Another exciting document management feature of Office 2000 is the ability it gives you to access Internet links quickly and seamlessly while you work. In this section, you'll learn how to connect to the Web in your Office applications, and you'll learn how to navigate a series of hypertext links using the new Web toolbar. You'll also learn how to use Internet Explorer 5 to view Office documents.
Connecting to the Web in Office applications is simple—so simple, in fact, that you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. You just select a word or cell in your document that you want to act as the doorway, or hyperlink, to the Web, and then you format it by choosing Hyperlink from the Insert menu of most Office applications or by clicking the Insert Hyperlink button. Hyperlink prompts you for the location of your file, which can be a document on your hard disk, a specific location in your document, or an Internet address, such as the home page for your business. (For example, the address for the Microsoft Press Home Page is http://mspress.microsoft.com.)
Hyperlinks appear as underlined words in a special color, and you activate them by clicking the word in your document. By default, the hyperlink first appears in blue and then when you activate it, it changes color. When you activate a Web hyperlink, Office starts your Internet browser and makes the connection using an attached modem, fax modem, ISDN line, or other communication device. Once the connection is established, the Web toolbar (described below) appears to let you switch back and forth between your open connections.
Create a link to the Web from your Office documents by following these steps:
For more information about creating hyperlinks in Word, see "Inserting and Navigating with Hyperlinks" For details on creating Internet hyperlinks in Excel worksheets, see "Inserting Hyperlinks"
After you create or activate a hyperlink in Office, a special Web toolbar appears in your application, which lets you switch back and forth between open hyperlinks, establish additional Internet connections, or run special network-related commands. You don't have to use the Web toolbar when switching between hyperlinks (you can use your browser or the Window menu instead), but in many cases you'll benefit from doing so. Figure 3-21 shows the Web toolbar and identifies the purpose of its buttons.
To close the Web toolbar, click the Close button on the toolbar's title bar or click the Web Toolbar button on the Standard toolbar.
Figure 3-21. The Web toolbar acts like a remote control for your Internet connections. Browse back and forth between open documents just by clicking a button.
The most basic features of the Web toolbar are the hyperlink navigation buttons.
You can also use the down arrow next to the Address list box to display your most recent Internet connections. To reestablish one of the connections listed, just click the address.
When you click a Web hyperlink in your Office document, you'll see the Web page in the default Internet browser for your system, typically Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. Both of these browsers allow you to view and interact with Web pages written in a formatting code known as HTML (hypertext markup language). In addition to this basic functionality, Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator allow you to run Web applications and other tools designed specifically for the Internet, and to switch quickly from one Web site to the next.
The default browser supplied with Office 2000 is Internet Explorer 5. As a result, you'll probably see Internet Explorer when you access the Web from Office applications, unless you specifically install the Netscape browser or another program. Figure 3-22 shows how a Web page we like to view looks in Internet Explorer. Notice that the address for the Web page is shown on the Address toolbar and that a collection of useful navigation buttons (Back, Forward, and so on) are presented on the Standard toolbar. At the bottom of the window, the status bar shows information about the current Internet connection, and the contents of the Web page are shown in the large Document area in the center of the window. To view a part of the Web page that you can't see now, click the vertical scroll bar next to the Document area. You can also click hyperlinks in the Web page to view other parts of the Web site.
Figure 3-22. Internet Explorer 5 lets you easily view Web pages on the Internet.
To go to a new Web page, find the Internet address, or URL, of the Web page you want to view, and follow these steps:
Internet Explorer also allows you to view Office documents in their own native format or in the new Office 2000 Web page (HTML) format. This feature allows you to open Office documents located on the Internet, your corporate intranet, or your local hard disk, without resorting to Windows Explorer or another tool.
To open and edit an Office document in Internet Explorer, follow these steps:
At this point, Internet Explorer does something interesting: it opens the document you requested in Internet Explorer, but also adds Office application commands to the Internet Explorer menu bar. This interesting feature is known as in-place editing, and it allows you to work on your document in Internet Explorer using the exact same features you're used to in the original Office application. To accomplish this feat, Internet Explorer started the original Office application and is running it in the background. As a result, you might see an icon for it on the taskbar while you work.