Handling Page Content While Surfing

from the April 2001 Actrix Newsletter

by Rob Zorn

Sometimes, while you're surfing around the Internet, you may want to do things with the information or images that you come across. There is a fair bit you can do with your browser under the Windows operating system.

Working with an Image: If you come across a picture that you fancy, there are a number of easy as pie things you can do with it. Simply click on the image with your right mouse button (otherwise known as "right-clicking"). A little grey box pops up with a number options that you can select by left-clicking (usually known as simply "clicking").

Right-Click MenuWhen you click on Save Picture As, a Save Picture box comes up allowing you to browse for the directory you would like to save the picture in.

When you click Set as Wallpaper the picture will automatically become the background to your Windows desk top. You can choose whether to have your wallpaper tiled across your desktop (the same picture appearing over and over again until it fills the screen. Further, you can choose to have the image centred on your desktop, or you can elect to have the picture stretched over your entire desktop. To choose between these options,

      1. Right-click on your desktop somewhere,
      2. Left-click on Properties,
      3. Left-click on the Background tab,
      4. Choose from Center, Tile or Stretch in the dropdown Picture Display box.

Set as Desktop Item and Add to Favorites are not things you generally do with images. Settings as a Desktop Item is a way for you to put a link to a web page onto your desktop so that you can view it offline, but more on that next month.

When you click on Copy the image is copied into your computer's memory. It can then be pasted (using the right-mouse button/Paste) into another application such as Word or Outlook Express.

Clicking on Properties allows you to find out a few things about the image such as its size, its location and its name. 

Note that Netscape Navigator has all these functions and a couple more. It has a feature called Create Shortcut that puts a little image on your desktop. All one has to do is click this image for Netscape to load itself and head off to that page automatically. Copy Image Location puts the address of the image (e.g. http://www.actrix.co.nz/image) into your computer's memory so that it can be pasted into another application.

A Note on Right and Left Clicking:

Knowing when to Right-click and when to left-click can be confusing for some people. As a general rule Right-clicking is for bringing up a menu of options. Left-clicking is what you do to choose or perform the option you have chosen.

Working with Text: So, you've come across some information on the web that you think a friend would like to know about. There are a number of things you can do to pass that information on.

Firstly you can send your friend the URL. URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator, and it is just another way of stating web address. http://www.actrix.co.nz is a URL, for example. To do this, right-click on the web address in your bowser's address bar. Left-click on copy. Open an e-mail to your friend, right-click in the message part of the e-mail and left-click on Paste.

If it is just the text you want to send to your friend, you can do this easily too. With your left mouse button held down, drag your mouse cursor across any text that you want to copy. Release the mouse button just after the text you want to copy ends.  This should leave you with a portion of the text blocked or highlighted in blue. Simply right-click anywhere on the selected text and then left-click on copy. This loads the text into your memory. Right-click and paste into an e-mail or other document.

Sending the Whole Page: Using both Microsoft Explorer and Netscape Navigator, you can send a whole page (images and all) to someone by e-mail. While you are at the page, click on File on the Menu Bar. In Navigator you click on Send Page or Send Frame in order for your e-mail program to be invoked with the chosen web page as an e-mail all ready to send. Using Explorer, click File, then Send, then choose Page by E-mail from one of the three options given. Keep in mind here, though, that the inclusion of graphics can make your e-mail quite large, and it may take your recipient a long time to download. Be sure they really would want you to send them the whole page, and have a good idea of the whole size of it before you send.

Bookmarks: You set up bookmarks when there are web sites you would like to visit often. Using a bookmark means that you only have to click a button to get your page rather than having to type in the who;e URL into your browser's address bar.

With Explorer, once you have gone to the page you want to bookmark, simply click the Favorites menu at the top of your browser. The click Add to Favorites on the drop down box. The next time you click Favorites, the page you have added will appear in the drop down box. Simply click it to go straight to the page.

With Navigator, click on the Communicator menu item, then on Bookmarks. In the next grey box that pops up, click on Add bookmark. The next time you click Communicator and the Bookmarks, the page will now appear on the drop down menus. Simply click it to head off to that page.

There are more things you can do with Bookmarks, but we can probably deal with anything more than the basics next time.

Miscellaneous: There are a few other things you can do, and I would encourage you to play around a little with the Menu Bar. Under Edit, for example, there is a find feature that will help you locate certain words or phrases on a large page. There are various display options under View. There are a couple of other options under File, including Print.

Lastly, just about all of the functions above can be achieved using a Macintosh computer, despite the fact that a Macintosh mouse only has one button. Macintoshs are just more dependent on the menu bar and tool bar. You can get the equivalent of a right-click menu box by clicking and holding down on an image, and then releasing the mouse on the option you choose. Selecting text, copying it and pasting can be achieved by dragging the mouse over the desired portion of the page, then selecting either copy or paste from the Edit menu.

Netscape Navigator's and Microsoft Explorer's Macintosh versions have pretty much the same way of doing things as Windows versions. As already stated, they just rely more on the menu bar in the absence of a right mouse button.