Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Software needs when downloading material from net
Re: Software needs when downloading material from net
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 15:31:59 -0500
Jan asked about what software was needed to use various files downloaded
from the Internet.
In almost every case you can download one of these to a directory on your
hard drive by right clicking on the image and saving it to your hard drive.
You can then open up your web browser (if you have MSIE 3.x or Netscape 3.x
or higher) and open the file using the "file" menu selection at the top of
the browser and then by picking a browse function to select the file from
your hard drive. The image will display in your browser. For most recent
versions of most word processors you can also import the image into a word
processing document (I've been told that this doesn't work with Microsoft
Works which ships on some less expensive computers as a substitute for
Office). If you would like more ability to change the image like making it
smaller, you may want to download one of the many shareware graphics
programs on the net. My favorite is PaintShop Pro at $39 from
http://www.jasc.com because it is fairly easy to learn to use and can save
an image with a transparent background for a web page. However, this is
only one of many and it is best to shop around.
Adobe PDF formatted files:
Many websites use Adobe Distiller or Adobe Exchange to convert word
processing documents or images of documents into what is known as a "PDF"
formatted file. This is done to make sure that there is a better chance that
an end user can retrieve the document and view it in the same format as the
original. Adobe offers a free Adobe Acrobat Reader program that you can
download from: http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html - once
you install this reader, your web browser should be able to read PDF
documents. If you have an earlier version like Acrobat version 2.0, it
won't be able to read documents saved in version 3.0 format. The best bet
is to update your reader, if you have the older version.
If you come across a Microsoft Word 97 file and don't have Office 97 or Word
97, you can download a free reader program from:
When you see a broken image symbol on a website it usually means that the
webmaster was working late at night, got sleepy and made the wrong link to
the image such that your browser can't find the image that is supposed to
show up. Having been guilty of the same from time to time, please let me
know if any of these symbols have shown up on any of our pages and I'll fix
them. Likewise, it is usually appreciated by most webmaster if you let them
know of a problem. The webmaster will want to fix the problem in most cases.
Depending on the website, there may be any number of files available for
downloading or viewing that require specialized plug-ins to allow you to
see, hear, or interact with a page. Usually the website will provide you
with information about what you need to download to use the information. If
not, fire off an e-mail to the webmaster and ask. Good webmastering
includes making it easy to use a web page and that means specifying when a
plug-in is needed and providing a source for a download. Webmasters
sometimes forget (something about growing old and feeble <grin>), and a
gentle reminder is not amiss.
Mike Bowman a/k/a Professor Beaver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Webmastering in the Scouting Spirit from Alexandria, VA