What is Internet Explorer?

It's the program you're using right now. It's from Microsoft, and you get it free with your PhoneTech or Internet Express subscription. Internet Explorer is a "browser" - a program which lets you surf the World Wide Web.

What are those little pictures across the top?

That's the "tool bar":

Each button on the toolbar gives you instant access to a frequently-used feature.

Thebuttons are for saving a file, printing, and sending email.

When you save a file to your hard disk you have the option of saving it in "HTML" format (which you can open in Internet Explorer) or "text" format (which you can open in a word processor). Be aware, however, that the graphics you see on the Web page aren't saved - only the text.

You can easily print a Web page by clicking on the Print button. If your printer handles graphics, you will get an excellent hard-copy reproduction of the page on your screen. If it's a color printer, the results are spectacular!

The envelope button lets you send an email message. The subject of email is covered in another part of this tutorial.

You've already learned about thebuttons, which move you back and forward through the Web pages you've visited in a particular session.

Thebuttons let you stop a download or "refresh" a page. You can use the stop button to cancel a new page if it seems to be stuck, or you can click the reload button to try loading it again from the top.

Thebuttons let you jump instantly to your start page (also called a home page, hence the little house), or jump to a search page, or read the News Groups.

You can change your start page to any of the 30 million or so Web pages which are currently on the Net. Start with the page you want to use as your new start page on your screen. Then pull down the "View" menu and choose "Options." Click on thetab, and then click thebutton.

The "search page" button is the globe with the magnifying glass. Setting a new search page is just like setting a start page except that you need to click on the triangle next to "Start Page" and select "search page" before clicking "Use Current." You will probably want to assign one of the Internet search sites to this button, but you can use it for any page which you wish to access instantly, even if it has nothing to do with searching.

The subject of News Groups is covered separately.

As you surf the Web you'll find lots of interesting Web sites, and one of the most useful features of any Web browser is the ability to store a list of these sites.

You can create and maintain a list of "Favorite" Web pages with the buttons. To add the Web page which is currently on the screen to your Favorites list, click the second button (with the + on it). The window will open, showing your current Favorites.

You can (and should) organize your Favorites into folders. If you just keep adding Web pages without organizing them, you'll end up with a useless jumble.

Keep your Favorites organized by making folders within the Favorites window for different categories of Web sites. For example, you might have folders for "colleges," "hobbies," "software," etc.

If you already have a folder which is appropriate for the page you're adding, double-click it. If you need a new folder, click the button, type a name for the new folder, and then double-click on it.

Once you've opened a folder, just click to store the Web page on your screen inside that folder in your Favorites list.

To recall a page click "Favorites" in the menu bar. A Favorites list organized into folders will look something like this:

Notice that you can have folders within folders to organize your Favorites even better!

The buttons make the text on your screen bigger or smaller, and the buttons duplicate the familiar cut, copy and paste functions under the Edit menu. If you select text in a Web page by dragging the mouse cursor over it you can copy it to the clipboard and then paste it anywhere you like - into a word processing document, for example.

How can I access a Web site I've heard or read about?

If you've got the URL, it's easy. You can select "Open" from the File menu, or you can just edit this line:

The http://www. will be the same for most Web addresses, so you can just drag the mouse cursor over the remainder of the text to select it, and then replace it by typing the new text. (Click here for more help with URL syntax.) Press Return after editing this line to access the Web site.

What about Netscape?

Netscape Navigator is the browser that made the Web famous. We think Microsoft's Internet Explorer is better, but both are good. You can download a trial copy of Netscape Navigator from Netscape's Web site.

While you're at it, you might want to try the latest version of Mosaic (the original Web browser) for Mac or Windows.

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