First published April 2003.
Sometimes things seem to get out of control when you’re visiting web pages. You click something and before you know it a huge PDF is loading in the page or a file is downloading to your hard drive.
At the bottom of your browser window is a Status Bar. (If you don’t see it visit the View menu and ensure it’s turned on.)
As you hover over a link glance down at the bottom of the window and notice that it tells you the address of where that link will take you.
The screenshot shows the Status Bar as the grey stripe across the bottom of the window. My cursor is over the words ‘Jump Start’, but the Status Bar shows that if I click I’ll go to the page
For example, go to a CommunityNet Aotearoa Home page and hover over the words ‘Jump Start’. Notice that the Status Bar shows that if you click you will go to a page whose address ends in
information-for-new-users.htm. Hover over the Notice Board link and see that you will go to
On websites you will generally be going to a web page. For web pages the address shown in the status bar often ends in
.php. If the address ends in a slash (as in the Community Centre example) you’ll go to the main page in a directory (folder).
However, if we visit the Ranui Action Project Case Study and hover over the link to the RAP Journey we’ll see the address in the Status Bar now ends in
arapjourney.doc. Clicking this link will download a Microsoft Word document.
The end of an address in the Status Bar gives you very helpful information about what’s coming up. Here are some clues:
/— a standard web page
.doc— Microsoft Word file
.xls— Microsoft Excel file
.swf— Shockwave Flash file (needs the Shockwave plugin)
.rm— movie (Quicktime / Windows Media / Real Media)
.mp3— MP3 music (or speech)
Before you click, check the Status Bar for a clue about what will happen.
Written for and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, April 2003. It has been edited for use here.