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Computer Q & A: What is a URL and how do I copy it?

Simply defined, the URL is the entire address of what you are viewing in your web browser. It is found in your browser's address bar. It is important to your developer because it helps them to know precisely where you are encountering an issue or problem on your website, and it also helps point the developer in the direction of how they can solve the problem for you.

Let's look at an image of a website in a browser to see what we're talking about.

web browser screen

So where is the URL, then, in this image?

URL address bar

It's right there, in the center of the address bar at the top of your browser window.

Your website support and development team will be able to help you much more quickly and accurately if you can copy the URL of a page where you encounter a problem and paste it into an email when you report an issue needing attention. Here's how you do it.

How do I copy and paste a URL in Windows?

  1. When you encounter the problem, take your mouse cursor and click into the address bar of your browser.
  2. Select everything in the address bar. If the address is so long that it "flows over" and you can't get it all, use your key command ctrl+A to Select All.
  3. Now enter the key command ctrl+C to copy what you've selected. The URL is now copied to your system's clipboard and is ready to be pasted in an email to your support team.
  4. Now begin an email to your support team to report the issue.
  5. Paste the URL into the email by entering the key command ctrl+V.

How do I copy and paste a URL using the Mac OS?

  1. When you encounter the problem, take your mouse cursor and click into the address bar of your browser.
  2. Select everything in the address bar. If the address is so long that it "flows over" and you can't get it all, use Command+A to select all. (Command is the button that has the Apple on it, and is to the left and right of your space bar.)
  3. Now enter Command+C to copy what you've selected. The URL is now copied to your system's clipboard and is ready to be pasted in an email to your support team.
  4. Now begin an email to your support team to report the issue.
  5. Paste the URL into the email by entering the Command+V.

Send off this email to your support team, and you have equipped them with some valuable information that is needed to resolve the issue.

In case you can't resist and have always wanted to know, here is the technical definition of a URL:
According to the W3C (Worldwide Web Consortium), Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs, aka URLs) are short strings that identify resources in the web: documents, images, downloadable files, services, electronic mailboxes, and other resources. For more information, see http://www.w3.org/Addressing/

A URL “in addition to identifying a resource, [provides] a means of locating the resource by describing its primary access mechanism (e.g., its network ‘location’).” [Tim Berners-Lee, Roy T. Fielding, Larry Masinter. (January 2005). “Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax”. Internet Society. RFC 3986; STD 66.] For more information, see http://gbiv.com/protocols/uri/rfc/rfc3986.html

Computer Q & A : How do I make a print screen picture in Windows?

When you want to discuss what you're seeing on your computer or website, the best way to share it is by sharing a picture of your screen or the browser window. People use different words for this, but they all are the same thing: print screen, screen shot, screen capture or screen grab. There are a few ways you can do it.

print screen buttoncontrol and alt keysBefore I begin, let me mention that not all Windows keyboards have a Print Screen key. Sometimes it is labeled "Print Screen|SysRq" and sometimes it is labeled "Prt Scrn". If it is available on your keyboard it will usually be in the 6-pack of keys to the right of the main keys. The methods of taking a screen capture in this tutorial will use this key and the Alt key. In Windows, the Ctrl and Alt keys are located together at the bottom of your keyboard, usually to the left and right of the space bar.

There are two common ways you can take a picture of your screen in Windows. One way takes a picture of the window you are actively working in, for example, your Internet Explorer browser window. The other way takes a picture of the entire monitor screen. I will give you the steps for how to do each one.

Taking a picture of your browser window in Windows

  1. All ProgramsFirst, ensure that you have the browser window you want open in front of you on your screen and you have just clicked inside it. 
  2. Press alt+prt scrn. When both keys are pressed at the same time, it takes a picture of what you see on your browser window right now and copies it into the system's clipboard.
  3. start buttonNow go to Start, then All Programs, then select Accessories, and when it expands, select the application Paint.
  4. Paint will open. When it is open, go to the Edit menu and click on Paste. If you prefer, you can use ctrl+v to paste the image of your browser window.
  5. PaintYou can use the ellipse (circle shape) tool and paint a red circle around part of the image to highlight it and point it out.
  6. Save As menuWhen you are satisfied you have what you want, go to File > Save As...  Enter a meaningful name and  save it as a JPG (recommended to reduce file size), saving it in a place where you will be able to locate it later.
  7. Create an email and attach your print screen image to share what you are seeing, and send it off!

 

 

Taking a picture of your entire monitor screen in Windows

  1. First, ensure that you have what you want to show on your screen. 
  2. Press prt scrn. It takes a picture of what you see on your monitor screen and copies it into the system's clipboard.
  3. Now go to Start, then All Programs, then select Accessories, and when it expands, select the application Paint.
  4. Paint will open. When it is open, go to the Edit menu and click on Paste. If you prefer, you can use ctrl+v to paste the image of your monitor screen.
  5. You can use the ellipse (circle shape) tool and paint a red circle around part of the image to highlight it and point it out.
  6. When you are satisfied you have what you want, go to File > Save As...  Enter a meaningful name and save it as a JPG (recommended to reduce file size), saving it in a place where you will be able to locate it later.
  7. Create an email and attach your print screen image to share what you are seeing, and send it off!

Please let us know if this instruction has been helpful to you. We want to make it easier for you to communicate with us so that we can help you get the website and web applications you need.

Drupal Q & A: How do I break teaser text the way I want?

When you publish a news item (story) to your home page in Drupal, it is pretty simple. The text creates a teaser on the home page, and that helps to lead visitors in to see the rest of the story as well as other parts of your web site. Very often, though, the break in the text happens at the wrong place. Maybe you'd like to customize how much of your text shows on the home page. Here's how you do it.

the HTML button Open your news item and go to the edit tab. Scroll down to where the body of the news is stored and look for an HTML button icon along with the other icons like Bold and Italics. Click on the HTML button. Once you are in the the HTML window, find the location where you'd like your news to break. Add "<!--break-->" (minus those quotes) to the exact location where you want it to break. This code will not display and it will break your text at this point so you'll have just the teaser text you want on your home page.

adding in a break Click update and then submit your edit. Your view will now break in the correct location.

Drupal is a SourceForge Community Choice Finalist

Wow! Drupal is getting a ton of recognition in the open source community. The Drupal project is a finalist in FIVE different categories of the SourceForge.net 2008 Community Choice Awards including:

  • Best Project
  • Best Project for the Enterprise
  • Best Project for Educators
  • Most Likely to Change the World
  • Best Tool or Utility for Developers

The results are released on July 25th. Can't wait to see what comes out. (Interestingly, Joomla did not make the finalist for ANY of the categories. Given that SourceForge is THE home for open source projects, not sure what that means for Joomla).

Drupal Q & A: How do I add an image to a page or story?

While editing a Drupal story or page, you'll undoubtedly reach a point where you want to add an image. There are a few modules that can be used to insert and manage images differently, but I'd like to provide some steps for how to add an image using the image insert module we frequently use in our Drupal websites. Before adding an image, you should have some familiarity with creating and editing a story or page and your images should already be optimized to be the size you want them on the page.

First, begin with editing your page or story.

  • If there are images to place within the story, scroll down to File Attachments. Click Browse to find and select your image file.
  • Click the Attach button to upload it and attach it to your Story or Page.
  • Once you’ve attached your images to the story, they will display in a list.
  • The name of the file is shown in the field named Description.
    Uncheck the List button unless you would like the files to be listed after the story and available for download, or displayed in an RSS feed.
  • If you made an error and uploaded the wrong file, check Delete, and the file will be deleted.

    upload image

  • Now, you will add one of your attached images to the body copy of your story.
  • Highlight to select the URL of your image. Make sure you include the leading slash and use everything after the site name. Alternatively, you can select the name of the image from the Description field. Copy it.

    copy image file name

  • Next, scroll up to the Body area of the Edit screen. Insert your cursor just before the first word of the paragraph where you want to place the image.
  • Click on the Insert/Edit image button in your editing tools. It looks like a picture of a tree or a postcard picture.
  • The Insert/Edit image box will open.
    In the Image URL field, paste the name of the URL or file name.?
  • The URL should be formatted like so: /files/yourfilename.jpg (with /files/ before the file name). Make sure you are including the leading slash and use everything after the site name. If you enter the URL correctly, you will see your image in the window below. In some image editors, you may need to enter an absolute path URL: http://www.your-website.com/files/yourfilename.jpg.
  • Using keywords, enter an image description into the Image description field.
  • Using keywords, enter a title into the Title field.

    insert edit image

  • Click the Appearance tab next to adjust the positioning of your image.
  • In the Appearance screen, use the Alignment dropdown to select the alignment you prefer.
  • Select Right to put your image to the Right with text wrap on the left. Left will do the opposite.
  • The window will show approximately how your image will be positioned in the text.
    Nothing else in Insert/edit image should be adjusted. Click Insert to insert the image in the text.

    align image right

  • You will see the image in your text with the position and text wrap you assigned.
  • To add a border to the image, click on the image, and select border1, border2 or border3 from the Styles tools dropdown. If you make no selection, there will be no border.

    apply style class to image

    When you are finished editing your page, click Submit to save your work.

    There you have it! You now have an image in your page or story.

If Content is King, then <TITLE> must be God

by Matt Goodwin 07/07/2008

 

I have heard many people use the cliché that content is king. I agree that content is and should be king when it comes to search engine optimization. Ultimately, a site is worthless if not for the content. But if you are trying to get people to your site, and you want your site indexed properly, you'll need a fitting <TITLE>.

From the most reputable sources, it is recommended that a <TITLE> use terms to describe the page's content in less than 70 characters. I recommend that a title be formatted like so:
Keyword Terms | Company or website name
Example: Custom Drupal 6 Modules and Templates | drupalmodule.com

Note that keyword terms in the title should come before the name of the company or website. The reason for this is simple. You should always put first what is unique, varied and relevant to that page. The company or website name will be repeated – and frequently – on many pages, so tell the visitor first what makes this page different.

Do a search for "conservation internship". What do you see first? You see the title of the page as a hyperlink. That's the first thing that a user would see and, like people, search engine crawlers put a great deal of faith in a title. Whether we like it or not, we tend to judge books by their cover. It's the first thing you see and the first impression is the most important one.

Drupal Q & A: How do I change the title of my website?

Clients often ask how they can change the title of their Drupal website. The title is the text that appears at the very top of your browser "chrome". It is indexed by search engines and helps the search engines to know what your site is basically about. Occasionally site owners want to adjust a word or two and add or take away a keyword. To do this, you will need to have access to the administration area of your Drupal website and probably need to be a site administrator. Here's how:

  1. Login to the admin area of your website
  2. Go to the admin page or in the admin menu under your user name, click the link "Administer"
  3. Click "Site Configuration" in the admin menu, or in the Site Configuration area of the Administer page, click on "Site Configuration"
  4. The Site Configuration page will load. Edit the Name field as you choose
  5. Save Configuration

If you do not have this access, go to your administrator or call Lucidus Support at 877-548-0714, and we'll be glad to help you out.

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Migration from Joomla to Drupal Simplified...

For those interested in migrating from Joomla 1.0.15 to Drupal, there is now a module we're playing with called "Joomla to Drupal" that boasts the following capabilities:

  • import Joomla Users
  • import Joomla Sections & categories
  • import Joomla Contents & Static-contents including images/pictures

I'll keep you posted as we progress on this but it's nice to see a module that is generally available for simplifying the move.

Webmonkey is Back (and they Interviewed Dries about Drupal)

Back in the day (all the way back when anything with the letters .com would make you rich), Webmonkey was THE resource for web geekery. They followed the trends and even set some of them. It had great content and was actually an outgrowth of Wired! (then called HotWired!) Magazine. Unfortunately, the site succumbed to the fall of the dot-com world and disappeared for several years. Well....they're back!

Better yet. They just did an interview with Dries and Jay over at Acquia about Drupal. Interesting to hear in greater detail the origins of Drupal (it started as a multi-user, collaborative system from day one); the fact that more than 900 people contributed to the Drupal 6 core release; and that CCK is being brought into core (which hasn't been a secret but cool to see it in the mainstream world).

So far, the Webmonkey blog has produced some VERY cool items including a link to some great cheat sheets and some of their own. I'm thrilled to find it once again. Welcome back!

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