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Planning Retirement Online


You can do IT in later life - 45

September 2004  

You can do IT is a regular feature of laterlife.com aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web.

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring. Getting the most from your computer.jpg (5543 bytes)

Jackie has also written the two books shown here - you can find more details about these by clicking on the cover images above. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.


Via laterlife.com Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user. 

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, why not email her jackie@laterlife.com

or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too jackie@laterlife.com


September  2004   

 

Building a Website

If you followed last month’s column, you will now be able to create very simple web pages displaying different sized text, background colours and pictures, and save them in a dedicated folder on your computer. One reason to save all your pages and associated image files into the same folder is that, when linking them, there is no problem with the pathways to the pages as they all have the same folder location.

The Home Page

Websites are collections of web pages published by a single organisation or individual that are linked together.  The opening page – often referred to as the welcome or home page – should be saved with the file name index.  When people type your web address or URL into their browser’s address box in order to visit your site, they will be offered this page first of all.   

If you have already created a page that you want to use as your home page, re-name it, or save it again with the name index and delete the original.  All other pages that you create can be named normally e.g. Facilities, Pictures, Location etc. etc. depending on your website content.

 

 

Linking pages within the Website

If you had set up this Website selling your artwork and wanted to encourage visitors to buy your pictures, you could link the Picture Gallery page to the Prices page.  Here is a simple way to do this: 

  1. Make sure you have created, or at least started and named, the pages you want to link to within your Website.  Open any that will be involved in the link.
  2. On the chosen page, choose the text or image that visitors will click (typing new text if necessary) and select it with your mouse. 
  3. Click the Insert Hyperlink button on the toolbar.

 

  1. When the dialog box opens, click the Open Pages tab where you should see the names of all your open pages. Select the target page you want to link to and click OK.

  

  

 

  1. Back on your page, the selected, clickable text should now look different – blue and underlined, although a clickable image would not appear to have changed.  Make sure you now save the changes to update the file.

  2. Test the link locally by holding Ctrl down as you click with your mouse.   The linked page should then open.

  3. It is better to test links in your browser e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape.  Open your browser but stay offline and display the web page via the File – Open menu.  Click Browse to locate the web page in the normal way, select it and click OK.  When the page appears, click the underlined text and it should open the target page to which it has been linked.   You will also see that the mouse now displays a hand when hovered over the clickable text.

  4. The web page you were working on in FrontPage Express will still be open, minimised on your taskbar, so click its name to return to your web authoring program.
  5. Repeat the linking process for any text or pictures you want to be able to click to open another of your Website pages.  It is always a good idea, for example, to add a link back to the home page from any page deeper into the site that visitors will have visited.

 

E-Mail Links

If you want visitors to e-mail you for information or to buy a picture, you will want to add an e-mail link to a Contacts page.  Do this as follows:

1.      Type the text visitors will click e.g. your name, full e-mail address or text such as Click Here to contact me etc., select this entry and then click the Insert Hyperlink button.

2.      This time, click the World Wide Web tab and select mailto from the drop-down list in the Hyperlink type box. Replace the entry in the URL box with your full e-mail address, but make sure you leave the opening mailto: that has appeared automatically. This tells the browser the type of link you have inserted.

3.      When you test the link in your browser, as long as your computer is set up with an e-mail program such as Outlook Express you will open a new message window with your address already inserted in the To: box.

4.     Note: whenever you want to test links or check your page in the browser, you MUST save the changes in FrontPage Express first, and then click the Refresh button in the browser window to make sure you load the latest version of the page.

  

   

Links to pages on the World Wide Web

Common hyperlinks embedded in web pages are those to other Websites on the World Wide Web. 

1.      To add a link e.g. to the Laterlife website,  type and select the text to be clicked, click the Insert Hyperlink button and then select http: from the drop-down list. 

2.  Type the rest of the URL in the box after the http:// that will be visible at the beginning of the entry and then click OK. (You may find that the default entry starts something like http:///C:/Documents and Settings..... so make sure you remove any extra forward slashes from the address.)

 

 

3.      It is vital that you test World Wide Web links carefully as addresses can change very quickly – especially if you find them in old books or magazines.  Do this by opening the page in your browser but then connecting to the Internet.  Now when you click the linked text, the actual Website you targeted should appear.

Tables

 

Some web pages you come across may have more impact or be easier to read because the contents are arranged in columns.  To do this yourself, insert your text and images into a table.  Without gridlines showing, you can present a very neat arrangement of columns and rows.

1.     Click the Insert Table toolbar button and decide on the number of columns or rows you want.  Drag your mouse across the squares and let go to add the table to your page.

 

2.      Type some text into the first square (known as a cell) and then click in the next cell and insert more text.  Continue across the page until all the contents have been added.

3.      Adding pictures can be tricky if they are too large when they arrive.  Right-click the picture, select Image Properties and on the Appearance tab select a size around 200 in Pixels.  You will then be able to see them clearly and can drag the borders of a selected picture out with the mouse to amend the size by eye.

   

4.      To remove unwanted cells, select them and press the Delete key.  To add a new row at the bottom of the table, click in the last cell and press the tab key (to the left of the Q).  To add columns or rows elsewhere, open the Table menu and select Insert – Rows or Columns.

5.      Remove gridlines by making sure the Border checkbox is set at 0 after you right-click and select Table Properties.  In this window, you can also change the minimum width to set the size of the table on the page, and any padding or spacing options to increase the area of space round cell entries.  If you keep or increase the border, you can change its colour, so experiment to get the result you want.  One trick is to click Apply to see the effect as you make a number of changes, but only click OK when you are satisfied with the final result.   

 

In the final column on web pages next month, I will show you how you can find out the settings other web page creators have used so that you can borrow some of their best ideas, and also how to publish your Website on the World Wide Web.

     


   

 

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers
                                                 

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


Click on a book or magazine image above or below to see full details.

 

                                

              


For a wealth of books on the web and IT generally, visit Amazon and under the books section select Computers and Internet.

Don't forget to visit the general laterlife features section called laterlife interest

 


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