PageMaker 6.5 for Dummies

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Overview

Millions of professional-looking pages have been designed and printed using Adobe's PageMaker desktop publishing software. Now with the program's latest release and PageMaker 6.5 For Dummies, Internet Edition, you can take advantage of all the powerful layout features built into PageMaker to create excellent pages for a whole new medium, the World Wide Web. Author and PageMaker pro Galen Gruman gets you started quickly, whether you're new to PageMaker or just new to Version 6.5, introducing you to all of the ...
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Overview

Millions of professional-looking pages have been designed and printed using Adobe's PageMaker desktop publishing software. Now with the program's latest release and PageMaker 6.5 For Dummies, Internet Edition, you can take advantage of all the powerful layout features built into PageMaker to create excellent pages for a whole new medium, the World Wide Web. Author and PageMaker pro Galen Gruman gets you started quickly, whether you're new to PageMaker or just new to Version 6.5, introducing you to all of the PageMaker program's capabilities as well as to graphic design basics you may not know. Then you discover how to work within the constraints of HTML and slow graphic download times to produce eye-catching, effective Web pages. You'll also find out how to take existing documents intended for print and convert them to documents that look like they were intended for the Web. Before you start busting your chops hand-coding documents in raw HTML -- about the most un-WYSIWYG approach there is -- use PageMaker 6.5 For Dummies, Internet Edition, to bring the benefits of professional desktop publishing to the Web.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764501265
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1997
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: Internet edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Why a Book ...For Dummies?
Why PageMaker for the Web?
About This Book
A Book for the Both of Us
How to Use This Book
How This Book Is Organized
Part I: Welcome to Publishing for the Internet
Part II: Getting Started with PageMaker 6.5
Part III: Putting Words in Print and Online
Part IV: Pumping Up Your Layout Power
Part V: Say It with Pictures
Part VI: Weaving a Web Page
Part VII: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book
Where to First?

Part I: Welcome to Publishing for the Internet

Chapter 1: So, You Want to Be a Web Publisher?
Planning Your Publication
Web and Print Pages: Just Alike or Way Different?
What Is This Thing Called HTML?
Who's the Fairest Browser of Them All?
A tour of differences
Customizing browsers
America Online 3.0
Netscape Navigator 3.0
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Chapter 2: PageMaker, Word Processors, and HTML Editors. Oh, My!
When Do I Use PageMaker?
When you want to avoid the ugly code that underlies Web pages
For straightforward Web pages
As a starting point for sophisticated Web pages
For filling in the content
When you have multiple columns
For working with graphics
For defining Web-page colors
For combining multiple stories
For creating hypertext links
When Do I Use a Word Processor?
For text-intensive projects and formatting
For simple layout and formatting
When Do I Use an HTML Editor?
To place elements precisely
For creating tables
When dealing with code
Four Things PageMaker Does Best

Part II: Getting Started with PageMaker 6.5

Chapter 3: Starting, Mousing, and Other Vital Stuff
Powering Up PageMaker 6.5
The Shortcut to Launching PageMaker
Clicking Your Way to Happiness
Chapter 4: Windowing, Scrolling, and More Vital Stuff
Making Friends with the PageMaker Interface
The dull and boring program window
The more exciting document window
Tinkering with the toolbox
Sorting through the other palettes
Talking Back to Dialog Boxes
Getting Around
Changing your view
Dealing with multiple windows
Shutting Down and Saving Your Work
Chapter 5: Filling in the Blanks
Opening a New (Or Used) Document
Starting from scratch
Working on an existing document
Making Changes to Your Defaults
Setting Up Your Pages
Page-size settings
Tall or wide?
Margins and side settings
Number of pages and page numbers
Printer Settings
Defining DPI
Dividing Your Document into Columns
Working with column guides
Playing peek-a-boo with guides
Setting Rulers and Ruler Guides
Choosing a unit of measurement
Making page elements snap to it
Creating ruler guides
Making Your Own Prefab Layout Grids

Part III: Putting Words in Print and Online

Chapter 6: All I Need to Know about Fonts and Type
A Basic Guide to Type Terminology
Text Formatting You Can Use for the Web
Character formatting
Paragraph formatting
Special character symbols
Chapter 7: The Joy of Text
Importing Text versus Entering Text Directly
Entering text directly in your PageMaker document
Creating text blocks the new frames way
Importing text
Working with Text Blocks and Frames
Chapter 8: More Joy of Text
Editing Text
Using the Story Editor
Checking Your Spelling
Teaching PageMaker to spell
Adding lots of new words to the dictionary
Finding that Special Word
Hunting down some text
Searching by format
Searching for special characters
Replacing found text with new text
Undoing Bad Moves
Chapter 9: Staying in Style
Creating and Editing Text Styles
Importing Styles
Applying Styles to Text
Exploring HTML Styles
Text styles
Headline styles
List styles
PageMaker Styles That Work in HTML
Converting Styles: PageMaker to HTML

Part IV: Pumping Up Your Layout Power

Chapter 10: The Layout Shuffle
Starting a Layout
Putting Your Text in Place
Planning the home page
Planning the section pages
Dealing with text overflow
Working with Columns
One column or two?
Making text columns line up
Altering columns and text blocks
Changing the number of columns
Moving columns and text blocks
Inserting columns or text blocks
Locking and Grouping Elements
Adjusting Print Layouts for the Web
Chapter 11: What Are Links and Layers -- And Why Should You Care?
Setting Link Defaults
The Store Copy in Publication option
The Update Automatically option
The Alert Before Updating option
Updating Individual Elements
Recognizing Symbols for Links Problems
Working with Layers
Chapter 12: Doing Less Work Next Time
Using Master Pages
Creating your document master pages
Creating additional master pages
Creating new master pages from existing ones
Applying master pages
Removing master pages and their elements
Editing a master page
Building a Template
Creating a layout from a template
Editing a template
Getting Your Library Card
Creating libraries
Adding and deleting library elements
Setting library displays
Finding library elements
Using library elements

Part V: Say It with Pictures

Chapter 13: Adding Pretty Pictures
Preparing Graphics for PageMaker
What formats can PageMaker import?
Image formats
Drawing formats
What to do before you import
Bringing Graphics into Your Layout
Copying Graphics for Export
Creating Lines
Chapter 14: Sizing, Shaping, and Other Final Touches
Sizing and Trimming a Graphic
Resizing
Cropping
Working with Graphics as a Unit
Aligning and distributing multiple objects
Locking objects in place
Applying Special Effects
But first, what doesn't work on the Web
Distorting a graphic
Colors
Photoshop filters
Chapter 15: Let There Be Color!
A Primer on Color Models
Dabbling with the Color Palette
Applying colors
Adding colors
Checking Out Color Libraries
Changing Colors
Deleting Colors
Importing Colors from Other Documents
Specifying Colors for the Web
How many colors can I use?
Where can I use colors?

Part VI: Weaving a Web Page

Chapter 16: Hop to It! Creating Hypertext Links
Setting Up Hyperlink Preferences
Creating Hyperlinks
Displaying the new hyperlinks palette
Linking to destinations
Establishing hyperlink sources
Altering Hyperlinks
Changing the name or source
Deleting hyperlinks
Importing Ready-Made Hyperlinks
Importing from a document
Importing from the Web
Using copyrighted materials
Chapter 17: Turning a PageMaker Page into a Web Page
Set Up the Master Elements
Fill the Individual Pages
Do Some Cleanup Work
Add the Hypertext Links
Export the Document to HTML
Create an export style
Select stories or pages for export
Add background graphics
Save the export settings
Choose export options
Decide if you want to preserve layout
Assign style attributes
Select a graphics format option
Execute the export
Chapter 18: Techniques for Taming HTML
Making Use of HTML Editing Tools
Managing Hyperlinks
Using hyperlinks that survive export
Setting up a Web page hierarchy
Adding hyperlinks in HTML
Tweaking the Layout with Table Cells
Resizing table cells
Merging table cells
Adding lines around cells
Examining some real table code
Finishing Up
Chapter 19: Creating Web Pages with Adobe Acrobat
When to Use the Acrobat Option
Exporting PageMaker Files to Acrobat
Selecting output settings
Managing fonts
Setting file compatibility
Compressing graphics
Handling hyperlinks
Creating outlines
Creating articles
Saving settings
Adding Extra Features

Part VII: The Part of Tens

Chapter 20: Ten Shortcut Groups You'll Always Use
Opening, Saving, and Quitting
Zooming with Keyboard and Clicks
Navigating inside Your Document
Locking and Grouping Objects
Displaying Palettes
Selecting Tools
Undoing Mistakes
Making Copies
Editing Text in the Story Editor
Formatting Text
Making Styles and Colors
Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Avoid Web Publishing "Gotchas"
Stick to Web-Friendly Formatting
Get a Grip on Using Graphics
Avoid the Jump-Happy Syndrome
Always Link to Required Programs
Label Sources and Anchors Properly
Set Your Global Preferences
Keep Page Elements in Bounds
Make Safety Precautions a Habit
Check Your Work Online
Use the Correct Tool for the Job
Chapter 22: The Ten Most Useful HTML Tag Groups
Text Formatting
Breaks in Text
Paragraph Styles
Heading Styles
List Styles
Text Alignment
Hyperlinks
Color Specifications
Housekeeping Codes
Special Type Symbols
Chapter 23: Ten Web Pages Worth a Good Look
Apple Computer QuickTime
Walter S. Arnold
Delphi
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Heidsite
IDG Books Worldwide
Macworld Daily
PC World
Thunder Lizard Productions
U.S. Robotics Pilot
Appendix: How to Install PageMaker 6.5
Basic Installation
Basic Custom Setup
More Custom Setup Options
Registering and Restarting PageMaker
Reinstalling to Change Options
Upgrading from PageMaker 6.0

Index

IDG Books Worldwide Registration Card

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First Chapter

Chapter 1
So, You Want to Be a Web Publisher?

In This Chapter

  • How Web and print pages are alike
  • How Web and print pages are different
  • How HTML works to create Web pages
  • How to plan the length of your Web document
  • How browsers affect the look of your Web pages



Face it. You're a print junkie. You crave the written word. Heck, you've got this book in your hands right now. It all probably started with bedtime fairy tales, then progressed to Dr. Seuss (the twentieth century master of the rhyming couplet). The next thing you know you're hiding comic books in your underwear drawer (okay, so maybe you still do). Sure, you read sometimes because you have to. You cram for exams. You answer those memos, review those reports, look to see if Publishers Clearing House has already Made You a Winner! You discovered magazine racks are the new singles spot of the '90s. Why, you might even be responsible for producing some of this printed stuff.

Now the Internet has you hooked and it's come time for you to join the expanding ranks of World Wide Web publishers. But unless you're among the very techno-hippest residents of the online universe, you probably don't know the Web anywhere as well as you know print. The notion of publishing in cyberspace can be intimidating, and you may end up trying to fit a square peg (print) into a round hole (the Web) when you begin to design your Web pages (which is not to say that the printed word is for squares).

Although the Web may seem new and strange, in many ways it should seem familiar. The process of learning how to publish for the Web isn't as difficult as, say, venturing from magazine design to TV production. You're still dealing essentially with text and pictures that people read and digest, even though the information appears on a computer screen, not on the printed page, and can include animation and sound effects as part of the package.

The World Wide Web (or Web for short) is a hypermedia system that lets you cruise through the many words, pictures, and sounds on the Internet. Other systems exist for accessing information through the Internet, but the Web has become the most popular, largely because of Web browsers that enable you to simply point and click to link to other places on the Internet.

Planning Your Publication

Many of the fundamentals of creating a publication are the same for the Web as they are for print. I'm thinking of the nuts-and-bolts publication planning and organization that's invisible to the reader but is the skeleton upon which the publication is built.

  • The first step in planning any publication is deciding what you're trying to communicate. Whether you're writing the Great American Paperback, a letter to Grandma, or publishing a Web page for the whole wide world -- you still have to sit down and figure out what it is you want to say.
  • Next, you have to decide who it is you're writing for. What you tell an audience of engineers about a new product, for instance, is going to be very different from what you tell a group of teenage consumers. The group to which you focus your publication is called your target audience, and identifying that group is essential to communicating successfully. For both print and the Web, this step is vital.
  • You need to organize your information in some sort of logical sequence, with the broadest information at the top of your document and more detailed information following in order by importance (such as for news stories or business announcements), by time (for events or schedules), alphabetically (for a directory or listing), or by some other appropriate order (such as by region for a cookbook). Try scratching out an outline first on paper; it might seem old-fashioned, but it works for me.
  • Finally, you need to determine just how much information you want to provide. This decision affects the length of the entire publication, as well as the length of each section (whether it's a sidebar, a series of paragraphs, a book chapter, or a linked page on a Web site). Figuring out how long each part of your document needs to be will help you better organize your material visually. It may sound obvious, but this step is critical, and many a publication in print and online failed because no one figured out how long the darn thing should be.

Planning a Web publication involves this same sort of process. Each page of your Web document needs a message worth communicating, a target audience, a logical organization, and a defined level of detail.

I'll use something near and dear to me (this book) as an example of how to organize information. Notice how the major sections, called parts, group together related information based on a particular topic (such as starting out, dealing with text, planning layouts, and so forth). Several chapters exist within each part, each detailing an aspect of the part's bigger topic. Then, within each chapter are sections and subsections that further distinguish related components. This kind of hierarchy (now, there's word to throw around at your next clambake) is typical in almost any publication -- print or Web.

Because this book has to communicate lots of information on a number of areas, I grouped similar information together to make it easier to digest one big concept at a time. I also broke big pieces of information into smaller, more focused topics to make them less overwhelming and to make finding specific information easier.

Just as there's more to an animal's innards than its skeleton, a publication's fundamentals are more than this high-falutin'-sounding hierarchy. Consider this book again. I've used some other devices to help keep the information distinct yet related -- icons in the page margins that help you find specific kinds of information that appear throughout the book, sidebars on topics not directly related but still relevant to the subject at hand, and the index and table of contents to help you navigate around this book quickly and read it in any order you want.

Now compare a Web page with a print page (shown in Figures 1-1 and 1-2) to see how organizing a document for either medium is accomplished in similar ways. The pages aren't too fancy, so you can focus on fundamentals.

The organization of Figures 1-1 and 1-2 is basically the same: general information up front and more specific information following, bulleted lists, a title and subtitles, and information grouped by topic. (More information was crammed into the print page, obviously; I explain that in the sidebar "How long should a Web page be?") Many other ways to create a print or a Web version of this example exist, but the basic principles apply for either.

Web and Print Pages: Just Alike or Way Different?

Before you dive in and start creating Web pages, you need to be aware of the basic differences between print and online publications to create the most effective and interesting Web pages you can. If you're making the transition from print to Web, you may need to get some of your old assumptions out of the way. Those old assumptions about producing print publications often don't work on the Web, and using them can turn off potential Web readers. Two examples follow:

  • Print publishers assume that people read text from beginning to end, at least within sections of a book or article. But, on the Web, readers jump around, using "hot spots" (called hypertext links) within text that let them move to entirely different stories from the one they were just reading. So the assumption of a top-to-bottom read just doesn't fly on the Web.
  • Print publishers often use devices like multiple columns to make text easier to read. But, on the Web, multiple columns are often harder to read for a couple of reasons: If the columns extend past the bottom edge of the screen, the reader has to scroll down to finish the column and then back up to start the next one -- and that's way too much of a hassle. In addition, columns can often be hard to separate on the Web because you have little control over column margins. You can't guarantee that Web readers will see the same column spacing, text size, and other key visual guideposts that you see when creating the page. (Later in this chapter, I explain why Web pages can look different depending on what you're using to read them.)

Web documents differ from print documents in two main ways that seem almost contradictory:

  • Web documents are dynamic. When you click into hypertext links (your connections to other Web pages), you can instantly hopscotch throughout the document or around the Internet to points of interest, a process akin to plucking out cue cards. Printed publications, on the other hand, are bound, self-contained units that lend themselves to a linear read.
  • The average Web document (at least the do-it-yourself kind, not the Web-page-designer-as-animator kind) tends to be static, often with long columns of text, interrupted with only a limited variety of graphics, and not much in the way of layout, which makes it seem more like a newsletter than a magazine. The text and graphics styling of printed publications, by comparison, are limited only by the boundaries of their pages.

How can this contradiction be true? Read on.

How long should a Web page be?

Many Web pages, especially the early ones, were no more than long lists of information. Until recently, the Web didn't easily support multicolumn documents, graphics with text wrapping around them, and all that other layout razzmatazz because large numbers of these elements increased the downloading time (the time it takes to get a document off the Web and on to your screen). This was so much the case that Web readers gave up and went and surfed elsewhere. Pages of text tended to look like the one in Figure 1-2, which shows about a sixth of an entire page contained in that particular Web document. (The print version is about twice as space-efficient as the Web version because Web text has to be made bigger because small text is hard to read on a computer monitor.)

Look again at Figures 1-1 and 1-2: You can actually see more information in Figure 1-1 than in Figure 1-2, even though the pages are the same size. The reason is that you can get away with using smaller type (such as 8 or 9 points) on paper and still keep the text legible. (On the Web, 10 or 12 points is a typical font size.)

Studies have shown only 5 percent of people who read newspapers get past the first few paragraphs of a story. You can blame television, or you can just say paragraph after paragraph of textual matter just isn't that exciting. The situation isn't much different on the Web. Because people hate to read long lists, smart Web-page designers break information into small chunks. These smaller pieces of information are connected by a chain of hypertext links that let you hop from connection to connection as the mood suits you. Print documents, on the other hand, use lots of headlines, titles, graphics, and other elements to keep you moving through lengthy text in either a linear fashion or by skipping around (like the elements do in this book).

The upper-left window in Figure 1-3 shows the page from Figure 1-2 redone in a style that's much more "hyperlink-y" (which has nothing to do with the adorable metal spring that rolls down staircases). The information provided in each document is largely the same, but Figure 1-3 presents it in a way that more greatly resembles a typical Web page. Neither the Figure 1-2 or Figure 1-3 style is inherently better than the other, they're simply used differently. The following are the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches shown in Figures 1-2 and 1-3:

  • In Figure 1-2, the designer assumes that the information is critical enough that people need to read through the whole document, or at least scroll through the text. If a specific piece of information is needed (in this case, the instructions for entering stories for a specific award), this format can be a bit frustrating to use because the reader has to scroll through pages and pages of material to reach the bit of information needed.
  • In Figure 1-3, the designer assumes that readers may want to jump to the specific information relevant to them rather than scroll through all the instructions. In this example, that's great if most people are applying for only a couple of awards, but what if readers are greedy and want to enter for a whole bunch of awards? All that jumping around just for a few wall plaques can become tedious. In which case, they'd probably prefer to scan the entire text in order. What's shown in Figure 1-3 isn't just one page -- the document consists of several Web pages linked together; you're seeing just a few of them (a reader, of course, would see one page at a time).

The entry form shown in Figures 1-1 through 1-3 is a real one. The print version (Figure 1-1) was mailed to entrants to fill out. The headlines make this version pretty easy to use and the layout is compact and linear. But for the Web, the awards committee posted two versions: an HTML version with hyperlinks, and a downloadable version designed to be "pulled down" from the Web, read, and printed out from the user's computer. From there, the document could be mailed back with the entry.

Wait a minute. Did I say two versions were posted? I meant three. The page creators later decided that some people would prefer one big file to scroll through on the Web. So the document in Figure 1-2 was hyperlinked to the main screen (shown in Figure 1-3), giving online readers a choice to either jump to what they need or read the whole thing on screen. See, you can have your nonfat cake and eat it, too! (More on how to accomplish this is in Part VI.)

Web documents can be designed to allow readers to acquire information through a line-by-line read, or by a hop, skip, and a jump, so you can choose the best approach for your message. Although print documents have this kind of flexibility -- that's why this book has a table of contents and an index to let you turn to specific sections -- this mixing of formats isn't as easy in print as it is on the Web, where your only real limitations are time and the size of your available file space.

What Is This Thing Called HTML?

Web documents rely heavily on the HT in HTML (HyperText Markup Language). HTML is a programming language that makes it possible for your pages to be used on the World Wide Web. HTML is based on a special set of codes embedded into text that add text formatting and hypertext links. When you click into a hypertext link for the item you're interested in, the information you want pops up from a Web document anywhere in the Internet. Within your own document, it divides the content of your publication into many separate pieces that you can connect by jumping from one link to another.

Imagine going to an art museum with a separate room for each artist. Every room has four doors, each leading into an adjoining room. The path you take through the museum isn't necessarily the same as someone else's chosen path, so you are likely to end up seeing a different set of paintings and artists in a different order than another person. You may see some of the same artists another person sees, or you may not. (If you've ever been to the Chicago Art Institute, you'll know exactly what I mean!) It's numerous options like these that make "surfing" the Web the ultimate in customized reading, although you might not realize you're customizing what you see.

In a hypertext document (such as on the Web), you're traveling along your own personalized reading path.

Who's the Fairest Browser of Them All?

Much of the text formatting you rely on when designing print documents does a disappearing act when it comes time for its journey to the Web. Chapter 6 provides examples of formatting that runs into trouble along the way to the Web -- the mixed results of using columns, the lack of choice of specific fonts, and the inability to do sophisticated formatting like text wraps.

Part of the reason for this is that HTML is a primitive formatting language -- more primitive than that of even very early PageMaker. Another reason is that each Web browser interprets HTML differently (a browser is the software that lets you view Web documents). This means that what you see on your browser doesn't necessarily look exactly like what I see on my browser, or what your Uncle Samson sees on his browser.

Even on the newest versions of the three most popular browsers -- Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and America Online (which uses a version of Internet Explorer) -- the same page is going to look different on each one. The page is also going to look different in Windows than on a Mac. Older versions of browsers display pages differently than newer ones. Not only are some newer features like table formatting not going to display correctly on older browser versions, but the look of text may vary from one version of the browser to another. The width of the browser window also affects column widths and how text lines wrap (move from line to line). To make the whole process even more complicated, many browsers let individual users set their own preferred fonts and sizes.

What this all means is that Web-page font sizes are going to change, columns are going to shift, and text may appear in different fonts depending on the equipment being used to cruise the Internet. That means your documents probably won't look exactly like what you create in PageMaker, or after you tweak them in an HTML editor, once those documents are on the Web.

These discrepancies are unavoidable. My advice is to avoid spending too much of your time fine-tuning type sizes and column placements. Instead, focus on the organization of your content and making your arrangements simple so that your publication can survive the trip to the Web.

Notice that I haven't said anything about graphic images changing in appearance depending on where they're viewed. Pictures also can look different from browser to browser and platform to platform, although the difference is usually confined to varying color hues (see Chapter 15 for more on this). Because Web graphics are bitmapped images -- made up of a predefined, fixed series of dots -- the likelihood of your browser making your images look any different than they do in PageMaker, Photoshop, or Corel Photo-Paint is practically impossible.

A tour of differences

How different can the same page look from browser to browser? Examine Figures 1-4 through 1-9. They show the same page as it appears in America Online 3.0, Netscape Navigator 3.0, and Internet Explorer 2.0 for both Windows 95 and Macintosh, all at their default settings. These browsers are updated over time, so the version you own may be a more current one than was available when this book was written.

If you look carefully at Figures 1-4 through 1-9, you'll notice that the formatting varies somewhat from browser to browser and platform to platform. (I scrolled up or down a bit on each screen to better point out the differences.) You can see that the text size varies, as well as the positioning of the columns.

  • The size of the text and the font it's displayed in differ widely. Some browsers display text at a larger, more readable size -- but at the price of showing less information. The most efficient at displaying text are America Online and Navigator for Mac, while the least efficient at text display are America Online and Navigator for Windows.
  • The width of the index column varies significantly, from too skinny (such as America Online for Windows 95 and Internet Explorer for both Mac and Windows) to pleasantly wide (such as Navigator for Windows).
  • Column spacing varies a little from browser to browser, and in all cases columns are a bit too close to each other.
  • The text efficiency noted earlier is really noticeable in America Online for Mac and Navigator for Mac -- you can actually see an extra story on your screen, plus much more of the index than in other browsers.
  • The spacing around graphics varies, with America Online for Mac and Navigator for Mac and Windows adding more space above graphics than the other browsers. The extra space helps to separate stories a little better.

You, too, can use Web publishing lingo

To become savvy to the vocabulary used in publishing to the Internet, just cruise through the following terms:

Browser A program that lets you view, deliver, and receive information and files over the Internet. A browser plug-in is a program that the browser uses to add functionality, such as the display of animation (Shockwave, for example) or motion video (such as QuickTime).

Internet The global network of computers that supports the means for computer users around the world to communicate. It includes the World Wide Web, Internet Relay Chat, Gopher, news groups, and FTP.

World Wide Web The Web for short, this portion of the Internet lets computer users anywhere view information and exchange data. It is based on the Internet's HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which allows for the display of documents on the Web. The http:// at the start of a Web address signals a computer's browser that the person is using the Web portion of the Internet.

Web page A document viewed on screen through a Web browser, rather than in a word processor or page-layout program.

HTML The HyperText Markup Language is a set of specifications for formatting text and inserting graphics on a Web page. The HTML language is fairly primitive (it doesn't support fonts and symbols that PageMaker users take for granted) because the first Internet users in the 1970s were on mainframes, DOS PCs, and UNIX workstations, and HTML was written to take their limited display capabilities into account. Now that Windows and the Mac rule the PC world, HTML is slowly evolving to support richer formatting.

Hyperlink One of the cool things about Web pages is that you can create hypertext, which creates links to other pages or even other Web sites. The text usually appears in blue and is underlined, and clicking it just once with your mouse immediately transports you to a new location (the hyperlink's destination). You can navigate the Web quickly, jumping from one place to another with the click of your mouse.

Internet Relay Chat This part of the Internet allows a form of live conferencing among groups of people, who can simultaneously read each other's text messages.

Gopher The Internet's search function, which lets you find files on the Internet.

News groups These are essentially bulletin boards on the Internet, where people can leave messages that anyone can read and add their own messages to. The news groups are arranged by topical interest.

FTP The File Transfer Protocol is one way that people and companies make files available for transfer from their computer to your computer. (The other way is to have a hyperlink to a file on their computer.)

Customizing browsers

If you've read the preceding sections of this chapter, you know that browsers can make Web pages look a little different than what their creators intended. Here's a chance to get even -- you can call some of the shots on how your browser displays pages. The following shows you some options to customize the way the three major browsers display pages.

America Online 3.0

American Online allows you really only one custom option: You can ask for images to be drawn after the entire page has been downloaded to your computer. This is a more efficient process than watching the graphics files gradually materialize on screen as they arrive. You can do this through the Prefs button in the AOL browser, which is located just below the box for the URL line (the Internet address box). This takes you to the Preferences dialog box shown in Figure 1-10.

Netscape Navigator 3.0

Netscape Navigator gives you a number of choices to individualize your screen viewing. To select your custom preferences, use Options-->General Preferences to open the dialog box shown in Figure 1-11.

In the Appearance pane, check the Underlined option in the Link Styles section (Windows) or Followed Links Expire (Mac) to specify that hypertext links (words or phrases you click to get to other spots on the Web) are underlined.

In the Fonts pane (shown in the figure), select the font you want for your text. You need to specify fonts for two types of text: fixed text and proportional characters. Fixed text is used for some lists and commands on the Web, to indicate file names, and to show what you need to type into your computer. Generally, you want to choose a font that looks like typewriting (Courier is a good example). Proportional characters are pretty much all the rest of the type fonts you see on the screen.

You can also change the size of the text in the Appearance panes. So, if you're not seeing enough of the text in your browser window, you can reduce the size of the text to fit more on your screen. Figure 1-12 provides an example of reformatted text and how it can change the appearance of your Web page. Compare it to Figure 1-6, which displays the same information with a different text size and font.

In the Colors pane, choose the color you want the hyperlinks to appear in. Hyperlinks are the connections to other material within your Web document or to material in other documents. They stand out from the rest of the text through the use of color or underscores. You can pick colors both for read hyperlinks (ones you have clicked on) and unread hyperlinks (not yet clicked on). You can even choose the color of regular text, although I suggest you leave the regular-text color at a safe, readable black.

In the Images pane, you can tell Navigator how to deal with colors that may have been specified in a Web document but that your monitor can't display. I recommend you leave this on the default setting, which is Automatic. You can also choose to have graphics display while the page is downloading or after it's done. I prefer to have this set at After loading (so you can read the text while the images are still loading), but either preference works.

Don't worry about the other panes; they don't affect what you see on screen.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0

Internet Explorer fans are well aware that Explorer 3.0 is the most recent version now available. However, at the time this book was written, Microsoft had not yet released Explorer 3.0 for Macintosh, so I'm covering just Explorer 2.0 here.

You can exercise your options on a number of Internet Explorer settings to suit your personal taste. Use View-->Options to open the set of tabbed panes that control the Internet Explorer preferences. Figure 1-13 shows the Options dialog boxes for Mac and Windows 95 (obviously, they look very different).

In Windows 95, limit your dabbling with Options to just the Appearances pane, which lets you set everything from fonts to link colors.

On the Mac, use the following panes (Windows users should follow the Mac steps but look for all the options in the Appearances pane):

  • In the Font pane, choose the font you want for the majority of your text (that's called the Proportional font) and the font for command examples and some lists (called the Fixed-width font because they default to fit in a set width, like a typewriter font).
  • In the Page & Link pane, you can set the text and background colors, tell Explorer the best quality to use for image display (lower quality images display faster), and specify what kinds of sound files to play if a Web page happens to use them. You can also determine the colors for hyperlinks that are unread (not yet clicked on) and read (clicked on), as well as whether links are underlined.
  • In the Display pane, you select when the full screen is displayed -- either before graphic images are downloaded, or after Explorer figures out image dimensions (my preferred setting, because you can then read the text while the graphics are loading), or after images are downloaded. Note that Internet Explorer for Windows 95 has no equivalent for this option setting -- a rare occasion when the Mac version outdoes the Windows version of a Microsoft product.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    Buyer Beware

    IF you want a great book about Web page development, this is your book! In fact, I wish the title had been a little more clear on this point. For all the tens of thousands of us who still do DTP and are looking for the same, typically first class coverage of this particular software program, IDG messed up on this one. There is no DTP version presently in print. Which is too bad.

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