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Internet for Beginners > Surfing the World Wide Web:

What's in a Web Address? | Navigating the Web | Searching the Web | Digital Privacy
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How to Get Where You're Going... Navigation Techniques

Not all web pages are created equal, so that is where your navigation tools come into use. Though they may seem mundane, toolbars can be thoroughly under appreciated. You probably have used a toolbar before, such as your 'back' button, maybe even your 'home' button. But your toolbars can be so much more useful than that.


Menu Toolbar

Most importantly, don't forget your top menu is in fact a tool bar. The examples given here are specific for Internet Explorer; however, most other web browsers have similar functions in the menu as well. You can explore your menu in more detail on our own, but these tasks deserve highlighting:


  • "save as": You can save the whole page as a file on your computer, including graphics (After all, nothing lasts forever in the cyber world)
  • EDIT,

  • "copy" and "paste": You can copy and paste portions of web documents to a personal document, or to an email. Be sure top quote your sources, as it may be copy written material.
  • "find": You can use this command to search for keywords or phrases within a web document. This is particularly useful in a lengthy list or document.
  • VIEW
    customizing your toolbar

  • "source": This shows you the HTML code. While most people don't understand HTML code (nor care to), the header portions of most web pages contain hidden information about the authors and the foundation of the page, which are easy to find and comprehend, and may include helpful additional information for your research purposes.
  • "toolbars": You can add and remove a toolbar, or you can customize which buttons and features are included on a toolbar.
  • "text size": Using this option, you can make the text on all web pages appear larger or smaller according to your preferences.

  • When you find a web page that you want to be able to find later, click on Favorites, then Add to Favorites
  • You can also organize your favorite links into folders and categories.
  • The "links" folder in Favorites can be added as a toolbar for most commonly used web links. This is generally located to the right of your Address bar. By waving your mouse over the divider between the Go button at the end of your Address bar and the Links button next to it, you will notice that your mouse cursor changes to a double arrow shape. Click and hold down when your mouse cursor and then drag downwards so the Links menu appears as a full bar.
  • Internet browser options


  • Check out Internet Options to configure your Internet Explorer to manage web pages in the way that you specify.
  • You can change your 'home page' (the very first web page that appears when you connect) to be any web page you prefer, such as or, etc. Of course, we recommend using

Buttons toolbar:

"Refresh", for when a page freezes or loads incorrectly
"Stop", for when a page loads too slowly, or appears to be frozen (then click the 'refresh button')
"History", can be useful if you want to go back to something you previously viewed, but didn't save, and don't remember how you got there.
By clicking on the "Favorites" button, your favorites links will appear to the left of your window. To make it go away again, simply click on the "x" in the upper right corner of that frame.

Address bar

If you know where you want to go, simply type in the address and hit the "Enter" key


Search Toolbars

Search toolbars place a web search field right in the frame of your web browser. These are particularly handy, because they allow you to perform a search no matter where you happen to be at that time, saving you the extra step of having to go to a search site before you perform the search.

You can download a search bar from your favorite search site: Google or Yahoo or

click right for hidden menu options

Your mouse

Some new designing techniques for web page links don't always announce themselves. As you wave your mouse around, notice how the icon changes when it's hovering over a link to another page. Another hover tip: even if it's not a link, most graphics will name themselves (either in a pop-up label, in the status bar across the bottom of the window) when a mouse cursor is hovered over it.

Some examples: mouse text select
mouse resize select

mouse move select

Also on Windows computers, don't forget about the right mouse button. By clicking on any part of a page with your right mouse button, whether it is a link, an image, or just plain old text, a hidden menu will pop up giving you options or information not otherwise on display.

Internet for Beginners > Surfing the World Wide Web:
What's in a Web Address? | Navigating the Web | Searching the Web | Digital Privacy


Material last updated March 2009

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