Reading the World Wide Web

Making your Browser Work for You

Your browser is your way into the Web. Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are the two most popular Web browsers. To make the most out of your visits to the Web take advantage of the built in functionality of your browser. The following list offers some simple suggestions to make your browser work for you.


Both Netscape and Microsoft incorporate History functions into their browsers. A history is a list of the Web pages you have visited. If you get lost or wish to go back to a page you were previously at check the history list for where you want to be.


Both browsers allow you to mark and save a list of Web pages that you find useful or entertaining, in Netscape they're called "bookmarks" and in Internet Explorer they're called "favorites." Creating a list of bookmarks or favorites is a handy tool especially when you visit sites frequently and want to get to them quickly. Once you create a bookmark or favorite file you can access the list at any time and click on one of the site to go directly there.

Following path names

The URL is also what is called a path name. it describes the path to a particular file. By following the path name you may be able to loacte your position and find key pages within a Web site. For Example:

Notice that it ends in "index.html." this is a standard name for a homepage (this happens to be the homepage to the Writing Center Web site at CSU) so if you see it in the URL you know you're at a homepage or you can type it in at the end of the URL and you may get toa homepage.

Each backslash "/" denotes a new directory.Every directory that you chop off will lead you to a new directory homepage. For example if you chop off "/WritingCenter/index.html" you will end up at the department directory. If you then chop off "/Depts" you will end up with "" which is the homepage for CSU.

Using multiple browser windows

You should know about multiple browser windows for two reasons to avoid confusion when they open up on you and to use this tactic to your advantage.

A link may open up a new browser window and you might find that when you click your back button you don't go back to the site you were at. Just click on the the button on the toolbar at the bottom of your screen with the other browser and you will get back to where you were.

Sometimes you may find it helpful to use multiple browser windows, perhaps when you are filling out a form at one place and want to view information from another while you fill out the form or when you don't want to lose a site, but want to continue surfing.

Browser information

Discover detailed information about these browsers:

Note: Clicking on these links will open up a new browser window

Microsoft Internet Explorer
Netscape Communicator
Mozilla Firefox

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