Scrolling Through Web Pages

Firefox Back ButtonWhile using control button and scroll wheel to resize an image in Firefox I accidently discovered I can scroll through web pages I’ve been to by holding down the shift key instead of the control key and turning the wheel on my mouse.

Thunderbird Font Size

A few libraries have asked how to change the global font size of Thunderbird instead of the font size used in messages.  If you want to change the font size of the mailboxes, the messages pane and Thunderbird menus, the Theme Font & Size Changer add-on is worth a look.

  1. Download the Theme Font & Size Changer add-on
  2. Open Thunderbird  MP900442939
  3. Click Tools
  4. Click Add-ons
  5. Click Extensions
  6. Click the little "gear" at the upper right and select Install Add-on From File...
  7. Go to the folder where the add-on is saved and double-click it
  8. Click Install Now
  9. Click Restart Now towards the upper right
  10. After Thunderbird restarts, click Tools
  11. Click Theme Font & Size Changer
  12. Now you can test the settings until you find one you like

HTML5, CSS3 and You!

'<embed>' photo (c) 2007, Luis - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

So, how is your personal relationship to HTML5 and CSS3 going? Did you even know that you had one? You do now or soon will, if your library continues to rely on Windows XP for staff or patron workstations.

Perhaps we should start with the basics. What are HTML5 and CSS3? Technically, these are website content format standards that are maturing but are still under development. They represent a large number of feature enhancements over HTML4 and CSS2; too many to get into here, and probably you don't need (or want) to care about all the details.

What's important for you to understand is that some of these new features are highly, highly desirable to website developers. This is why Google Apps (among other sites) ended their support for Internet Explorer 6 in 2010, and then ended their support for IE7 (and Firefox 3.x and other browsers) in 2011. Can you guess the fate of IE8? Hot tip: don't bet on its longevity...

Officially, Microsoft is continuing to support Windows XP SP3 and IE8 until April 8, 2014. However, there will be no new versions of IE for the XP platform; IE8 is all you get. The good news is that IE8 does support some HTML5 features. The bad news is that some sites have already dropped support for IE8 because its implementation of HTML5/CSS3 is just too primitive or incomplete.

The world is not ending, of course, at least not on account of IE8. If your budget says that XP stations will be operating in your library for some time to come, then there is always Firefox. SCLS will continue to update Firefox on XP stations for as long as we are able to, and Firefox on XP is fully capable of handling websites that demand a lot from HTML5 and CSS3. You just need to be aware that as time goes on, IE8 will become less and less useful (and in some cases impossible to use) on evolving websites.

Want to know more about what's missing from IE8 (and for that matter, from IE9 on Windows 7)? Check out the fun interactive chart at http://html5readiness.com/. Hover your mouse pointer over any spoke on the chart wheel to see the name of the new feature that it represents, and note how many spokes are missing labels indicating IE8 and IE9 support. Want to replay the "browser wars" of recent years? Dial back the chart to yesteryear by clicking on the tags above it.

Restoring Previous Firefox Browsing Session

My Techbits is about restoring your previous browser session in Firefox 12.  I find it to be a useful browser feature, especially if you do a lot of research and have several tabs open.  It's nice being able to pick up where you left off the previous day.  This feature can also become a privacy concern, so it should be used with caution.  Use the following instructions to restore a previous browser session and read the warning below.

First, Set Firefox to Remember History

  1. Click Tools
  2. Click Options
  3. Click Privacy
  4. Beneath the History heading, set the dropdown box to Remember history
  5. Click OK

To Restore a Previous Browsing Session

  1. Click History
  2. Click Restore Previous Session

To Set Firefox to Always Open the Previous Session

  1. Click Tools
  2. Click Options
  3. Click General
  4. Beneath the Startup heading, set the dropdown to Show my windows and tabs from the last time
  5. Click OK

Warning

There can be privacy issues if you are using a shared computer.  If you are logged into a site when you close out the browser, session restoring may reopen the site stilll logged into your account.  For this reason, session restore is disabled on public stations.

 

Zoom, zoom, zoooooooooom

Zoom in MS Office
Did you know you can quickly zoom in or out of a document (Word), presentation (PowerPoint), or worksheet (Excel)? 

 ZoomSlider

  • On the status bar in the lower right, click the Zoom slider
  • Slide to the percentage zoom setting that you want

 
Zoom in IE 

IEzoom

Want to quickly zoom in IE?
<--- There's a zoom menu on the status bar...

And if you prefer keyboard commands, don't forget

  • Ctrl +  (zoom in)
  • Ctrl -  (zoom out)
  • They work in most browsers!

    Print Multiple Firefox Tabs as a Single PDF Document

    When I find useful documentation online, I like to print the web page as a PDF so that I will always have a copy available.  Sometimes I'll find useful documentation from several sources online.  Instead of MP900443159 printing each webpage separately, I'd rather print all the sources as a single PDF.  I find it easier to manage.  The Print Pages to PDF Firefox add-on allows you to print multiple open tabs in Firefox to a single PDF document. 

    After you have installed the add-on, you will notice Print Pages to PDF appears in your Firefox Tools menu.  This is where you can change defaults like margin size, headers and footers and it's where you'll click to actually print the PDF files.  I think the add-on is definitely worth a try as it beats copying pages to a Word document then printing to PDF.

    Happy Tuesday - Firefox breaks Java!

    Today was going to be a really productive day! I didn't have any meetings, my phone was pretty quiet, and I knew exactly what I wanted to get done. Guess what?  That lasted about 10 minutes. It started when Brian came into my office and told me about a problem with Java and Firefox....POOF! my day was now totally shot.

    Some/Most/All of you fired up Firefox today and saw this message:

    Java Message
    I'll get right to the point about what this message is telling you. Firefox uses Add-on software to display websites. The Adobe Flash Player and Java Add-ons are used by millions of websites. Just like all software, Add-ons need to be updated. Last night (4/2/2012) FireFox maker Mozilla decided that because there are some security issues with previous versions of Java, they would disable all versions except for the most recent version. Every Firefox user in the WORLD will get the message above if the version of Java they have is out of date.

    So that brings me back to my day today. We've been looking at and testing the new version of Java, working on a way to package it, and creating documentation about what you need to know. I can tell you that there will be a step or two that you will need to do.  We plan on sending out an email on Wednesday with much more information...stay tuned!!

    I hope your day goes better than mine!

    Help Desk Tidbits

    Dynix Workstation Numbers?

    Do you still have your Dynix workstation number posted somewhere by your PC?  If you do would you please remove it as we are no longer using that to identify a PC.  If asked for a PC name please give the name that starts with your library's three-letter agency code.  This identifier is found on the PC itself on a white sticker with black letters.


    Post-Firefox Update Printing Issues?

    Now that all staff PCs have Firefox 10 on them we would like you to verify that all Firefox desktop icons work when you print.  We had some problems that were identified so we want to make sure that all staff PCs that print to any kind of printer print correctly.  So test out all of your staff PCs, even the one that never gets used, to make sure they print okay.  Once you've tested them all and made a list of all those that don't work then give me a call at the Help Desk and I will fix them for you.

    Where did those icons go?

    Got your seatbelt on? Firefox 10 is being rolled out Monday and Tuesday nights to staff PCs on the SCLS network.

    Upgrades = changes. Here are just a few changes you'll see between versions 3.6 and 10.0.2:

    Firefox_compare

    (click on the image to see it full-size)

    Version 10 was released by Mozilla January 31st, and it took us some research, development, and documentation to get it rolled out. Now that the groundwork has been laid, Firefox versions after this one should be rolled out to SCLS patron and staff PCs a little more quickly after they're released by Mozilla.

    The Firefox upgrade includes a "cleanup script."  If you haven't already read about it (and/or watched the video), you can do so here: http://www.scls.info/technology/updates/ffoxstaff.html

    ----- late addition -----

    Back button historyWhat happened to the "little down arrow that took you mutliple steps at once backwards thru a search and were necessary for some kinds of backwards movements"?

    The arrow is gone, but the functionality is still there. Just right-click the "Back" button or click it and pull down to get the list.

    (thanks to Liz for pointing this out!)

     

    Notice Printing and Firefox Profiles

    I'm sure you all saw the January 31st News item on the ILS Support Home Page about libraries printing their own notices beginning on Monday, February 27th, 2012.  You may have also read Joanna's LINK 2.0 Koha Blog posting about this same topic and read that she had created instructions that outlined how to print your own notices.  In those instructions in step 7b under section 2 says: "Call the Tech Help Desk at 608-242-4710 if you'd like help setting up another profile."  I'd like to use this blog post to explain to you what this really entails and suggest a different solution.

    Background for our use of Firefox profiles
    When Koha became our ILS we needed an easy way for all of you to print receipts and spine labels.  So the ILS and Tech staff came up with the use of Firefox profiles to make these printing tasks much easier for you.  In order to make this work you first all needed to use the same spine label printer and the same few receipt printers.  Then we developed and installed the Firefox profiles and after that you no longer had to choose where you wanted a receipt printed or a where you wanted a spine label printed.  Firefox just knew and printed it.  This saves you precious seconds and allows you to work more efficiently.  But again this only works because you all are using the same few printers.

    Notice printing and Firefox profiles
    Profiles work well when there are a limited number of printers involved, but when you try to do the same with a multitude of different printers it becomes a lot more difficult and time-consuming.  Not all libraries have the same laser or ink jet printers, so essentially we would have to design a different Firefox profile for each library for each printer that they want to print notices on.  Woe to the library whose notice printer breaks down because now you can't print notices.  Not good!  So the best solution, albeit a manual one, is to turn off and on the headers and footers each time you print notices.  The online instructions for printing notices has already been updated to reflect this change.

    To assist you in this manual process of turning off and on the headers and footers each time, please take a look at the pictures below.

    After turning off the headers and footers it will look like this:After_Settings

    After turning the headers and footers back on it will look like this:
    Before_Settings

    I hope I have explained this step of the notice printing so that you have a good understanding of it.  Happy notice printing!