Frequently Asked Questions

(Create Your First Mac Web Page In a Weekend and Learn HTML on the Mac In a Weekend)

These are some of the questions most frequently asked by readers of my Web publishing books for the Mac and iMac. As I get the time, I'll be adding even more. If you have any suggestions for questions or answers that might be helpful here, or if you have any corrections or emendations you'd like to suggest, please e-mail me at .

Both Books

Create Your First Mac Page In a Weekend

Learn HTML on the Mac In a Weekend

Q: I'm using TextEdit in OS X and it defaults to saving something called an "RTF" file. How do I save an HTML file?

"RTF" stands for Rich Text Format and is a document format used to share files between applications, preserving much of the visual formatting. To use Text Edit to open, edit, and save HTML files, you need to edit TextEdit's Preferences window:

  1. Under New Document Format, select the "Plain text" radio button.
  2. To cause long text lines to wrap, check the "Wrap to Page" check box.
  3. Under Saving, uncheck the "Append '.txt' extenion to plain text files" check box.
  4. Under Rich Text Processing, check the "Ignore rich text commands in HTML files" check box.

Then just save your text files with an .html extension and they'll be saved as plain ASCII text files that will be displayable as Web pages in browsers, not Rich Text Files (which can't be viewed in browsers).

You can also still use SimpleText -- it should be in your folder of OS 9 applications, but it will be slower to load, which may not be desirable. There are also a number of more advanced text editors and text editor-like HTML editors you can download and check out that are either free or inexpensive. See:

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Q: I can't find the "#" character on my keyboard. How do I input it?

The U.K. keyboard for the Macintosh does not have the "#" (hash) character at the Shift+3 position, but has the "£" (British pound) symbol instead. To insert the "#" character using a U.K. keyboard, just press Option+3 (or Alt+3). The "#" character is required for inserting numerical entity codes, RGB hex codes, and fragment identifiers into HTML files.

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Q: How come my browser's background is gray, when the figures in the book show a white background?

The Mac version of Netscape Navigator defaults to a gray background. (Internet Explorer defaults to a white background.) To change this setting in Navigator: Select Preferences from the View menu, and then click on Colors (under Appearance). Click on the Background box, click the Crayon Picker icon, and then click the white crayon (upper-left). For more info, see the Caution at the top of page 154.

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Q: After transferring my web page files to a web server, my images no longer display and my links don't work. What's going on?

Folder and file names on UNIX servers are case-sensitive, meaning that MyImage.JPG and myimage.jpg are two different files, for instance. First, make sure that the folder and file names used in your URLs match exactly the actual folder and file names (as shown in the Finder).

The other thing to look for is spaces in your site's folder and file names. While Internet Explorer will recognize folder and file names with spaces on your local computer, a UNIX server will not (nor will Netscape Navigator). Eliminate any spaces in your site's folder and file names (except for the root folder), substituting underscores (_) if you wish, and then edit your URLs to match.

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Q: How come my text lines are suddenly not wrapping, but are extending way past the right-side of the browser window?

When doing the PRE tag example earlier in the Basic HTML Tutorial, the PRE tag didn't get closed. Scroll back up to that example in your "scratch pad" file and make sure that a </PRE> end tag ends the example code.

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Create Your First Mac Web Page In a Weekend

Q: I haven't been able to find where to download the tryout versions of either Adobe PageMill 3.0 or AppleWorks 5. Where can I find them?

Unfortunately, the tryout versions for both of these programs are no longer available for download. PageMill 3.0 has been superceded by Adobe GoLive, while AppleWorks 5 has been superceded by AppleWorks 6. A tryout version of Adobe GoLive 4.0 is available for download from Adobe's site. GoLive is $199 to purchase. No tryout version of AppleWorks 6 is available.

eBay is your best bet for getting either PageMill 3.0 or AppleWorks 5 at a bargain price. Click the following links to get a current listing of copies of PageMill 3.0 and ClarisWorks 5 (same program as AppleWorks 5) that are up for auction at eBay:

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Q: How do I open a local HTML file (scratch.html, for instance) in Netscape Navigator 4.72?

Netscape changed the dialog options around a bit. In Navigator 4.72, for step 4, select File, Open, and Page in Navigator (as opposed to File and Open Page in Navigator 4.05). Essentially, all you're doing here in the dialog box is scrolling down and double-clicking on the HTML Tutorials folder, and then scrolling down and double-clicking on scratch.html to open it in your browser.

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Q: How do I get the style sheet examples in Appendix C, "Working with Tables," to work?

There's an error in the examples that somehow snuck into the mix late in the process, so didn't get caught. To fix it, just replace <STYLE TYPE="test/css"> with <STYLE TYPE="text/css">.

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Q: I can't get the "loop-back link" example to work on page 272. What's up?

There's an error in the example. To fix it, just replace <A HREF="top"> with <A NAME="top">.

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Learn HTML on the Mac In a Weekend

Q: On page 219, the example for setting the enclosure type to "text/plain" doesn't seem to work. The form response is being sent in urlencoded form, rather than as plain text. What's wrong?

The formatter for the book left hyphening on in the code examples, so an errant hyphen snuck into the code. Just replace enc-type="text/plain" with enctype="text/plain" and everything should work fine.

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Return to Create Your First Mac Web Page In a Weekend.

Return to Learn HTML on the Mac In a Weekend.

Steve Callihan
Last Modified: February 19, 200