Help & Tips

[By Ken Dowst. Last significant update: 22 Feb 96]

UHa Computer Services User Support number: (768-) 4613
Help by phone--or in person--available 8 AM - 5 PM weekdays; noon - 5 PM weekends. Location: CC 115

These are good people. Don't hesitate to call!

Need some hands-on help? Go to CC 115--or to any computer lab--and ask a lab assistant to walk you through what you're trying to do. The main lab at the Computer Center is open until midnight, 7 days a week.


K.D.'s step-by-step guide to accessing the Web using Lynx and Netscape is now available online. There's a link to the Guide here and another link to it at the end of this "Help and Tips" document.
Before saving a document to your disk, remove the formatting code.

Netscape users: When you save a document to a floppy, you may well be getting all sorts of strange-looking "formatting code" mixed in with the text you want to save. You won't normally see this code on the screen in Netscape, but you'll see it plenty when you use your word processor to look at the file on your disk!

Here's how to avoid getting this code on your disk:

You save a file to disk by clicking on "File" and then on "Save as...". That puts a "dialogue box" on your screen. You modify the filename in a small box in the upper left part of the large dialogue box (adding A:, so the file gets saved to the floppy drive--remember?).

But before you click on the "Save" button, go down to the small box on the lower left, the one labelled "Save file as Type." This will probably be set as type "Source (*.htm)." Change that: select instead type "Plain Text (*.txt)." Then hit the "Save" button. That will remove all the "formatting code" from the document going to your disk.

You can see this formatting code on your Netscape screen, if you like, by clicking on "View" (at the top of your screen) and then on "Source." Try it right now, if you like.

Lynx users will get documents free of formatting code by saving the document in the way our "Checklist" handout explains: hit "p" (for "print") and then select "Print to Disk." Lynx users can see what the formatting code looks like, on their screen, by pressing "\". (Press it again to display text normally.) [2-8-96]


Modem users: Set your communications software right.

If calling by modem, be sure to set the "terminal type" or "terminal emulation" setting of your communications software to "VT100." You'll need good "VT100 emulation" to make the arrow keys work right.

If the "+" key doesn't work right in Lynx, you can use {spacebar} instead.

If the "-" key doesn't work right, you can use "b" (for "back a screenful") instead.

If the arrow keys don't work right, you're dead! Fix your VT-100 emulation!

Note: if all else fails, Computer Services' Computer Support Center (CC 115) will give you a copy of an old communications program for IBM-compatibles, PROCOMM. It offers good VT100 emulation. Bring your own disk. [2-16-96]


Modem users: A simpler way to capture a text file to your disk:

The best way to get your own copy of a file on the Web is to "print" it as a local file on [UHAVAX's] disk (in Lynx, press "p") ... then download the file, with an error-correcting transfer protocol such as Zmodem, from UHAVAX to your own PC.

There's a simpler way, though. Most communications software for PCs offers a "log" or "capture to disk" function. When this is open, whatever reaches your screen also gets captured to a file on your disk. So to get a disk copy of any text file on the Internet,

  1. Have a page of the Internet document displayed on your screen.
  2. Start your software's "capture to disk" function (Procomm: Alt-F1). Your software will prompt you to pick a filename for this new file.
  3. Tell Lynx to Print the file to your screen (hit "p", then select "print to screen"). The Internet file will rapidly appear on your screen without pausing.
  4. Turn off your software's "capture to disk" function (Procomm: Alt-F1).
Now you've got the file on your own disk.

The disadvantage of this method is that errors can occur in the text you're capturing. You may lose a few characters here and there, or gain some garbage characters.

Why not try this technique now, with this document?
Why not print this document on paper now?


Want to unclutter your Netscape screen?

You can see more of each Web page ... and less clutter ... by switching off much of Netscape's boxes, icons, etc. in the top half of the screen. Just click on the "Options" drop-down menu at the very top of the screen, then toggle off "Show Toolbar," "Show Location," and "Show Directory Buttons." (You can always toggle them back on again later, by the same means.)

So how do you go "Back," then, after you've made the "Back" and other buttons vanish? No problem! To go back, just click on "Go," at the very top of your screen, and then select "Back" from the dropdown menu. Clicking on "Go" then "Back" is almost as fast as pressing the "Back" button. Try it! (You can also go back by pressing Alt-{left arrow}. [2-16-96]


Other UHa faculty and students with Web pages are welcome to provide a link to this document. Copyright (C) Kenneth Dowst, 1996. Permission is granted to reproduce this document for any noncommercial purpose, provided that this copyright notice is retained.

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