Netscape Communicator
Netscape was the first company to come out with a public browser. This was originally called Navigator and now Communicator. You can download a free version from netscape. Netscape Communicator is a web browser. In other words it lets you connect from your computer to other computers on web. In order to do that first you have to open an account with an ISP (Internet Service Provider) like America Online etc. Once you have an account you can surf the net.

Netscape Communicator has a lot of features that let the user customize his/her browser according to their needs. Lets look at some of these features now. Just so that we are on the same page, we will be looking at the following edition of communicator, Netscape® Communicator 4.5. Lets get started

Here is what Netscape Communicator looks like if you visit Yahoo.

We are going to discuss the Toolbar menus in Netscape briefly.

Navigation Toolbar

File Menu

Edit Menu

View Menu

Go Menu



  Navigation Toolbar:

The first thing I want to talk about is the Navigation toolbar. This is what you see below the menu. It has buttons like Back, Forward etc. This is the easiest way to get around the web. A lot of times you will use these buttons rather than the menu options above. Lets look at these one at a time

This is used to go back to the previous page that you looked at

This is used to go to the next page that you just browsed

You can use this button so reload a page that did not load properly.

This is used to go directly to the home page you have chosen

This opens up a page where you can search for other topics. This is called a search engine and lets to look up information from a number of sources.

This is a customized page that Netscape lets you create for free. You can choose different features depending on your interest.

This one is self explanatory. It lets you print a document from the web

This button gives you information about the page you are looking at. For example if you are trading stocks in your account, the page is secure with encryption so others cannot view it

This one lets you stop downloading the page if it is taking too long

  File Menu:

The file menu is an alternative way to work in the web browser. Under the File Menu, you will find options like

File New Navigator

This lets you open a new window where you can surf the web also in addition to the one you are already working in.

File Open Page

This lets you open a new web location or a file from your hard drive.

File Save as

lets you save a web page on your hard drive. This is useful if you have found some important information that you would like to save on your computer.

File Edit page

lets you look at the design of a web page in case you want to get some ideas on how to make a web page.

File Page setup
File Print preview
File Print

These options let you print a web document to your printer. You can select any number of pages to print and also change the settings of the document.

  Edit Menu:

The options under Edit are just like the standard. 

The Edit Cut combo lets you cut a section from the web page. 

The Edit Copy lets you copy a section from the web page. 

Finally the Edit Paste lets you paste the previous item from the clipboard. 

The clipboard is where the computer stores temporary information for edit operations.

A few new items under the Edit Menu are the Find in page, Search internet and the Preferences options. The first lets you find a string which can be a character or a number of characters in the current page. Search internet is the same as the Search button for the navigation toolbar. It takes to a search engine for retrieving information on any topic. The preferences is a detailed section where you can change the settings of your browser. You can control how the text appears, your home page location, your e-mail settings and newsgroup settings. You can also change advance settings like cookies and security options.

  View Menu:

View gives you control over what you want to see in the browser window. You can choose to see all the toolbars available to nothing but the web page. It also lets you increase or decrease the font size for better viewing.

Reload and Refresh let you load a page again if some of the content was not loaded properly before. The stop loading, stop animation help you control the download processes of your browser. Pictures and videos take longer to download and can slow your browser. You can choose not to upload images and hence save time.

Go Menu:

This menu is a short cut to the pages you already visited. Under this menu, you will see the following options


When you select this option, it will take you to the last page you visited


This does the opposite of Back. It takes you the previous page. Notice this option stays disabled as you are opening new pages. It is however helpful if you go back a number of pages and need to get back to the previous page


This one takes you to your home page which can be set under Edit Preferences option

After the three menu options, you will see a list of pages that you have recently visited. This is a dynamic list that updates as you go from one web page to another.

Communicator Menu:

This menu lets you access other features like mail and newsgroups. We are going to discuss each option under this menu briefly.


This option takes you back to the communicator window


If you have you email and newsgroups setup to work with Netscape, this is the option that will take you there. Since a lot of people use Outlook with Internet Explorer, this is hardly ever used but it is there incase you are a big Netscape fan. When you click on this option, you will get a new window that looks like this

Bitmap Image


This is a stripped down HTML editor which lets you create new HTML documents. In order to learn more about HTML, please view the Web Publishing section.


Bookmarks let you store popular pages that you visit frequently.


This option lets you subscribe to news groups of your interest. Lets say you like classic cars and would be interested in reading articles. If you have access to a newsgroup server, you can get articles of interest 

Address Book

This is another add on from the mail services where you would keep information on your contacts


Help Menu:

The Help Menu is a good area to find assistance on anything relating to Netscape Communicator. I like to use the Index tab which lists all the available topics. Lets say you wanted to find help on Bookmarks. Here is what you would do 

Help Help Contents

A new dialog box will open. Go ahead and click on Index. In the space below Look for type bookmarks. This is what you will see.