Web Browser Basics

Viewing pictures, listening to music or accessing videos can all be done via your web browser. I will not say that these things are best done with a browser, that is a matter of personnel choice. I will say that Internet Explorer and Netscape need some adjustments to let you get the most out of them. Many tips exist for setting up your browser, I will cover some of the ones I recommend for accessing media.

Maximize Your Browser Screen

Adjust your menus - IE
Adjust your menus - Netscape

Add Plug-ins to Expand the Browser's Capabilities

A great deal of information on the web is not directly accessible by your browser. Plug-ins allow your browser to display special files that are frequently encountered on the web. The newer releases of Internet Explorer and Netscape include some of the more popular plug-ins but it is helpful to have others. When you are offered a software install / upgrade it is important to recognize what the software is before allowing any installation. Plug-ins are known to offer such "automatic" upgrades and web sites like to offer links that allow installations for needed plug-ins.

In general you should not install software that is offered by web sites without a complete virus scan and possibly other testing. These plug-ins are important for most web users and are provided by reputable companies with long track records of reliable software products. I upgrade these companies plug-ins on my personal machines regularly and have done so for years.
Adobe's Acrobat Viewer - Allows your computer to display PDF documents. (FREE)
Real's Real One Player - Plays streaming music and video files. (FREE)
MacroMedia's Flash Player AND Shockwave Players - Plays interactive multimedia content. (FREE)
Sun's Java Virtual Machine - Java client needed for some sites. (FREE)
Apple's QuickTime - Plays MOV video files. (FREE)
I do not personally use these plug-ins regularly but they are popular:
ICQ's Instant Messenger - A popular chat program. (FREE)
Microsoft's MSN Messenger - A popular chat program. (FREE)

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Do you know what [Control]+[N] does and how to do it? Read on, your life will get easier.

  [Alt]+[Tab] 		- Switch between open windows (windows)
[F5] - Refresh (ie)
[F11] - Full screen mode (ie)
[Control]+[A] - Select All (windows)
[Control]+[C] - Copy (windows)
[Control]+[V] - Insert (windows)
[Control]+[Z] - Undo (windows)
[Control]+[X] - Cut (windows)
[Control]+[N] - Open a new browser or document (windows)
[Control]+[Esc] - Start button (windows)
[ESC] - Stop (windows)
domain [Control]+[Enter]

[Control] and [Alt] are special keys in Windows. Use the [Control] (labeled Ctrl) key by holding it down while you press a second key then release both. Use of the [Alt] key is less consistent. Often you press and release [Alt] to activate menus, then type some character that is associated with the menu options. [Alt] F S is typically used to save the current file. To switch between running programs hold the [Alt] key down and hit [Tab] as many times as needed to select the program you want to switch to, then release the [Alt] key.

Security Reminder

Before entering data into a web site check the lock and key...


Do not mistake cache for cash. Clearing cache and checking cache settings is important.

Playing media files

Browsers are wonderful things for accessing what you want but the can fall short for PLAYING media files.
Most people want to use a juke box to play music with, instead of their browser.

File Extensions

File names have somewhat standard ending characters that identify what type of file they are. The ending characters in computer file names are called the extension. (like a last name)

Please share this information with anyone that you think would be helped by it.
Do not reprint it commercially or fail to give credit to DalesMedia.com.
Copyright © 2003 Dale A. Johnson. All rights reserved.