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Website Help

This help section should assist you if you are having difficulty using our website or finding what you need.

If, after reading this, you are still having difficulty, then email the Website Manager, who will be happy to help.

Not sure where to start?
How do I move around the site?
What do the buttons on the right hand side of the page do?
How can I search for what I want?
How to search the News Database
How to search the rest of the Site
File Formats
PDF files
RTF files
Word documents
Accessibility
Standards
Access Keys
Browser, platform and screen compatibility
Feedback

Not sure where to start?

First of all, are you in the most appropriate place? This help section is about how to use this website. You might want to try:

  • the site map − for details of the structure of the site
  • the faqs − for information in a Question & Answer (Q & A) format on specific topics

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How do I move around the site?

To access different pages on this site you can either use the menu options provided along the top of the screen, which drop down to reveal additional links when you hover your mouse over them (see the illustration of the News and Links dropdowns). All the sections - Home, News, Action, Information and Links have dropdown menus like this. The different sections have dropdown menus in different colours so that you can easily see where you are in the site.

screen shot of dropdown menu screen shot of dropdown menu

After you click on one of the dropdown links, you will be taken to the page you have requested. Then, you will see additional navigation down the left had side of the page, such as this one for the Information section, illustrated below:

screen shot of left hand navigation menu screen shot of left hand navigation menu screen shot of left hand navigation menu

As you move your mouse over these options the cursor will change to a hand-shape signalling a link to the relevant web page. A short description of the contents of each section will also appear in the lower left-hand side of the screen as you hover over options. Then just click your mouse button and you will move to your chosen page. Images such as photographs or logos are also sometimes clickable links to further information. To find out, hover your mouse over images and a short description will appear and explain where the link will take you.

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What do the buttons on the right hand side of the page do?

The navigation buttons on the right hand side of the screen are from every page to allow you to perform special functions from wherever you are in the site.

Helpclicking on this will bring you to this Help page

Searchclicking on this will take you to the Search page

Printer friendly pageclicking on this will make the page you are viewing suitable for printing: it will make the page fit a normal A4 page and remove the navigation elements so that you just get the main content when you print it out

bookmark this pageclicking on this will open your Add Favourites (Internet Explorer) menu, so that you can bookmark the page

email this to a friendclicking on this will bring up our Email a Friend or Colleague service, which will allow you easily to mail the page to a friend. Just fill in the details of your own email address and that of the person you wish to send it to, together with any message, and press Send.

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How can I search for what I want?

The Main Search Page can be accessed at any time from within the site by clicking on the search icon Searchon the right. This image will change to Searchwhen your mouse hovers over it.

There are two different searches available from this page:

  • Search News Database
  • Search Our Site

Search News Database (searches news database ONLY)

screen shot of News search

1. Put in your keywords. These can be single words, like "electronic" or a phrase like "electronic libraries".

2. Use the dropdown menu which says Search Where to choose which area of the database you want to search. At the moment, there is only the News database, so choose that. (Later, we plan to add more databases for you to search.)

3. Use the dropdown menu which says Search What to choose which kind of news you want to search. You have a choice of:

  • All news content
  • Press release archive
  • News snippets
  • Feature items

If you are not sure, we suggest you leave it selected at All news content.

4. You can also choose whether to search just the Headlines, or the Headlines and Content together. If you don't find what you want by searching just the Headlines, try asking it to search both (this will widen your search).

5. Click on Search and the search facility will attempt to locate what you are looking for. It will produce a list of results in the form of links. You can click on any of the links to go straight to that article.

If you are already on the Latest News page, there is a quick link to the Search News Database which looks like this:

screen shot of news search

Type in a search word or phrase, click on Go and the Search facility will attempt to find it for you. It will search the News database using Headlines and Content together, and will produce a list of results.You can click on any of the links to go straight to that news article.

Search our Site (searches all site pages but NOT the news database)

This search is also accessed from the Main Search Page and searches the parts of the site which are not held in a database. The search looks for the search word in any part of the text of the non-database part of the website. This search is powered by Atomz, a commercial search engine.

screen shot of search

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File Formats

Most of this site is viewable in an ordinary browser, like Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. These browsers will display information from files which are coded in the language of the web, such as HTML (Hyper Text Markup Lanaguage) and ASP (Active Server Pages) which are used extensively on our site. You do not need anything more to see pages built this way.

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PDF files

Some of our documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF), indicated by this image:format: pdf  To read these documents, you will need to have on your computer a program called a plug-in, which enables your browser software to display the document so you can see it on screen. The one you need to obtain to read PDFs is Acrobat Reader, which is available free. You can download the latest version from here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html

If you are having trouble seeing our Acrobat PDF documents in your browser, have a look at these hints and tips on the Adobe Acrobat website. If you still have problems, please contact the MLA Website Manager.

If you are a reader with visual impairment, go to Access Adobe site http://access.adobe.com/simple_form.html to have the PDF document instantly converted and shown in your browser as HTML, for your speech reader to interpret (you will need to supply the full URL of the document).

RTF files

Some of our documents are in Rich Text Format (RTF), indicated by this image:format: rtf  This is a generic format of Microsoft Word, which should be readable by people with most versions of Microsoft Word. However, if you are having trouble with this, visit the Microsoft website to obtain a free viewer for your particular version of Word. he viewer will also allow you to see the file even if you do not have any version of Word at all.

Word files

Some of our documents are Word Documents (DOC), indicated by this image:format: rtf  Most of these will have been created using the version of Word which is contained in Office97, and should be readable by most people who have Microsoft Word on their computer. However, if you are having trouble with this, visit the Microsoft website to obtain a free viewer for your particular version of Word. The viewer will also allow you to see the file even if you do not have any version of Word at all.

PowerPoint files

Some of our documents are PowerPoint Presentations (PPT), indicated by this image:format: ppt  Most of these will have been created using the version of PowerPoint which is contained in Office97, and should be readable by most people who have Microsoft PowerPoint on their computer. However, if you are having trouble with this, visit the Microsoft website to obtain a free viewer for your particular version of PowerPoint. The viewer will also allow you to see the file even if you do not have any version of PowerPoint at all.

Zip files

Some of our documents maybe stored in a "Zip file" (ZIP), indicated by this image:format: zip  Zip files are "archives" used for distributing and storing files. Zip files contain one or more files and are usually compressed to save space. To open a Zip file you will need software such as WinZip to unpackage the files. To obtain a copy visit the WinZip website

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Accessibility

Standards

This site has been designed to reflect website design guidelines recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium and adhere to the standards set out in the Guidelines for UK Government websites and e-Government Interoperability Framework (eGIF), which is mandatory for all public sector bodies.

The site adheres to all the latest accessibility standards relating to visual impairment. Options to skip menu navigation are readily accessible at the top of the home page for users who may be accessing the site using assistive technology such as speech synthesis software, screen magnification or soft Braille displays.

This site has an Access Options page where you can change your accessibility settings.

You can choose to:

  • switch dropdown menus on (the default for the site is OFF in accordance with RNIB recommendations);
  • increase or decrease text size
  • select a new colour scheme for text and background

Access Keys

This website uses an access keys system. To navigate using your keyboard, please hold down your 'Alt' key and press the relevant key from the following list. If you are using an Internet Explorer browser, you will then need to press 'Enter'.

  • C − Access Options
  • H − Home
  • N − News
  • A − Action
  • I − Information
  • D − Discussion
  • E − Search
  • P − Help
  • L − Links

Browser, platform and screen compatibility

This site is designed as optimised for the following:

  • Internet Explorer version 4 and above
  • Netscape Navigator version 4 and above
  • Windows
  • Apple Macintosh
  • a screen resolution of 800x 600 pixels

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Feedback

We appreciate your views on our website, particularly if you are having difficulty, as we want to improve it.

Please email the Website Manager with details of any problems or suggestions for improvement.

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