Internet I-Getting Started on the Web

This is a tutorial to be used in conjunction with classes taught within the county facilities and as a tutorial for those who cannot attend. Some items may be based on PC use within classes. It may be helpful to copy the Exercise instructions before doing them.

About the Internet

What is the Internet or Web?


  1. Internet – a network made up of computers all over the world, connected electronically by telephone lines, fiber-optic cables, and other links. It is a "network of networks".
  2. Web or World Wide Web – the part of the Internet that uses text, images, sound and video. It is huge and growing every day.

NOTE: For more information on the history of the web, refer to: or

What information can I find on the web?

Countless subjects and topics can be found on the web, but not everything can be found; you should still use other resources in the library.

Always remember that anyone can publish something on the web, information may not be accurate, sites may be offensive to some, not everything is free and always look for a "secure site" notification when you order something on the Internet.


Browsers are the software programs that allow you to read and see the information on the Web. They provide the commands and buttons used to click on. Two examples are:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer–The County of Henrico Public Library uses this one.
  • Mozilla Firefox-Free Internet browser
  • Google Chrome-Free Internet browser

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Internet Service Providers are the company you pay to gain access to the Internet through your computer. They will give you a browser to use. Examples: AOL, Comcast, NetZero, Verizon, etc.

Home page

A home page can be one of two things:

  • The introductory or first page for a Web site.
  • An individual's personal page. The page set to load when opening your internet browser.



Scrolling allows you to move up and down and side to side on the webpage. You may use the mouse or the arrow keys on the keyboard.

  • Identify your horizontal and vertical scroll bars and briefly practice scrolling.


Links allow you a way to move from one site and/or page to another site and/or page. There are two types of links:

  • Text links–These are text that are underlined and are generally in a different color. The mouse pointer will turn into a hand when moving the mouse over a link.
    • Place your mouse pointer over this text link
    • When you see the hand, click once.
  • Graphic links–These are graphics or pictures that will show a hand when moving the mouse over them.
    • Place your mouse pointer over this graphic link teacher3
    • When you see the hand, click once.

Back/Forward buttons classes-back-btn

The back and forward buttons allow you to move backward and forward between sites you have already visited.

  • Click on the back button and then the forward button to return here.

Home button classes-home-btn

Takes you to the page that is set to load when first opening the Internet. The library home button is set to our home page.

Stop button classes-stop-btn

Pages can sometimes take too long to load or get hung up. When this happens, you can click on the stop button to end the search. This is often needed during peak times of usage.

Web Addresses

Each web site has a unique address just like we have a unique Social Security number. This allows us to locate a site quickly. These addresses are called URL's (Universal or Uniform Resource Locators). Example address: The Library's address is:

  • Explanation of parts of a URL
      1. http://-stands for hypertext transfer protocol. It's not really important to know what that means, but most web site addresses start with that.
      2. www–stands for world wide web. It is the address for the computer you are contacting.
      3. The middle part of the address (ex: cnn or henricolibrary) is the specific web site name or the name of the company or organization.
      4. The last part of the address is the domain or type of site. Below are some common examples of address endings that are used today.
        • .com–commercial organization
        • .gov–government agencies
        • .mil–military
        • .edu–educational institutions
        • .org–nonprofit organizations
        • .net-network provider
        • .uk, (united kingdom) .fr (france)–sites from other countries
      5. Slashes after the main address represent subsections within the web site. Example:

How to type in a web address and connect to a site:

  • You have to type the address exactly, paying attention to upper and lower cases, slashes and dots. Most browsers will put in the http:// in for you. Some may even put in the www for you. There are some sites where you only need to type the name. Example: nike, amazon
    • Click in the address box, note the highlighted address, and begin typing (the first keystroke erases the highlighted address) some of the following web addresses.
    • Remember to click on the back button to return to this page.
nike amazon

NOTE: When the arrow turns into an hourglass, the icon in the upper right hand corner usually has movement, and the bottom of the screen displays messages regarding status on the connection, this indicates the computer is working and you do not need to continue clicking the mouse.

Favorites or Bookmarks

Favorites refer to a listing of your most used web sites that you frequently access.

  • Click on the menu choice, Favorites (on the top gray toolbar).
  • Click on "Add to Favorites."
  • The next window explains that the website will be added to your "Favorites" folder, click OK.
  • When you click "OK" you will be taken back to the page you just added to your Favorites list.
  • Click on "Favorites" menu choice, you should see the name of the web page you just added at the bottom of the list.
  • Return to this tutorial by clicking the Favorite: Welcome to the County of Henrico Public Library

Search Engines

Search engines are programs that search databases of web documents matching key words supplied by the user. The list of retrieved documents will contain a high percentage of useless material.

There are several different search engines that use different indexing methods to sort their databases. It is a good idea to try your search in more than one. Some include: Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It is important to use the help screens provided by each search engine to assist in narrowing your search.

  • Click on this link:
  • In the text box, type "boxer dog" (include the quotes) and either press Enter or click on the Google Search button.
  • A list of sites will appear. Notice the total number of hits that were found.
  • Click on one of the listed sites.

There are numerous other search engines available. Here are links to several others:


It is always a good idea at home or in the library to use the Print Preview option before printing. Some websites have a framed format, which effects printing, not always allowing you to print what was intended.

  • Click on the following link:
  • Click on "Print Preview"
  • Notice the number of pages that would print, and also using the arrow keys look through what would print.
  • Many websites offer a "printer friendly" link to avoid printing unintended materials. In the address bar type in and choose any article. Find the "printer friendly" link and click on it.
  • Click on the Close button to return to the Internet.
  • Printing from a library computer: SAM print manager
    1. Before you click print, your library card needs to have money on it, and the sufficient amount of funds to print requested material.
    2. After checking print preview, click on the menu choice "File"
    3. Click on "Print"
    4. Click on "OK"
    5. A Print Manager window appears.
    6. The window lets you know how much your printing will cost.
    7. Click on the "Print Document" button.
    8. Another Print Manager window appears stating your document has been printed successfully.
    9. Click on "OK".
    10. A receipt will print first, then your document.

Time to Play

Pick from the following topics and search for websites related to that topic:

Recipes White Pages Travel
Sports Shopping Weather

Evaluation of Web Resources

Remember, anyone can publish on the web. It is important to evaluate the information you find.

  • What to look for?
    • Look at the name of the organization associated with the URL.
    • Ex: a site done by the American Heart Association is probably reliable.
    • Look for a date. This lets you know when the page was last updated.
    • A tilde (~) symbol in a long address usually represents an individual's own web site.

Error/Security Messages

Here are some of the most common reasons for an error or security message:

  1. These can come from several different things. When typing in an address, a typo could have been made.
  2. The computer you are trying to contact may be temporarily busy or down.
  3. The address may be out-of-date or incorrect. Web addresses can and often do change.
  4. Sometimes there is no way to know precisely what is causing the error message.
  5. Clicking on the back button will get you out of the error message in most cases.
  6. The Library PCs have different security features. One message you will see is below and you must answer in order to continue.


For more information about error messages, refer to: -- Definitions of Error Messages

Further Questions?

The best way to continue learning about the Web is to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Some online sources for continued learning:

  1. Learn the Net: An Internet Guide and Tutorial–An on-line tutorial in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, & German.
  2. Walt Howe's Internet Learning Center-An on-line training center that covers many aspects of the Internet including the history of the Internet and World Wide Web, definitions of Internet terms, resources and tools for using the Web, and links to more training sources.
  3. Internet 101–An introduction to the Internet that's easy to use and very informative. It includes sections on safe surfing, email, viruses and how to search.

Revised 5/6/10