The Browser Window For The Ordinary Internet User

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Internet Literacy – Part 3

This is part 3 of my series, Internet Literacy. In this part of the series, I explain the browser window as should be seen by the ordinary Internet user. This part of the series is a continuation of the previous part, to make you Internet literate.

A Window
Any rectangular thing that pops up independently at a computer screen is a window. Different windows have different functions and base on their functions they have different names. You can have more than one window opened on the screen at the same time. Some windows open and fill the whole screen. Some windows open and their size cannot be changed. With some windows, you can make them fill the whole screen, by clicking their maximized (square) button at the top-right corner of the window.

What should interest you in this article is the browser window. The browser window normally opens to fill the whole screen or almost the whole screen. If you want to be sure that it fills the whole screen, click its maximize button. The browser window has a lot of empty space similar to the blank portion of a blank word processor or text editor document. The web page is displayed within the browser window in the large empty space. It fills most of the browser window.

There are a good number of browsers out there. The most popular today, is Internet Explorer. Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Opera are other popular browsers. Browsers exist in versions. The higher the version number the more modern is the browser.

For the rest of this article series, I will use the Mozilla Firefox browser for the illustrations. The other browsers are similar in nature.

Components of the Browser Window
If possible, open a browser (window) in front of you at your computer screen as you read this article.

The Title and Menu Bars
The browser has the title bar, which is the top-most bar. The title bar has the name of the browser, e.g. Mozilla Firefox. Below the title bar you have the Menu Bar. The menu bar has menu items like, File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Tools, Help. I will explain what these items mean later.

The Tool Bar
Below the menu bar, you can have the Tool Bar. The tool bar can have icons for things like, to stop the web page from completely loading and for reloading (refreshing) the web page. There are other icons to do other things. Loading the web page means displaying the web page bit by bit, normally beginning from the top. A web page is loaded when you click a hyperlink from a formerly displayed page or when you type the URL of the web page in the address bar of the browser and click Go, or press the Enter Key.

The Window Tab Buttons
Below the tool bar or menu bar, you have the Window Tab Buttons, simple called Window Tabs, Tab Buttons or just Tabs. These window tab buttons are reasonably long, horizontally. They are placed one next to the other in a line. When you just start using your browser, you normally see only one of these window tabs, towards the extreme left edge of the browser window. The title of the currently displayed web page appears in the window tab as well as in the title bar of the browser window. So, the title bar of the browser window can have the title of the web page as well as the name of the browser.

There is a New Tab Button always, just at the right end of the line of window tabs. This New Tab Button always has a plus (+) sign. When you click it, a new window tab appears on the right of all the tabs, shifting the New Tab Button a bit to the right. A new window tab (not the New Tab Button) normally appears with a blank web page. That is, the large portion below the header components (title bar, menu bar, etc.) of the browser window is blank. The web page and the browser window are not exactly the same thing, as I continue to explain. The web page is the content of the browser window.

In the past, in a large session, you had to open several (independent) windows. The content of each window is a web page. Today, you have the option of opening a web page in a new browser window or under a window tab of the same browser window.

One way to have a new web page for a window tab, is to click the Tab to activate it, then type the URL of the web page you want, and then click Go or press the Enter Key. Within a while, the web page will appear, below the header components of the browser window. So, each non-empty tab has a corresponding web page.

Assume that you have several window tabs in a line on the browser window. To activate a tab, you click the tab. When that is done, the color of the tab will be different relative to the other window tabs. When a window tab is activated, the web page you see below in the window, is that of the tab.

The Address Bar
Below the Window Tab Buttons, you have the Address Bar. The address bar has a long horizontal field into which you type a URL. Many browsers have a button on the extreme right of the address bar, inside the address bar. It is the Go button. It may be an arrow or a small button with the label, Go. When you type a URL in the address bar and click this button or press the Enter Key of the keyboard, the web page for the URL will appear below the header block (components) of browser window.

In some browsers, you may have the tool bar and the address bar on the same line, with the tool bar on the left.

The Web Page
The web page is the useful content of the browser window. It is what interest you and what motivated you to use the browser window in the first place. It is a web page of the website that interests you. The basic component of a website is a web page. Most of the browser window is taken up by the web page. The web page appears below the header block of the browser window.

The Status Bar
Many windows, not only the browser window, have the status bar. For the browser, this is the horizontal bar at the very bottom of browser window. When you move the mouse pointer over a hyperlink in the web page, you see the URL of the hyperlink in the status bar. There are other things, which the status bar shows, but I will not go into that. Some browsers do not show (display) their status bar.

The Back and Forward Button
In the header block of the browser window, you will find the Back and the Forward Button. When the Back Button is clicked, the previous web page you had for the active tab is re-displayed replacing the current web page. If you continue to click the Back button, the previous and previous pages will be displayed. When you click the forward Button, you start going in the opposite direction. The Back and Forward buttons are either in the Tool bar or on the left of the address bar.

Yes, today, you have to learn how to drive, learn how to read and write, be computer literate and be Internet literate. We stop here and continue in the next part of the series.


Other Links of the Series
Internet Vocabulary
Particular Internet

The Browser

Window for the Ordinary Internet User
The Web Page for the

Ordinary Internet User
Web Page Form for

the Ordinary Internet User
The File Menu of a Browser
Non File Menus of the

Smartphones and Tablets
Search Engines
Meaning of Social Networks
Factors to consider

when ordering a Website
Internet Payment Systems


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