Preferences in Navigator are like Internet Options in Explorer. You can use them to set and change all manner of settings within the program. You can alter how the program displays information, captures information, the length of the history of Web sites you've visited, and more.
To open the Preferences window, open the Edit menu and select Preferences (see Figure 9.15).
Figure 9.15. The Preferences screen allows you to change basic settings in Navigator.
On the right side of the Preferences screen, you can select the page you want for your home page (middle pane) and a different page (if you want) to appear each time you start Navigator. For example, a lot of people want to pick up their surfing where they last left off, and you can do that by selecting "Last page visited" in the top pane of the Preferences window. In the bottom pane, you can select the items you want to appear in your toolbars .
Here's a look at some of the other features you can alter using Preferences:
Internet Search ” You'll learn more searching in Chapter 12, "Searching." Suffice it to say, there are a lot of options for search sites on the Internet. You've no doubt heard of or used Yahoo!, Lycos, and many others. Netscape offers its own search tools, but it also realizes you might want to use a different site. By clicking Internet Search (under the Navigator menu in Preferences), you can tell Navigator which site you want to use for your searches (see Figure 9.16).
Figure 9.16. Navigator allows you to choose your default search site.
Instant Messenger ” Instant Messenger is integrated into Netscape Mail. So much so, in fact, that when you open an email from someone who is an Instant Messenger user and is currently online, a little Instant Messenger icon shows up next to their email address. You can enable or disable this function in the Instant Messenger menu in Preferences.
Collecting Addresses ” One of the least fun things about emailing is entering all those email addresses into an address book. Netscape allows you to automatically save email addresses from incoming and outgoing emails in a special address book called Collected Addresses. Then, if you want, you can easily drag them into your regular address book. This option is enabled by default; you can disable it in the Address Books window in the Mail and Newsgroups menu in Preferences.