WebExpress On-Line FAQ*
(*Frequently Asked Questions!)

We've listed some of the most common support questions we receive below.
To get the answer to a question, just click on that question!


Copyright © 1997 by MicroVision Development, Inc

How do I control the width and size of empty Table Cells?

This is a problem, in that these two browsers treat cell widths differently. You fix it up for one, then you break the other.

One good way for what you are trying to do is to set the columns to be totally dynamic sizing (no pixels or percentages). Then, insert a clear single pixel GIF file and scale it to the correct width (or height). Since it is clear, it will not interfere, and since it is so small, it downloads quickly. Plus, all browsers (and WebExpress) honor the width you set it to. WebExpress has such a file called TRANS.GIF in the WEBSITES/SAMPLES/IMAGES folder.

It can be a bit tricky to select once it is inserted (if it is only 1 pixel tall), so I often make the height taller just for selection purposes. This will work fine in your case, since the extra height will not interfere with anything lower.

So to recap:

1. Set the column width to have no spacing options.

2. Insert TRANS.GIF. While you insert it, set its width to the desired width (say 40 pixels) and the height to 20 pixels (for ease of selection).

The column will now snap to the width of the image, and will be precisely 40 pixels wide in WebExpress, MSIE, and Netscape.


How can I use Animated Gifs in WebExpress?

You don't make animated gifs in WebExpress, but you can place and use them within WebExpress. To create them, you need a program which will organize multiple gif images into one file. Some high-end graphic editing programs can do this (Adobe Photoshop for one), or special purpose utilities.

One such utility which is pretty reasonable and easy to use is the GIF Contruction Kit. Here's the URL to their web site: http://www.mindworkshop.com/alchemy/gifcon.html.

For links to GIF Construction Set and links to free pre-made Animated Images check out our on-line Design Guide.


How do I add a Page Counter to my page in WebExpress?

A counter is typically a component stored somewhere else on the Web (the counter provider). Sometimes you might have your own, but it would work the same either way. In WebExpress, you simply treat it like an image.

Here is an example of one implmentation. In their instructions, they give you this to type into your page:

<img src="http://www.counter.com/cgi-bin/pagecount.cgi?/home/yoururl/index.cnt">

So you just need to create the image.

1. For the URL, type in the stuff between the quotes:


2. For Alternate Text use: Page Counter

3. If there is the text ISMAP, go to the maps page and click on the Server Side Image map checkbox.

4. Click OK. The image will appear in WebExpress as a gray box.

That's all there is to it!


How do I include images that are in a different directory than my Web page?

Your images do not have to be in the same directory as your html file, but they all have to be within a common directory structure. Here's an example (I hope it formats correctly):



| | |


In the above structure, BASE is your top level folder, and typically would contain at least index.html or whatever you have for a home page. Then you can store all your html files in HTML, all your images in IMAGES, and any other type of files in STUFF.

To track this properly, you should use the Web Site Manager feature in v2.0. If you aren't already, just use File/New Web Site to create and use the Web Site manager for your site.

Also, make sure that in your Web Page Properties dialog, you DO NOT set the BASE URL. WebExpress' Web Site Manager will track the URLs properly, and this ends up causing problems, so leave it blank.

Finally, if all your images are in IMAGES, your URLs for the images should always look something like this in WebExpress:


It doesn't matter which folder your page is located, this is what it will look like. WebExpress will fix up the links when it saves the file so that the browsers always know where to find the image.


How do I add sounds to my WebExpress pages?

WebExpress allows you to setup a background sound in Web Page Properties. But this happens to be a Microsoft extention, and therefore only works with Microsoft.

There is another way that we don't currently support directly, but you can use WebExpress to easily add embedded sounds. Here's how:

1. Use Insert HTML Element from the Insert menu.

2. Use the embed command. Use the example below as a template.

embed src="crash.wav" tppabs="crash.wav" autostart=true hidden=true

3. The autostart should be true if you want it to run when your page is opened.

4. The hidden is true if you don't want a volume control to appear on your page.

With this technique, you should be able to support sounds for both MSIE 3.0 and Netscape.


I need to include an HTML Tag or Element that WebExpress does not support. How do I do that?

The Insert HTML Element is a bit awkward at the moment, but once you know how to use it, it is not so bad. We will be improving it in the near future.

Basically, you need to insert one element at a time. We put the < > in for you, which is why we don't allow you to put them in. This way, we ensure good code. So follow your instructions, and insert one command at a time (everything between an opening < and its closing >).

It will display in WebExpress as <E>. This is because it is HTML code that we supposedly do not understand (or you wouldn't need insert the codes directly). In the browser, it should appear as you intended it.


How do I add Link Exchange Style Banners to my WebExpress page?

Link Exchange and other banner sharing programs typically provide HTML source code to help you set them up.

They are really simply images stored on an external web site, with a link to another site.

Such banners are made up of two components. One is an image stored somewhere else on the Web (the actual banner). The second is a link which dictates the action when a user clicks on the banner. There will also usually be instructions for setting it up.

Here is an example of one implmentation. They give you this to type into your page:

<A HREF="http://www.banner.com/X039084/banner.map">
<IMG SRC="http://www.banner.com/X039084/logoshowbanner?default" ALT="BANNER" ISMAP>

First create the image using normal WebExpress tools. It is specified in this part:

<IMG SRC="http://ad.linkexchange.com/X039084/logoshowad?free" ALT="Internet Link Exchange" ISMAP>

1. For the URL use: http: http://ad.linkexchange.com/X039084/logoshowad?free

2. For Alternate Text use: Internet Link Exchange

3. If there is the text ISMAP (as above), go to the maps page and click on the Server Side Image map checkbox.

4. Click OK. The image will appear in WebExpress as a gray box.

Then link it to their site using the Insert Link dialog. It is specified in this part:

<A HREF="http://ad.linkexchange.com/X039084/gotoad.map">

1. Click on the image you just created to select it.

2. Open the Create/Edit Hyperlink box.

3. Click on the WWW tab of the dialog.

4. Add the URL: In the example it is http://ad.linkexchange.com/X039084/gotoad.map.


Why does my Web page cause the browser to launch a new browser window?

If a link in your web page is launching a new session in Netscape or MSIE, you have specified an incorrect target in the link dialog. The target field is generally only useful for frame web sites, or to launch a new session. Here's what to look for.

In the Target field, it should say _self. This will load over the current page. It might say default:_self, which is fine.

Either of these will replace the existing page rather than launching a new browser session.

If it says _blank, it is going to launch a new session. Sometimes this may be desirable, but not typically. You want to change this to one of the above.

If it says default:_blank, you need to make a change in the Web Page Properties. In this you can specify a default destination for all your hyperlinks. Change this from _blank to _self. This will fix all the links in the document.

You may have to check all your documents if you have set this to _blank in others as well.


I'm having a problem making my FORM Radio Buttons work. What's wrong?

To make radio buttons mutually exclusive, they need to be given the same name. This is the only way you can have different sets of radio buttons in the same form.

For example, in your page you might have one button named mastercard, the other visa. The user never sees the actual field name, so name them both something like creditcard. Then in value, use mastercard and visa to differentiate them when you get back the results of your form.


How do I add a background image to a Table Cell?

WebExpress doesn't currently show background cell images WYSIWYG. You can easily add them however, here's how:

1. Select the cell and goto cell properties.

2. Click on the Extensions button.

3. Click the Add Button.

4. In the name field, type in the word BACKGROUND.

5. In the value field, type in the name of the image (i.e. solid6.gif).

6. OK your way out of the dialogs.

7. As I mentioned, it will be set, but not visible.

If you go into Microsoft Internet Explorer, you will see the background in the cells. Be aware, however, that the most popular browser, Netscape, still does not support this extension (which is why we haven't added it yet).


How do I upload my Web page to a Web server?

This is currently handled independently of WebExpress. You need something called FTP software, which your local ISP should have available for you. One popular one that is easy to use is called WS_FTP.

Once you have that, it is pretty much as easy as copying files from one folder to another using the File Manager or Explorer in Windows. If you maintain a mirror image on your hard disk (and we recommend that you do), you simply copy the files right up to your space on your ISP.


Help! I seem to be having a problem with the capitalization of Web page file names. What do I do?

WebExpress v2.0 has a facility to manage the case sensitivity problem. In order to take advantage of it, you need to be using the Web Site feature. This is easily done with New Web Site from the File menu if you aren't already using it (there are a lot of good reasons to use it!).

Once you get it set up, follow these steps:

1. Choose Web Site Properties from the Edit menu.

2. In the URL case box, check the case you wish (upper or lower) to maintain.

3. If you are using Windows 95/NT, you might also wish to check maintain filenames to keep them the same case.

4. Click OK.

5. If you wish to automatically change all existing URLs, choose Update Web Pages from the Edit menu.

This will now enforce your URLs to be maintained in the chosen case.


Copying a FORM from one page to another doesn't work. What can I do?

The problem is you are selecting from inside a form to outside a form, which is not allowed because of bad things that can happen when the forms get pasted back in. You can, however, select entire forms if you start from above the top of the form and copy to below the form. This is a little quirky, but it had to really be done this way. Here's what to do:

1. Instead of selecting the form from the first line of the form data, select from the end of the line preceding the form (the dotted form outline will show where the border is).

2. Select the entire form to the start of the line immediately following the form.

3. Copy, then paste. This should get the entire form. You might have to trim the top and bottom a little if the selection extended into some text.


What does the disabled menu option "Copy To Local Web Site" mean and how do I use it?

This function is probably not labeled as well as it should be. This does not copy all your files to the internet, but instead copies a web page to the local image of your web site on your hard disk.

For example, if your web site were in C:\websites, and you had a web page open, say C:\samples\mypage.htm, then you could use 'Copy to Web Site' to copy the page (and any images it uses) to C:\websites.

WebExpress currently does not publish the files to the internet, although that is something we are working on for the future.


How do I use CGI to process my page FORMs?

Each form handler is different. You typically put things that direct the cgi script in the form properties dialog. Just right click inside your form, and select Form Properties.

In this box, you need to put the URL to the cgi script, usually it's somewhere on your site or on your ISP's site. Then you add the METHOD which is usually POST.

Finally, you need to supply the cgi script with whatever information it needs (i.e. where to send the data in the form, the subject of the email, etc.). You do this in the Hidden Fields section, adding a hidden field for each thing the script requires. Each hidden field has a name and a value.

There are always instructions supplied with a cgi script with this information. They sometimes make my head hurt too, but if you sift through it, you should find it. We are hopefully going to have a form tutorial put together in the near future to make this easier for everyone.


I'm having trouble getting my Cursor in and out of Tables. What do I do?

Sometimes tables are tricky to get out of, especially if the table is the last thing in the document. But once you know how it is easy.

Here's how from the keyboard:

1. Click in the last cell of the table.

2. Press the Ctrl-End key to make sure you are at the end of the cell.

3. Press the Right arrow key once. This will get you out of the table. If the table is at the end of the document, the cursor will be blinking at the right edge of the table, and you should press Enter to create a new paragraph after the table. If not, it will be at the beginning of the next paragraph.

4. Just start typing.

Here's how with the mouse:

1. Click to the right of the last cell.

2. You should be out of the table, as described above in step 3.

3. You can do this to the left or right of any table row. The cursor will blink just outside the table. You really can't type at this point, but you can press Enter to split the table. You can also use the cursor keys to get back in the table.



I don't want a space between my lines... How do I control Line Spacing in WebExpress?

This is an HTML quirk. They really give you no control over how much space you put in, the browser does what it thinks is best. Here are the two options you have:

1. Pressing Enter creates a new paragraph. This gives you the double space look.

2. Pressing Sh-Enter creates a line break which is about half as much space as a paragraph.

3. You can toggle a paragraph between a new paragraph and a line break from the Format menu (New Paragraph) or using Sh-Ctrl-M.

One other thing, if a paragraph has different attributes from the one which came before it (i.e one is centered and one is left aligned), it forces the double space amount whether it is a new paragraph or a line break.

Line spacing in HTML is a bit limited. You actually have no control between lines, but you do between paragraphs.

There are two types of spacing.

First, the normal Paragarph spacing when you press Enter in WordExpress. The actual amount of space is controlled by the browser, but WebExpress gives a very close approcimation.

Second, is called the Break spacking, which is generated with Shift-Enter in WebExpress. This is about half as much space as the Paragraph space. Again this is controlled by the browser, not by any actual settings. One other thing about Break spacing is that the other paragraph attributes must match or it defaults to Paragraph spacing. In other words, if one paragraph is centered and the next is left aligned, it will always use Paragarph spacing.

Finally, if you want to change from one type of spacing to the other, use the New Paragraph toggle on the Format menu. When checked, it uses Paragraph spacing. When unchecked, it uses Break spacing.