Silly Dog 701 Netscape Communicator Tips
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For people who browse the Web, Navigator 4.0x+ or 4.5+ will be their primary Communicator application. While major functional changes have been made in the browser--changes that relate to support for Java, JavaScript, and HTML Style Sheets--most of the modifications have to do with Navigator's user interface.

Useful Tips in Netscape Communicator

(covering Communicator versions 4.0x and 4.5x+)

Choose part of Netscape Communicator:
Over All Navigator Conference Composer Collabra/Messenger Netcaster


Get the Latest Version

Please go to Netscape Browser Archive for latest version of Netscape.

Make your download trouble-free

Download With Confidence Using SmartDownload! SmartDownload lets you pause, resume and surf the Web while you download. For more info click here.

Get the Netscape Turn-Up for IE4

You can make your Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 the same smart as SmartBrowser featuring in Netscape Communicator 4.5 or 4.06+. Just use your Internet Explorer 4 to go to and follow the screen.

Fix your Windows 95, (no more Invalide Page Fault in Kernel32.dll)

If your Windows95 is not OSR2 version, it is a good idea to get Kernel32.dll update from
This update resolves a memory leak which occurs when opening and closing a Socket using the Windows Sockets API. This leak occurs in the allocation and non allocation of the memory for the socket by the Windows 95 kernel (Kernel32.dll version 4.00.950). This update resolves this memory leak in the Windows 95 kernel. (Invalid Page Fault in Kernel32.dll)

Without this update, running a Windows Sockets application over long period of time, especially one which opens and closes a large number of sockets, will result a significant resource drain. This can cause the Windows swapfile to grow very large, overall deterioration of performance, and over time, possible system instability. This update allows users to better run such applications for long periods of time without loss of system performance and stability, and without requiring users to reboot their computers periodically to free system resources.

Download Only What You Need

Communicator comes in three versions, and you can save space and download time if you don't need the full package. There are Netscape Communicator Standard Edition, Netscape Communicator Professional Edition, and Netscape Navigator Stand-Alone Edition. Standard and Stand-Alone Editions are now absolutely free. The Typical setup contains all the Communicator components plus such extras as help files and the Netscape Media Player. The Custom setup lets you pick and choose only the elements you want. And as always, you can add any components any time by SmartUpdate, provide you have Netscape Communicator 4.04 or above.

Get Fast Access To All of Communicator

Use the new Access bar to easily bring up your Navigator browser, Messenger Inbox, Collabra discussions, or Composer HTML editor. This small toolbar can appeared docked in the lower right corner of your Communicator application window or as a floating toolbar. To make the docked toolbar float, just click the icon on the left edge of the toolbar and drag it anywhere you'd like on the screen. Right-click the top of the floating toolbar to access options such as Always On Top, which anchors the toolbar to the active application window. Other options allow you to choose whether the toolbar is horizontal or vertical. To return the toolbar to its docked position, just click its close button.

Walk Through Multiple Windows

You can cycle through all open Navigator, Mailbox, and Discussion windows by repeatedly pressing Ctrl-Tab. This shortcut doesn't work in Composer. (This feature is not supported by the Mac.)

Open Netscape in "canvas" mode (No menu bar)

The command line switch -sk works just fine. Make sure that you're adding the switch "outside" the quotes assuming your path is the default, such as:
"C:\Program Files\ ...... \Program\netscape.exe" -sk
Thanks to Jay Garcia, article taking from Netscape Communicator newsgroup.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Go back to previous page: Alt-left arrow
Go forward to next page: Alt-right arrow
Go to end of document: Ctrl-End
Go to top of document: Ctrl-Home
View document source: Ctrl-U
View document Information: Ctrl-I
Add new Bookmark: Ctrl-D
Go to Bookmarks: Ctrl-B
Exit (quit): Ctrl-Q
Find: Ctrl-F
Find again: Ctrl-G
Get new mail: Ctrl-T
Create new message: Ctrl-M
Open new Web browser window: Ctrl-N
Bold text (in Composer): Ctrl-B

Get a Personal Digital Certificate

By using a personal digital certificate, you can verify your identity to sites that require such verification. While there are various levels of certificates available, you can get a free Class 1 Digital ID from VeriSign. (This feature is not supported by the Mac.) To do this, click the Security toolbar button. In the menu bar on the left of the window that opens, select Yours (under Certificates). Click the Get A Certificate button. In the Security Information dialog box, select Continue, and Navigator launches a new browser window linked to VeriSign. Click the VeriSign link, select Continue, then click the link to the Digital ID center and follow the instructions provided on the page (you'll be choosing a Digital ID for browsers). Once you obtain the ID, it will automatically appear in your personal certificates listing. (Note: you need a valid email account to set up a digital ID from VeriSign.)

Let Netscape Be Your Guide

Click the new Guide icon to get a drop-down list of some of the options previously found in Navigator's Directory menu. The options include The Internet, People, Yellow Pages, What's New, and What's Cool.


Easy way to make Bookmarks

You can add a URL to your bookmarks by dragging a URL from a page to the Bookmark Quickfile button, and you can even specified the location of the bookmark by drop the URL into the appropriate folder.

Make Your Own Personal Toolbar

You can drag and drop your favorite sites into the Personal Toolbar, Drag the small icon next to the word Netsite to the Personal ToolBar. After this, you can click the button (your favorite link) straight away without click the bookmark.


Yes, very smart! All you have to do is type some common words/phrase in the location field. Netscape will automatically go to the most sensible web site. If Netscape cannot find a nice matched website, Netscape will show you the search results. This function only available in 4.06+ and 4.5+.

Shortsuts in URL

You may already know in Netscape Navigator 3, you don't have to type http:// at the beginning of Netsite field you can type or Now you can also simply add a path name like cnn/today and Netscape will go to .

Get rid of scrolling in status bar

Don't tell me you like to see s-c-r-o-l-l-i-n-g in status bar, unless you are the scrolling maker. Simply press <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<S> together and you will lose the bottom panel (status bar). To bring status bar back, simply press the same keys again.

Trade Graphics for Speed

The easiest way to speed up your Web browsing is to avoid downloading images. To force Navigator to ignore graphics, select Edit/Preferences from the main menu, then select the Advanced category. Uncheck the Automatically Load Images option. If you later decide that you want to see an image, just right-click (Mac users: click and hold) the image's placeholder icon and choose Show Image from the menu that pops up. To see all the images on a page, just go back to the Preferences box, turn the Automatically Load Images option back on, and reload the page.

Verify Faster

To avoid having to reload a cached document, Navigator stores retrieved Web pages in memory caches and disk caches and checks each newly requested document against both. This approach can save time if Navigator finds a document, but it can also waste time if the program checks the caches too often. To avoid this delay, select Edit/Preferences from the main menu. Next, click the plus sign (the triangle on Macs) next to the Advanced category, and then click the Cache category that appears. Under "Document in cache is compared to document on network," check either the Once Per Session or the Never option.

Using Helpers

Helper applications customize Navigator to your specific needs. For instance, you can tell Navigator to automatically launch your favorite image editor whenever you download a TIFF file.
To set up helper applications, select Edit/Preferences from the main menu, then click Applications under the Navigator entry. There you can edit existing helper-application choices by selecting a file type from the list and clicking the Edit button. In the Edit Type dialog box, select a helper by choosing the Application option and browsing to the app you want. The next time you download a file of that type, the application you selected will launch.
You can also add new file types by clicking the New Type button, entering the file type and file extensions, and specifying the appropriate application to launch.

FTP in Both Ways

Downloading files from FTP servers via Navigator is nothing new, but Communicator allows you to upload files as well. The syntax for FTP is If you leave out the username and password, you use the standard anonymous FTP login, so it's: While connected to an FTP URL, you can drag and drop files from your desktop to the Navigator window to upload them to the server (assuming you have the proper permissions)

Go Back Fast

It gets old fast having to click the Back and Forward buttons multiple times to find a page you visited in your surfing session. To jump backward or forward more than one page at a time, click and hold the Navigation toolbar's Back or Forward button to bring up a drop-down list of recently accessed pages. Select the one you want, and jump there immediately. Of course, you can also click Go in the main menu for a similar list. Or click the arrow to the right of the Netsite box for a drop-down list of sites you've visited in this and previous sessions. (This feature is not supported by the Mac.)

Use Right Mouse-button

In older versions of Navigator, you can right-click a link to bring up a menu that lets you add the link to your bookmark list, open the link as a new browser window, save the page that the link refers to as an HTML file on your hard drive, or create a Windows 95 Shortcut. (On Mac, just click and hold for the same options.) With Navigator 4.0, you can also right-click anywhere on a page to set it as your wallpaper, to view its HTML source, or to view document info for that page. (This feature is not supported by the Mac.)

Try keyborad ? Shortcuts?

Tired of moving mouse to get the link? Press <Tab> to jump between links on a page or <Shift>+<Tab> to jump backwards.
Go back to previous page: Alt-left arrow
Go forward to next page: Alt-right arrow
Go to end of document: Ctrl-End
Go to top of document: Ctrl-Home
View document source: Ctrl-U
View document Information: Ctrl-I
Add new Bookmark: Ctrl-D
Go to Bookmarks: Ctrl-B
Exit (quit): Ctrl-Q
Find: Ctrl-F
Find again: Ctrl-G
Open new Web browser window: Ctrl-N
Special, turn off status bar Alt-Ctrl-S
Special, show woring socket: Alt-Ctrl-T
Special, go to Netscape FishCam page (live video): Alt-Ctrl-F


Send multiple files

To select multiple files for transfer drag them into the "File(s) to send" area of the File Transfer tool. Click the button directly below the File menu to transfer your list of files in the background.

Get your photo on the net

Almost any type of image on your hard disk will serve for your Conference Business Card, though some .bmp files will display upside down. To correct this, open Microsoft Paint and "flip" the image. Select File**Open and choose the .bmp image you want to use. Select Image, Flip**Rotate, then check Flip vertical and click OK. Save the file under a different name so you won't lose the original, then open Conference. Choose Call**Preferences and click the Business Card tab. Click the button at the right of the Photo field at the bottom of the window and select the bitmap to import. Don't want to deal with Paint? Convert the image to .jpg if you have a graphics conversion program, such as Paint Shop Pro.


Resize Images

Images for Web pages or mail messages can now be resized without launching an external image editor. Once you've dragged an image from Navigator into the Composer Window, click its border, then drag to resize.

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple With all its bells and whistles, Composer may be overkill for your e-mail needs, especially if most of your recipients don't use Netscape's software and can't see your rich text or online images. To disable the HTML and formatting buttons, select Edit**Mail and Discussion Preferences, then click on the Messages tab. Check off the By default, send rich text messages option.

Get Noticed

If you want search spiders like Hotbot and Infoseek to notice your Web page, use Composer to set META tags. Select Format**Page Properties. Click the Advanced tab, then the User variables box. In the Name field, type "contents." In the Variable field, type keywords that people might use to find your site, separated by commas. Then click the Set button.

Collabra / Messenger

See What's New

The default setting for newsgroups views all messages, which means loading roughly 7,000 postings, many of which are expired. To see only new and unread postings, choose View**Messages**Threads with New. If you find a particular thread particularly annoying, click the first message and select Message**Ignore Thread (or press <Ctrl>-<I>).

Get the Message

Do you constantly have to adjust your window's width or rearrange columns so you can read an entire subject line or sender name truncated within a narrow column? You don't need to. Right-click anywhere in the Inbox and select Title Tips (or just make sure it has a check mark next to it). Now position the mouse over the Sender, Subject, or Date line of any message and a "tooltip" will pop up with the complete text.

Preview Messages With Multiple Panes

Double-clicking message headers to open mail grows tiresome, doesn't it? At the bottom left of the in-box (above the status bar), you'll find a blue double-triangle. Click that tiny icon to preview messages by dividing the in-box into two panes (the bottom one is the preview pane). To return the window to one pane, click the double-triangle again.

Add Images to Your Mail

Want to mail an image you see on a Web page? From the Message Center, select File**Compose Message. After the message window opens, switch to Navigator, and drag an image into the open mail window. If your recipients use Netscape, they'll see the inline image without having to launch a viewer. Others will receive HTML code.

Search for an E-mail Address Without Leaving Messenger

When composing e-mail, you can search e-mail directories such as Four 11 or Bigfoot without leaving the mail window. Select Edit**Search Addresses. Drop-down menus allow searches by organization or phonetically. You can add any LDAP directory , such as the one at the University of Michigan, to your search list.

Saving Attachments

The default setting for viewing attachments is inline, leaving you no way to save them. But there's a simple fix: To save an attachment to your hard disk, select View**Attachments**As Links.

Find a Thread Quickly

Finding that conspiracy theory you read last week no longer means wading through postings. While viewing a message, select Communicator**Bookmark**Add Bookmark. Now you can find messages quickly and view them in the browser window instead of opening the Message Center.

Delay Mail Delivery

If you compose mail offline, say on a notebook away from an Internet connection, you can put messages in the out-box and send them later. After composing a message, select File**Send Later. When you are ready to send it, select Message**Send Messages in Outbox.

Sort Messages in Ascending and Descending Order

In keeping with the Windows 95 Explorer, now you can sort messages in ascending and descending order by clicking the Sender, Subject, or Date column headings; one click is for ascending, two is for descending.

Sort E-mail by Thread

The best sort option is the one that groups messages by common threads. There's a thread button to the left of the Subject column heading, which looks like four lines stacked on top of each other. Click to group the responses together. To expand a thread, click the + sign, just as you would expand a folder in the Windows Explorer.

Check E-mail in Background

Communicator includes a notification tool that checks your mail in the background--without requiring you to open Navigator or Messenger. To set up the notification, activate the Windows Start menu and select Programs/Netscape Communicator/Utilities/Netscape Mail Notification.
Alternatively, in the pop-up menu include Run Mail, which opens the Messenger window; New Messages, which opens a new Composition window; Options, which lets you set Notification's properties; and Enable, which toggles automatic mail-checking on and off.

Mailboxes Corrupted?

If you think this happened to you, you can force Communicator to rebuild them:
1. Close the Messenger Mailbox.
2. Go to your mail folder, you can get this from Preference.
3. Delete all files with an .snm extension.


Note: Netscape Netcaster is no longer included since Netscape Communicator 4.5 and above.

Find Channels

You can find most Netcaster channels through the Channel Finder interface, a narrow window that appears on your screen when you launch Netcaster. Netcaster ships with a number of major content providers preinstalled in the Channel Finder's Business Focus and In General tabs. These include news sources like, CNNfn, and CBS.SportsLine.

Find More Channels

Click the More Channels button near the bottom of the Channel Finder. This brings up a browser window (also business and technology to lifestyle and adventure. As new Netcaster content providers register with Netscape, they'll be added to this interface; you'll download links to their sites each time you go to the More Channels site. (Some providers will make their Web sites available as Netcaster channels without registering with Netscape. These sites will have a Netcaster-ready Add Channel button that will allow you to subscribe to the site. To find such sites, you'll have to go through normal search sites, such as CNET's SEARCH.COM.)
Click a category that interests you, and a list of channels in that category will appear in the middle of the Channel Finder screen. Just click a channel to see a splash screen describing it; some channels also include a Preview Channel button to access more information about them. You can click the More Channels button at the bottom of the list of channels to see more choices.

Subscribe to Channels

Once you've found a channel that interests you in the large Channel Finder window, subscribing to it is easy: just click the channel's Add Channel button. Once the channel is finished downloading, click the Continue button. (The first time you subscribe to a channel, you'll be asked to register with Netscape Member Services by filling out the form presented to you.) Depending on the channel you subscribe to, you'll see either an Add dialog box, which lets you confirm the name and URL of the new channel, or a Channel Properties dialog box, which lets you confirm the name and location of the channel and set the subscription's properties (such as how frequently Netcaster checks for updates). Click OK to accept the channel's default properties.
If you go back to the small Channel Finder window and click the My Channels option near the bottom of the window, you'll find your new channel in the list of subscribed channels. Click the channel to launch it; most channels default to Webtop (full-screen) mode.

Subscribe to Web Sites

As with Internet Explorer 4.0, Netcaster allows you to subscribe to Web sites as well as to Netcaster channels. Subscribing to a site tells Netcaster to download the site in the background; then, when you're ready to view it, you can do so without having to wait for the pages to download. You can even view the site when you're not connected to the Internet.
Since standard Web sites don't have the Add to Channels button you use when subscribing to channels, you'll have to add sites manually. To do this, click the New button on the bottom menu of the Channel Finder. This brings up a blank Channel Properties dialog box. Enter the name and URL of the Web site in the Name and Location fields and click OK.
If you click the My Channels option in the Channel Finder, you'll see that the site has been added to your subscribed channels.

Set Your Own Subscription Schedule

You can set Netcaster to update a subscribed Web site or channel on a set schedule, so the information is ready for you to view at your convenience. In the small Channel Finder window, click My Channels to see a list of your subscribed channels. Right-click a channel and select Properties from the pop-up menu to open the Channel Properties dialog box. On the General tab, select a time interval from the pop-up list under the check box marked "Update this channel or site every___." If you choose daily or weekly updates, you can also set the time of day or the day of the week to update the site.
The catch with scheduling update times is that Netcaster has to be running and your computer has to be connected to the Internet when the appointed update time comes around. While you can hide the Netcaster interface without quitting Netcaster, you may find that scheduled updates are not practical if you connect to the Internet via modem--especially if you have to pay for your access time.

Download Only What You Want

Each subscribed Web site or channel tells Netcaster to automatically download a certain number of its levels (just the index page of a site, or the index page plus all pages it links to, or those plus the pages they link to, and so forth). But you can increase that number if you want quick access to more levels than the channel or site's default. Likewise, you can decrease the default if you generally don't go very deep into a site.
Right-click the channel or site in the Channel Finder and select Properties from the pop-up menu. Click the Cache tab and type a new number in the area marked "Download ___ level(s) deep in site."
The more levels Netscape automatically downloads, the less time you'll waste waiting to view pages. On the other hand, increasing the number of levels often results in an exponential increase in the number of pages and amount of data downloaded--and the amount of cache space you'll need to store it. If you overdo it, background downloads can quickly soar from a few seconds to several hours.

Webtop or Browser Window

Most channels default to Webtop mode, in which the channel effectively takes over your desktop like wallpaper. If you prefer, you can have it appear in a standard browser window.
To change a Web site or channel's display setting, click My Channels in the Channel Finder, then right-click the channel and select Properties from the pop-up menu. In the Channel Properties dialog box, click the Display tab and choose either Navigator Window or Webtop Mode, then click OK.

Unsubscribe from Channels or Web Sites

To delete a channel or Web site subscription, simply right-click its name in the My Channels menu and choose Delete from the pop-up menu.

Content in this page was last modified on 17 June 1999, the layout was changed in 27 April 2001.
Copyright © 1997 - 1999 Antony Shen. All rights reserved.

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