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Useful Tools

This section discusses tools that expand your Web navigating powers. They are divided into the following categories:

Note that many of the tools described here can be activated from the keyboard as well as from the screen. In this guide, the keyboard commands are shown in parentheses after the equivalent command in the toolbar or menu bar.



We have already discussed some of the tools in the toolbar on our First Things First page. Here we will discuss:

The Home button in the toolbar will take you to the page which you designate to be your home page, that is, the page that comes up whenever you open your Web browser. You may find it useful to make the Chapter 13 cover page your home page. To do this, you must:

Now the Chapter 13 cover page will come up automatically whenever you open your browser, and you can return instantly to the cover page from anywhere on the Web by clicking on the Home button.


The Open button (Command O on the keyboard) opens a dialog box in which you can type out the URL of a Web site you want to go to. You can do the same thing by selecting Open Location in the File menu.


The Print button (Command P) prints out the page you are viewing. Be advised that the page may be longer than what you see in the content area. You can also print the page by choosing Print in the File menu.


The Netscape company logo to the right of the toolbar shows you that a transfer is in progress when there is movement inside the logo (specifically, comets whizzing by). It is also a link you can click on to go to the Netscape company's Web site.





The Location Field is directly below the toolbar. If you can't see the location field select Show Location in the Options menu in the menu bar.


The location field shows the URL of the Web page you are viewing. You can use the location field to open a different page by deleting all or part of the URL in the field and typing in the new URL. (Some parts of the URL, like "http://" or "www.", may be the same, so you don't have to delete those.)*


*Note: Netscape also provides a shortcut in using the location field to open a new Web page. You can delete all of the information in the location field and type in only that part of the new URL that identifies the Web server, for example, the chi13in http://www.chi13.com.The browser will provide the rest of the URL.





The Directory Buttons are in a row below the location field. If you can't see the Directory Buttons, select Show Directory Buttons in the Options menu.

There are two Directory Buttons that are particularly useful:

The Handbook button brings you to the cover page of the Netscape Navigator Handbook. Notice the Index at the bottom of the cover page. It can direct you toward the specific subject you have in mind. Unfortunately, the Handbook button has been removed in the latest version, 3.0, of Netscape Navigator. To have the handbook readily available to you, click on one of the links to it in this paragraph and make a bookmark.


The Net Search button opens a page on which you can search for any subject of interest. Note that you must click on the text entry field before you type the subject. The subject should not be in the form of a URL. Then click on the Search button. A list of links will appear. Note also that you have several search engines to choose from on the Net Search page, such as Excite, Infoseek and Lycos. You'll figure out which ones you prefer.




The Status Bar is at the bottom of your browser window. It shows the status of your current operation. For example, when you click on a link the status bar will indicate that it is contacting the host, waiting for a reply, transferring data, etc.

The status bar also shows the URL of any link in the content area over which you pass your pointer.





The Bookmarks menu is very handy. A bookmark is a quick and permanent reference to a Web page. You can bookmark pages you think you will be referring to again by selecting Add Bookmark in the Bookmarks menu while viewing the page you want to bookmark (or by typing Command D). You can return to any bookmarked page by selecting it from the Bookmark menu. You can organize your bookmarks by choosing the Bookmarks menu item in the Window menu (Command B). Learn more about how to do this in the Handbook.


The Go menu includes some of the same functions as the toolbar among its menu items.You can also see a list of the Web pages you have visited in your current session in the Go menu and open any one of those pages by selecting it.


You can send e-mail at any time by selecting New Mail Message in the File menu.


You can access all e-mail features by selecting Netscape Mail in the Window menu or by clicking on the envelope icon just to the right of the status bar at the bottom of the window.