Making a Web Page With Netscape Composer

(Print out this set of instructions)

First of all you can start up Netscape and in the Help section under Help on the menu bar you can click the Index button and type in Composer to get to the Help area for doing all this stuff.

Under Communicator on the menu bar, open Composer.  A blank page opens up ready for your material.

The text on this page was managed just as in any word processor. Look under Format on the menu bar.  Don't be afraid to mess around; you won't break anything.  Worst case scenario is that you'll have to start over.  I like playing in the Color option, dragging the cross hair in the circle around to fine tune my colors.  Just highlight the text you want to affect and go to Color....

Once Composer was open I made a new folder on the desktop and gave it a name, calling it "Composer"  (I could have called it anything).

Then I used Save As... to save this file to that folder, once again giving it an interesting name, in this case, calling it "Composer.html" -- again, I could have named the file anything. (Pick a name you can live with, 'cause that's the name that will appear on the title bar at the top of your finished page.)

WARNING: USE NO SPACES OR ODD CHARACTERS IN YOUR FILE NAME.  USE ONLY LETTERS OR NUMERALS.

The file you saved (mine is named Composer.html) can be opened by the Netscape browser as a webpage.  All you have to do is start up Netscape so you can see a web page--any webpage will do, and then drag and drop your file onto that open window.  Voila!  There it is.  Another,  quicker,  option is to simply double-click your html file. You can't make any changes to what you see because now it is a webpage!  To open it again for editing, go to File->Open->Page in Composer... and surf to your desktop folder in the window that opens and open the file inside. Then you can make any changes desired and simply use the Save command to save the changes you make.

Once that is done, the .gif and .jpgs (such as I dragged right off my desktop into this page--or rather, copies of them) were automatically place inside the same folder alongside my html file by the composer program.  How neat!

The background is one I had snapped a little (about 2 inches square) screen picture of from a blank spot in another website.  I converted it to a .jpg and dropped it into my Composer folder.  To make it the background of the whole page,  go to   Format-> Page Properties  on the menu bar.  Click into the little Image box and then click Choose File... and you can surf to your folder, select the background image and click Open. Presto, it suddenly is pasted all over the page as background.

I opened my fetch window and just dragged the folder onto the window and it uploaded to my webhost!
When someone wants to access this page, one must type
http://surfcitydelux.com/Composer/Composer.html
http://surfcitydelux.com     tells the browser to go to my site on the webhost's computer.
                                       /Composer     tells the browser to look for a subdirectory (folder) called "Composer"
                                                        /Composer.html      tells the browser to look for the page--you're looking at it.
 

Save this to desktop and it becomes a web page which when double clicked opens as a web page in Netscape's browser.

To make a link, select the word and go to Insert->Link... and type in the URL that the link is to open in the browser when the user clicks on it. Click here to go to Google, a great search engine.


See under Insert for the above horizontal line.
 
This is a table with 2 columns and 2 rows. Note that only the cells in a table with text show up in the web page
See? You can't see the 4th cell which should be to the right.

 
Here's another table and I've dragged and pasted an image into the right side. and it happens to be an aniimated .gif.
I've dragged a small picture of me from my desktop to this cell.

There was no specific reason for making the "tables" above except that they make nice containment boxes for information to be entered into.  I could have just as easily dragged and dropped the items onto the page without tables such as I did below, but then I have to mess round with using the space bar to move them across the page to place them where I want them.  It's just all in how you want to be able to arrange your graphics.
 


 

Here are some 10 of the thousands of clickable links which will take you to free Web page hosts where you can mount your website for free.

http://www.altavista.com                         Look around for the free area.
http://www.angelfire.com                       Offers 50MB FREE Space
http://www.aol.com                                Members only website hosting
http://www.fortunecity.com                    Offers 20 MB free space.
http://www.freeyellow.com/index.gsp    Offers 50 mb free space
http://www.geocities.com                       Offers 15MB free space
http://www.gURLpages.com                  Offers 10MB free space
http://www.homestead.com                    Offers 16 mb storage.  Tools for site building.  Good novice host.
http://www.myfamily.com/isapi.dll?c=home&htx=loginfront        Free Webhost
http://www.tripod.lycos.com/                 Offers 50 MB free space.

How did I make them clickable links?
Step 1:  I could have written any words at all for you to click on and made it a link but I wanted you to be able to see the URLs so I wrote them out.
Step 2:  Highlight the term or bit of text to be a link (like http://www.altavista.com) and then select Link... under Insert on the menu bar. Type the URL  into the URL (Page Location) or File area in the window which opens that you want the link to go to when clicked on.  In this case, I actually typed in    http://www.altavista.com

To actually get your finished product out of your computer and onto webhost you need an ftp program.  (ftp stands for file transfer protocol).  I use Fetch because it's free to educator and I'm used to it, but there are several other free ones.  (Notice that I made the single word Fetch into a clickable link for you in accordance with the above instructions.)  At that very special ftp download location (in England) you can also download the instructions for using Fetch and learn more than you'll ever need about ftp-ing.

Click here for a simplified set of instructions for the newbie for using Fetch.
11-12-01