Browsing on the web can be frustratingly slow and cumbersome, especially for those of you (like me) that probably have access via a phone-line modem and have access speeds of 28.8K baud* or slower.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your time while navigating from site to site or even within a page. These tips will work with both Netscape's Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Open multiple windows
Just as in a word processing program, where you can have multiple documents open at the same time, you can open more than one window with your browser. Browsers will allow each window to download information from the Internet simultaneously and independently. This is a very powerful capability.
The key to multiple windows is the right-hand button of your mouse (on the single-buttoned Mac mouse, hold the control key down while you click). Ordinarily, when you're looking at a Web page and see a link you want to check out, you click on that link with the left mouse button. This dumps the current page out the window, and loads the new page in the same window.
But, if you use the right mouse button, and click on the "open in new window" option that pops up on your screen, the first window stays intact, and a second window opens up for the new page. You can switch back and forth between windows without suffering any of the delays you experience using the "Back" button.
You can also open up a new window through the "File" command at the top of the screen.
This is particularly helpful when you are searching and you get back of page of suggested links. Right click on those links and open them in their own window so that you can check them out and go right back to the search page without hesitation.
Moving from window to window
To switch back and forth between multiple windows, press the "Alt" key and the "Tab" key together. This will toggle you between the current window and the last window you were in. By holding down the "Alt" key and pressing the "Tab" key multiple times, you can rotate through all of your open windows (including other applications).
Other uses of the right mouse button
Right click anywhere on a page (except directly over a link) and a pop-up menu appears with a choice of "Back" and "Forward".
The latest versions of both Netscape's and Microsoft's browsers offer another alternative. Right clicking on the "Back" and "Forward" buttons at the top of the screen will bring up a list of recently visited pages, allowing you to jump right to the one you want.
More Navigating Tips
You can hop quickly down a Web site a full screen at a time by hitting the space bar.
The "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys perform the same function in both directions. The arrow keys will take you up or down a page line by line.
From within a page to get right back to the Top of the page, press the "Ctrl" and "Home" keys at the same time, and to get right to the Bottom of the page, press the "Ctrl" and "End" keys at the same time.
You can also go Back or Forward among Web pages by holding down the "Alt" key and hitting either the left or the right arrow.
Searching for a specific text string
It is very easy to find a word or phrase in the text anywhere on a Web page. Just press the "Ctrl" and "F" key at the same time and a window prompting you for the search phrase pops up. You can also click on "Edit" and then "Find" on the menu bar at the top of the window. This is a great way to find a name you are looking for immediately when on a page of records, or meet results.
Changing the size of the text
You may not have realized that you can also change the size of the font that your page is presented in. Just click on "View" and then "Fonts" (on the menu bar) and you may select either a smaller or larger font to improve your viewing comfort.
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*baud-a unit used to measure the speed of signaling or data transfer, equal to the number of pulses or bits per second [1925-30; named after J. M. E. Baudot (1845-1903), French inventor]