Netscape - Basic Operation

Netscape Reference Screen (V1.1N)

The diagram below illustrates the Netscape screen, and locates the various parts:

labeled Netscape screen grab

Moving around a Web Page in Netscape - how it works:

If you move your pointing device (mouse, stylus etc) around this page you will notice it will change from an arrow to a pointing hand as you move over the highlighted underlined text and some of the pictures on the screen. Wherever this change occurs, you have found a "hypertext link." If you "click" on any of these links, your browser will load that link. The link could be to a place within the same page or document, another document at the same site, or a document on the other side of the world.

How to tell where a link goes to, and what happens when you click on one:

Netscape has a status bar across the bottom that gives all sorts of useful messages.

If you position your pointing device over a

The status bar also displays useful information that can tell you what your Browser is doing, like Looking up host and Contacting host: (your URL):

Status Bar

Once you have contacted your destination, and Netscape starts loading the document, your location URL is displayed in the Location bar at the top under the box menu icons:

Location bar

Following "hypertext" links can take you all over the world. For example, some links of our own WWW Interesting Links Page can take you to England. Other links off those UK pages could go to the USA, and so on. On the Internet, it doesn't cost any more to "go to" Europe, than it does to see our own users Home Pages.


Before we go any further, a few tips to prevent you getting too lost ... the Back at the top left of your screen will step you back through previous pages one step at a time.

Back Button
The Forward button right next to it will take you forward one step at a time. Forward Button
The "Go ... View History" drop down menu from the top menu bar will give you a list of the sites you have "visited" each session. If you can remember the page you want to go back to you can select it from this list by highlighting it and pressing enter, or by double-clicking it. The "History" list starts anew every time you run Netscape.
The easiest way to cancel loading a page that is taking too long, or was chosen by mistake, is to click on the red "Stop" icon under the top Netscape menu bar. Stop Button


If you REALLY get lost, click on the "Home" icon next to the Forward button. This will bring you back to our own Home page.

Home Button

How to go to a site (URL) you already have from another source:

"URL" stands for "Uniform Resource Locator". It is the Internet address of a Web Page. A URL can be expressed as words, or as numbers. If you already have a location URL from for example a magazine or publicised over the media (TV, radio or newspaper), you can go straight there fairly simply. There are a number of options to choose from:

  1. Choose File... Open Location ... from the top menu bar, type in the location URL, and select the Open button.
  2. Select the Open Open (location) Button icon from the second menu bar, type in the location URL, and select the Open button.
  3. Click on the location bar under the second icon menu bar, backspace or delete what's there, type in your selected location and press the enter key.

PLEASE NOTE: it is VERY important to enter the text EXACTLY as you have seen it printed. If you enter capitals where it should have been lower case, and vica-versa, you won't be able to find it. Computers are very fast idiots, and most internet servers are case sensitive. They won't correct your spelling mistakes. If you have heard a URL over the radio, unless they tell you otherwise, assume the entire location is in lower case, and try that first.

This all assumes the people publicising the URL got the spelling right in the first place!

If you find a site that really interests you, and you want to be able to go back there again, Bookmark it. Select "Bookmark ... Add Bookmark" of the top menu bar, and Netscape will place a permanent entry in your bookmark list.

Bookmark ... add Bookmark

The Bookmark list can however, become fairly messy surprisingly quickly. The AWPC Internet SIG have written a good tutorial on editing Bookmarks.

SUMMARY: At this point you should now be able to recognise a "Hypertext link", follow links, bookmark sites that really interest you, and be able to move back and forward to previous sites.

How to save or print a document to keep for reference or read off-line:

If you find an interesting document you want to keep for reference, or read later, you have a number of choices:

  1. Save the document using the File ... Save as option of the top menu bar.

    TIP: If you want to preserve any hypertext link reference, use the save as htm (or html) option. You will however need to use a Web Browser to read the document, and the links probably won't work unless you're on-line.

    To save the document as easily readable text you can load into your word processor, or editor, use the save as txt (or text) option.

    Graphics won't save with the document in html or text modes. To save graphics from within Netscape, position the pointer over the graphic and press the right mouse button. Mac users or single button mouse users try positioning the pointer and holding the mouse button down. In either case a drop-down menu should appear and give you the option of saving the image (*See copyright reference below).

  2. Print the document using the File ... Print option off the top menu bar, or the Print Icon Print Button off the second menu bar.

    Graphics will print within the document, backgrounds in most cases will not.


  1. Authors can up-date their material easily and frequently on the Internet. If the information is important, bookmark a link to it so you can access the most recent version.
  2. *Copyright: all material on the Internet must be assumed to be copyright unless specifically stated otherwise. Copyright laws and penalties for breaches may vary from country to country. Saving a document for later reading or a picture for personal use is generally not a problem. Some authors even allow re-distribution of their material with certain conditions and limitations. If you wish to reproduce someone else's material, and they haven't indicated their re-distribution requirements, ask them first. If you want to quote sections verbatim from someone else's work, give them full credit for it. If in doubt about your use of other peoples material, ask the original author. Otherwise, read from a number of sources, digest, understand, and re-write using your own words.


If you experience problems printing out of Netscape, select a different printer driver from the Setup ... Specific Printer options on the printing box. The HP drivers seem to work best.

If the page you wish to print has pale text on a dark background, it will probably print as pale or white text on a white background - result: blank piece of paper! Your options are to save the document as a text file and print it from your word processor, or go into the Options ... Preferences ... Fonts and Colours and override the page colours to set dark text and light background. Don't forget to reset to Let Document Override when you've finished, or you may get bizarre results with your general Web Browsing.

Tip: To run Netscape when you are not connected to the Internet (ie if you are making your own Home Pages, or reading pages you have saved on your own machine) get this copy of mozzock.dll, save it to your hard disk in your Netscape directory, and re-name it to winsock.dll. When you run Netscape off-line, it will may tell you it can't find our server (which is reasonable - unless you dial in to our server - it won't be able to find it!!). Just clear the error message select File ... Open File and load your file.

Note: the Netscape Help menu item gets the manual directly from Netscape in the US. Therefore it won't work when you are not connected to the Internet, or if the link to the US is down (temporarilly broken), and may be slow when you are connected.


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