Using Helpful Colin’s Site

“This page contains basic instructions for my site. When I realise it may not be easy to navigate part of my site I write something here to help.

Whilst it doesn’t have many instructions it is not in any particular order, but that may change as time passes and I have more to say.” – Helpful Colin

Contents

Making an Item, or Context Menu, Selection

Long Tapping on Touch Screens

Logo, Link, Menu, Category, Title and Tag Colours

Navigating The Blog Posts

Enlarging Images

Commenting or Replying To A Post

Saving a Post as a Browser Favourite

1. When Using Internet Explorer (IE11 in particular)

2. When Using Google Chrome

Using Google Maps On This Site


Making an Item, or Context Menu, Selection

In the days when there were only desktop computers selection of a Link, Menu Item or Button was made by moving the mouse to hover the pointer over the item, which usually highlighted it in some way whilst the pointer changed shape from an I-beam or arrow to a hand with a pointing index finger, and then the item was selected by clicking the left mouse button (or the only mouse button). This made it relatively easy to write about the process by referring to clicking on an item to select it.

With the advent of touchpads on laptops and touch sensitive screens the action of ‘clicking’, ‘double clicking’ or ‘right clicking’ is no longer an appropriate term to use when describing the selection process. Consequently I will use the term ‘Select’ when describing the action of ‘single clicking’ in the event of a hand pointer being present or ‘double clicking’ in the event of an arrow pointer being present. The reader will have to interpret that as best they can to describe the method they use to choose a link, select from a menu or press on a button.

In the event the reader chooses context menus by ‘right clicking’ (Windows), ‘Ctrl + clicking’ (Mac) or ‘long tapping’ (touch screens) I shall refer to ‘select the context menu’.

Long Tapping on Touch Screens

This is the art of:

  • tapping an item on a touch screen followed immediately by touching the screen in an unused area for a long period (Windows 8, 8.1, 10) refer here,
  • just holding the finger on an item for a long time (Android) refer here,
  • ‘single-finger long tap’ (tap the screen with one finger and hold it down on the surface until the menu/list is displayed) refer here.

Logo, Link, Menu, Category, Title and Tag Colours

  • The blog title Helpful Colin and post titles in the long list of All Posts and other lists of posts, selected by filtering, will change from BLACK to BLUE when the pointer hovers over them.
  • Selecting the blog title Helpful Colin on the header will take you to the Home page – which is a long list of my Blog Posts. This is the same as selecting Home – All Posts on the main menu.
  • Links in Content have BLUE underlined text which changes to ORANGE while the pointer hovers over them.
  • Links in the Sidebar have BLUE text which changes to ORANGE while the pointer hovers over them.
  • Unselected Main Menu item text is BLACK on a WHITE background and changes to BLUE text while the pointer hovers over it. The text remains BLUE when selected.
  • Main menu items have a BLACK arrow head on the right of the item which points to the left when the item has sub menus.
  • Sub menus of the Main Menu appear while the pointer hovers over Main Menu items. The sub menus have the same colour scheme as the main menu.
  • Selected Sub Menu items, or those on route to selected items, appear with BLUE text when the sub menu subsequently appears. They change back to BLACK when a new item is selected which changes the sub menu route.
  • Tags appear as a ORANGE text on a WHITE background.

Navigating The Blog Posts

  • Select Home – All Posts from the sub menu of Posts on the Main Menu or select the Helpful Colin on the header to get to the top of the Blog Post list.
  • The Blog Posts can be scrolled from top to bottom (most recent to oldest) using a ‘Continuous Scroll’ process.
  • At any time readers can return to the top of the page by clicking this icon: 2014-10-21_17-56-49 which will appear translucent in the bottom centre of the page. NOTE: It only becomes visible after the page has been scrolled up so that the top is out of view.

Enlarging Images

  • To show the enlarged image: Hover the pointer over an embedded image. Then if it can be selected it will change to a hand pointer. Expect to see the message ‘Select this image to enlarge it (or something similar). Select it and it will be shown either in the current tab or a new tab (in most cases a new tab) in the same browser window according to the way the author has programmed it. If it can be enlarged it will be shown enlarged. If images can’t be enlarged they probably won’t be selectable.
  • To force the enlarged image to be shown in a new tab or window: Using Internet Explorer select the context menu and from it select ‘Open link in new tab’ or ‘Open link in new window’ to open the image in either a new tab in the current browser window or in a new browser window. If it can be enlarged it will be shown enlarged.

Commenting or Replying To A Post

  1. When scrolling through the list of All Posts on the Home page select the link underneath the featured image which looks like this – Leave a comment – if there are no comments, or like this – 14 comments – if there are some (14) comments. You will be taken to the top of the comment section, below the article, on a page with only your chosen post on it. The post title will be reiterated above any existing comments and the comment form will be seen initially below the last comment. If there are no existing comments the title won’t be reiterated and the comment form will be made available.
  2. Then choose:
    1. To start a new thread: The comment form headed ‘Please Comment Below (or Select An Existing Comment’s “REPLY” Button First) – See HELP For Details.’ is initially positioned for you to enter a comment on a new thread. To enter such a comment select the form and enter your comment and your details, as required, below it. Your required details will become apparent as you use the form.
    2. To reply on an existing thread: Select the appropriate REPLY below the comment to which you want to reply and the comment form with its header will be repositioned beneath it. To enter a reply select the form and enter your reply and your details, as required, below it.
  3. Then decide if you want to receive emails advising you of further comments and replies and/or any new post on this blog.
  4. Finally after either {2a and 3} or {2b and 3} above select ‘Send Comment’.

NOTE: If you select a REPLY  button but decide to send a New Comment instead, just select the ‘X’ following the header (above the top right corner of the comment field) and the comment form will move to the bottom of the page again.


Saving a Post as a Browser Favourite

1. When Using Internet Explorer (IE11 in particular)

1.1  Whilst looking at the page you may want to return to just select this icon on the Favourites bar: and the page address will be saved on the favourites bar right next to the icon. It will look like this:

1.2  If you want the favourite to be saved in a folder select this Star icon  to the right of the Address bar, then select ‘Add to favourites’:

Add to favourites

1.3  The ‘Add a Favourite’ window will then open:

Add a favourite

1.4  Point to the ‘Create in’ field where it has a yellow star and ‘Favourites’ written and select it. A list of all favourite folders will then be shown thus:

Favourite Folders List

Either select the ‘Favourites bar’ or a sub folder. The ‘Add a Favourite’ window will open. Then select the ‘New folder’ button to the right of the ‘Create in’ field to open the ‘Create a Folder’ window if you need to create a new folder, like this:

Create a folder

1.5  Enter a folder name of your choosing and select the ‘Create’ button. The ‘Create a Folder’ window will close and the ‘Add a Favourite’ window will change to look like this:

Add a favourite in My New Folder

1.6  Further sub folders can be created in the same way.

1.7  When the folder you want your favourite in is showing in the ‘Create in’ field select ‘Add’ and the favourite will be added to that folder. The ‘Add a Favourite’ window will close. That’s it, favourite added.

1.8  If you want to add more favourites to the same folder in the same browsing session just keep browsing for the appropriate page and when you have it on screen perform the operations in 1.2 and 1.3 above. You will find your folder has been retained in the ‘Create in’ field of the ‘Add a Favourite’ window. You can then go straight to operation 1.7.

2. When Using Google Chrome

2.1  The Top Right-hand corner of the Google Chrome browser looks like this after selecting the yellow Star in the Address bar and then selecting the drop-down list of folders:

Bookmark in Chrome

2.2  I suggest selecting the ‘Bookmarks bar’ else ‘Choose another folder’ which opens this window:

Choose another folder
2.3  From here you can make a ‘New folder’. It will be placed in whatever folder is currently highlighted. Again I would select the ‘Bookmarks bar’. Select Save. The windows that have been opened will close. Go back to 2.1 above and restart the process but this time select the folder you created.

NOTE: To reorder bookmarks select this icon  to the right-hand side of the Address bar. On the first menu point at ‘Bookmarks and a second menu will appear. Select ‘Bookmark manager’ from it:

Select Bookmark manager

‘Bookmark manager’ opens in a new tab. Select the folder to be reordered and then select ‘Organize. At this stage Chrome looks like this:

Bookmark manager

By selecting ‘Reorder by title’ the bookmarks in the highlighted folder will be sorted into alpha-numeric order and the ‘Organize window will close. You can then select further folders to reorder or close the ‘Bookmark manager’ tab.

Using Google Maps On This Site

I have used a tool which allows me to include Google Maps on this site. The maps respond in the same way they do on the Google Maps site. I have the option to affect they way they display and have made the following adjustments:

I have prevented a mouse wheel from being used to zoom in or out of maps. If I didn’t do this then scrolling a post or page with a mouse wheel would be problematic. Maps passing under the pointer would commence zooming and the text would stop scrolling.  I found this to be a general nuisance.

Zooming can still be achieved by:

  • using the +/- signs displayed on the map.
  • double clicking the left mouse button to zoom in and double clicking the right mouse button to zoom out.

By selecting (clicking) the pins on a map their location details can be seen. From the details it is possible to get a route and directions to the pinned site.