American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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Web screen just isn't you? You can have it your way

From the April 1996 ACP Observer, copyright 1996 by the American College of Physicians.

By Holly Epstein Ojalvo

If you're already on the World Wide Web, you're probably ready to exercise as much control as possible over what you see and how you see it. Here's how you can customize the look of your screen by using the Options and Preferences menus:

  • Options. Go to Options to hide or alter certain buttons and other information. For example, you can choose between buttons labeled with text only or with pictures and can decide whether or not to display each document's address (URL, or universal resource locator) on the screen.

Many of these options--such as hiding the directory buttons in Netscape--will actually free up screen space, allowing you to see more of the Web pages you visit without having to scroll down. Spry Mosaic even offers "kiosk mode,"which hides every button and menu choice, resulting in a very streamlined look. You can always hit Escape to bring the buttons back up.

  • Preferences. Use a palette in the Colors folder under Preferences (a sub-menu under Options in Netscape) to choose a text link color you prefer over the default blue. In Netscape, which turns links you have followed a different color from the unvisited ones, you can choose to "expire" followed links (which turns them back to the original color). Or if different text colors aren't your style, make all links appear the same color (as they do automatically in Spry Mosaic). And if, like most people, you find reading sans serif fonts on-screen easier on your eyes than serif fonts, change the default font (found in the Fonts folder in Netscape and under Configurations in Mosaic).

Semi-automation is also among your Preferences choices. For example, select the Styles folder to set the program to automatically expire followed links on a regular basis. Another time-saver: Invoke a signature file in your mail preferences so that your name, address and favorite quote appear automatically at the bottom of your e-mails.

Don't be afraid to explore your browser's Options and Preferences menus and make a few changes--you can always change them back.

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