To get the most out of browsing the website, we suggest you look at the guidance below.
(Click for help) HEADINGS
<To left: double-click | To right>: refresh | [To top^: drag]
There are two types of information on this Help page :
We've indicated which sections are only 'general information' - for instance by using a different background colour - this panel is an example.
Also each of these general sections has a green heading as follows :
We've placed most of these sections at the ends of each topic, or near the bottom of the page.
Please forgive us if (at times) we seem to be spelling out the blindingly obvious.
Most text on the site is single-column, with a simple layout. Therefore the site is best viewed at lower resolutions - such as :
At the lowest resolution (640 x 480) usually you will need to use the full width of the screen to view the full width of the website (then you don't need to scroll horizontally). So if you're using a second pane (eg Search, Favorites, or History) you need to close it. Alternatively press theF11 function key.
You can change your screen's resolution if needed (details below).
'What's my current screen resolution?'
To change your screen resolution in Windows : [general information]
This shouldn't require a reboot - so long as you keep to the same colour depth
You can adjust the size of text on a website by changing the browser setting. For instance with Internet Explorer - click on, then , then select the size you prefer. The current setting is indicated (by a bullet).
If you have a scroll-wheel mouse, there's an easier way - you can adjust the text size by moving the scroll wheel while you hold down the Ctrl key.
Most browsers have a full-screen setting. Normally you use the F11 function key to toggle it on or off. Full-screen viewing allows you to see more of the web page and less clutter (eg toolbars). Also, less scrolling is needed.
With Opera's full-screen setting you see literally only the page itself (so long as you hide the taskbar).
Fishing boat compass
Tain Museum - Scotland
(courtesy of SCRAN)
Ways of navigating the site :
Each of these is described below.
Most of the site's pages have drop-down menus. These are the best way of navigating the site.
To return to the drop-down menus anytime, just press thekey, which takes you to the top of any page.
Page highlighting is used to enhance the menus - in other words the page you're browsing is highlighted (with a background colour) on the menu. This allows you to see where you are in the menu structure. If the page appears more than once on the menus, all the instances are highlighted - eg links to the 'What's new' page.
Status bar - On some menu items we've used the status bar at the bottom left of the screen to display more information (instead of it just displaying the page's filename).
Tooltips - With a few menu items, a tooltip text box appears next to the item (after a short delay). This too provides more information.
Links to sections of pages - Most items on the menus are complete pages. However, a few take you to sections of pages (eg 'Help').
Completeness - Almost all the site's pages have an item on the menus.
Duplication - A few items appear more than once on the menus (such as "Our aims" and "What's new").
Development - We continue to experiment with the menus and welcome your views.
Our thanks to Milonic Solutions Limited - suppliers of the menu software.
What's it look like?
It has a similar format to sitemaps on other websites - it's a bulleted list of the web pages on the site, in a logical order, with groups of items progressively indented to show the structure. It resembles the table of contents (ToC) of a book. Each item has a link.
On our site, the sitemap is an exact replica of the items on the drop-down menus, and it's in the same order - but it's arranged in a single-column list.
Why use the sitemap?
Generally, when navigating the site, it's preferable to use the drop-down menus (and the cross-referencing links within the text of each page).
However, we've included the sitemap for three reasons :
The two versions of the sitemap
The website provides two (slightly different) versions of the sitemap :
Accessing the popup sitemap
The sitemap window
The popup sitemap window is a 'reduced' browser display - there's no toolbars etc at the top.
However, the static sitemap window is a normal browser display.
1. Printing the sitemap - You may find it helpful to print out the sitemap (it uses around 4 pages of A4). It's best to print the popup sitemap (rather than the static sitemap) - this ensures it's 100% up-to-date. To print it, right-click on any blank/whitespace part of the sitemap panel, then choose 'Print' from the menu that appears.
2. Using either version of the sitemap to imitate 'frames' for navigation (optional)
Introduction - A few websites still use 'frames'. These make navigation easier (using a list of links in a tall, narrow left-hand panel). However, they have disadvantages and nowadays are 'deprecated' - in other words, frowned upon. We describe below a neat way you can use the Sitemap to imitate frames. This gives you the best of both worlds - the navigation advantages, but without any of the disadvantages. Follow the instructions below.
Instructions - Once you've called up either version of the sitemap, clicking on any of its links will open the chosen page in the other (parent) browser window. This allows you to imitate web page frames as follows :
|Sitemap window =list of links
|main (parent) window|
To cope with this, we've added a 'static sitemap' to the site. This enables you to navigate the site. However, bear in mind that the static sitemap is only a snapshot file and it becomes progressively out-of-date until we next re-create/update it. It's a standard (static) HTML web page, produced by us and updated periodically, using the data in the drop-down menus.
Accessing the static sitemap: At the top of most pages there's a link to it.
In addition to the usual links within the text of each page, the following links are provided :
The drop-down menus at the top of most pages : Details of these are given above.
Links - at the top of each page : These are quick links to a few key pages. However, if the drop-down menus appear successfully, they'll cover up the links at the top (after a couple of seconds). This is deliberate.
Links - at the bottom of each page : These are quick links to a few key pages such as the Homepage, Help and Contact us. However, generally it's best to go to the top of the page (eg just by pressing thekey) and then use the comprehensive drop-down menus.
Links - the list of headings (ToC) near the top of most pages : Near the top of many pages (below the drop-down menus and the page heading) we've placed a list of the headings used on the page. This is like a Table of Contents (ToC) for the page. Many of them have links to the headings themselves.
Links - External versus Internal :
Note - In some cases, where we mention another website (such as the Charity Commission) and give a link, it doesn't have a red double-arrow. This is because it's an internal link - it doesn't go directly to that website, but goes to another part of our site where we give further information on that organisation (including an external link).
Exceptions - We've not used red double-arrows on the following pages or sections :
Links - Style :
Image links : We've added only a few links on images.
Links - understanding the information on the status bar : [general information]
If the status bar is visible in your browser, it tells you where each link will take you.
The status bar is usually at the bottom of the screen, above the taskbar. If it's not visible, you can configure the browser to display it.
When your mouse pointer hovers over a link, the status bar will display the name of the target ('http: //www' etc). Typical examples are listed below (we've added bold for clarity) :
The explanations above also apply to the information in a browser's address bar (which is usually above the main window).
Links - opening in a new (second) window :[general information]
Searching a single page :[general information]
Most browsers allow you to search an individual page. For example with Internet Explorer use:(or just press Ctrl-F).
Searching using 'Hilitext' : [general information]
'Hilitext' is a small utility produced by Fanix - an Australian software publisher located in Brisbane.
The program makes navigation and searching easier, especially when you use its wildcards ('?' and '*') and Options. We've found it an indispensable program with unexpected uses.
Fanix describe Hilitext as :
" ... a text highlighting tool, which instantly highlights all occurrences of specific words, phrases etc in your web pages, e-mail messages and/or other documents at your request. It helps you seek information more quickly and hence saves you a lot of valuable searching time."
Shareware - The latest version of the program (v1.5) is shareware (expiring after 30 days unless you purchase it). It works with Windows 2000 onwards.
Freeware - Earlier versions were freeware. The last freeware version ('LFV') can still be downloaded from various sites on the Net - for example page 12 of 321download.com . It's version 1.1, dated 2001. It works with Windows 98 onwards.
Most browsers include an option to display a History panel - typically on the left of the screen. This lists the pages visited for each website, and includes links to them. To display (or hide) the History panel in Internet Explorer, select(or just press Ctrl-H).
A scroll-wheel mouse makes navigation much easier and quicker. It means you don't need to use the right-hand vertical scroll bar so much. Preferably get an optical mouse (not a mechanical one).
Incidentally, the vertical scroll bar on the right-hand side is useful in giving you an idea of how far down you are in a long page.
Don't forget keyboard shortcuts. For example in most browsers :
Opera has useful features for aiding navigation which are not available in Internet Explorer. For example, the two links options :
Programs such as Firefox and Chrome also offer useful enhancements.
Most of the site uses a simple design and standard, well-established software, components, fonts and the like. This should maximise compatibility with different types of computers and browsers. Contact us if you get any problems.
We haven't used: frames, Flash, audio, video, blinking text, unreasonably small font sizes.
There's one animated image.
Pages - the filename, title and heading :[general information]
Bear in mind these are different :
Please see the About images page.
When last counted; figures approximate :
Printer-friendly pages - Most of the site's pages are printer-friendly. Their full width should print out (although page breaks will be random).
Not so Printer-friendly pages - There are a few such pages. Two reasons for this are :
If you print these pages with your usual printer settings, the right-hand margin may be missing.
One way of solving this problem is to tell your printer to output in landscape (horizontal) format rather than the default format of portrait (vertical).
More on printing : [general information]
Print Preview - To display a print preview (in Internet Explorer), clickthen click .
Selecting pages - When printing, remember you can select individual A4 "print" pages to print, without having to print all the web page. You can select the appropriate ones by usingfirst - this will minimise printing costs.
Copy-and-paste to a word processor - In some cases this is a useful alternative to printing out via your browser. Do it as follows :
This allows you to modify page breaks and headers/footers.
There are a few documents on the site in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. They have a "pdf" file extension - eg "report.pdf". You can view these while on the site and/or download them.
To view Acrobat files, you need to have the Acrobat reader program installed on your computer. The program is free. It's on the cover disks (CDs/DVDs) of many monthly computer magazines, and also can be downloaded from Adobe's website .
To download Acrobat files :
There are some files on the site in Word format.
These have a file extension of "doc" - eg "charities.doc"
For more on this (downloading and/or viewing), see the Microsoft Word help page.
After visiting a website, usually you can still view it when offline.
You can view it offline in two ways :
The examples above assume your browser is Internet Explorer.