| Netscape Navigator allows you to
access every type of file on the Internet, but it can only display certain kinds of files
by itself (text, HTML, gif, jpg, etc.). When it is faced with a sound, image, or
video file, (for example), it opens another program to run that file for it. Most of
these programs (called helper apps) are shareware or freeware that can be found on the
Internet. If your browser isn't already configured to use a particular helper
app, you can set it up yourself.
| Here's how:
Click on the Edit menu of Netscape, and choose Preferences
from the drop-down menu. Another dialog box will pop up.
|| Find the Navigator listing in the
left pane of the dialog box. If there's a + symbol next to the word Navigator, click
on it to open it up. Once it's opened, click on the word Applications and the window
will change to a window like the one to the left.
We're going to first check to see if your Netscape browser supports a certain type of
file, then we're going to configure it and read the file.
Here's the scenario.
Someone has placed a link to an .rtf file on their website, but you don't know what that
is. If you click on the link, Netscape will look at the filename, look in its
database, and open the file automatically if it is configured to read that file. If
it isn't configured for it, Netscape will send a request to Netscape's server, check on
the latest info for that file type, and open a window informing you that you may need a
"plug-in", or telling you you may need to configure your browser to handle that
app, often giving you suggestions.
Before you click on the file,
though. If you're really curious, you can follow the steps above, and scroll down
the list of applications to see if ".rtf" is listed. On a Windows
computer, it probably won't be, but Rich Text Format (notice the acronym RTF) is listed.
When you click on the listing, the description below the widow tells you that
Microsoft Word is set up to handle .rtf files.
So, when you click on the file in your browser, it
should open it, right?
|| When you click on the file, you get
the dialog box to the left. The warning message is always there, and shouldn't be
taken lightly. Many of the current crop of viruses are transmitted through Microsoft
Word, Excel, Exchange, or Outlook files or other executable programs. To be truly
safe, you should save it to disk, then scan it for viruses, not running it until you are
sure it's not infected.
If you are certain it's
safe, though, click OK and it will open the file in Microsoft Word. Try it.
Other helper apps work the same way, allowing you
to add to the functionality of your browser by extending its capabilitites.
From the Folks at Netscape:
You'll have to find an archive site that serves up
applications for your platform:
Once you've downloaded the helper applications,
you'll need to configure them. Netscape has put together a short
helper document showing examples of setting up helper apps on all platforms, as well as a
definitive list of media types and their various file formats.