IMS Web Tips ******** ISSUE 3 July 20 1999 *********
"Free Tips and Tricks for getting the most out of your Web Site.
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Please forward this news letter on to your colleagues and friends.
In this issue:

1. Adding special characters to your text.
2. Submitting your Web Site to search engines.
3. IMS tip: Adding HTML Link Lists to a text Object
4. User Questions:
-How can I hide my Hit Counter?
-How do you create a drop menu?
5. In next weeks issue.

1. Adding special characters to your text.

Did you know that HTML supports a complete special character
set? What are special characters? Probably the most often used by
most people are the Copyright , Trademark T and Registration

Special Characters are symbols that are not usually available
directly from the keyboard. HTML supports a whole slew of them
defined by a simple code that is started by an & (ampersand) and
terminated by a ; (semicolon). The code for the copyright symbol
is © the Trademark symbol ™ is ™ and the Registration
symbol ® I have posted a complete set at
is3fig1.htm. We will leave
this page posted at this address for the foreseeable future so please
feel free to bookmark and refer to it as you need.

In addition to these special symbols, you can enter any ASCII
character using this special format by specifying its decimal code
preceded by a # (pound) symbol. If you don't know, the ASCII
character set represents every character on the keyboard plus all the
invisible characters. There are 256 ASCII characters all together
which is not so coincidentally, exactly the number of bit
combinations in a byte. The letter A is A the letter B is
B and so on. The ASCII decimal code for the copyright
symbol is 169 and is entered as © Many good computer
reference books include a table of all 256 ASCII characters. We will
post a copy on our site when we have time and let you know. You
should be careful using codes below 32 since many of these are used
for file control. The NULL character #000 in particular is used to
terminate an ASCII file and could cause you problems if you
attempt to use it.

Some very useful characters in the special character set include the
< (less than), > (greater than) and & (ampersand) characters. Why
are these so useful when they are readily available on the keyboard?
If you look at the is3fig1.htm Table, you will see the special character
codes listed. If they were entered the way you see them then the
browser would interpret the code and display the symbol instead of
displaying the code. In other words, in order to display the code
&copy; I had to enter &amp;copy; with the & replaced by its code
&amp; In this way, if you want to display the >BODY< tag on a
HTML page you can type it as &lt;BODY&gt; in order to prevent
the browser from interpreting it as a HTML tag.

2. Submitting your Web Site to the search engines

Over the last two issues I explained how to set up your Meta Tags
so that they can be indexed and categorized by the various search
engines. Many search engine use a small program called a Spider to
search and categorize as many web pages as possible. If you do
nothing else you may find that people start linking to your site after
being found on a search engine simply because you set up your meta
tags correctly. If you do nothing else however, you will be missing
out since many search engines will not send a spider to your site
until you register while some search engines do not use spiders at

Optimizing your site for visiting spiders is a topic in itself that I will
talk about in more detail next week. This week I will explain some
of the things you should do to register your site with the search

I am sure many of you have seen ads to register your site with over
several hundred search engines. These programs can be very useful
when dealing with a large number of specialty indexes. Many of
these indexes will generate little traffic to your site but some can be
very productive and well worth the effort if the submission process
is automated by a program. The major search engines however, are a
different story. These are too important to be left to a submission
program and should be handled individually.

There are at least 5 major search that you should know something
about to optimize your submission.

AltaVista. Register at:
This is the largest search engine on the net and is easy to get
registered with if your meta tags are set up correctly. Submit your
main page and 1 other page every two weeks. Let their spider crawl
the rest of your site for best results.

HotBot Register at:
This is another very large search engine. Submit your two most
important pages every two weeks.

Goto Register at:
You can get any ranking you like on this engine provided you pay
for it. Keywords are auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Excite Register at
Submit your site every two weeks

Lycos Register at:
You need at least 75 words on your home page to be properly index
by the Lycos spider.

Infoseek Register at:
Infoseek rarely spiders web sites so it is important to submit as
many relevant pages as possible.

Yahoo Register at:
Yahoo is the most popular search engine on the net but getting
listed can be difficult. Estimates are that only 1 in 10 submissions
get listed and even then it can take up to 15 weeks. Yahoo has
recently introduced a fast-track registration process that cost $199.
This will get your site reviewed within 7 days but will not guarantee
that it is listed. They review your site individually and will list it if
they feel that it offers something of value to their customers.

You can visit: http://www.searchenginewatch.com for more useful
information and tips about the major search engines.

3. IMS tip: Adding HTML Link Lists to a text Object.

As most of you probably know, IMS Web Engine and IMS Web
Spinner allow you to assign a HTML link to any Object by using the
Object Editor Link Dialog. This is simple and convenient. When
you create a multi-page project the Editor's ability to keep track of
internal links even after you change a page name is especially

Sometimes however, you may want to enter a link directly inside a
text Object. Creating a separate Object for multiple links can be
tedious to set up and maintain. A more convenient method is to
enter a link inside a Text, HTML or Rich Text Object. With a little
knowledge of HTML this can be easily accomplished.

A HTML link is created with the Anchor Tag. The tag itself
specifies the URL to be linked to and surrounds a text or picture
that the user can click on. The format is:
<A HREF="http://www.awebpage.com">click here</a>. The Tag
starts with <a. The URL to link to is enclosed in quotes following
the href= command. The text that the user clicks on is between the
> (Greater Than) bracket and the anchor terminating tag </a>.

To create a list of links within a Text or HTML Object, you would
simply combine multiple anchors. I have posted an example at:
is3fig2 . For your
information, I used Special Characters as discussed in topic 1 to
display the code needed to produce the link lists. When entering
text into a HTML Object, you can use the <br> tag to start a new

As I mentioned in a previous news letter, I do not normally
recommend that you mix Rich Text and HTML tags. The reason is
that IMS converts the Rich Text format to HTML when you Export
or Publish your project. If you change a Rich Text format such as
the Font Size or Color within a HTML tag, the conversion will mix
the two tags producing incorrect code. If you are careful not to
change any format within a HTML tag, it is possible however, to
mix the two formats successfully. If you do decide to add HTML
code when editing Rich Text and end up with an error, you can
often correct the problem by changing the Object to HTML format,
exiting the editor, re-entering the Editor and then changing the
format back to Rich Text again.

4. Reader Questions.

How can I place a counter on my site and make it invisible to
anyone who sees it but have it visible to me?

Nat's Poke Page

I was asked about importing Scripts and HTML in last weeks news
letter. If you recall, almost any valid script or HTML code can be
pasted into a text Object and positioned on your Web Page. One of
the nice aspects of this method is that you can manipulate this
Object just like any other text or image Object including applying
Behaviors and Actions. For this operation, you will want to make
the Counter Object invisible until you perform an action that only
you know about to make it visible.

If you are using IMS Web Engine, you can be quite sophisticated
with this. If you are using IMS Web Spinner or manually editing
code, it is still possible but a little riskier that some one will
accidentally stumble upon the hidden counter. An example of a
hidden counter can be viewed at is3fig2 To view a
simple example of a counter, you will have to move your mouse
over the "is3fig2" text to reveal the counter. A harder to reveal
counter produced by IMS Web Engine is hidden under the "is3fig3"
text Object. To see it, you will not only have to move your mouse
over the counter but you will have to press the lower case "c"
character on you keyboard.

Finally, if you note in these examples I have hidden the counter
behind another Object.. Why did I not just make the counter
invisible? First, an invisible Object is harder to find on your web
page. Second, I am not sure that the counter will work if it is
Invisible. Maybe some one can give it a try and let us know.

I need to write a script for a three-level
pull-down menu when the mouse moves over a button or special
text and jumps to the corresponding URL on a mouse click. Do you
have a script like this or can you please name me a tool which can
help me?

Norbert Schlage
Sti Group

IMS Web Engine has supported the ability to create a Drop Menu
since its first release. A Wizard was also recently created and
released to simplify the creation of drop menus. The fact that we
still receive a fair number of questions on this topic suggests that
either many of you do not know that a Drop Menu Wizard exists, or
you still need more clarification on its use.

For those of you that are not familiar with the term, Drop Menus
are a relatively new effect that has gained a lot of popularity on
some of the major sites in recent months. Microsoft in particular is
using them extensively on their site. Our DHTML entry page
includes drop menus. We also have an example on our Wizard Page

Drop menus can be created quickly in IMS Web Engine with the
Drop Menu Wizard. IMS Web Spinner does not directly support
Drop Menus but a close approximation can be created with the
Mouse Over Wizard.

In a Drop Menu, a Nav Bar includes a Menu Topic Object such as
"Select a Link". When the mouse moves over the Menu Topic, it
will Trigger the Drop Menu. The Drop Menu is simply a HTML
Text Object with multiple links. An example would be:

<a href="http://www.newsworld.com"> News</a></br>
<a href="dhtmlmagic.htm"> DHTML Magic</a><br>
<a href="http://VirtualMechanics.com">Virtual Mechanics</a>


Do you recognize it? This is simply the link list we discussed in the
previous topic. You can manually create the Drop Menu in IMS
Web Engine by assigning the correct Behaviors to the Trigger
Object and Drop Menu Object. Using the Wizard however, is faster
and more reliable. In IMS Web Spinner, use a Mouse Over Effect
for the Drop Menu. The Menu Object will appear when the mouse
moves over it instead of over the Menu Topic Object. Not quite
what you want but close.

OK? With a bit of practice you should get it but if not, let me know
and we will discuss it some more.

5. Next week.

1. Special Effects
2. Cooperative site promotion
3. IMS tip: Understanding Font Size.
4. Reader Questions.
Send your Questions to tips@VirtualMechanics.com with Question
as your Subject. If we don't know the answer, another reader may.

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