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Fortunately, browsers are easy to use and that makes navigating the Internet simple enough for all of us. In this section, you'll learn how to
Access Web pages.
Use bookmarks to save favorite spots.
Accessing information on the Internet is as simple as dialing a phone number or addressing an envelope. As long as you've got the right address (and a password, if necessary), you're in.
Go to a URL.
The most vital component to accessing Web sites is the URL. We told you earlier what an URL is: It's a Web address that directs your browser to the appropriate server so you can connect to a specific page or site.
Most of the time, accessing a page or site is a simple matter of clicking a link that does everything for you. Occasionally, you might have to enter the URL yourself. When this is the case, click in your browser's Address control (on the toolbar) and type the correct URL (see Figure 8.2). When you press Enter, your browser accesses the page at the specified address.
Activate a hyperlink/image link.
As just mentioned, often accessing a page is as simple as clicking a link that's provided on the current page. The link can be in the form of text or an image. You can tell when the cursor is over a link because the cursor changes to a hand with a pointing finger. Just click it and the browser automatically accesses the link's specified page.
Navigate backward and forward between previously visited Web pages.
The browser tracks your activity as you move from page to page in the current session. Using the Back and Forward buttons on the toolbar, you can return to previous pages. The Forward tool returns you to previous pages, but only after you've backtracked to previous pages. Think of your current page as the current page in a book where you've viewed pages that fall before the current page and pages that come after the current page. Click Back to access pages that fall before your current position and click Forward to access pages that occur after your current position.
Complete a Web-based form and enter information in order to carry out a transaction.
Web-based forms are everywhere. You might have to register to view free content or you might provide personal and credit information when making a purchase through a secured site. A Web-based form is simply a page that solicits information from you and passes it along to the site's server for processing and storage.
You might use a form, similar to the one shown in Figure 8.3, to provide the requested information and move from control to control by clicking each control or pressing the Tab key. When you've supplied all the necessary information, you might need to submit the form by clicking a button. The form in Figure 8.3 provides an Order button for this purpose. Or you could click Reset to clear the controls instead.
Many of us find ourselves returning to the same sites on a regular basis. When this happens, consider bookmarking the page. A bookmark is simply a saved link that you can quickly access instead of having to retype the URL each time you want to visit the page. You might also see the term favorite in reference to bookmarks.
Bookmark a Web page.
To add a page to your list of favorites (or create a bookmark), follow these steps:
You can also use Ctrl+D as a shortcut to add the current page to your favorites. In this case, the Add to Favorites dialog box is suppressed; the page is added to the bottom of the list.
Display a bookmarked Web page.
Using a favorite link or bookmark is even easier than creating one. Simply display the list of favorites by selecting Favorites from the menu. Then, click the favorite link. If the link is in a folder, select the folder and then choose the link from the resulting list.
An easier way is to just display the Favorites pane by clicking the Favorites tool on the toolbar. Doing so opens the list of favorite folders and links on the left side of the screen.
As your list of favorites grows, you might want to organize them in folders. Doing so helps you find those links more quickly.
Create a bookmark folder.
Figure 8.4 showed several folders, and each is devoted to a specific topic or category. To create one of these folders, follow these steps:
Add Web pages to a bookmark folder.
Once you have folders, you can add favorites to those folders. Access the page you want to add to your favorites list and choose Add to Favorites from the Favorites menu. In the resulting dialog box, select the appropriate folder in the Create In list, and then click OK.
If an appropriate folder doesn't exist, click the New Folder button, enter a name, and click OK. Then, select the new folder, and click OK.
Delete a bookmark.
To remove an item from the favorites list (or delete a bookmark), choose Organize Favorites from the Favorites menu. Select the item from the list and click Delete.
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