAIL

Looking for a specific word, name, link, or what-have-you in a Web page? Press Ctrl-F, which brings up the Find dialog box. Enter what you're looking for in the Find What field, then select the direction for the search (based on where your cursor is now). Now click Find Next to initiate the search. For a more specific search, choose the Match Case option, which ensures that only those results with matching capitalization are returned. To repeat the search, press F3.

If you use the Find command while you're in the Netscape Mail window, you can search both mail headers and individual messages.

 

FINDERS, KEEPERS

Looking for a specific word, name, link, or what have you in a Web page? Press Ctrl-F, which brings up the Find dialog box. Enter what you're looking for in the Find What field, then select the direction for the search (based on where your cursor is currently located). Then click Find Next to initiate the search. For a more specific search, choose the Match Case option, which ensures that only those results with matching capitalization are returned. To repeat the search, press F3.

If you use the Find command while you're in the Netscape Mail window, you can search both mail headers and individual messages.

 

FINE LINES

Some users experience problems printing e-mail messages--for whatever reason, the sentences don't wrap the way they should. When this happens, people often try to reconfigure the Netscape Mail settings. But the best solution may be to save the message to disk (using File, Save), then open the file with a word processing program, format the message, and print it. Alternatively, you can copy the message's text and paste it into a word processing file for formatting.

 

THE FINE PRINT

When printing out Web pages on a monochrome printer, do you ever find it hard to make out the URLs? If so, consider changing the color of the URLs prior to printing. Go to Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. (Before making any changes, note the original colors so you can change them back afterward.) Click the Links check box and click the Choose Color button. In the Color box, click a suitably somber color, then click OK. Repeat these steps for the Followed Links category (and maybe Text, too, if it isn't black already).

 

FLAG ON THE PLAY

You can flag certain messages to make them stand out from the crowd in the message window. This is useful for reminding yourself to reply to certain messages. To flag a message, select it and then click the dot in the Flag column. A red flag icon appears next to the message. (To make it go away, just click the dot again.)

 

FOLDER IN THE BROWSER

You Windows users may know you can view the contents of directory folders in the Navigator browser window--but did you know that you can actually drop a directory folder into the browser window and its contents appear instantly? You can drag the folders out of Windows Explorer, for example, or just select Start, Run and click Browse. Click through the directory folders until you see the one you want, then just click, drag, and drop it into the browser window. The folder immediately displays in directory format, and you can open files or other folders from there.

 

CREATE A FOLDER JUST FOR NEW BOOKMARKS

Want to keep all your new bookmarks in one neat package? Not a problem. Choose Bookmarks, Go To Bookmarks (or press Ctrl-B). Create a new folder and call it something like New Bookmarks (to create the folder, select Item, Insert Folder). Highlight the new folder, right-click it, and choose the Use For New Bookmarks option from the menu. Now you're in business. Any new bookmarks you add will be sent to this folder automatically.

 

DROP WINDOWS FOLDERS IN BROWSER TO VIEW CONTENTS

You Windows users may know you can view the contents of directory folders in the Navigator browser window, but you may not have known that you can actually drop a directory folder into the browser window, and its contents appear instantly.

You can drag the folders out of Windows Explorer, for example, or just select Start, Run and click Browse. Click through the directory folders until you see the one you want, then just click, drag, and drop it into the browser window. The folder immediately displays in directory format, and you can open files or other folders from here.

 

FOLLOWING BREAD CRUMBS

Want to go back a few steps in your Web browsing? Press Ctrl-H when you're in the Navigator browser. The History window opens, showing your most recently visited sites.

 

FONTASIA

Of course, the more conventional way to change the font you're reading is to go to Options, General Preferences and select the Fonts tab. Don't bother with those Encoding settings. Instead, where it says Use the Proportional Font, click the Choose Font button and try some different options. The fonts you're choosing from are those loaded on your hard drive. Most people have more fonts on their system than they'll ever need, but if you don't find anything that suits you, you might want to load some new ones.

 

DEFAULT FONT ISN'T DEFAULT ON THE WEB

You've got a Web page, all right, but it's not quite ready for prime time. You need content, as they say in the Web biz (you know, what the creatives USED to call words and pictures). To create text from scratch, just start typing it in. No big whoop. The words you type appear in whatever font you've designated as your default for page viewing. Remember that eventually, after you publish your page on the Web, other people will see the page in whatever font THEY'VE designated as the default for their browser, so don't put too much stock in the way the page looks in a particular font. (Note that there ARE ways to force other people to see things your way, in your favorite font, but it requires a pretty good grasp of HTML--unless you want to download Netscape Communicator and use its HTML editor, Composer.)

 

FONT ROULETTE

Did you ever try to change the language of the page you're reading simply by changing the Document Encoding setting under Options? Heh, no such luck, right? Well, here's a silly use for those settings. If you're reading a Web page of fairly standard English text, you can go to Options, Document Encoding and choose any of the various languages listed there. Voila! The text on the page, still quite legible, has now been revealed in an entirely new font. But be warned: If there are any foreign words or phrases on the page, you'll probably need to revert to the Western setting.

 

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

You already know that you can bookmark Web sites. But you can also bookmark many of the files and folders that reside on your local hard drive. This is especially useful for quick access to text or HTML files that you're not willing to share with the whole World Wide Web. To bookmark a local file, just type the full path name (such as c:/mystuff/mydoc.txt) into the Location box and then choose Bookmarks, Add to Bookmarks (or quicker still, press Ctrl-D).

 

ADJUST FRAMES FOR A BETTER VIEW

Frames are a good way for the Web page designer to organize the content of the page, but they can be a little inconvenient sometimes. Here's a flexible way to play around with the frame size. Just place your cursor on the frame border. When it becomes a double-arrow icon, click and drag the border to move it left or right (or up and down, depending on the frame location).

 

BREAKING OUT OF FRAMES

Okay, what if you forget to right-click the URL you want, and you end up with your new page stuck in the frames anyway? Well, you can just click the Back button and try again (this time, right-click the URL and choose Open Link In New Browser Window), or you can use the following workaround.

On a blank area of the page you hope to free up (not the mean ol' frames page), right-click and choose Add To Bookmarks. Open your Bookmarks file (Ctrl-B) and double-click the last entry. Now the new page loads without any reminder of the previous site.

This trick is a bit more cumbersome, but worth using if you know you're going to want to bookmark the site anyway.

 

GOLD FRAMES?

Can you build frames-based pages using Navigator Gold's HMTL editor? The short answer is no. The long answer is sort of. Frames are just individual pages, so you can build those using the editor, then use a text editor such as Notepad to fold in the HTML code that creates the frames. To learn the codes you'll need, visit simple frames-based pages and use your View, Document Source command to study the raw HTML. It's not terribly difficult, but it may take a lot of time to get the frames to look just the way you want.

Before you embark on such a project, remember that most people find frames really annoying. Just thought we'd mention that.

 

VIEW AN IMAGE OUTSIDE ITS FRAME

Navigator allows you to separate an image from the frame it's in. To get the image out of the frame and into a browser window of its very own, right-click the image and select View Image from the context menu. The image appears by itself in a new browser window. Just click Back to return to the frame.

 

AVOID GETTING STUCK IN FRAMES

Last time we talked about opening a new URL in a new browser window when you don't want to close the page you're on. This is also a good way to jump out of frames.

When a Web site uses frames, you'll often find that when you click on a new URL, you're looking at the new page inside the old frames. This can be annoying, particularly when you're trying to view a full-size page within a relatively small frame. But by right-clicking the URL and choosing Open Link In New Browser Window, you'll leave those wretched frames behind.

 

FREE ASSOCIATION

When it comes to search engines, don't be afraid to pile on those keywords. Lots of people tend to get terse when using a search engine, but that's not to your advantage. Most people run searches on fairly general subjects, such as "education" or "swimming" or "resume." (Oh, and "sex"--that's the most popular search term of all.) Anyway, instead of one keyword, try to brainstorm a search string made up of multiple keywords:

early childhood education preschool developmental child-led

U.S. Masters swimming clubs meets practice

resume job hunting career search cover letter Web services

Most search engines will first list those pages that contain the highest number of the keywords provided.

While you're at it, don't stop with multiple keywords. For the best possible results, try your search on multiple search engines. They're really NOT all the same--sometimes one will come up dry while the next one proves a gold mine.

Here's a list of some of the most popular search sites:

Infoseek

http://www.infoseek.com/

Excite

http://www.excite.com/

HotBot

http://www.hotbot.com/

Lycos

http://www.lycos.com/

Northern Light

http://www.nlsearch.com/

 

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY

A reader is searching for a way to bookmark a URL that appears in a mail or news message. We're not aware of one, but here are two options. If you're online when you come across the URL, you can click it, switch to the browser window, press Ctrl-D to bookmark the page, then press Esc to stop the page from downloading further. Navigator can bookmark the page before it even begins to render--you don't have to wait for it. If you're offline, you can create a new bookmark for the URL manually. Right-click the URL, choose Copy Link Location, press Ctrl-B to open the Bookmarks window, and choose Item, Insert Bookmark. Fill in the Bookmark Properties box and click OK. If you know any quicker way to do it, let us know!

 

FROM RIGHT TO LEFT

Do you ever have trouble nailing that little X in the top right corner of your Navigator browser window when you want to close it (maybe you end up comically minimizing or maximizing the window instead, launching a short game of "chase the X")? Don't get irritated--just shift your emphasis to the other side. You can double-click in the top-left corner of the window to close it. You probably have a small Netscape helm icon there. Give it a try.

Pressing Ctrl-W will also do the trick, but that's not exactly mnemonic, now is it?

 

GEE WYSIWYG!

Many--perhaps most--Netscape Navigator 3.x users are running Navigator Gold, which comes with a useful HTML editor. Using this editor, you (yes, you!) can design and build your own Web pages. If you've never explored this aspect of your Netscape software before, why not give it a try? Over the next few days, we'll explore the fundamentals of Web page design.

The editor in Navigator Gold isn't particularly intimidating. You may know that Web pages are created by means of (sometimes elaborate) code, HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language. But you don't need to know any HTML to create Web pages using the Navigator HTML editor. That's because it is what's known as a WYSIWYG editor. Pronounced "wiz-ee-wig," WYSIWYG stands for "what you see is what you get." That means you don't have to work with code at all--instead, the Navigator Gold editor lets you see the results of what you're doing while the editor sorts out the code in the background.

 

I GET AROUND

A reader writes to remind us:

"An easy way to move back and forth between viewed pages and the current page is to use the Alt key in combination with the arrow keys. Alt-left arrow moves backward a page, while Alt-right arrow moves forward a page."

Thanks for the tip!

 

GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED

Do you ever find yourself stuck on a page? That is, no matter how many times (or how fast) you click Back, it just reloads the same page for its own perverse amusement? Well, the fancy code that's keeping you there may be pretty quick on the draw, but you can beat it. Just head on up to the Go menu and select the entry next to the number 1 (the entry beside 0 ought to be the page you're stuck on, so 1 would be the page just before it).

 

GO AWAY, URLS--PART 1 OF 2

We get more questions about clearing the URL history than about any other subject. So many of you are anxious to clear that Location drop-down box that we really do start to wonder where you've been! URLs appear in there only after you've typed or pasted them in yourself, and the list only holds about 15 URLs (so if you ever forget how to do this, you could always try typing in 15 new, less suspicious entries). There are a couple of methods for clearing the Location line. Here's the first:

First make a backup copy of your prefs.js file. Then, using a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad (NOT a word processor like Word), browse to c:\Program Files\Netscape\Users\userID\.

If your path is different, follow your own path!) Open the prefs.js file. There, you'll see the history listed in this way:

user_pref ("browser.url_history.URL_1", "http://www.tipworld.com/");

user_pref ("browser.url_history.URL_2", "http://www.fileworld.com/");

user_pref ("browser.url_history.URL_3", "http://www.pcworld.com/");

Even though it says you shouldn't edit the file, throw caution to the wind and delete the entries, making sure to delete the ENTIRE line, not just the URL itself. Save the file and restart Navigator.

GO AWAY, URLS--PART 2 OF 2

Many of you want to know how to clear that Location drop-down box of places you've been. URLs appear there only after you've typed or pasted them in yourself, and the list only holds about 15 URLs (so if you ever forget how to do this, you could always type in 15 new, less suspicious entries). There are a couple of methods for clearing the Location line. If you've tried editing the prefs.js file without success, try this instead. You need to be EXTREMELY cautious when working with these important system files.

Windows 95 and NT users:

You'll be editing Windows Registry files, so you should do a Registry backup before you begin. In Windows 95 or NT 4.0, with Netscape Navigator completely closed, click Start, Run and type

regedit

to open the Windows Registry. Double-click HKEY_CURRENT_USER. (If you use NT 3.51, select File, Run In Program Manager, enter regedt32.exe, and go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER window.) From HKEY_CURRENT_USER, navigate to Software, Netscape, Netscape Navigator, and finally URL History. When you open the URL History file, the Location entries appear in the right window. Delete any entry except (Default), then choose Registry, Exit.

Windows 3.x users:

With Netscape completely closed, use Notepad to open the netscape.ini file. It should reside in the c:\Windows directory or wherever you stored Netscape Navigator. Scroll down until you find the (URL History) section. The following lines represent each item on the Location list:

URL_1=address1

URL_2=address2

URL_3=address3

and so on. Delete the URL address (whatever comes after the equal sign) from the line. Close the file and be sure to save your changes.

 

GO BACK AND FORWARD USING KEY COMBINATIONS

To move back and forth between previously viewed pages and the current page, use the Alt key in combination with the arrow keys. Alt-left arrow moves you backward a page, while Alt-right arrow moves you forward a page.

 

GOING FOR THE NATURAL LOOK

Sometimes you just want to start over from scratch. If you're creating a Web page with Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor and you've got a block of text that you've colorized and modified and linked until it looks ridiculous, don't bother trying to Undo the damage. Just highlight the block and click the Clear All Styles button on the toolbar (it's the letter A surrounded by a corona of slash marks). Your selection will revert to its birthday suit, losing all modifications, including links.

Note: If you'd like to remove a link from text or an image, but not change any other modifications, select the linked material and click the Make Link button on the toolbar. On the Link tab in the Properties box, click the Remove Link button and click OK.

 

GOLD DIGGERS

The Mining Company is a service that brings together hundreds of people who serve as guides to various subject areas. Each area gets a distinct domain (such as genealogy.miningco.com, telecommuting.miningco.com, or usnews.miningco.com), and each guide presents annotated links to Web sites in its subject area, along with original content and extras like bulletin boards and chat rooms. Some sites are definitely better than others, but overall the service works because the guides get opinionated about the sites they review, so it's easier to make up your mind what to hit and what to avoid.

http://www.miningco.com

 

GREAT ESCAPE

If you want to stop a page from loading, press Esc for the quickest halt.

 

HARD COPY

A reader wonders if there's a way to print out a hard copy of his more than 200 bookmarked URLs. As a matter of fact, there is.

To print out all your bookmarked URLs, use a text editor, such as WordPad, to open your bookmark.htm file, then choose File, Print. Be sure to use a text editor, NOT a word processor, to open the file (because word processors can introduce excess characters). There's no need to make any changes to the file--just print it and get out of there! Unfortunately, printing this way will get you just the URLs without their descriptive names. To get a list of the names by themselves (without the URLs), open your bookmark file in Navigator and print it.

 

HEADER THE CLASS

An e-mail message is full of information about the route it took to your mailbox. You usually see a truncated form of the message header, which generally shows the sender's name and address, the date and time it was sent, and the subject line. If you really want to see where the message has been, select Options, Show Headers, All from the Netscape Mail menu. A long list of domain names and other fairly useless stuff appears.

 

HEADER, FOOTER OPTIONS WHEN PRINTING WEB PAGES

Navigator gives you some options for how information appears on a Web page you print. To set these, select File, Page Setup, which opens the Page Setup dialog box. Select any options you want--for example, check the Document Title and/or Document Location (URL) boxes to make those appear in the page header--then click OK. You can change these options as often as you like, depending on the type of information you want on the printed page.

 

ASSIGN HELPER APPLICATIONS TO OPEN FILES

You can configure helper applications to open file attachments you receive in Netscape Mail. For example, if you receive Microsoft Word DOC files and you would like to configure Word to open them, here's how.

From the Options menu, choose General Preferences. Click the Helpers tab. Locate .doc among the listed extensions and select it. Click Browse and track down your Winword.exe file. Make sure the Action listed is Launch The Application. With Winword.exe as the assigned helper, click OK.

 

HEY, A NEW BROWSER

When you want to open a new Navigator browser, simply press Ctrl-N. The new browser opens, while the old one minimizes. This is a great way to load several pages while you go get a cup of coffee.

 

HIDDEN MESSAGE TRICK

Scary in-box, eh? If you only want to see messages you haven't read yet, select Options, Show Only Unread Messages from the Netscape Mail menu. Now that's better, isn't it? The read messages haven't disappeared, they're just hiding out. Select Options, Show All and they're back

 

ACCESS HISTORY WINDOW TO RETRACE YOUR STEPS

Want to go back a few steps in your Web browsing? Press Ctrl-H when you're in the Navigator browser. The History window box opens, showing your most recently visited sites.

 

BOOKMARK YOUR GLOBAL HISTORY

Like viewing your global history, but not sure you can remember the command? Bookmark it. First, pull up your global history in the usual way, by typing

about:globalhistory

in the browser Location field. With the list onscreen, right-click the window and choose Add Bookmark. Now whenever you want to wallow in nostalgia, just choose the entry from the Bookmarks menu. You can use your precious memory (the kind in your head) for something else.

 

VIEW GLOBAL SURF HISTORY

Netscape Navigator makes a note of every Web site you visit and files it in a History file. This file keeps track not only of the Web page you've seen, but also of every image on those pages and every file you've downloaded. That's how Navigator remembers which links you've visited in the past. To view your surfing history, enter

about:globalhistory

in the Location box. The entire History file appears. Because it contains so much information, it can take a while to display completely.

Note: Press Ctrl-H to see the history of just the current Internet session.

 

VIEW GLOBAL SURF HISTORY

Netscape Navigator makes a note of every Web site you visit and files it in a History file. This file keeps track not only of the Web page you've seen, but also every image on those pages and every file that you've downloaded. That's how Navigator remembers which links you've visited in the past. To view your surfing history, enter

about:globalhistory

in the Location box. The entire History file appears. Because the file contains so much information, it can take a while to display completely.

Note: Press Ctrl-H to see the history of your current Internet session alone.

 

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

Netscape Navigator makes a note of every Web site you visit and files it in a History file. Not only does this file keep track of every Web page you've seen, but also every image on those pages and every file that you've downloaded. That's how Navigator remembers which links you've visited in the past. To view your surfing history, enter

about:globalhistory

in the Location box. The entire History file appears. Because it contains so much information, it can take a while to display completely.

 

YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN

In an instant, you can travel to the very end of a Web page with Ctrl-End. Once you're at the end of the page, press Ctrl-Home to beam yourself back up to the top. This works from anywhere in the page.

 

HOME OF THE BOOKMARKS

Sure, bookmarking your bookmarks is a clever move. But if you're a heavy user of those bookmarks, you might as well go all the way and turn that newly HTML-ized bookmarks file into your very own home page. After all, it's a more logical launching pad than the Netscape home page. To do this, select Options, General Preferences to open the Preferences dialog box. On the Appearance tab, after Browser Starts With, click the Home Page Location radio button and enter the full path of your bookmark.htm file (hint: if you can't remember the path, navigate to the page and then cut and paste the path from the Location box). Click OK to close the box and save your setting. The next time you open Netscape, your bookmarks will greet you.

 

CHOOSE A NEW HOME PAGE

Your home page can be any Web page you choose. To set your home page, select Options, General Preferences, then click the Appearance tab. Where it says Browser Starts With, click the Home Page Location radio button, then type the URL you want in the field. Click OK when you're done. The next time you open Navigator, the browser has a new home.

 

LOST HORIZON

Want to straighten out a Web page? Create a visual partition with a horizontal line or two. Click your cursor once where you want a line, then choose Insert, Horizontal Line. The line that appears will stretch all the way across the page (unless you got it tangled up in your block quotes somehow), but you can change that. To modify the attributes of your line, right-click on the line and choose Horizontal Line Properties. Set the width to 40, 60, or 80 percent for a nice effect. Experiment with the various options to get the line just right.

 

I GET AROUND

A reader writes to remind us:

"An easy way to move back and forth between viewed pages and the current page is to use the Alt key in combination with the arrow keys. Alt-left arrow moves backward a page, while Alt-right arrow moves forward a page."

 

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

Would you like a glimpse at the code development projects underway at Mozilla.org in the wake of Netscape's free code release? Take a look at Tinderbox, the Mozilla continuous-build tool, which provides an up-to-the-minute account of the development process. A related tool, Bonsai, provides "tree control." Interesting stuff, whether you understand it or not.

http://www.mozilla.org/tinderbox.html

 

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

Today we're going to start building a Web page using Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor. If you're the creative type, at this point your imagination may be overflowing with visions of sugarplums. That's fine, but do give yourself a chance to learn the basics before you reach for the stars.

To start, open Netscape and, from the browser window, choose File, New Document. This will present you with three additional choices: Blank, From Template, and From Wizard. We suggest you jump right in by choosing Blank. Later, though, you might want to check out the possibilities available via the other two options. Choose From Template, for example, and you'll be able to choose from a series of prefab page designs. Choose From Wizard, and the Netscape site will lead you, step by step, through the creation of a standard page. The wizard may be a good choice for those who want to build a page but can't seem to come up with ideas for what to put on it!

Okay, now that we know how to start a Web page, let's learn how to finish one. After you choose File, New Document, Blank, type something--anything will do--on your page and choose File, Save As. When the Save As dialog box appears, type a name in the File Name text entry box and click OK.

That's it--you just created a Web page.

 

IMAGE BROKERING

Last time, we told you how to save a background image. This is actually the same technique you will use to save any image you find on the Web--whether it's a photograph, a piece of clip art, or a button no larger than a sesame seed. Just right-click the image, choose Save Image As from the menu, and save the image to a suitable folder. The only caveat is that you should never use an image without permission, because so many of them are protected by copyright (and copyright violations are enforced even on the Internet).

When it's time to use that image in your Web page, here's all you need to do. Working on your page in Netscape's HTML editor, choose Insert, Image. This will open the Properties dialog box. Click the Image tab and, under Image file name, click the Browse button to open the Select Image File dialog box. Locate and select the image file you want to use in your page, then click Open. Back in the Properties dialog box, click OK.

 

HOW TO USE AN IMAGE FILE AS YOUR DEFAULT BACKGROUND

We've been talking about changing the background color of your Netscape browser, and it's worth mentioning that you can also use an image file as the browser background--though it would have to be a pretty pale and nondescript image to pass muster as an all-purpose background. Anything else would almost certainly induce dizziness and nausea.

On the other hand, it could be a fun trick to play on a coworker.

To use an image file as a background, choose Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. Under Background, select the Image File radio button and then click the Browse button to open the Select A Backdrop Image box. After you select the file you want to use, click Open. Click OK to close the Preferences box.

Now check your Netscape Mail to see exactly what you've wrought.

(To undo the damage, go back through the steps described and just delete the file name from the Image File text box, then click OK.)

 

VIEW STAND-ALONE IMAGE

To see an image from a Web page by itself (you know, not surrounded by all that other junk), select the image, then right-click. From the context menu that appears, choose View Image. The image appears alone in a new browser window. Just click Back to return to the original page.

 

DOWNLOADING IMAGES FOR YOUR WEB PAGE

Last time, we told you how to save a background image. This is actually the same technique you will use to save any image you find on the Web--whether it's a photograph, a piece of clip art, or a button no larger than a sesame seed. Just right-click on the image, choose Save Image As from the menu, and save the image to a suitable folder. The only caveat is that you should never use an image without permission, because so many of them are copyrighted (and copyright violations are enforced even on the Internet).

When it's time to use that image in your Web page, here's all you need to do. Working on your page in Netscape's HTML editor, choose Insert, Image. This opens the Properties dialog box. Click the Image tab and, under Image File Name, click the Browse button to open the Select Image File dialog box. Locate and select the image file you want to use in your page, then click Open. Back in the Properties dialog box, click OK.

 

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

To see an image from a Web page by itself (you know, not surrounded by all that other junk), select the image, then right-click. From the context menu that appears, choose View Image. The image appears alone in a new browser window. Just click Back to return to the original page.

 

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

Since we're on the subject of backgrounds, let's talk about how to incorporate an image as a background. Officially, you can use any sort of image as a background, but most people use a relatively small one, which they then duplicate, or tile, a great number of times to fill in the background. It's difficult to use a single image as a background, because the image won't fill out the screen the way you'd like it to--instead, it starts to fold over on itself at the outside edge. (Try it if you don't believe us).

When you've found an image you want to use as a background, here's what to do. While working on your page in the Netscape HTML editor, choose Properties, Document. Click the Appearance tab. In the Document Properties dialog box near the bottom, you'll see a Background Image area. Check the Use Image check box to select it, then click the Browse button to open the Select Image File box. Locate and select your image file, then click Open. Back in the Document Properties dialog box, click OK.

Now you should see your background image assert itself.

 

VIEW STAND-ALONE IMAGE

To see an image from a Web page by itself (you know, not surrounded by all that other junk), select the image, then right-click. From the context menu that appears, choose View Image. The image appears alone in a new browser window. Just click Back to return to the original page.

 

INCOMMUNICADO

After you delete mail messages, they don't really go away--they just get filed in the Trash folder. That means you can easily retrieve a message you deleted by mistake, as long as you haven't emptied the Trash folder recently. Just open the Trash folder, locate the errant message, and drag it into a more nurturing folder.

 

INTEGRATING WINDOWS NT--PART 1

In today's IT world, you don't necessarily have to choose between NetWare and NT. Integration is the name of the game. Novell offers several tools to make integration of NT servers into your NetWare environment less painful. One of those tools is IntranetWare Client for Windows NT 4.11a. Novell recommends that you use this client on NT workstations and servers not running NDS for NT. Novell maintains this client separately from the client that ships with NDS for NT (4.12). Novell warns that under no circumstances should you install the NDS for NT client on any Windows NT Workstation or Server not running the NDS for NT product. Check out the support section of the Novell Web site for the latest clients and detailed info at

http://www.novell.com/support/

 

THE INSIDE FRAME STORY

Frames are like pages within a page. You know how Navigator allows you to see source code for a page? You can do the same thing with a single frame. Click once inside the frame, then choose View, Frame Source from the Navigator menu to reveal the frame's inner secrets.

 

DISABLING JAVA APPLETS

You know, sometimes Java applets can make more trouble than they're worth. If you're having speed or performance problems and suspect Java applets as the culprit, you can just turn them off. In Netscape Navigator 3.x, go to Options, Network Preferences and click the Languages tab. Now deselect Enable Java and Enable JavaScript. Actually, you may get a performance improvement just by disabling Java and leaving JavaScript enabled. Experiment for yourself.

If it's mostly pop-up ads you could do without, many shareware products claim to eliminate these nuisances. To check them out, visit Download.com and do a search for

pop-up

Finally, if you've been thinking about upgrading, you'll experience fewer Java-related meltdowns with Communicator.

 

CHANGE COLUMN ORDER IN MAIL

If you want to change the order of the columns in the Navigator mail message pane, just grab the column heading and drag it to a new location (to the left or right). You might, for example, want to see your messages by Subject or Date first, rather than Sender.

 

JUMP-START MAIL

Can't wait to check your mail when you launch Netscape? You can configure Navigator to open Mail first, if you like. This is a good option for highly organized people--the less organized among us, those with packed In boxes, could miss a message here and there. From the Options menu, choose General Preferences and click the Appearance tab. Under Startup, where it says On Startup Launch, click the Mail check box. As you see, you can also set News to open at Startup. You can turn off the browser if you like, or set it to launch simultaneously with Mail and/or News. When you're finished making your changes, click OK.

 

JUST A LITTLE OFF THE TOP

Cut and paste is great, but there's an even more convenient way to copy the URL of the page you're on to the Clipboard, so that it's ready to paste anywhere. Just double-click the little chain link icon to the left of the Location box, and that URL is automatically routed to storage and ready to paste. Don't believe it? Open a new Message Composition window and press Ctrl-V to paste. Ta-da!

 

JUST CHECKING

To find out which Netscape Navigator plug-ins you have loaded, type

about:plugins

in the Location line. All will be revealed.

 

JUST SCROLLING THROUGH

If you have more than one browser window open at the same time, you can scroll through them. To do this, press Ctrl-Tab. Just remember to keep tabs on which browser you're in as you do this!

 

KEEP 'EM SEPARATED

There are a few ways to organize your bookmarks. You can, of course, create folders that keep your bookmarked sites in related groups. You can also put separators between folders and/or bookmarks. To set these, open the bookmarks page (Ctrl-B), then select the folder or bookmark you want to separate. Select Item, Insert Separator, and a separator marker appears after the selected item. The next time you open your bookmarks list from the Navigator menu, a separator line appears wherever you inserted one.

 

KEYBOARD COMBO FOR BOOKMARKING SITES

There are a few ways to add a bookmark, but the quickest way is to press Ctrl-D while you're at a Web site. This add the URL to your Bookmark list immediately.

 

KEYBOARD COMBOS: UP, DOWN, TURN AROUND

Once you memorize them, keyboard combinations make life easier. Here are two to commit to memory:

To get to the very bottom of a Web page, press Ctrl-End. To return to the top, press Ctrl-Home.

 

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS FOR TOP, BOTTOM OF WEB PAGE

In an instant, you can travel to the very end of a Web page with Ctrl-End. Once you're at the end of the page, press Ctrl-Home to beam yourself back up to the top. This will work from anywhere in the page.

 

LANGUISHING IN OBSCURITY

The more pages you bookmark, the longer your bookmark file gets. Pretty soon, you can find that the bookmark list begins to extend off he left side of the Navigator window and parts of the names get obscured (particularly when the name is long). If your bookmark names are falling off the edge of your screen, you have a few choices. First, you can clean up your act--deleting bookmarks you don't need anymore and moving others into submenus. Another option is to shorten bookmark names. To do this, press Ctrl-B to open the Bookmarks list. Then right-click the bookmark, choose Properties to open the Bookmark Properties box, and modify whatever you find in the Name field, for brevity's sake.

 

LAST OF THE MOZILLANS

Would you like to upgrade your Navigator 3.x software to the last (and least buggy) version before the rise of the great Communicator? Just click the address, below, and you'll be on your way to using Navigator or Navigator Gold 3.04.

ftp://archive:oldies@archive.netscape.com/archive/index.html

(If you can't get there by clicking for some reason, you can just paste the address into your browser location line. It's not necessary to initiate a separate FTP connection.)

 

LESS FILLING

In the last tip, we explained how to get routing information from an e-mail message (Options, Show Headers, All). Of course, sometimes you don't need to see much header information at all. To get a downright terse header, select Option, Show Headers, Brief from the Netscape Mail menu. Now, only important information such as the sender's name, the time sent, and an abbreviated subject appear in the header.

 

GETTING AROUND LIMITATIONS OF LONG LINES

You can use View, Wrap Long Lines to keep your mail messages from falling off the edge of your screen. But if you want to make that the default setting in Navigator 3.x, you're out of luck. Upgrade to Navigator/Communicator 4.x and those long lines will wrap permanently.

What if you want to print out a letter with long lines? Sorry, those lines won't wrap when it prints. You'll have to cut and paste the message into a word processing file, clean it up, and then print it out.

 

LOCATION OR NETSITE?

Ever notice that when you visit a site hosted on a Netscape server, the word "Location" to the right of your Location box turns into the word "Netsite"? Not much you can do with that information, but now you know.

 

SEND MAIL FROM THE BROWSER WINDOW

When you enter mailto: followed by an e-mail address in the Location box, the Netscape mail window opens with the specified address in the To field. This is a good way to mail something quickly while you're in the Navigator browser.

 

SORTING MAIL IN FOLDERS

In Netscape Mail, it's a good idea to sort the mail you intend to keep in folders. To create a mail folder, go to the File menu and choose New Folder. When the Netscape User Prompt box appears, enter a name for the new folder. Think carefully about what you want to name it, since the folders you make appear in alphabetical order.

If a folder you use often appears too low on the list for efficiency, as a workaround you can use numbers, letters, or even an underscore to change the sort order. For example, instead of a folder named "Work", use _Work, and it will appear higher than any folder with a name that begins with a letter.

 

QUESTION MARK MEANS MAIL TROUBLE

If you see a question mark instead of an exclamation point next to the envelope in the bottom right corner of the browser window, that indicates Navigator is having a problem accessing the mail server. If the question mark appears for only a short time, probably it's just a problem on your ISP's end that's been resolved. But if the question mark lingers, it suggests your mail settings are messed up. To check out these settings, go to the Options menu and choose Mail And News Preferences. In the Preferences box, you can click the tabs at the top to move around. (Of course, all of this assumes that you DO use Navigator as your mail client.)

If you're not sure what your mail server settings ought to be, contact your ISP.

 

FETCHING MAIL BETWEEN SERVER CHECKS

If you're anxiously awaiting a piece of mail, you can speed things up without modifying the time interval set in your Preferences. Every time you click the envelope in the bottom right corner of the browser window--even if no exclamation point appears there--it will access the mail server and fetch any new mail messages that have arrived between server checks.

 

SET NAVIGATOR TO CHECK MAIL FIRST

Can't wait to check your mail when you launch Netscape? You can configure Navigator to open Mail first, if you like. This is a good option for highly organized people--the less organized among us, those with packed in-boxes, could miss a message here and there. From the Options menu, choose General Preferences and click the Appearance tab. Under Startup, where it says On Startup Launch, click the Mail check box. As you see, you can also set News to open at Startup. You can turn off the browser if you like, or set it to launch simultaneously with Mail and/or News. When you're finished making your changes, click OK.

 

SET TIME INTERVAL BETWEEN MAIL CHECKS

You can determine how often Navigator checks mail. Go to the Options menu and choose Mail And News Preferences. Click the Servers tab. Under Mail, where it says Check For Mail, make sure you have the Every radio button checked, and enter the number of minutes you prefer in the box. If your system is on the slow side, you won't help matters by entering a very short interval (like a minute, you wacky compulsive!).

 

CHANGE THE ORDER OF COLUMNS IN MAIL

If you want to change the order of the columns in the Navigator mail message pane, just grab the column heading and drag it to a new location (to the left or right). You might, for example, want to see your messages by Subject or Date first, rather than Sender.

 

ROLE OF MAILTO: LINKS IN WEB PAGES

Web page developers often include mailto: tags in their Web pages. These are links that act a lot like URLs--except when you click on them, the Navigator mail window opens, usually with a specified mailing address in the To: field. How do you know when you've come across a mailto: link? Generally, you can't tell just by looking at them--it's up to the page developer to tell you what the link does. They're often used as a way for Web site visitors to send feedback e-mail to the developers.

 

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT

It can be so frustrating when you know how to do all these fancy tricks, but you still can't figure out how to do something simple--like, for example, add an extra space or two to your Web page. In Navigator Gold's HTML editor, if you try pressing the spacebar twice in a row, it just ignores you, right? Well, don't fret about it. Try Shift-Space next time and you'll go far.

 

MAKE YOUR MARK (BOOKMARK, THAT IS)

There are a few ways to add a bookmark, but the quickest way is to press Ctrl-D while you're at a Web site. This adds the URL to your bookmark list immediately.

 

MEAT AND POTATOES

You probably already know you can type the heart of a .com URL in the Location box to get to it. For example, you can type

netscape

instead of

http://www.netscape.com

But you may not know that the technique works whether you're heading for the site's home page or any other page, no matter how deeply buried in directories and subdirectories it might be. As long as you know the rest of the URL, you can type it in. For example:

netscape/netcenter/marketplace/travel.html

The downside to all this convenience is that it takes Navigator a while to sort things out. So if you're a fast typist in a hurry, you may find it quicker just to enter the complete URL.

 

OPEN THE MESSAGE COMPOSITION WINDOW QUICKLY

You don't need to be in the Netscape Mail window to write a message. Press Ctrl-M any time you have Navigator open--whether you're in the browser, mail window, or news window--and the Message Composition window opens.

 

RETRIEVING DELETED MESSAGES

After you delete mail messages, they don't really go away--they just get filed in the Trash folder. That means you can easily retrieve a message you deleted by mistake, assuming you haven't emptied the Trash folder recently. Just open the Trash folder, locate the errant message, and drag it into a more nurturing folder.

 

MAKE MESSAGES REVERT TO UNREAD STATUS

When you get new mail, the new messages appear in the message window in bold and there's a green "unread" icon in the unread column. Opening the message removes the green icon and the bold, and marks the message as read. You can, however, make read messages revert to unread status. Just click the dot in the read column--the green icon pops up and the message information appears in bold. (If you change your mind, just click it again.)

 

CTRL-M MAKES QUICK WORK OF NEW MAIL MESSAGES

You don't have to open Netscape Mail to compose a new mail message. From the File menu, choose New Mail Message, or just press Ctrl-M. Of course, if you're already in the Netscape Mail window, you can click the To Mail button on the toolbar.

 

VIEW ONLY UNREAD MESSAGES

Scary inbox, eh? If you want to see only messages that you haven't read yet, select Options, Show Only Unread Messages from the Netscape Mail menu. Now that's better, isn't it? The read messages haven't disappeared--they're just hiding out. Select Options, Show All and they're back.

 

WRAPPING LONG LINES IN E-MAIL MESSAGES

Do you get e-mail messages with lines that run right off the edge of the screen, forcing you to scroll right to read them? Try this: In Mail, choose View, Wrap Long Lines. That should round up most stray thoughts. Unfortunately, there's no way to make this the default setting in Netscape Navigator 3.x.

 

QUIET YOUR MODEM

When you open Navigator to initiate an Internet connection, do you still hear that awful noise when the modem connects? ("Wreeeeee-ooooooooooock! Ding dong, ding dong!") You can get rid of that sound. In Windows 95 or 98, choose Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double-click the System icon and, in the System Properties box, select the Device Manager tab. Click the Modem icon and select your modem. In the Internal Properties box, click the Modem tab and slide Speaker Volume to the Off setting.

 

MOTHER'S LITTLE HELPER

You can configure helper applications to open file attachments you receive in Netscape Mail. For example, if you receive Microsoft Word .DOC files and you would like to configure Word to open them, here's how.

From the Options menu, choose General Preferences. Click the Helpers tab. Locate .DOC among the listed extensions and select it. Click Browse and track down your Winword.exe file. Make sure the Action listed is Launch the Application and, with Winword.exe as the assigned helper, click OK.

 

MOVABLE WALLS

Frames are a good way for a Web page designer to organize the content of the page, but they can be a little inconvenient sometimes. Here's a flexible way to play around with frame size. Just place your cursor on the frame border. When it becomes a double-arrow icon, click and drag the border to move it left or right (or up and down, depending on the location of the frame)

 

MULTITASK DURING DOWNLOAD SESSIONS

Think you need to wait for a download to finish before you can start another task? Actually, you don't. Go right ahead and minimize the Saving Location box, then surf on or tackle another job. You can even download more than one file at the same time. But--and this is a big but--keep your computer's constitution in mind. Downloading files is hard work, and the more tasks you throw at the computer, the longer they'll all take. If you overload your system to the point that it crashes in the midst of a long download, that's not just counterproductive, it's seriously aggravating.

 

MY BABY WROTE ME A LETTER

If you're anxiously awaiting a piece of mail, you can speed things up without modifying the time interval set in your Preferences. Every time you click the envelope in the bottom-right corner of the browser window--even if there's no exclamation point there--it will access the mail server anyway and fetch any new mail messages that have arrived in between server checks.


GOING FOR THE NATURAL LOOK

Sometimes you just want to start over from scratch. If you're creating a Web page with Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor and you've got a block of text you've colorized and modified and linked until it looks ridiculous, don't bother trying to Undo the damage. Just highlight the block and click the Clear All Styles button on the toolbar (it's the letter "A" surrounded by a corona of slash marks). Your selection reverts to its birthday suit, losing all modifications, including links.

Note: If you'd like to remove a link from text or an image, but not change any other modifications, select the linked material and click the Make Link button on the toolbar. On the Link tab in the Properties box, click the Remove Link button and click OK.

 

NETSCAPE FORM REJECTS SOME NEW AREA CODES

To download the U.S. version of Netscape Communicator 4, the one with 128-bit strong encryption, you must fill in a form that includes your phone number with area code. Unfortunately, this form doesn't recognize some of the new area codes, and the form will not be accepted. Netscape says that if this happens, use your old area code.

 

NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR GOLD HTML EDITOR: GEE WYSIWYG

Many--perhaps most--Netscape Navigator 3.x users are running Navigator Gold, which comes with a useful HTML editor. Using this editor, you can design and build your own Web pages. If you've never explored this aspect of your Netscape software before, why not give it a try? We'll explore the fundamentals of Web page design over the next few days.

The editor in Navigator Gold isn't particularly intimidating. You may know that you create Web pages by means of a (sometimes elaborate) code called HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language. But you don't need to know any HTML to make Web pages using the Navigator HTML editor. That's because it is a WYSIWYG editor. Pronounced wiz-ee-wig, this acronym stands for "what you see is what you get." You don't have to work with code at all--instead, the Navigator Gold editor lets you see the results of what you're doing while the editor sorts out the code in the background. But enough acronyms already--in our next tip, we'll start building a Web page.

 

NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR WINDOW BUG

Netscape Communicator has a minor bug. If you have two Navigator windows already open and try to click the mini toolbar button to open a third window, Netscape just switches back and forth between the two existing windows (similar to Windows' Alt-Tab switching). The workaround is to use the File, New, Navigator Window menu option to open more than two windows. We can only hope Netscape 5.0 will fix this problem.

 

NAVIGATOR ON VACATION

Of course, Telnet isn't the only way to check your mail remotely without a computer of your own. You can use a friend's Navigator config to check it, too. If you know you'll be around a computer with Navigator during your trip, jot down your Navigator mail settings before you leave--the ones listed under Options, Mail and News Preferences, Servers. Just the three entries (SMTP server, POP3 server, and POP3 user name) should do it.

Now, fast-forward a few days to when you are sitting in front of your friend's computer. Open Navigator and go to Options, Mail and News Preferences, Servers. Jot down your friend's top three settings exactly, then replace them with your own. Where it says "Messages are copied from the server to the local disk, then" click the radio button next to "Left on the server." (That way, you'll still be able to download and file the messages when you get back home.)

Now, with a live Internet connection to your friend's ISP (there's no need to make a long-distance call to your home ISP), check your mail. You'll be prompted for your password and then, if all goes as planned, you'll begin to download your own mail messages. When you've finished reading your mail, delete the messages from your friend's Inbox, then restore their mail settings (don't blow this or he won't be able to check his own mail!). Remember to uncheck the radio button next to "Left on the server" (unless that's how you found it, which is unlikely).

Bear in mind that these are general principles only; we can't guarantee that it will work for you because there are so many variables among the different ISPs out there. This is more for "recreational" e-mail checking and not necessarily a technique you should rely on with a big business deal on the line.

 

NEW DATA ONLY

Who wants to visit sites that don't have anything new to say? You can save yourself unnecessary surfing by searching your bookmarked sites to find out which ones have changed since your last visit. To do this, open your bookmarks file (press Ctrl-B), then select File, What's New? In the What's New? dialog box, select either All Bookmarks or Selected Bookmarks, then click Start Checking. Navigator scans your bookmarked sites and tells you if any data has changed.

 

NEW HOME

Your home page can be any Web page you choose. To set your home, select Options, General Preferences, then click the Appearance tab. Where it says Browser Starts With, click the Home Page Location radio button, then type the URL you want in the field. Click OK when you're done. The next time you open Navigator, the browser will have a new home.

 

ALL THE NEW SITES THAT ARE FIT TO BOOKMARK

Want to keep all your new bookmarks in one neat package? Not a problem. Choose Bookmarks, Go to Bookmarks (or press Ctrl-B). Create a new folder and call it something like New Bookmarks (to create the folder, select Item, Insert Folder). Highlight the new folder, right-click it, and choose the Use for New Bookmarks option from the menu. Now you're in business. Any new bookmarks you add will be sent to this folder automatically.

 

(NOT) FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Ever wondered how to send a blind cc: to someone? A blind cc: is when you send a copy of a message to someone without the original recipient knowing about it. For instance, you might send an e-mail message to Bill and also send a copy to Linda--but Bill won't be able to tell that by looking at your message. The message Linda gets also shows only Bill as the recipient. Besides keeping primary recipients like Bill in the dark, it's a great way to hide a long list of recipients from each other.

When you're ready to send a message in Netscape Mail, put your official recipient in the To: field. Then, in the Message Composition window, go to the View menu and choose Mail Bcc. You'll see a new, Blind Cc: field in your mail message that wasn't there before. You can add as many names as you like to this field. Just separate each address with a comma and a space.

 

NOW, WHERE WAS I?

Want to know when you (or a loved one) last visited a bookmarked site? Pull down the Bookmarks menu and choose Go To Bookmarks. When the Bookmarks window pops up, right-click the bookmark you want to check and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. The Bookmark Properties box tells you not only when the site was last visited but also when the bookmark was created.

 

LANGUISHING IN OBSCURITY

The more pages you bookmark, the longer your bookmark file gets. Pretty soon you may find that the list extends off the left side of the Navigator window, obscuring parts of the names (particularly when they're long). If your bookmark names are falling off the edge of your screen, you have a few choices. First, you can clean up your act, deleting bookmarks you don't need anymore and moving others into submenus. Another option is to shorten bookmark names. To do so, right-click the bookmark, choose Properties to open the Bookmark Properties box, and modify whatever you find in the Name field for brevity's sake.

 

OH WHERE, OH WHERE HAVE MY BOOKMARKS GONE?

Lost your bookmarks recently? Here's our advice. Search your hard drive for a file called bookmark.htm. There may be several by this name. If so, use a text editor, such as Notepad, to figure out which one you want. To do this, in Notepad you'd select File, Open and, in the File of Type (or File Types) field, use the arrow to select All Files. Then locate the bookmark.htm file and open it. Repeat (if necessary) until you establish which file is the one you want, then copy it to the Navigator directory.

 

ONE BOOKMARK FOLDER ONLY

You probably have many bookmarks organized into several folders. Rather than having all of these folders appear in the bookmark list from the Navigator menu, you can select only one folder to appear. To do this, open the bookmarks page (Ctrl-B), then select the folder. >From the bookmark menu, select Item, Set to Bookmark Menu Folder. The next time you access the bookmark menu, only the bookmarks in this folder appear. You can change this option as often as you want, depending on which folder you're most interested in seeing.

 

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER

Web page developers often include mailto tags in their Web pages. These are links that act a lot like URLs, except that when you click on them, the Navigator mail window opens, usually with a specified mailing address in the To field. How do you know when you've come across a mailto link? Generally, you can't tell just by looking at them--it's up to the page developer to tell you what the link does. They're often used as a way for Web site visitors to send feedback to developers. However, if you move your mouse pointer over a mailto link, you'll see the mailto tag in the status bar at the bottom of the page.

 

OOH, EE, OOH AH AH

We've been talking about changing the background color of your Netscape browser, and it's worth mentioning that you can also use an image file as the browser background--though it would have to be pretty pale and nondescript to pass muster as an all-purpose background. Any other sort of image would almost certainly induce dizziness and nausea.

On the other hand, it could be a fun trick to play on a coworker.

To use an image file as a background, choose Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. Under Background, select the Image File radio button and then click the Browse button to open the Select a Backdrop Image box. After you select the file you want, click Open. Click OK to close the Preferences box.

Now check your Netscape Mail to see exactly what you've wrought.

(To undo the damage, go back through the steps described and just delete the file name from the Image File text box, then click OK).

 

OPEN SESAME

A while back we discussed the exclamation point that appears next to the envelope in the bottom-right corner of the browser window that indicates mail waiting. Some of you wrote to say you'd never seen that exclamation point. If all you see is a question mark, it may be because you don't have your mail password saved. Tell Navigator to save your password, and let's see if that solves the problem.

Go to Options and choose Mail and News Preferences. Click the Organization tab and check Remember Mail Password. The next time you start up Navigator, look to see if the question mark disappears shortly, either to be replaced by an exclamation point (indicating mail waiting) or nothing (indicating no mail waiting). Of course, the added benefit here is that you don't have to enter a password every time you check your mail (a reasonably safe condition so long as you're not surrounded by nosy people).

Note: In some cases, the question mark may linger if the browser opens before your ISP connection is fully established. If so, clicking the envelope to check mail after the connection is made should get rid of it.

 

OUT OF THE FRAME

Navigator allows you to separate an image from the frame it's in. To get an image out of the frame and into a browser window of its very own, right-click the image and select View Image from the pop-up menu. The image appears by itself in a new browser window. Just click Back to return to the frame.

 

ADD PASSWORD PROTECTION TO NETSCAPE

If you have your computer on a network, or if others can access it physically, you should protect Netscape access with a password. To give yourself a password, select Options, Security Preferences from the Netscape menu, which opens the Preferences box. Click the Passwords tab, then click the Set Password button, which opens the Enable Your Netscape Password box. Enter your password, confirm it, then click Finished. Back in the Passwords tab, specify the interval you want to pass before Netscape asks for the password, then click OK to save your settings.

 

QUICK ACCESS TO PASSWORD-PROTECTED PAGES

You know, there comes a time in many of our lives when nobody asks us for ID anymore. It can be a bittersweet experience, frankly. But if you visit a password-protected Web site on a regular basis, you may have thought that day would never come on the Web.

Well, you were wrong, and that's good news if you're tired of typing in an ID and password all the time. This trick allows you to bypass that ID-and-password dialog box (if you enter your ID-password combo another way, such as into a Web page form, it won't work). Type

http://userid:password@www.sitename.com

in the Location box (using your own ID, password, and site name, of course). Even better, create a bookmark containing this modified URL as your destination. If you prefer not to have your password in your bookmarks, where snooping gremlins might find it, you can modify the URL with just your user ID, so you're prompted for a password only. To achieve that result, type the URL

http://userid@www.sitename.com

Having trouble with setting the bookmark? Let's review: To create a new bookmark from scratch, open Bookmarks with Ctrl-B, then choose Item, Insert Bookmark. Fill in the name and URL, then click OK. To modify an existing bookmark, right-click the bookmark and choose Properties. After you tinker with the URL, click OK.

 

RETURNING TO PAGES YOU VISITED EARLIER

When you'd like to return to a page you visited several sites ago, the quickest way is to open the Go menu and choose the page title from the list of Web pages at the bottom. Bam! You're back.

But even after a page has fallen off the Go menu, you can still get to it. The painstaking way is to click the Back button a gazillion times--the Back button has a longer memory than the Go menu. Another way is to access the History window using Ctrl-H. It displays your travels for the open browser window only. This is a good way to keep track of your history when you've been surfing for hours with several browser windows open.

 

OPEN A NEW PAGE WITHOUT CLOSING THE OLD ONE

You know you can click on a linked URL to go to it--but then the page you're looking at disappears. To open the new page without closing the old one, just right-click the URL and choose Open Link In New Browser Window. Now, if you like, you can return to the old page and continue reading it while the new page loads, and you can easily switch between the two.

 

PAINT THE TOWN RED

Last time we talked about how to change Navigator's browser background color. However, the colors in the default palette are often too dark to make a suitable background. It may be better to mix a custom color setting yourself.

To do so, choose Options, General Preferences. Click the Colors tab. In the Background area, click the Custom radio button and click the Choose Color button. When the Color Chart appears, click the Define Custom Colors bar.

In the big rainbow color box, click around a bit to see the variations. The color you're actually choosing will appear in the smaller Color/Solid box below. Now click the small arrow to the right of the graded color bar and drag it up near the top where the colors are lightest--maybe about one-fifth or one-sixth of the way down. Now, when you click around in the big color box, you'll see paler colors in the Color/Solid box.

When you find a color you like, click OK to make your selection and close the Color dialog box. (As a safeguard, you can first click Add to Custom Colors to save this color for future reference.) Now click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.

 

PASSWORD, PLEASE

If you have your computer on a network or if others can access it physically, you should protect Netscape access with a password. To give yourself a password, select Options, Security Preferences, which opens the Preferences box. Click the Passwords tab, then click the Set Password button, which opens the Enable Your Netscape Password box. Enter your password, confirm it, then click Finished. Back in the Passwords tab, set the interval you want to pass before Netscape asks you for the password, then click OK to save your settings.

 

ADD PASSWORD PROTECTION TO NETSCAPE

If you have your computer on a network, or if others can access it physically, you should protect Netscape access with a password. To give yourself a password, select Options, Security Preferences from the Netscape menu, which opens the Preferences box. Click the Passwords tab, then click the Set Password button, which opens the Enable Your Netscape Password box. Enter your password, confirm it, then click Finished. Back in the Passwords tab, set the interval at which Netscape asks you for the password, then click OK to save your settings.

 

PATCH OR UPGRADE?

So, you're running NetWare 3.12 and you're concerned about Y2K issues: Should you patch your existing server or should you go for the upgrade? If your budget is a main concern, the patch will suffice in getting you Y2K compliant. However, you might consider this time as your golden opportunity to upgrade. An upgrade offers Y2K compliance and a wealth of new features. Seize the moment and move up a version or two!

 

PATCHES FOR WINDOWS 95 V2.5

Novell recently released an update file that contains patches to the Novell Client for Windows 95 v2.50 (i.e., Z.E.N.works v1.0). This patch also contains updated INF files for the MSBATCH install of the Windows 95 v2.5 Client. The issues addressed include:

  • Duplicate Win95 password dialog displayed
  • NDS password not synched with NT domain
  • 95250I1.EXE doesn't allow logout to work
  • Z.E.N.works: user script not executed
  • Username not visible on Hebrew Windows 95
  • Source routing problem with W95 v2.5 client

For more information and to download this patch, visit the following Novell URL:

http://support.novell.com/misc/patlst.htm

 

PEEP SHOW

If you get an error message when trying to view a Web page's source code, you may need to assign an application to do the viewing for you. To assign the text editor Notepad to this thankless task, go to Options, General Preferences and click the Apps tab. In the text box next to View Source, enter the path to Notepad (probably C:\Windows\Notepad.exe) if you know it. Otherwise, click the Browse button to locate the file. Once you've got the correct application identified, click Open. Back in the Preferences dialog box, click OK to close it. Now when you choose View, Document Source, a Notepad window will open to reveal the underlying HTML.

 

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

You've surely noticed, when visiting Web pages, that even before an image loads you'll often see a descriptive text notation that clues you in to what will appear in that space. While most useful to those people who use the old text-based browsers, or have images turned off for faster surfing, it's also nice for those of us who just plain get bored waiting for pictures to render.

This effect is created with the use of ALT tags, and you can easily add them to your own pages with the Navigator Gold HTML editor. Whenever you choose Insert, Image to add an image to your page, the Properties box will include an area for optional Alternative Representations. Type in your descriptive text in the Text box. Note that you can also designate a second image to appear in place of the first, if necessary. This is useful when your primary image is in an unusual format that not every browser will recognize.

 

PRINTED MATTERS

Navigator gives you some options for how information will appear on a page you print. To set these, select File, Page Setup, which opens the Page Setup dialog box. Select any options you want--for example, check the Document Title and Document Location (URL) boxes to make those appear in the page header--then click OK. You can change these options as often as you like, depending on the type of information you want on the printed page.

 

SNEAK PREVIEWS WHEN PRINTING

If you want to see how a page looks before you print it, select File, Print Preview from the Netscape menu. This is a particularly good idea if the page contains graphics, because these may look different on screen and on paper. If you like what you see in the preview, just click Print from the menu bar.

 

PRIVATE VIEWING

You've got a Web page, all right, but it's not quite ready for prime time. You need CONTENT, as they say in the Web biz. (You know, what the "creatives" used to call words and pictures.) To create text from scratch, just start typing it in. No big whoop. The words you type will appear in whatever font you've designated as your default for page viewing. Remember that eventually, after you publish your page on the Web, other people will see the page in whatever font THEY'VE designated as the default for their browser. So don't put too much stock in the way the page looks in a particular font. (Note: there ARE ways to force other people to see things your way, in your favorite font, but it requires pretty good grasp of HTML--unless, of course, you want to download Netscape Communicator and use its HTML editor, Composer.

 

PRODUCTIVITY GAINS

Think you need to wait for a download to finish before you can start another task? Actually, you don't. Go right ahead and minimize the Saving Location box, then surf on or tackle another job. You can even download more than one file at the same time. But--and this is a big but--keep your computer's constitution in mind. Downloading files is hard work, and the more tasks you throw at the computer, the longer they'll all take. If you overload your system to the point that it crashes in the midst of a long download, well, that's not just counter-productive--it's seriously aggravating.

 

PUBLISHING YOUR PAGES TO THE WEB

After you've created your Web pages with the Navigator Gold HTML editor, the next step is to publish them to the Web. Assuming you've already got an account with an ISP that provides Web storage, here are the steps. (If not, stay tuned for upcoming tips on where to publish your Web pages free.)

First get your settings in order. Choose Options, Editor Preferences and click the Publish tab. Make sure the Maintain Links and Keep Images With Document check boxes are selected. Next, you'll need to check with your ISP about what to put in the Default Publishing Location fields (or check its Web site first; many ISPs routinely include this info in online FAQs). This is the trickiest part of the whole operation; if you're unable to publish your pages later, it's probably because these entries are screwed up.

The user name and password you supply will likely be the same ones you use to log in to your Internet account. Optional: In the General tab, supply your name, the paths of any external editors you plan to use, and any other info you like. In the Appearance tab, set any appearance defaults you wish (when you're creating individual pages, your new appearance settings for a given page override any defaults you select here).

Whew! Now to publish your page--choose File, Publish (or click the Publish button on the toolbar; it looks like a lightning bolt on a sheet of paper). This opens the Publish Files box, which should incorporate the data you already supplied in the Editor Preferences box. If your Netscape configuration is fairly secure from prying eyes, tell this box to save your password so you don't have to supply it every time you publish your Web pages. Just click the Save Password check box near the bottom. If everything else looks good, click OK.

If you're lucky, the page will publish to the Web without any problems. If not, don't despair. Just check your settings carefully, maybe talk to your ISP, and keep trying. You'll get it figured out eventually. Once it works, it works!

 

QUESTION AUTHORITY

If you see a question mark instead of an exclamation point next to the envelope in the bottom-right corner of the browser window, it usually indicates that Navigator is having a problem accessing the mail server. If the question mark appears for only a short time, it's probably just a problem on your ISP's end that's been resolved. But if the question mark lingers, it suggests that your mail settings are messed up. To check out your mail settings, go to the Options menu and choose Mail and News Preferences. Then, in the Preferences box, you can click the tabs at the top to move around.

If you're not sure what your mail server settings ought to be, contact your ISP.

 

QUICK OUT

Press Ctrl-W to quickly close the Netscape Navigator browser window. Make sure you've saved or bookmarked the page you're on, however, because the browser window closes immediately.

 

WHO CAN MAKE A RAINBOW? SPRINKLE IT WITH DEW?

To render Web page text in color using Navigator Gold's HTML editor, highlight the text and click the Color button on the toolbar (it's the one that looks like a tiny Rubik's Cube). You'll see a grid of Basic Colors and, below that, a grid for Custom Colors. To use a basic color, just click the color once and click OK. The text you highlighted appears in that color.

If none of the shades in the Basic Colors grid make you happy, you can mix a custom color of your own. With the text highlighted, click the Define Custom Colors bar. Now you'll see an enlarged version of the Color box. There are two ways to designate a custom color in this view. One is to punch in the correct numbers in the boxes to create a given pigment, if you know them (sure, right). The other way is more fun.

Let's try to re-create that favorite of interior decorators, moss green. You see that big box full of rainbow colors? Click your cursor smack in the middle of the field of green. Now click to grab the little black arrow on the far right side of the Color box. Drag it up; while you do so, keep an eye on that smaller Color/Solid box. That's the actual color you're making. See how the tone lightens as you drag the arrow up and darkens when you pull it down? Now let go of the arrow for a moment and try clicking up and down in the big green field. You'll see even more variants, from bright to muted. Try going sideways closer to the yellow stripe, then closer to the blue, to see how your shade of green looks when these colors influence it. Now try to achieve that moss green we talked about by changing the position of your cursor and dragging the black arrow. When the perfect shade appears in the Color/Solid box, stop. Click Add To Custom Colors, then click OK to save your changes and close the Color box. Back at your Web page, the text you highlighted now appears in marvelous moss green.

 

READY, SET, RELOAD

Who needs menus when you can perform many Navigator functions right from the keyboard? To reload a page, simply press Ctrl-R.

 

RECLAIM WASTED SPACE

Hard drive space is a precious commodity. You can't afford the wasted space that eventually builds up on your hard drives--especially your NetWare drives. If you're interested in reclaiming some valuable disk space, check out Space Hound 32, a professionally designed and developed multipurpose Windows utility program. Space Hound "sniffs out" duplicated, obsolete, or simply forgotten files on your hard drive. You'll find a special edition of Space Hound32 for use on Novell Networks. For more information on this disk management tool, visit the following Web site:

http://www.novellshareware.com/

 

RED HERRING

What if you don't want any of your recipients to know who else is getting a particular message? Well, you can't just enter a slew of addresses in the Blind Cc: field and leave the To: field blank. There must always be an address listed in the To: field. But here's a simple trick you can use: Just enter your own e-mail address in the To: field.

 

REDECORATING THE WEB

Have you ever been frustrated by a Web page background so loud and busy that you couldn't read the text on the page? You can always send a cranky letter to the Webmaster, of course, but there's also a quick workaround you can use to get your reading done.

To remove a distracting background, go to Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. At the bottom of the box, put a check in the box that says Always Use My Colors, Overriding Document. Click OK.

Back at the offending page, click Reload. Your default background, which is presumably a little easier on the eyes, replaces the yucky background. Once you're ready to surf on, repeat the steps above, this time unchecking the box.

 

READY, SET, RELOAD

Who needs menus when you can perform many Navigator functions right from the keyboard? To reload a page, simply press Ctrl-R

 

REFRESH, RELOAD: YOU MAKE THE CALL

Navigator has two ways for you to update the contents of a Web page. Select View, Refresh and the page updates with information stored in your disk cache. But select View, Reload and Navigator returns to the Web server for the most recent version of the document. The former is quicker but may not contain the latest information, while the reverse is true for the latter.

 

RELOCATION EXPERTS

Hey, ever notice that when you visit a site hosted on a Netscape server, the word "Location" to the right of your Location box turns into the word "Netsite"? There's not much you can do with that information, really, but now you know.

 

RUNAWAY TRAIN

Are you seeing e-mail messages with lines that run right off the edge of the screen, forcing you to scroll right to read them? Try this: In Mail, choose View, Wrap Long Lines. That should round up most stray thoughts. Unfortunately, there's no way to make this the default setting in Netscape Navigator 3.x.

 

REPLICA TYPES WITHIN NDS

NDS has four types of replicas--Master, Read/Write, Read Only, and Subordinate--each designed for specific purposes. Here's a brief description of each.

The Master replica is a writable replica that can also handle partition operations--only one master replica per partition. Only one partition operation is valid at any time for a partition, and the master enforces that requirement.

The Read/Write replica is a writable replica that, like the master, can be updated from the client. Both read/write and masters are valid for login and authentication requests.

The Read Only replica cannot be changed from the client, getting updated only with the changed data in the replica from another read/write or master. This replica cannot be used for bindery emulation because there must be a writable replica on the server for bindery users.

The Subordinate replica is a replica of the partition root, which includes the replica list (ring). As a child partition, it will reside on every server that holds a copy of the parent partition, but not of itself.

 

SAVE IT FOR LATER

Last time we suggested you get into the habit of saving changes to the Bookmarks or Address Book if you have a habit of shutting down your computer without first closing Netscape (or if your computer crashes often). Not sure how to save these changes? To save changes to the Bookmarks file, go to Bookmarks (Ctrl-B) and choose File, Save As. The default file name should be correct, so just click Save. To save additions to the Address Book, open the Address Book (Window, Address Book) and do the same thing: File, Save As, click Save.

 

SCENERY CHEWING

Now that you know how to use the Color box to create custom colors, try using it to create a custom background color for your Web page. Even if you plan to use a graphic image as your Web page background, it's not a bad idea to specify a custom background color anyway. Why? Because when people visit your site for the first time, it may take a while for that background image to render (depending on how big the file is). While waiting for the image to load, and while the text is already visible, the viewer will see either his or her own default background color (for many people, this is white or a nasty shade of battleship gray) or the custom background color you've assigned. A shade that complements your eventual background makes for a more aesthetically pleasing and subtle transition once your background image finally arrives.

Anyway, here's how to create a custom background color. While working on your page in the HTML editor, choose Properties, Document. In the Document Properties box, click the Appearance tab. Now click the Background button. There's that Color box again! Choose a basic color and click OK, or click Define Custom Colors to mix up a custom background (if you do, be sure to click Add to Custom Colors before you click OK; otherwise you won't be able to easily reproduce that color elsewhere).

 

SCREECH AND DONG

When you open Navigator to initiate an Internet connection, do you still hear that awful noise when the modem connects? ("Wreeeeee-ooooooooooock! Ding dong, ding dong!") You can get rid of that sound, you know. In Windows 95 or 98, choose Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double-click the System icon and, in the System Properties box, select the Device Manager tab. Click the Modem icon and select your modem. In the Internal Properties box, click the Modem tab and slide the Speaker Volume to the Off setting.

 

SEARCH FOR IT ALL

A reader asks us to mention that you're not limited to a single word when using Internet Explorer 3's quick search feature. All you have to do is enter a list of words separated by spaces. For example, you can type

? photo nature color

into the Address Bar and press Enter to search for all three words.

 

COMMON SEARCH ENGINE MISTAKES

The vast majority of errors people make when initiating searches are simple spelling and grammatical errors. This is significant, because these kinds of errors are the ones most likely to defeat your search. Here are some examples we saw when visiting the Voyeur engine mentioned last time.

mercedez benz

This one won't get you the right answerz.

layryn hill

Who's this? A Lauryn Hill impersonator?

the hope diamond]

That stray bracket will bring bad luck!

It is much more efficient to proofread your query before initiating a search. Otherwise, you may not notice the mistake or realize that's why you're getting such crappy returns. We don't really think many of you make such gross errors, but these illustrate the need to slow down and get it right.

Lack of specificity can also ruin a search. Searches we saw for "homepage" or "WWW" or "chat" are too broad to return useful results. Use more words, and words with greater specificity, to track down the information you need. If the search engine supports it, enclose phrases in quotation marks and use Boolean operators, like AND and OR, as in this search:

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" AND "Mr. Rogers" OR "King Friday"

Though there is an enormous amount of information on the Internet, you may not always find satisfactory answers to your queries. We wonder what sort of results these queries returned:

What is the color of blue?

What sound does a groundhog make?

What dose the g-spot look like?

Is there a loch ness monster?

What do you do If your Gerbils skin on his tail is pulled off?

 

CONSULT EACH SEARCH ENGINE FOR SITE-SPECIFIC TIPS

There are a whole lot of search engines out there, and just about every one of them includes advice on how best to use its search tools. Usually you'll find a Search Tips, Help, or Hints button or link near the search text entry box. It's really worth taking a look at these tips--what you find may surprise you.

It turns out not every search engine likes the same treatment. Some search engines don't support Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), though most do. Some encourage natural language queries ("How old is Bill Clinton?"), while other search sites are indifferent to them. You get the idea.

 

CONDUCTING VANITY SEARCHES

Have you ever heard of a vanity search? That's what it's called when you enter your own name into a search engine and see how many listings come up. If this sort of behavior appeals to you, don't feel bad--you're not alone!

Note that you'll get better results from many search engines if you surround your name with double quotation marks.

 

SECOND CHANCE

Okay, what if you forget to right-click the URL you want, and you end up with your new page stuck in the frames anyway? Well, you can just hit the Back button and try again (this time, right-click the URL and choose Open Link in New Browser Window), or you can use the following workaround.

In a blank area of the page you hope to free up (not the mean ol' frames page), right-click and choose Add to Bookmarks. Open your Bookmarks file (Ctrl-B) and double-click the last entry. Now the new page will load without any reminder of the previous site.

This trick is a bit more cumbersome, but worth using if you know you want to bookmark the site anyway.

 

SECURITY GUARDS

Of course, you probably already know when you're heading into secured territory, because Navigator starts firing off urgent notifications in big dialog boxes. Don't be intimidated by these warnings, though. When a site is secured, it just means they've used some type of encryption to create an environment wherein you can send private information with considerably less risk of it being intercepted by bad guys. You'll often find secured areas on shopping sites, for example, where they want you to buy stuff with your credit card and let them mail it to your home.

Rest assured that you can explore the depths of a secure site without the risk of anyone starting an FBI file on you or taking your money without permission. Remember that it's difficult for strangers to get your credit card number or other personal information about you unless you give it out. If you're excessively concerned about being victimized, just don't turn over credit card information to anyone online.

 

BEGIN NETSCAPE SESSION WITH MAIL OR NEWS WINDOW

You don't even need to start Navigator with a browser window. If you like, you can begin each session with either your news or mail window. To set this, select Options, General Preferences, then click the Appearance tab. For the On Startup Launch option, select either Netscape Mail or Netscape News. Click OK to close the box and save your changes. The next time you start Navigator, it will open with the selected option.

 

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Would you like to view your bookmarks file as an HTML page? Open Navigator and choose File, Open File (or File, Open File In Browser, depending on your Netscape version), then navigate to bookmark.htm--ordinarily it resides in your Netscape directory. Click Open, and your bookmarks open in the Navigator window in HTML format.

 

SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE

It's possible to run both Navigator 3.x and 4.x (Communicator) and to have them share the same mail files. During installation, Communicator offers you this file-sharing option. However, if you already have both programs installed but they don't share mail, you can still make the change. In Communicator, go to Edit, Preferences, Mail & Groups, Mail Server. Click the More Options button. At the top of that page, set the path to that of your Navigator 3.x mail directory. The files will now be shared.

 

SHORTCUT ACCESS

Some Web sites are just too important to relegate to the bookmark list. When this is the case, you can create a shortcut directly from the Windows desktop. Open the Web page, then right-click a blank area. From the Context menu, select Internet Shortcut. Now all you have to do is click the new desktop shortcut to access the site.

 

SIG VICIOUS

Back in July, we ran a question from a reader who wanted to know how to create and switch between multiple signature files. In response, we mumbled something about making a bunch of .sigs and browsing for them through the Preferences menu.

A reader, wrote to say, "Hey, knuckleheads! Why not create ALL of the .sig files in one text file and just delete the bits you don't need? It's easier than changing profiles or editing preferences."

Show off.

 

HOW TO CREATE A SIGNATURE FILE

Do you envy those who end their correspondence with a flourish--a witty aphorism, perhaps, or maybe just an alternate e-mail address? Here's how to join the signature crowd. Use a text editor such as Notepad to write a signature file. Keep it simple--maybe just your name, e-mail address(es), and affiliation (if you have one you want to crow about). If you absolutely must include a quote or an effort at ASCII art, know that a sig file over five lines is considered excessive.

Once you've got the sig file as you want it, save the file to your Netscape program folder as signature.txt. Back in Navigator, choose Options, Mail And News Preferences. In the Preferences dialog box, click the Identity tab, then click the Browse button next to the Signature File box. Select your signature.txt file and click Open. Click OK. Now all your outgoing messages should bear your signature.

 

MULTIPLE SIGNATURE FILES

Want to use multiple signature files to differentiate your multiple personalities? Rather than switch profiles or Preferences, put all the signatures into a single text file, then just delete the parts you don't need on a per-message basis.

 

SIGNATURE STYLE

Do you envy those who end their correspondence with a flourish? A witty aphorism, perhaps, or maybe just an alternate e-mail address? Here's how to join the signature crowd. Use a text editor, such as Notepad, to write up your signature file. Better to keep it simple--maybe just your name, e-mail address(es), and affiliation (if you have one you want to crow about). If you absolutely must include a quote or an effort at ASCII art, know that a sig file in excess of five lines is considered excessive.

Once you've got the sig file the way you want it, save the file to your Netscape program folder as Signature.txt. Back in Navigator, choose Options, Mail and News Preferences. In the Preferences dialog box, click the Identity tab and then click the Browse button next to the Signature File box. Select your Signature.txt file and click Open. Click OK. Now all your outgoing messages should bear your signature mark.

 

SILENCE IS GOLDEN

When you open Navigator to initiate an Internet connection, do you still hear that awful noise when the modem connects? ("Wreeeeee-ooooooooooock! Ding dong, ding dong!") You can get rid of that sound, you know. In Windows 95, choose Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double click the System icon and, in the System Properties box, select the Device Manager tab. Click the Modem icon and double-click your modem. In the Internal Properties box, click the Modem tab and slide the Speaker Volume to the Off setting.

 

IT'S A SECURE SITE, NOT A DMZ

Of course, you probably already know when you're heading into secured territory, because Navigator starts firing off urgent notifications. Don't let these warnings intimidate you. A secure site is just one that uses some type of encryption. This creates an environment within which you can send private information with considerably less risk of the bad guys intercepting it. You'll often find secure areas on shopping sites, for example, where they want you to buy stuff with your credit card and let them mail it to you at home.

Rest assured that you can explore the depths of a secure site without the risk of anyone starting an FBI file on you or taking your money without permission. Remember, it's difficult for strangers to get your credit card number or other personal information about you unless you give it out. If you're very concerned, just don't turn over credit card information to anyone online.

 

SITE UNSEEN

You don't even have to visit a Web page to bookmark it. If you see a link that looks interesting, but you don't have time to check it out, save it for later. Just right-click the link and choose Add Bookmark from the menu. When you're ready to explore the page, open your Bookmarks file, find the new addition, and double-click it.

 

SLOW DOWN, YOU TYPE TOO FAST

The vast majority of errors people make when initiating searches are simple spelling and grammatical errors. This is significant because these kinds of errors are the ones most likely to defeat your search! For example, a recent visit to the Magellan Voyeur revealed the following search attempts:

Oliver Ann Burns

freesewing patterns

ERMAN AND HESSE

AMsterdamchristianredlightdistrict

m ission style furniyure

The person who ran a search for "Oliver Ann Burns" is almost certainly trying to find information on the writer Olive Ann Burns (she wrote the popular novel Cold Sassy Tree.) Meanwhile, unless "freesewing" is a radical new movement that advocates threadless garment construction, that person needs to reenter the search string as "free sewing patterns," with the additional space.

"ERMAN AND HESSE" produces no results except a stern warning from Magellan concerning the overuse of Boolean operators. But a simple search on "Hermann Hesse" brings up as its first return the Hermann Hesse Home Page (which Magellan stupidly ranks only 77 percent relevant).

We won't elaborate on the final two examples above, except to point out that it really is more efficient to proofread your query before initiating a search. Otherwise, you may not notice the mistake that's causing you to get such lame returns. We don't really think many of you make such gross errors, but these examples do illustrate the need to slow down and get it right.

 

SNEAK PREVIEWS

If you want to see how a page looks before you print it, select File, Print Preview. This is a particularly good idea if the page contains graphics, because there can be some differences between how these look on screen and on paper. If you like what you see in the preview, just click Print in the menu bar.

 

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW

You know you can click on a linked URL to go to it. But then the page you were looking at disappears. To open the new page without closing the old one, just right-click the URL and choose Open Link in New Browser Window. Now, if you like, you can return to the old page and continue reading it while the new page loads, and you can easily switch between the two using the Windows taskbar.

 

SORT OF A GOOD IDEA

It's a good idea to sort the mail you intend to keep in folders. To create a mail folder, go to the File menu and choose New Folder. When the Netscape User Prompt box appears, enter a name for the new folder. Think carefully about what you want to name this folder, since the folders you create will appear in alphabetical order.

If a folder you use often appears too low on the list for efficiency, you may want to try a new work-around folder name, such as "AAA-Work."

 

SORT OF A GOOD IDEA

In Netscape Mail, it's a good idea to sort the mail you intend to keep in folders. To create a mail folder, go to the File menu and choose New Folder. When the Netscape User Prompt box appears, enter a name for the new folder. Think carefully about what you want to name this folder, since the folders you make will appear in alphabetical order.

If a folder you use often appears too low on the list for efficiency, as a workaround you can use numbers, letters, or even an underscore to change the sort order. For example, instead of a folder named Work, use _Work--it will appear higher on the list than any folder whose name begins with a letter.

 

SOUND BITES

In the last tip we described a method you can use to record your own sounds without adding any software to your system. A fun way to jazz up your page is to record some sounds from tapes to use as sound bites. This will require an addition to your system--a tape recorder (or tape player) to play the sounds you want to record.

Most tape recorders use two RCA type connectors--one for the right channel and one for the left. Unfortunately, most sound cards won't accept this type of connector. The sound cards usually use a miniature stereo phone plug. However, you can buy adapters to connect the tape recorder to the sound card. A good place to look is your local Radio Shack (no, this is not a Radio Shack commercial--they're just convenient). Before you go to purchase the adapter, read your sound card manual to determine exactly the size and type of adapter you need.

Attach the tape recorder to the Line input on your sound card. Now, double-click the Volume Control icon in the taskbar. When the dialog box opens, look for the Line In control. If you don't have one, choose Options, Properties and select the Line In check box. Now, you can run Sound Recorder (click Start, Programs, Accessories, Multimedia, Sound Recorder (this path will vary depending on the operating system you're using). You can click Record now and then start your tape. You should hear the sound from the tape and see it displayed in Sound Recorder. When you're finished recording, click Stop.

To save your new sound files, choose File, Save As and locate a folder for your sounds. Give your file a name and click Save.

 

SOUND OFF

Many people like to create their own sounds to use in their Web pages. You can do this with a simple sound recorder that comes with Windows 95 (and Windows 98 and Windows NT). Of course, if you want to record your voice, you'll need a microphone and a sound card that will accept a microphone input (most sound cards will). Plug the microphone into the microphone input on your sound card.

With the microphone attached, double-click the Volume icon in your taskbar (it looks like a small speaker). When the Volume Control dialog box opens, look for a Microphone volume control. If you have a microphone control, choose Options, Properties. Select the check box labeled Microphone and click OK. Now, make sure the Mute check box under Microphone is turned off.

With the controls in place, click Start, Programs, Accessories, Multimedia, Sound Recorder (your path may be somewhat different). When Sound Recorder opens, click the Record button and speak into the microphone. You should see a response to your speech. After you finish with your text, click the Stop button.

To save your new sound, choose File, Save As. In the Save As dialog box, locate a folder for your file, then give it a name. Don't add the extension; Sound Recorder will do that for you. The default file format is WAV. We suggest you leave it set to the default.

You'll probably need some practice to get your sounds just as you like them. A point to keep in mind is that WAV files can use a lot of disk space. So keep those sound files as short as possible.

 

START WITH NEWS OR MAIL

You don't even need to start Navigator with a browser window. If you like, you can begin each session with either your news or mail window. To set this, select Options, General Preferences, then click the Appearance tab. For the On Startup Launch option, select either Netscape Mail or Netscape News. Click OK to close the box and save your changes. The next time you start Navigator, it will open with the selected option.

 

MORE INFORMATION FROM THE STATUS BAR

Note that the Status Bar, located at the bottom of your browser window, also provides useful information about the functions of Netscape features as you roll your cursor over various buttons and menu items.

Not only that, but if you hold your cursor over a link on a Web page without clicking it, that page's URL appears in the Status Bar.

 

STATUS SYMBOL

Note that the Status Bar, located at the bottom of your browser window, also provides useful information about the functions of Netscape features as you roll your cursor over various buttons and menu items.

In addition, if you hold your cursor over a link on a Web page without clicking it, that page's URL will appear in the Status Bar.

 

STOP! I WANT TO GET OFF

If you click a link and decide mid-click that you don't want to go there after all, just drag that half click over to a blank area of the Web page and then let go. You won't go anywhere.

If your voyage is already underway when you change your mind, press Esc to halt the transmission immediately.

 

STOPPING JAVA IN ITS TRACKS

You know, sometimes Java applets can be more trouble than they're worth. If you're having speed or performance problems and suspect Java applets are the culprit, you can just turn them off. Go to Options, Network Preferences and click the Languages tab. Now deselect Enable Java and Enable JavaScript. Actually, you may get a performance improvement just by disabling Java and leaving JavaScript enabled. Experiment for yourself.

 

CLEAR ALL STYLES BUTTON

Sometimes you just want to start over from scratch. If you're creating a Web page with Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor and you've got a block of text you've colorized and modified and linked until it looks ridiculous, don't bother trying to undo the damage. Just highlight the block and click the Clear All Styles button on the toolbar (it's the letter A surrounded by a corona of slash marks). Your selection reverts to its birthday suit, losing all modifications, including links.

Note: If you'd like to remove a link from text or an image without changing any other modifications, select the linked material and click the Make Link button on the toolbar. On the Link tab in the Properties box, click the Remove Link button and click OK.

 

TAKE A LETTER, MARIA

When you enter the words "mailto:" followed by an e-mail address in the Location box, the Netscape mail window opens with the specified address in the To field. This is a good way to mail an item quickly while you're in the Navigator browser

 

TAKE A MEMO

You don't need to be in the Netscape Mail window to write a message. Press Ctrl-M any time you have Navigator open--whether you're in the browser, mail window, or news window--and the message composition window opens.

 

TAKE OUT THE PAPERS AND THE TRASH

You should empty the Trash folder in Netscape Mail often to keep your hard drive slim and trim. To do so, go to the File menu and choose Empty Trash Folder.

When you empty the Trash folder, you may notice that the process is also compressing your folders. This is the real space-saving part. You can also compress folders on the fly using the Compress Folder command, Ctrl-K. You should use this command even if you habitually keep your mail folders empty, since the files don't really go away until you compress.

 

TANGO AND CACHE

A quick way to find out what files are living off the fat of the hard drive is to type

about:cache

in your URL Location box. To see the memory cache, type

about:memory-cache

Finally, to see just the images stored in your cache, type

about:image-cache

 

TELNET IN A NUTSHELL

Telnet is an "old" Internet technology that predates the World Wide Web as a method for connecting your computer to another, remote one. With a Telnet connection, your computer performs an act of "terminal emulation." It pretends to be a terminal of the (presumably more powerful) computer you're contacting. Most good Telnet sites are menu-driven, so it's fairly easy to get around in them once you get there. At a blank Telnet prompt, you can almost always type ? to get help.

 

TELNET IS DEAD. LONG LIVE TELNET

Telnet has been largely superseded by other technologies, but most people who were online prior to 1993 or so were using Telnet connections to get from site to site (a text-based Web reader called Lynx allowed them to explore the infant World Wide Web). Telnet didn't allow you to see digitized images, but it was a great way to access information databases, discussion-heavy bulletin board and chat systems, library catalogs, and interactive, real-time text-based games called MUDs (for multiple-user dimension or dungeon). In fact, it's still a good way to access these things. There are still thousands of useful and entertaining Telnet sites out there, many of them found on university and/or research-oriented servers. Here are some Telnet resources to explore:

Next time, we'll talk more specifically about tracking down MUDs and MOOs.

 

THE BIG SQUEEZE

Ever get a message telling you that one of your mail folders is wasting space? Even if you delete messages regularly, that just clears the headers out of your mailboxes--they're not really gone. Those files are still living large, taking up space on the couch, drinking cheap lager, and watching old Seinfeld reruns. If you want to get rid of these bad boys, you've got to empty the trash folder regularly. That's the only way to boot the loafers out of ALL your folders, move up the active messages, and free up space for incoming mail and other goodies. (That's the compression part.) So remember, in Mail, choose File, Empty Trash Folder. Do it often enough, and you may never see that wasted space message again.

 

TURNING THE TABLES

People love to make tables. With Navigator Gold's HTML editor, you can make a veritable checkerboard out of your Web page, contrasting colors and all. Let's make a simple table for practice.

Click once where you want your table to appear. Choose Insert, Table, Table (or click the Insert Table button on the toolbar; it looks like a window with four panes). The New Table Properties box appears, brimming with possibilities.

Let's make a table with three columns and four rows (columns go up and down; rows are horizontal). You see how the default numbers are for two rows and two columns? Go ahead and change those numbers to 4 and 3. Take your time, we'll wait. Assign any other attributes you want and change the table width and height to 50 percent of the window (100 percent seems excessive, don't you think?). Under table alignment, click the Center radio button. Now click once inside the first box and type something in the cell. Continue adding data to the cells this way.

Want to change the background color for each cell? Easy. Right-click the cell, choose Table Properties, and click the Cell tab. Select the Cell Color check box and click the Choose Color button. Select one of the colored squares (or custom-create a new one) and click OK. Use the Table Properties box to modify your table further, however you like. For example, you can change the way text aligns inside a cell: left, right, or centered.

It takes practice to get tables right. If you get flustered and want to delete a table and start over, just right-click it and choose Delete, Table.

 

THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE

Assuming you use Netscape Mail as your mail client--and it makes a perfectly good one, by the way--if you have new e-mail messages waiting to be read, an exclamation point will appear beside the tiny envelope in the bottom- right corner of your browser window. Click the envelope to read your mail. If no exclamation point appears there, that just means you have no new mail.

 

THE FINE PRINT

When printing out Web pages on a monochrome printer, do you ever find it hard to make out the URLs? If so, consider changing the color of URLs prior to printing. Go to Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. (Before making any changes, note the original colors so you can change them back afterward.) Click the Links check box and click Choose Color. In the Color box, click on a suitably somber color and click OK. Repeat these steps for the Followed Links category (and maybe Text, too, if it isn't black already).

 

THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM

We've told you Navigator Gold's HTML editor is a WYSIWYG editor. That's mostly true, but once in a while you don't see elements in the editor as they will appear to Web visitors. At times like these, you need to take a peek at your page through the browser. To do so, choose File, Browse Document. You'll be prompted to save your work if you haven't done so lately. (You'll have to save the page before you can view it through the browser, so go ahead and click Yes.) Now you'll get a surfer's eye view.

Remember, too, that different browsers render Web pages differently. If you REALLY want to know how your page looks to others, you should take a look at it through several different browsers. The most common browsers are Netscape's Navigator 3.x and 4.x (aka Communicator), Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3 and 4, and America Online's browser.

 

THE TIES THAT BIND

Last time we talked about opening a new URL in a new browser window when you don't want to close the page you're on. This is also a good way to jump out of frames.

When a Web site uses frames, you'll often find that when you click on a new URL, you're looking at the new page inside the old frames. This can be annoying, particularly when you're trying to view a full-size page within a relatively small frame. But by right-clicking the URL and choosing Open Link in New Browser Window, you'll leave those wretched frames behind.

 

THE TRICK'S IN THE RIGHT CLICK

We received this question from a reader:

"When I preview e-mail messages in Mail, sometimes I like to copy the sender's address so I can add it to my database. The problem is that the address doesn't usually appear in the previewed message. Is there an easy way to get to the address and copy it?"

Here's a procedure that will let you quickly copy that address: Double-click the message icon to open it. Now, right-click the sender's name and choose Copy. This will copy the address to the Clipboard. You can now paste it into another program.

 

YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO RICH OR TOO THIN

You've got a wide, shallow layer of text on your Web page, but what you really want is an elegant, skinny column. How do you get from here to there? With the Navigator Gold HMTL editor's Block Quote function. Select the text you wish to slenderize and choose Properties, Text. Click the Paragraph tab. Under Additional Style, select Block Quote. Click OK to close the Properties box. Now you've indented your block a bit. To indent the selected block more (or to expand it again, if you go too far), use the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent buttons on the toolbar. They're the ones that show lines for text with arrows on either side for pushing it around.

 

THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM

We've told you that Navigator Gold's HTML editor is a WYSIWYG editor, meaning "What You See Is What You Get." That's true for the most part, but once in a while you can't see elements in the editor as they will appear to Web visitors. At times like these, you need to take a peek at your page through the browser. To do so, choose File, Browse Document. You'll be prompted to save your work if you haven't done so lately. (You'll have to save the page before you can view it through the browser, so go ahead and click Yes.) Now you'll get a surfer's eye view.

Remember, too, that different browsers render Web pages differently. If you REALLY want to know how your page looks to others, you should take a look at it through several different browsers. The most common browsers are Netscape's Navigator 3.0 and 4.0 (a.k.a. Communicator), Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 and 4.0, and America Online's browser.

 

TIME IS ON MY SIDE

You can set the time interval that Navigator uses to determine how often to check mail. Go to the Options menu and choose Mail and News Preferences. Click the Servers tab. Under Mail, where it says Check for Mail, make sure the Every radio button is checked and enter the number of minutes you prefer in the box. If your system is on the slow side, know that you won't be helping matters by entering a very short interval (like 1 minute, you wacky compulsive!).

 

EMPTYING THE TRASH FOLDER

You should empty the Trash folder in Netscape Mail often to keep your hard drive slim and trim. To do so, go to the File menu and choose Empty Trash Folder.

When you empty the Trash folder, you may notice that Netscape is compressing your folders. This is the real space-saving part. You can also compress folders on the fly using the Compress Folder command, Ctrl-K. You should use this command even if you habitually keep your mail folders empty, since the files don't really go away until you compress.

 

TURNING THE TABLES

People love to make tables. With Navigator Gold's HTML editor, you can make a veritable checkerboard out of your Web page, contrasting colors and all. Let's make a simple table now for practice.

Click once where you want your table to appear. Choose Insert, Table, Table (or click the Insert Table button on the toolbar; it looks like a window with four panes). The New Table Properties box will appear, brimming with possibilities.

Let's make a table with three columns and four rows (columns go up and down; rows are horizontal). You see how the default numbers are for two rows and two columns? Go ahead and change those numbers to 4 and 3. Assign any other attributes you wish and change the table width and height to 50 percent of the window (100 percent seems excessive, don't you think?). Under table alignment, click the Center radio button. Then, click OK. Now click once inside the first box and type something in the cell. Continue adding data to the cells this way.

Want to change the background color for each cell? It's easy. Right-click in the cell, choose Table Properties, and click the Cell tab. Select the Cell color check box and click the Choose Color button. Select one of the colored squares (or custom create a new one) and click OK. Use the Table Properties box to further modify your table however you like. For example, you can change the way text aligns inside a cell: to the left, right, or centered.

It takes practice to get tables right. If you get flustered and want to delete a table and start over, just right-click on the table and choose Delete, Table.

 

UNTELNETABLE, THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE . . .

While you may already have the ability to view a document's source code, you may not have a Telnet client assigned to run Telnet processes. Most Windows users have a basic Telnet program, Telnet.exe, available to them. To put it to use, go to Options, General Preferences and click the Apps tab. In the text box next to Telnet Application, enter the path if you know it (possibly C:\Windows\Telnet.exe) or click the Browse button to locate the file. Once you've located it, click Open. Back in the Preferences dialog, click OK.

In upcoming tips, we'll talk a little more about Telnet and its uses.

 

CHANGE URL COLORS

When printing out Web pages on a monochrome printer, do you ever find it hard to make out the URLs? If so, consider changing the color of the URLs prior to printing.

Go to Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. (Before making any changes, note the original colors so you change them back afterward.) Click the Links checkbox and click the Choose Color button. In the Color box, click a suitably somber color, then click OK.

Repeat these steps for the Followed Links category (and maybe Text, too, if it isn't black already).

 

BOOKMARKING URLS IN MAIL OR NEWS MESSAGES

In Navigator 3.x, you can't bookmark a URL that appears in a mail or news message. However, if you're online when you come across the URL, you can click it, switch to the browser window, press Ctrl-D to bookmark the page, then press Esc to stop the page from downloading further. Navigator can bookmark the page before it even begins to render--you don't have to wait for it. If you're offline, you can manually create a new bookmark for the URL. Right-click the URL, choose Copy Link Location, press Ctrl-B to open the Bookmarks window, and choose Item, Insert Bookmark. Fill in the Bookmark Properties box and click OK.

 

COPY URLS QUICKLY

Cut and paste is great, but there's an even more convenient way to copy the URL of the page you're on to the Clipboard so it's ready to paste anywhere. Just double-click the little chain link icon to the left of the Location box, and that URL gets routed to storage, all ready to paste. Don't believe it? Open a new Message Composition window and press Ctrl-V to paste. Ta-da!

 

QUICK COPY URLS

Cut and paste is great, but there's an even more convenient way to copy the URL of the page you're on to the Clipboard so it's ready to paste anywhere. Just double-click the little chain link icon to the left of the Location box, and you've routed that URL to storage, all ready to paste. Don't believe it? Open a new Message Composition window and press Ctrl-V to paste. Ta-da!

 

REMOVE URLs FROM THE LOCATION DROP-DOWN BOX (METHOD 1)

We get more questions about clearing the URL history than any other subject. So many of you are anxious to clear that Location drop-down box that we really do start to wonder where you've been! URLs appear in there only after you've typed or pasted them in yourself, and the list holds only about 15 URLs (so if you ever forget how to do this, you could always try typing in 15 new, less suspicious entries). There are a couple of methods for clearing the Location line.

Here's one way: First, make a backup copy of your Prefs.js file. Then, using a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad (NOT a word processor like Word), browse to C:\Program Files\Netscape\Users\UserID\. (If your path is different, follow your own path!) Open the Prefs.js file. There, you'll see the history listed in this way:

user_pref ("browser.url_history.URL_1", "http://www.tipworld.com/");

user_pref ("browser.url_history.URL_2", "http://www.fileworld.com/");

user_pref ("browser.url_history.URL_3", "http://www.pcworld.com/");

Even though it says you shouldn't edit the file, throw caution to the wind and delete the entries (be sure to delete the ENTIRE line, not just the URL itself). Save the file and restart Navigator.

REMOVE URLS FROM LOCATION DROP-DOWN BOX (METHOD 2)

Many of you want to know how to clear that Location drop-down box of places you've visited. URLs appear in there only after you've typed or pasted them in yourself, and the list holds only about 15 URLs (so if you ever forget how to do this, you could just type in 15 new, less suspicious entries). There are a couple of methods for clearing the Location line. If you've tried editing the prefs.js file without success, try this instead. Be extremely cautious when working with these important system files.

Windows 95/NT users: You'll be editing Windows Registry files, so you should do a Registry backup before you begin. In Windows 95/NT 4.0, with Netscape Navigator completely closed, click Start, Run and type

regedit

to open the Windows Registry. Double-click HKEY_CURRENT_USER. (If you use NT 3.51, select File, Run In Program Manager, enter regedt32.exe, and go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER window.) From HKEY_CURRENT_USER, navigate to Software, Netscape, Netscape Navigator, URL History. When you open the URL History file, the Location box URL entries appear on the right side of the window. Delete any entry except (Default), then choose Registry, Exit.

Windows 3.x users: With Netscape completely closed, use Notepad to open the netscape.ini file. It should reside in the C:\WINDOWS directory or in the directory where you stored Netscape Navigator. Scroll down until you find the (URL History) section. The following lines represent each item on the Location list:

URL_1=address1

URL_2=address2

URL_3=address3

and so on. Delete the URL address part of the line (whatever comes after the equal sign). Close the file and save your changes.

REMOVE URLS FROM LOCATION DROP-DOWN BOX--METHOD 2

Many of you want to know how to clear that Location drop-down box of places you've been. URLs appear there only after you've typed or pasted them in yourself, and the list only holds about 15 URLs (so if you ever forget how to do this, you could always type in 15 new, less suspicious entries). There are a couple of methods for clearing the Location line. If you've tried editing the prefs.js file without success, try this instead. You'll need to be extremely cautious working with these important system files.

Windows 95/98/NT users: You'll be editing Windows Registry files, so you should do a Registry backup before you begin. In Windows 95/98/NT 4.0, with Netscape Navigator completely closed, click Start, Run and type

regedit

to open the Windows Registry. Double-click HKEY_CURRENT_USER. (If you use NT 3.51, select File, Run in Program Manager, enter REGEDT32.EXE, and go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER window.) From HKEY_CURRENT_USER, navigate to Software, Netscape, Netscape Navigator, URL History. When you open the URL History file, the Location box URL entries appear in the window on the right side. Delete any entry except (Default), then choose Registry, Exit.

Windows 3.x users: With Netscape completely closed, use Notepad to open the NETSCAPE.INI file. It should reside in the C:\WINDOWS directory or the directory where you stored Netscape Navigator. Scroll down until you find the (URL History) section. Lines like these represent the items on the Location list:

URL_1=address1

URL_2=address2

URL_3=address3

Delete the URL address part of the line (whatever comes after the equal sign). Close the file, making sure to save your changes.

 

VERSION IMMERSION

Not exactly sure which version of Netscape you're using? Go to the Help menu and choose About Netscape to get precise version information.

 

FIND OUT WHICH NETSCAPE VERSION YOU'RE USING

Not exactly sure which version of Netscape you're using? Go to the Help menu and choose About Netscape to get precise version information.

 

VIEW DETAILS IN E-MAIL HEADERS

An e-mail message is full of information about the route it took to your mailbox. You usually see a truncated form of the message header, which generally shows the sender's name and address, the date and time sent, and the subject line. If you really want to see exactly where the message has been, select Options, Show Headers, All from the Netscape Mail menu. A long list of domain names and other fairly useless stuff appears.

 

VIEW AN IMAGE OUTSIDE ITS FRAME

Navigator allows you to separate an image from the frame it's in. To get the image out of the frame and into a browser window of its very own, right-click the image and select View Image from the context menu. The image appears by itself in a new browser window. Just click Back to return to the frame.

 

VIEW SOURCE CODE FOR A SINGLE FRAME

Frames are like pages within the page. You know how Navigator allows you to see source code for a page? Well, you can do the same thing with a single frame. Click once inside the frame, then choose View, Frame Source from the Navigator menu. You've revealed the frame's inner secrets.

 

TURN A GREAT WEB IMAGE INTO DESKTOP WALLPAPER

Sometimes you come across an image on a Web page that you like so much you want to see it every day. Why not wallpaper your desktop background with it? Right-click the image and select Set As Wallpaper from the context menu. That's it--you've just redecorated your desktop.

 

BOOKMARK WEB PAGE BEFORE VISITING IT

You don't even have to visit a Web page to bookmark it. If you see a link that looks interesting but don't have time to check it out right then, save it for later. Just right-click the link and choose Add Bookmark from the menu. When you're ready to explore the page, open your Bookmarks file, find the new addition, and double-click it.

 

BUILDING A WEB PAGE

Today we're going to start building a Web page using Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor. If you're the creative type, at this point your imagination may be overflowing with visions of sugarplums. That's fine, but give yourself a chance to learn the ropes before you reach for the stars.

To start, open Netscape and, from the browser window, choose File, New. That will present you with three additional choices: Blank, From Template, and From Wizard. We suggest you jump right in by choosing Blank. Later, though, you might want to check out the possibilities available via the other two options. Choose From Template, for example, and you can choose from a series of prefab page designs. Choose From Wizard and the Netscape site will lead you, step by step, through the creation of a standard page. The wizard may be a good choice for those who want to build a page but can't seem to come up with ideas for what to put on it.

Now that we know how to start a Web page, let's learn how to finish one. After you choose File, New, Blank, type something--anything will do--on your page and choose File, Save As. When the Save As dialog box appears, type a name in the File Name text entry box and click OK.

That's it--you just created a Web page. If it felt a bit anticlimactic, wait until tomorrow, when we begin to spice up your page a bit.

 

ADDING EXTRA SPACES TO A WEB PAGE

It can be so frustrating when you know how to do all sorts of fancy tricks but still can't figure out a simple task--for example, adding an extra space or two to your Web page. In Navigator Gold's HTML editor, if you try pressing the spacebar twice in a row, it just ignores you, right? Don't fret about it. Try Shift-spacebar next time and you'll go far.

 

ADD A HORIZONTAL LINE TO YOUR WEB PAGE

Want to straighten out a Web page? Create a visual partition with a horizontal line or two. Click your cursor once where you want a line, then choose Insert, Horizontal Line. The line that appears stretches all the way across the page (unless you got it tangled up in your block quotes somehow), but you can change that. To modify the line's attributes, right-click it and choose Horizontal Line Properties. Set the width to 40, 60, or 80 percent for a nice effect. Experiment with various options to get the line just right.

 

COLOR A WEB PAGE BACKGROUND

Now that you know how to use the Color box to create custom colors, try using it to create a custom background color for your Web page. Even if you plan to use a graphic image as your Web page background, it's not a bad idea to specify a custom background color anyway. Why? When people visit your site for the first time, it may take a while for that background image to render (depending on how big the file is). While waiting for the image to load, and while the text is already visible, the viewer will see either his or her own default background color (for many people, this is white or a nasty shade of battleship gray) or the custom background color you've assigned. A shade that complements your eventual background makes for a more aesthetically pleasing and subtle transition once your background image finally arrives.

Anyway, here's how to do it. While working on your page in the HTML editor, choose Properties, Document. In the Document Properties box, click the Appearance tab. Now click the Background button. There's that Color box again! Choose a basic color and click OK, or click Define Custom Colors to mix up a custom background (if you do, be sure to click Add To Custom Colors before you click OK, otherwise you won't be able to reproduce that color easily elsewhere).

 

REMOVE A DISTRACTING WEB PAGE BACKGROUND

Have you ever been frustrated by a Web page background that's so loud and busy that you can't read the text on the page? You can always send a cranky letter to the Webmaster, of course, but there's also a quick workaround for getting your reading done.

To remove a distracting background, go to Options, General Preferences and click the Colors tab. At the bottom of the box, put a check in the box that says "Always use my colors, overriding document." Click OK.

Back on the offending page, click Reload. You'll see your default background, which is presumably a little easier on the eyes, replace the yucky background. Once you're ready to surf on, repeat the steps above, this time unchecking the box.

 

USING AN IMAGE AS A WEB PAGE BACKGROUND

Since we're on the subject of backgrounds, let's talk about how to incorporate an image as a background. Officially, you can use any sort of image as a background, but most people use a relatively small image, which fills in the background by duplicating, or tiling, a great number of times. It's difficult to use a single image as a background, because the image won't fill out the screen the way you'd like it to--instead, the image starts to fold over on itself again on the outside edge. (Try it if you don't believe us.)

When you've found an image you want to use as a background, here's what to do. While working on your page in the Netscape HTML editor, choose Properties, Document. Click the Appearance tab. In the Document Properties dialog box, near the bottom, you'll see a Background Image area. Check the Use Image check box to select it, then click the Browse button to open the Select Image File box. Locate and select your image file, then click Open. Back in the Document Properties dialog box, click OK.

Now you should see your background image assert itself.

 

COLORIZE WEB PAGE TEXT

To render Web page text in color using Navigator Gold's HTML editor, highlight the text and click the Color button on the toolbar (it's the one that looks like a tiny Rubik's Cube). You'll see a grid of Basic Colors and, below that, a grid for Custom Colors. To use a basic color, just click the color you like once to select it, and click OK. The text you highlighted now appears in that color.

If none of the shades in the Basic Colors grid made you happy, you can mix up a custom color of your own. With the text highlighted, click the Define Custom Colors bar. Now you'll see an enlarged version of the Color box. There are two ways to designate a custom color in this view. One is to punch in the correct numbers in the boxes to create a given pigment, if you know them (yeah, right). The other way is more fun.

Let's try to re-create that favorite of interior decorators, moss green. You see that big box full of rainbow colors? Click your cursor smack in the middle of the field of green. Now click to grab the little black arrow on the far right side of the Color box. Drag it up and, while you do so, keep an eye on that smaller Color/Solid box. That's the actual color you're making. See how the tone lightens as you drag the arrow up and darkens when you pull it down? Let go of the arrow for a moment and try clicking up and down in the big green field. You'll see even more variants, from bright to muted. Try going sideways closer to the yellow stripe, then closer to the blue, to see how your shade of green looks when these colors influence it more heavily. Now try to achieve that moss green we talked about, by both changing the position of your cursor and dragging the black arrow. When the perfect shade appears in that Color/Solid box, stop! Click Add To Custom Colors and click OK to save your changes and close the Color box. Back at your Web page, the text you highlighted now appears in marvelous moss green.

 

STATUS BAR INDICATES WHETHER A WEB PAGE HAS FINISHED LOADING

You can tell whether a Web page has finished loading by watching the Status Bar, located at the bottom of your browser window. Status messages appear on the left side. When a page has finished loading, the message "Document Done" shows up there.

Another way to tell if a page is done loading: Watch the Netscape "N" in the top right--when those shooting stars stop falling, the page has finished loading.

 

WEB PAGE IMAGE MODIFICATIONS

Most of the modifications you'll make to a given image will take place outside the Netscape environment, whether you use a nitty-gritty shareware image-editing program or a $900 copy of Photoshop. However, there ARE some adjustments you can make within Netscape that affect the way your image displays on your Web page. To get an idea of this, while working on your page in Navigator Gold's HTML editor, go ahead and insert the image onto the Web page (using Insert, Image). Now right-click the image and select Image Properties from the pop-up menu. This will bring up the Properties box. Here you can dictate the size of the image as represented in pixels; indicate whether you want space or a black border (or both) to surround the image--and if so, how much; and choose whether you want text to wrap around the image or not. After you've made your alterations, click OK.

 

THE KEYS TO WEB PAGE SECURITY

So what do we mean by security status, anyway? Well, every Web site is either secure, insecure, or mixed (that is, it contains both secure and insecure pages). See that little skeleton key down in Navigator's bottom left corner? That key tells you the security status of a given Web page.

A broken key on a gray background, the icon you'll see most, means the document is insecure. That's not usually a big deal, unless the site wants something valuable from you, such as a credit card number. In that case, you'll want to look for an unbroken key on a royal blue background, which denotes a secure environment. Even the teeth on the key provide security information: one tooth indicates medium-grade encryption; two teeth means high-grade encryption. Go ahead and click the key itself to learn more about a page's relative security.

 

STARTING (AND FINISHING) A WEB PAGE

Today we're going to start building a Web page using Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor. If you're the creative type, at this point your imagination may be overflowing with visions of sugarplums. That's fine, but give yourself a chance to learn the ropes before you reach for the stars.

To start, open Netscape and, from the browser window, choose File, New. That presents you with three additional choices: Blank, From Template, and From Wizard. We suggest you jump right in by choosing Blank. Later, though, you might want to check out the possibilities available via the other two options. Choose From Template, for example, and you can choose from a series of prefab page designs.

Choose From Wizard, and the Netscape site will lead you, step by step, through the creation of a standard page. The wizard may be a good choice for those who want to build a page but don't know what to put on it!

Now that we know how to start a Web page, let's learn how to finish one. After you choose File, New, Blank, type some text--anything will do--on your page and choose File, Save As. When the Save As dialog box appears, type a name in the File Name text entry box and click OK.

That's it--you just created a Web page. If it felt a bit anticlimactic, wait until tomorrow, when we begin spicing up your page a bit.

 

STOP A WEB PAGE FROM LOADING

If you want to stop a page from loading, press the Esc key for the quickest halt.

 

USING BLOCK QUOTES IN WEB PAGES

You've got a wide, shallow layer of text on your Web page, but what you really want is an elegant, skinny column. How do you get from here to there? With the Navigator Gold HMTL editor's Block Quote function. Select the text you wish to slenderize and choose Properties, Text. Click the Paragraph tab and, under Additional Style, select Block Quote. Click OK to close the Properties box. Now you've indented your block a bit. To indent the selected block further (or to expand it if you go too far), use the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent buttons on the toolbar. They're the ones that show text lines with arrows on either side.

 

FRAMES AND YOUR WEB PAGES

Can you build frames-based pages using Navigator Gold's HMTL editor? The short answer is no. The long answer is sort of. Frames are just individual pages, so you can build them using the editor, then use a text editor such as Notepad to fold in the HTML code that will create the frames. To learn what codes you'll need, visit simple frame-based pages and use your View, Document Source command to study the raw HTML. It's not terribly difficult, but it may take a lot of time to get the frames to look just the way you want.

Before you embark on such a project, remember that most people find frames really annoying. Just thought we'd mention that.

 

HEADER, FOOTER OPTIONS FOR PRINTING WEB PAGES

Navigator gives you some options for how information will appear on a page you print. To set these, select File, Page Setup, which opens the Page Setup dialog box. Select any options you want--for example, check the Document Title and/or Document Location (URL) boxes to make those appear in the page header--then click OK. You can change these options as often as you like, depending on the type of information you want on the printed page.

 

HOW TO CREATE LINKS IN WEB PAGES

We've discussed how to create and save Web pages using Netscape Navigator Gold's HTML editor. We've talked about adding and modifying text, images, and backgrounds. What else is there? Well, any self-respecting Web page needs a link or three. Here's how to create hyperlinks in your Web page.

Highlight the word or phrase you wish to link. If it's an image link you're after, select the image by clicking it once. On the toolbar, click the Make Link button, which looks like a single link from a chain. (Alternately, you can choose Insert, Link from the menu or just press Ctrl-L.) In the Properties box, on the Link tab, type the link's URL. Or, if you want to link to another Web page you've created, you can click the Browse button to navigate to the page on your hard drive and select it. As long as you later publish this page to your Web site, the link should work (though in some cases you may have to futz around with it a bit later). One way to minimize headaches is to create a mirror on your hard disk of the directory structure you intend to use in your Web directory.

 

FOR A TRUE VIEW, TEST WEB PAGES IN BROWSER

We've told you that Navigator Gold's HTML editor is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. That's true for the most part, but once in a while you can't see elements in the editor as they will appear to Web visitors. At times like these, you need to take a peek at your page through the browser. To do so, choose File, Browse Document. You'll get a prompt to save your work if you haven't done so lately. (You'll have to save the page before you can view it through the browser, so go ahead and click Yes.) Now you'll get a surfer's-eye view.

Remember, too, that different browsers render Web pages differently. If you REALLY want to know how your page looks to others, you should take a look at it through several different browsers. The most common ones are Netscape's Navigator 3.x and 4.x (aka Communicator), Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3 and 4, and America Online's browser.

 

ADD TABLES TO YOUR WEB PAGES

People love to make tables. With Navigator Gold's HTML editor, you can make a veritable checkerboard out of your Web page, contrasting colors and all. Let's make a simple table now for practice.

Click once where you want your table to appear. Choose Insert, Table, Table (or click the Insert Table button on the toolbar; it looks like a window with four panes). The New Table Properties box will appear, brimming with possibilities.

Let's make a table with three columns and four rows (columns go up and down; rows are horizontal). The default numbers are for two rows and two columns--go ahead and change those numbers to 4 and 3. Take your time, we'll wait. Assign any other attributes you wish and change the table width and height to 50 percent of the window. Under Table Alignment, click the Center radio button. Now click once inside the first box and type something in the cell. Continue adding data to the cells this way.

Want to change the background color for each cell? It's easy. Right-click in the cell, choose Table Properties, and click the Cell tab. Select the Cell Color check box and click the Choose Color button. Select one of the colored squares (or custom-create a new color), then click OK. Use the Table Properties box to modify your table further, however you like. For example, you can change the way text aligns inside a cell: to the left, right, or centered.

It takes practice to get tables right. If you get flustered and want to delete a table and start over, just right-click it and choose Delete, Table.

 

WHEN HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

When you'd like to return to a page you visited several sites ago, the quickest way is to open the Go menu and choose the page title from the list displayed. Bam! You're back.

But even after a page has fallen off the Go menu, you can still get to it. The painstaking way is to click the Back button a gazillion times--the Back button has a longer memory than the Go menu. Another way is to access the History window using Ctrl-H. It will display your travels for the open browser window only. This is a good way to keep track of your history when you've been surfing for hours with several browser windows open.

 

WHEN HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

A reader reminds us that we can snoop around after someone else has used our copy of Netscape Navigator and find out where they've been (unless they happen to be your children--in that case, they're probably clever enough to have deleted the History file before the start of your online session). To view the entire contents of the History file, complete with URLs and dates of most recent visits, type

about:global

in the Location bar. To take a peek at the contents of your cache, type

about:cache

As he puts it, "I'm not sure what you can do with this, but it's interesting." Thanks for the tip!

 

WHAT'S YOUR NAME? WHO'S YOUR DADDY?

There comes a time in many of our lives when nobody asks us for ID anymore. It can be a bittersweet experience, frankly. But if you visit a password-protected Web site on a regular basis, you may have thought that day would never come on the Web.

Well, you were wrong, and that's good news if you're tired of typing in an ID and password all the time. This trick allows you to bypass that ID/password dialog box. Just type

http://userid:password@www.sitename.com

in the Location box or, even better, create a bookmark containing this modified URL as your destination. If you prefer not to have your password in your bookmarks, where it could be found by snooping gremlins, you can modify the URL with just your user ID, so that you'll be prompted for a password only. To achieve this, type the URL

http://userid@www.sitename.com

(Having trouble with the bookmark? Let's review: To create a new bookmark from scratch, open the Bookmarks [Ctrl-B] then choose Item, Insert Bookmark. Fill in the name and URL, then click OK. To modify an existing bookmark, right-click the bookmark and choose Properties. After you tinker with the URL, click OK.)

 

WHO CAN MAKE A RAINBOW? SPRINKLE IT WITH DEW?

To render Web page text in color, highlight the text and click the Color button on the toolbar (it's the one that looks like a tiny Rubik's Cube). You'll see a grid of Basic colors and, below that, a grid for Custom colors. To use basic colors, just click once on the color you like and click OK. The text you highlighted will now appear in that color.

If you don't like any of the shades in the Basic colors grid, you can mix up a custom color of your own. With the text highlighted, click the Define Custom Colors bar. Now you'll see an enlarged version of the Color box. There are two ways to designate a custom color in this view. One is to punch in the correct numbers in the boxes to create a given pigment, if you know them (yeah, right). The other way is more fun.

Let's try to recreate this year's most popular decorating color: moss green. You see that big box full of rainbow colors? Click your cursor smack in the middle of the field of green. Now click to grab that little black arrow on the far right side of the Color box. Drag it up and, while you do so, keep an eye on that smaller Color/Solid box. That's the actual color you're making. See how the tone lightens as you drag the arrow up and darkens as you pull it down? Now let go of the arrow for a moment and try clicking up and down in the big green field. You'll see even more variants, from bright to muted. Try going sideways closer to the yellow stripe, then closer to the blue, to see how your shade of green looks when it's being more heavily influenced by these colors. Now try to achieve that moss green we talked about, both by changing the position of your cursor and dragging the black arrow. When the perfect shade appears in that Color/Solid box, stop! Click Add to Custom Colors! and click OK to save your changes and close the Color box. Back at your Web page, the text you highlighted now appears in marvelous moss green.

 

WIDE-ANGLE MESSAGES

A reader already knew you can use View, Wrap Long Lines to keep your mail messages from falling off the edge of your screen. What he wants to know is whether there's a way to make that the default setting, so he won't have to keep choosing the option every time he encounters an e-mail message that's too wide. Meanwhile, another subscriber asks if there's any way to make those long lines wrap when it's time to print the message out. The short answer to both those questions is no.

However, if you're willing to upgrade to version 4, you can get those long lines to wrap permanently. And the workaround for unwieldy e-mail is to cut and paste the message into a word processor or text editor, fix it up in there, and then print it out. With 3.0, that's about as good as it gets.

 

DROP WINDOWS FOLDER IN BROWSER TO VIEW CONTENTS

You Windows users may know that you can view the contents of directory folders in the Navigator browser window, but you may not have known that you can actually drop a directory folder into the browser window to see its contents instantly. You can drag the folders out of Windows Explorer, for example, or just select Start, Run and click Browse. Click through the directory folders until you see the one you want, then just click, drag, and drop it into the browser window. The folder immediately displays in directory format, and you can open files or other folders from here.

 

YES, BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

To see a complicated status report that indicates the progress of a loading URL, press Ctrl-Alt-T while loading a Web page.

 

YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN

In an instant, you can travel to the very end of a Web page by pressing Ctrl-End. Once you're at the end of the page, press Ctrl-Home to beam yourself back up to the top. This will work from anywhere in the page.

 

YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO RICH OR TOO THIN

You've got a wide, shallow layer of text on your Web page, but what you really want is an elegant, skinny column. How do you get from here to there? By using the Navigator Gold HTML editor's Block Quote function. Select the text you wish to slenderize and choose Properties, Text. Click the Paragraph tab and, under Additional style, select Block Quote. Click OK to close the Properties box. Now your block is indented a bit. To further indent the selected block (or expand it if you go too far), use the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent buttons on the toolbar. They're the ones that show lines for text with pushy arrows on either side.

 

YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE THAT THING'S BEEN

When you want to know the details of how a message reached you, you can check the message properties. To do this, select the message and choose File, Properties. When the dialog box opens, click the Details tab.

You can open the Properties dialog box with keystrokes, too. Simply select the message and press Alt-Enter. As before, when the dialog box opens, click Details.

 

YOU'RE SO INSECURE

So what do we mean by security status, anyway? Well, every Web site is either secure, insecure, or mixed (that is, it contains both secure and insecure pages). See that little skeleton key down in Navigator's bottom-left corner? That key tells you the security status of a given Web page. A broken key on a gray background, the one you'll see most, means the document is insecure. That's not usually a big deal, unless they want something valuable from you, such as a credit card number. In that case, you'll want to look for an unbroken key on a royal blue background, which denotes a secure environment. Even the teeth on the key provide security information: one tooth indicates medium-grade encryption; two teeth means the site is protected by high-grade encryption. Go ahead and click the key itself to learn more about a page's relative security.

 

YOU'RE SO VAIN (I BET YOU THINK THIS SEARCH IS ABOUT YOU)

Have you ever heard of a "vanity search"? That's what it's called when you enter your own name into a search engine and see how many listings come up. If this sort of behavior appeals to you, don't feel bad--you're not alone!

Note that you'll get better results from many search engines if you surround your name with double quotes.

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Last modified: April 22, 2017