Using This Site

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UPDATED ON:     19 February 2022

“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

Making A Selection Using A Computer & A Mouse

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 to be selected, 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’.

Making A Selection By 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.

Previously I have coloured the links within text on this site and I may do again but, I recently installed the TwentyTwentyTwo theme which comes with the present arrangement.

So, links in text are whatever colour the author has given them but, they all have a solid black under line. When the mouse hovers over the link the solid underline becomes dashed (instead of changing colour).


Navigating This Blog’s Posts

The Main Menu is directly below the full width search bar and has an orange background. it can be seen in full on wider screens including desktop PCs, tablets and phones turned on their sides to give a landscape view.

On narrow screens such as mobile phones in portrait view the main menu is replaced by an orange button with “Menu” written on it.

Description of The Full Width Menu

Home Page Showing The Full Width Menu

The main items on the menu are written in capitals but NOT in bold type. Currently all Main items have sub-menus (for which they are the titles) with a “v” to the right pointing down to indicate that sub-menus exist.

Each Main item must be selected to show its top level sub-menu. Items on a sub-menu that are the title of a further sub-menu are also in capitals but NOT in bold type and have a “>” to the right to show a further sub-menu exists. See below:

The menu tree shown in the picture above has the following sub-menus and item selected:

REFERENCE>GLOSSARY OF>ENGINEERING>Structural Eng.

Those items which don’t terminate in further sub-menus, but terminate in posts, pages or links, etc., are all in bold type. When the mouse pointer hovers over them they become underlined in black to indicate they are links to somewhere. Selecting such an item will take you to its location.

Description of the Menu As A Button

When the menu appears as an orange button it should be selected to display the full list of menu items as a Scrolling Overlay with an orange background. Each sub-menu is shown in order of its appearance on a full width menu with each sub-menu heading indented and the sub-menu further indented.

Home Page Showing Orange Menu Button
Overlay Scrollable Menu Seen on Mobile Phones

The Home Page

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 Pagination system with ten posts on each page.

Opaque
Translucent

At any time readers can return to the top of the page by clicking this To Top icon which will appear translucent until pointed at when it becomes opaque. On large screens this icon is to the bottom right of the page. As the screen gets smaller the icon appears nearer to the centre of the screen. NOTE: It’s only visible after the page has been scrolled up so that the top is out of view. So, if it can’t be seen scroll the page either way to nudge it into 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

From The Home Page

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 14 comments already). You will be taken to the top of the comment section, below the article, on a page with only your chosen post on it.

From The Comments Section Below The Article

The post title will be reiterated in a sentence like this – 5 comments on “UK 13 Amp Plug and Mains Extension Cable Safety Issues”: – above any existing comments. The comment form will be seen initially below the last comment.

When there are no existing comments the post title won’t be reiterated. Just the comment form will be made available.

To Start A New Comment 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 field entitled COMMENT and enter your comment. Then enter your details, as required, below it.

To Reply To An Existing Comment

Select the appropriate Reply button below the comment to which you want to reply and the comment form with its header – Please Comment Below (or Select An Existing Comment’s “REPLY” Button First) – See HELP for Details. – will be repositioned beneath it. To enter a reply select the field entitled COMMENT and enter your comment. Then enter your details, as required, below it.

To Complete Any Comment

You must agree to the storage and handling of your data by this site before you can post a comment. There is another checkbox to be checked for this.

Decide if you want to receive emails advising you of further comments and replies, and/or any new post on this blog, by completing the checkboxes appropriately.

Finally select the POST COMMENT button.

NOTE: If you have already selected 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 (it may look like part of the post title text). Selecting the ‘X’ will move the comment form from the selected comment to the bottom of the page again.

Your comment (when approved) will then be linked directly to the comment you are replying to.

NOTE: If comments appear incorrectly linked the author of this blog reserves the right to relink them as appropriate.


Saving a Post as a Browser Favourite

1. When Using Microsoft Edge

helpfulcolin.com

Section Under Construction

2. When Using Internet Explorer (IE11 in particular)

2.1  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:

2.2  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’:

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

2.4  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:

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:

2.5  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:

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

2.7  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.

2.8  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 2.2 and 2.3 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 2.7.

3. When Using Google Chrome

3.1  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:

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


3.3  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 3.1 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:

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

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 the way they display and have made the following adjustments:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Selecting (clicking) the background clears the details shown for the pin and displays the button which will display a larger Google Map filling a new browser tab when selected.