Frequently Asked Questions

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

These are some of the questions most frequently asked by readers of my web publishing and HTML books. 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 .

Q: When creating a mailto form in Learn HTML In a Weekend, I'm not able to send the form, but only get a blank message composition window. What's happening?

While Internet Explorer 5.5 did, Internet Eplorer 6 no longer supports sending mailto form responses. The latest versions of the Netscape browser (and the Mozilla browser) also no longer support sending mailto form responses. They still support mailto links, however.

If you want to test out sending and receiving mailto form responses, you can download and install Netscape Communicator 4.78 from (Note: If asked to make it your default mail program, just click no or cancel.)

If you want to publish forms to the Web, your only choice is to use a CGI form. You can check if your Web host provides a form-processing CGI script you can use. If so, just follow their instructions. You can also sign up to use a free third-party form-processing script -- they usually include advertising on the submission confirmation page. You can find lists of free third-party form-processing scripts at these two script directories:

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Q: When I click on the link to install the example files from the CD-ROM, the pop-up window says something different from what the CD-ROM says. What am I doing wrong?

If you're using Internet Explorer 6.0, their dialog window for running (or opening) a self-extracting ZIP file has changed. After clicking the link in the CD-ROM interface to install the example files, in IE6 just click the Open button, and then click the Unzip button to install the example files to an HTML folder on your C drive (c:\Html). (Note: You can also click the Save button to save examples.exe to a folder and then use Window's Run option to run it.)

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Q: I'm using the 3rd Edition of Create Your First Web Page IAW and I can't get the example on page 85 using links.htm to work. What's going on?

This is a boo-boo on my part -- links.htm somehow got left off the CD-ROM. Right-click on the link here to save links.htm -- select Save Target As in Internet Explorer or select Save Link As in Navigator, then save the file to C:\Html, and then the example should work fine.

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Q: When I use the starting template file (start.htm), I noticed it has two HEAD end tags (Learn HTML In a Weekend, 3rd Edition). Will this cause a problem?

When writing on such a short timeline, some errors are bound to sneak in. While the extra HEAD end tag (</head>) at the bottom of start.htm would undoubtedly generate an error in an HTML validator, it doesn't have any effect on any browser that I know of. Feel free to resave start.htm, without the second HEAD end tag.

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Q: When I go to open scratch.htm in my browser, I don't see it in Open dialog window? What's going on?

If you have display of file extensions turned off in Windows, in the Open dialog box, you'll just see "scratch" along with the program icon associated with the file type, instead of "scratch.htm." To turn on display of file extensions in Windows 95/98, do the following:

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon on your Desktop.
  2. In Windows 95, select View and Options. Click the View tab, and then make sure that the bottom check box, "Hide MS-DOS file extensions for file types that are registered," is unchecked. Click OK.
  3. In Windows 98, select View and Folder Options. Click the View tab, and then make sure that the check box, "Hide file extensions for known file types," is unchecked. Click OK.

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Q: I can't get my HTML file to display in my browser. What am I doing wrong?

Make sure that you are doing the following:

  1. Save your HTML file (scratch.htm in C:\HTML) in Notepad. Run your browser and open your HTML file (in IE, select File, Open, and Browse; in Navigator, select File, Open Page, and Choose File).
  2. Preview your HTML file in your browser and then hop back over to Notepad (using Alt+Tab).
  3. Make changes to your HTML file and resave it (select File and Save -- Ctrl+S won't work in Notepad). Hop back over to your browser.
  4. Press Ctrl+R to reload (or refresh) your page. You should now see the changes in your browser that you made in Notepad in step 3. Hop back over to Notepad to make more changes.
  5. Repeat steps 3, and 4 frequently as you do the tutorial.

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Q: I can't figure out how to open a local HTML file in my browser.

In Internet Explorer, select File, Open, and click the Browse button; in Netscape Navigator, select File, Open Page, and click the Choose File button. In either browser, click the "Look in" box and then click the C drive icon [C:]. In the folder window, double-click the Html folder. Double-click scratch.htm to open it. [Note: If you have display of known file-types turned off, which is the default in Windows 98/95, you may not see the *.htm file extension, but just the icon designating the file as an HTML file. If so, just double-click on "scratch" to open it.] Click OK. Your HTML file should now be displayed in Internet Explorer.

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Q: I can't figure out how to reopen my HTML file in Notepad. Am I missing something?

By default, Notepad only displays text files with a file extension of *.txt in its Open dialog window. To be able to see files using oather file extensions (including files with *.htm and *.html file extensions), click the "Files of type" list box and select All Files (*.*).

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Q: My inline images aren't displaying when I preview my HTML file in my browser. What's the problem?

If you're using just the file name of an image as its URL, make sure that both your HTML file and the images you want to display inline are saved in the same folder (C:\HTML, for instance). If your images are saved in a different folder, your browser won't know where to find them.

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Q: My images were showing up fine, but now they're not. What happened?

You probably forgot to turn display of images back on in your browser, after turning their display off to test out the IMG tag's ALT attribute. In Navigator, select Edit, Preferences, and click the Advanced category. Make sure the check box, "Automatically load images," is checked. In Internet Explorer 5, select Tools and Internet Options, and then click the Advanced tab. Under Multimedia, make sure the check box, "Show pictures," is checked.

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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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Q: When installing Frame-It from the CD-ROM, I'm supposed to copy its DLL file to the Windows system folder (C:\Windows\System), but I don't see the DLL file. Where is it?

In Windows 98, unlike in Windows 95, DLL files by default are set as hidden files. To see DLL file, you need to turn on display of hidden files in Windows 98:

  1. In Windows 98, click the Start button, and then select Settings, Folder Options.
  2. Select View and Folder Options. Click the View tab, and then make sure that the radio button, "Show all files," is selected. Click OK.

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Q: When trying to install WebForms from the CD-ROM, I'm getting an error message about a missing DLL file. What do I need to do?

WebForms requires that you have Vbrun300.dll copied to your Windows system folder. You can find Vbrun300.dll in WebForm's folder on the CD-ROM. Just use Windows Explorer to copy it and then paste it into your Windows system folder (C:\Windows\System). Note: If you're using Windows 98, you may need to turn on display of hidden files to see the DLL file. For how to do that, see the answer to the previous question.

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Q: Suddenly, everything is centered (or right-aligned). How do I stop it?

You've almost certainly forgot to close off a CENTER tag or a DIV tag (with center-alignment or right-alignment set). Scroll back up through your HTML file and make sure you don't have any unclosed CENTER or DIV tags.

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Q: I've added background music to my Web page, but I can only hear it in Internet Explorer, but not in Navigator. How can I get it to play in both browsers?

Internet Explorer recognized the BGSOUND attribute for the BODY tag for playing background sound files, but because this is a Microsoft extension and not an official HTML tag attribute, Navigator does not recognize it. To play a background sound file in both Navigator and Internet Explorer, you need to use the EMBED tag. Here's an example:

<EMBED SRC="mymusic.mid" AUTOSTART="true" LOOP="1" HIDDEN="true">
To hear the background sound file, the visitor will need to have an appropriate plug-in player installed (such as Crescendo, for MIDI files, for instance).

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Q: My links (or inline images) worked fine when previewing them on my local computer, but after I transferred them to my folder on a web server, they no longer work. What's going on?

File and folder names on UNIX servers are case senstive.Thus, mypage.html and MyPage.HTML, for instance, are treated on a UNIX server as two separate files. The solution is to make sure that any file or folder names used in URLs match exactly the actual file or folder names.

What I do is make sure that all file and folder names included in local URLs are always in all lowercase. I then set WS_FTP's option to force lowercase file names when transferring my files. To set this option, first connect to your site in WS_FTP and click the Options button.

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Q: In the Frames Tutorial (Learn HTML IAW), the menu link targets aren't displayed in the correct frame. How do I get the links to work?

The Frame tag's NAME attribute and the A tag's TARGET attribute are case-sensitive. If the FRAME tag has NAME="window", then the linking A tag must have TARGET="window" (not TARGET="Window") for the link target to be displayed in the named frame.

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Q: I'm getting an error when trying to install WebForms from the CD-ROM. What am I doing wrong?

There are two possible reasons for this:

  1. You are using Windows NT or Windows 2000. WebForms is a 16-bit program and may not work on Windows NT or Windows 2000. If Learn HTML IAW is the book you're using, the workaround is to type into Notepad (or any text editor) the example code produced by WebForms (shown in the book). Then, using the HTML Quick Reference in Appendix A as a guide, experiment with the different FORM element tags and attributes to see what the results are.

  2. In Windows 98/98 and 3.1, Vbrun300.dll must be present in your Windows System folder (C:\Windows\System) for you to be able to install WebForms from the CD-ROM. You can find Vbrun300.dll in the root folder or in WebForm's folder on the CD-ROM; it is also available for download from Q & D Software's home page.

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Q: I uninstalled Paint Shop Pro 5, and now my file-type associations are all screwed up. How do I fix this?

This has been fixed in Paint Shop Pro 6. The problem is that file-type associations are left still pointing to Paint Shop Pro even after it has been uninstalled. This results in an error when double-clicking on an affected graphics file to open it. If you want to change back any file type associations that got switched over to Paint Shop Pro, there are a couple different things you can do:

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Q: I'm getting a "class not registered" error when trying to run the CD-ROM for Create Your First Web Page In a Weekend, 3rd Edition. How can I use the CD-ROM?

This has been reported to me by a few readers. The problem is almost certainly a configuration issue relative to running the CD-ROM's user interface, and not a problem with the CD-ROM itself. If you have this problem, you can use Windows Explorer to access and install anything that is on the CD-ROM. Just click the Start button, select Run, type "explorer" (no quotes), and hit Enter. Then do the following:

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Q: When I open my "scratch pad" HTML file in my browser, I see all the HTML tags and coding, but not the HTML formatting. What's going on?

This can happen when trying to save your HTML file in Notepad when display of file extensions is turned off. In Windows 98 and later versions of Windows, display of file extensions is turned off by default, presumably to try to make Windows more Mac-like (the Macintosh doesn't use file extensions at all). The file extensions are still there, however -- they're just hidden.

If file extensions are turned off and you try to save an HTML file, named mypage.html, for instance, with Text Documents selected in the "Save as type" box, what happens is that Windows appends a hidden ".txt" extension to the end of the file, with the resulting file name then being mypage.html.txt, for instance.

There are two ways around this. One way is simply to select "All Files (*.*)" in the "Save as type" box before saving, which will stop Windows from adding the hidden ".txt" at end of the file name. The other way is to turn on display of file name extensions, which I think is a good idea, not just because of this one problem, but because it just makes working with files in Windows a lot easier, plus it can help prevent you from clicking on a surreptitious virus link in an e-mail message (which, with file extensions turned off, might be displayed as winbig.txt, when the real file name is winbig.txt.exe, for instance). To turn display of file extensions in Windows 98 (should be pretty similar in other versions of Windows), just do the following:

  1. Click the Start button, select Settings, Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  2. If checked, uncheck the "Hide file extensions of known file types" check box. Click OK.

Note: If you're only using Internet Explorer to preview your HTML files, you may not be aware that this is happening. That's because Internet Explorer will display the HTML formatting in an HTML file even if it is saved with a ".txt" extension. You should be aware, however, that people using other browsers are liable to see the HTML coding, but not the HTML formatting -- the same is likely to be the case if you leave off the file extension altogether.

Return to Create Your First Web Page In a Weekend (3rd Edition).

Return to Create Your First Web Page In a Weekend (Revised Edition).

Return to Learn HTML In a Weekend (Revised Edition).

Return to Create Your First Web Page In a Weekend (original edition).

Return to Learn HTML In a Weekend (original edition).

Go to Steve Callihan's Web Books.

Steve Callihan
Last Modified: June 23, 2000