To get the most from your browser, you need to configure it to handle the different types of files that are used on the web. Plug-in's and helper applications are two different ways to view these files. Plug-in's are special programs designed to work with Netscape to view documents in the browser. Helper applications can be any program on your computer. Netscape will open this program and then load the file. This is a bit more complex to setup and use than a Plug-in, but it is more flexible. For example, Netscape does not have any idea how to display a Lotus 123 spreadsheet file. If you are browsing the web and come across a Lotus 123 spreadsheet file, what do you do? You set up a helper application. By correctly configuring your browser, it will open Lotus 123 and load the *.wk4 file into Lotus. Then you use the spreadsheet, just like any other file.

Because chemical information is relatively complex, I use different programs to develop teaching material. Many of these files may be viewed using freeware helper applications. First you must load the applications on your computer and configure your browser.

More detailed information about Plug-in's about, downloading) and Helper Applications (setup, about) is available from Netscape.

This page is maintained by
Scott Van Bramer
Department of Chemistry
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013

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Last Updated 1/5/96