So, You Want Some Explorer Commands, Huh?

By Joe Burns

Use these to jump around or read it all...
[Why This Page?] [Netscape No]
[Margin Commands] [Background Sound]
[Floating Frames] [Tables and Such]

To the Reader: I put this page together when Internet Explorer had first come out. Some of the text will sound a little dated, but it's still a good read. What I am talking about here is the concept of "proprietary" commands, commands that will only work in one browser or the other. Internet Explorer seems to be the king of them.

If you're still looking for IE-only commands after reading the tutorial, I suggest you try the DHTML and the Style Sheets tutorials. You'll find a great mean in those two sections.

Why This Page?

      Doesn't Microsoft's Explorer Web Browser do everything Netscape does and vice versa? Well, yes, but the fight for browser supremacy still rages on. And with the advent of MSIE 4.0 and DHTML, MSIE may be starting to win the fight. It certainly appears that Microsoft has captured what Netscape does quite well, at least in their versions 3 and 4. Plus they've gone beyond...

     What I will attempt to provide here is a quick reference to what commands Explorer supports that Netscape won't. Please note, these are add-on commands to many existing tutorials that I have already posted. When possible, I will make links to the main topic tutorial. I would like to say thank you to the over 100 letters I got explaining and helping me with my understanding of the Microsoft Explorer. The Web is a helpful place.

Not Supported By Netscape At All

     There are two major events Explorer will support that Netscape will not:

[Dynamic HTML (DHTML)]
[Scrolling Marquees]

     Netscape now supports the W3.org standard Cascading Style Sheets commands, but style sheets are still mostly seen as an MSIE baby, so here's a link to that major tutorial, too:

[Cascading Style Sheets]

     Each of the above links is a tutorial in and of itself. Please visit the links for the full explanation these items deserve. In the meantime, let's look at the commands:


Margin Commands

     These go inside the <BODY> and affect the entire page in that position.

  • LEFTMARGIN="---" denotes left margin in inches.
  • TOPMARGIN="---" denotes top margin in inches.


Background Sound

     If you've read my tutorial on embedding sounds on a page, you'll have a general idea of what these commands do. They offer, as it would be suggested, a background sound for the page.

Follow this format:

<BGSOUND SRC="sound.wav" LOOP="---">

  • BGSOUND denotes a sound will be placed here.
  • SRC denotes the source of the sound.
    --Note that sound can be in most any sound format, including midi. Explorer supports them all.
  • LOOP denotes the number of times the sound will play. --Using "infinite" will play it forever and ever... until you go crazy.


Floating Frames

     This is really a neat trick. Netscape should offer this soon. It's a frame that needn't be in a FRAMESET command. It offers a lot more freedom when creating frame pages. And as faithful readers of the HTML Goodies tutorials know, I can't stand frames.

This starts and ends all floating frames: <IFRAME> and </IFRAME>.

In the IFRAME command, you can play with these few items:

  • SRC="---" denotes what goes in the frame. You have to have that I guess.
  • ALIGN="---" tells how this frame will look in relation to surrounding text.
    --This is much the same as the ALIGN commands one would use to deal with images around text. See Primer #6 for a refresher.
  • FRAMEBORDER="---" denotes how much border will be around the frame.
    --"0" will give none and each number higher makes a larger visible box. This works like the BORDER command in Tables.
  • MARGINHEIGHT="---" denotes, in inches, margins on top and bottom.
  • MARGINWIDTH="---" denotes, in inches, left and right margins.
  • SCROLLING="---" denotes if a scroll bar will appear. Use "yes" and "no" for commands.
    --Maybe it's just me, but I don't get this one. Why would anyone want to not have one if the page is too long? Hmmm...
  • NORESIZE="--" allows or disallows the user to resize the frame. Use "yes" and "no" commands.

Please note: The above bullet-marked commands will also work on Explorer when included in the normal <FRAME> commands.


Tables and Such

      I get a letter a day asking how one changes the background color of a table or table cell. Well, here's how you do it, and a few other things. All these are placed within the <TABLE> command.

  • BORDERCOLOR="---" denotes the color of the border.
    (See here for a few color commands.)
  • BORDERCOLORLIGHT="---" offers a softer version of the color requested. This works best with the color name codes.
  • BORDERCOLORDARK="---" ditto. --The above three commands also work inside the TH and TD commands.
  • FRAME="---" tells the browser to display certain outside borders on the 3-D table cell frame. Use these:
    ABOVE: border on top only
    BELOW: border on bottom only
    LHS: left border
    RHS: right border
    HSIDES: top and bottom borders
    VSIDES: left and right borders
    BOX: all sides get a border
    VOID: no sides get a border (so there -- nyah)

  • RULES="---" same deal, but on the inside borders. Try these:
    --ROWS: shows borders between rows
    COLS: shows borders across columns
    ALL: gives 'em all borders
    NONE: guess. (No borders, Joe?) Yeah, that's it.

These commands are also available, although I've found them quite useless:

  • <TBODY> and </TBODY> enclose the table.
  • <THEAD> and </THEAD> denote what row will act as header.
  • <TFOOT> and </TFOOT> denote what row will be used as a footer.


     I know there are others and I hope you'll let me know ones I've missed. I'll make a point of listing them. Thanks in advance.

     Hopefully you can use what I've got here. Do yourself a favor, go get Explorer. It opens a whole new realm of HTML writing. Whether you make it your main browser or not is up to you. I still use Netscape for the majority of my work, but give it a try. Heck, you get it free with Windows 95. You can install both Netscape and Explorer on your hard drive at the same time. I did and they haven't interfered with each other at all. I've even had them both open at the same time. Happy Exploring.

 

[Why This Page?] [Netscape No]
[Margin Commands] [Background Sound]
[Floating Frames] [Tables and Such]

To the Reader: I put this page together when Internet Explorer had first come out. Some of the text will sound a little dated, but it's still a good read. What I am talking about here is the concept of "proprietary" commands, commands that will only work in one browser or the other. Internet Explorer seems to be the king of them.

If you're still looking for IE-only commands after reading the tutorial, I suggest you try the DHTML and the Style Sheets tutorials. You'll find a great mean in those two sections.

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