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Tips for Netscape

Netscape Navigator / Communicator, in the version 4.x (particulary versions 4.7x) it is widely used in the Linux world. Mostly because it comes with any distribution, is the same program available for Windows or for MacOS and it is a no-brainer to use it for the newcomers to Linux. Latest available version is Netscape 6.1 PR1.

But not everything is wonderful.

The default fonts included with Netscape are small an horrible. Many a time we have found activated JavaScript for e-mails and newrgoups. The default cache size mpost of the time is too small, effectively slowing own the browser.Also, Netscape's file-cache system, keeps using disk space, a lot of disk space.

Let's solve all this.

Default Fonts

Search the package mozilla-fonts on our Linux CDs, or earch them on the web, for example at Install the package. Now, the next step goes through some Netscape configuration. Close the program (all of its windows), start Netscape, go to

Edit -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Fonts

Select the following fonts:

  • Encoding: Western-iso-8859-1 o Western-iso-8859-15
  • Variable Width Font: Anyone with the word "...(Mozilla)"
  • Fixed Width Font: Courier (Mozilla)
  • [x] Use my Default Fonts, overriding document fonts

Those fonts are far better and bigger than the default fonts. Now, with a size 9 or 12 we will have a a nice size. Do some tests yourselves with the size, and set the size that works better with your screen-size and eye-sight.


(Useless) Buttons and useful Button

How many times have you used any of the buttons "Go to Shop@Netscape", "Show Security Information", "My Netscape"...? Exactly. Never or almost never. Here you have an easy way to delete those buttons and add a useful button: "Search in the Current Page"

Inorder to delete the buttons, you need o include in the file (hidden) .Xdefaults (yes, the name has a dot infront of the 'X'.) Copy from the following table the lines (in red) that relate to the button that you want to delete. After doing that, run from a terminal the command:
xrdb -merge ~/.Xdefaults

Line to Include Button
Netscape*toolBar.myshopping.isEnabled: false Button My shopping
Netscape*toolBar.destinations.isEnabled: false Button Destinations
Netscape* false Button Search with Netscape
Netscape*toolBar.viewSecurity.isEnabled: false Button Show Security
Netscape*toolBar.home.isEnabled: false Button Home Page
Netscape*toolBar.print.isEnabled: false Button Print

To add a Button so useful as Find in the current web page, add the following lines (in red) to the (hidden) file .Xdefaults (yes, the name has a dot in front of the 'X'name.) After doing that, run from a terminal the command:
xrdb -merge ~/.Xdefaults

Netscape*toolBar.userCommand1.commandName: findInObject
Netscape*toolBar.userCommand1.labelString: Find
Netscape*toolBar.userCommand1.commandIcon: Search


Blinking Text

If the blinking text (the HTML label<BLINK>) makes you mad, just like me and you want Netscape to not to show you blinking text, add the next lines (in red) to the (hidden) text .Xdefaults yes, the name has a dot in front of the 'X'.) After doing that, run from a terminal the command:
xrdb -merge ~/.Xdefaults

Netscape*blinkingEnabled: False


Empty Disc Cache

Ever wondered why your directory $HOME keeps growing and growing? Aside e-mails, Netscape is partially guilty of this. The size of the disk cache is configured in: Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Cache. Usually it is set to 5 MB. The problem is that every instance of the browser opens its own cache sub-directory. So you've got a growing amount of directories in .netscape/cachewhich are just below 5 MB. With the command Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Cache -> Clear Disk Cache only clears the currently used directory. The other cache directories, keep full.

To cope with this, nothing like issuing the order (with Netscape closed) rm -rf /home/sinner/.netscape/cache/*, substiting "sinner" by the name of your usernamei, of course!. If you want to automate this process, you can do it with the order cron or with the file .profile.