Update 11 Oct 2000
See Also Combs &c. Web Editors & Assignments

Announcement: We now have a special mailing list specifically for Combs Web Editors. All who have volunteered to learn web editing for our Combs web pages should contact the Combs Webmaster for further details. Researcher Ken Brown is our Combs Web Page Trainer (Hurrah!), and is now also available to help all of us with our web editing problems/questions, particularly Netscape Composer (easiest to learn if you're Win).

Note: Although this Combs &c. Report is primarily for internal use by our Combs &c. Web Editor-Researchers for our own web space, it also includes information applicable to non-Combs Research Editing.

Non-Combs Research Editors should also see Permissions & Hot Links and Copyright Restrictions.

If you are a Combs &c. List Member and wish to volunteer to work on web editing, see also Create Your Own Combs County.

New: Even if the very thought of web editing is frightening to you, see our Quick & Easy Web Editing.

Web Editing

Web Pages are simply text files with *.htm or *.html file extensions. HTML = Hyper Text Mark Up Language, a simple code that converts straight text to a web page ('viewable' with any internet web browser). Web pages can actually be written in any word processing program, including NotePad or NoteTab, etc. (see below) as well as a number of available web editing programs (See also HTML Basics, which includes the most common HTML Codes).

We recommend Netscape Communicator 4.51 (Win95/98), a Free Web Browser and Page Editor which can be downloaded from http://www.netscape.com/download/.

See also Quick & Easy Web Editing using Netscape.

See also our MS Word file explaining how to use tables at http://www.combs-families.org/combs/tables.doc.

Important! Word97 comes with Front Page 97 (FP97), which is not recommended (it destroys formatting plus has several additional "glitsches"). Several of our Combs Research Editors have Front Page 98, which seems to do fine; however, Front Page 98 (FP98) is not Free, thus not recommended (Free on the Internet applies to Web Editing, too). Also not recommended is the free program, AOL Press, which destroys formatting, and is not WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).

Netscape and FP98 are both WYSIWYG and both very, very easy to learn.

PS For those who "give up" on learning HTML (or simply don't have the time), we highly recommend our Combs Cousin Pat Orton's Web Editing Service.

Templates for Web Editors

Our Combs County Template is available at http://www.combs-families.org/combs/records/template.htm (Updated 3 Sep 1999). This template can also be modified for any other type of Combs &c. web file needed. See also How to Create Your Own Combs County.

Primary Graphics Files used by Combs Research are located in the sub-directory: http://www.combs-families.org/combs/graphics/. The Combs &c. Logo is at c.gif. See also Permissions and Hot Links below.

Combs Web Pages Directory Structure

Our domain is www.combs-families.org. We have created 3 "accounts" named archives, combs and ky. Only Carole accesses archives and ky accounts at this time. All other files are in combs directory at http://www.combs-families.org/combs/

The combs directory structure is:

Web Editing Tips & Suggestions

9 Sep 1999 Notice: (1) When editing files whose first line begins with "Untangling the Combs...., the first line and the "ruler" beneath it should both be removed. (2) Remove "counter" line (... # visitors since ...) from any files whose extension is htm rather than html

Note: Do not create files with html extension without checking first with Webmaster since htm is "default" extension for most Combs web pages).

Tip for all Web Editors: I maintain a sub-directory on my own hard drive which is named combs and which is a mirror image of our web site, including sub-directories. The only difference between my hard drive combs sub-directory and that on the web is that I have two "extra" sub-directories, one named "readytogo" and one named "temp."

The readytogo sub-directory is for files ready for upload (FTP). Once they've been uploaded, I use cut/paste to move them to applicable sub-directory (records, etc.).

The temp sub-directory is for those files which are either new or being edited, but not ready to go (still in rough draft). Once a file in temp sub-directory is ready to go, I just cut/paste into readytogo sub-directory. Once it's uploaded (or been sent to Carole for uploading), I move it into the regular records sub-directory (assuming it's a Combs County).

This way of keeping track probably makes no sense to anyone but me, but is just how I keep track (humph!) of where I'm at with files.

HTML Editing Tools (Programs) & Procedures

Uploading (FTP) Procedures

Reminder for all who FTP: (a) All file names should always be lower case. (b) Uploaded files OVERWRITE any pre-existing file of same name so you will definitely want to make certain you are in the right sub-directory (records, etc.) before uploading your file(s); and (c) all records in uploaded files should also be posted to our Combs List if they've never been posted before (so that they will also be in our list archives).

FTP = File Transfer Protocol, and is how files are uploaded to web servers. Only a very limited number of our Combs Research Editors also upload to our server space. For the most part, new and updated files are instead zipped and emailed privately to our "editor-in-chief." For those who do upload directly to our Combs Research server space:

WS-FTP95 LE is the program most servers use and is available from http://www.ipswitch.com/cgi/download_eval.pl?product=WL-1000 as freeware (due to non-profit usage). To upload, the following entries need to be made (xxxxx = password).

Hostname: www.usgennet.org
Host Type: UNIX (Standard)
User ID: cfocombs
Password: xxxxxx
Account: combs

Initial Remote Host Directory: public_html
Remote File Mask: -al

Note: (a) With rare exception, all Combs Research file names are lower case only; and (b) never use full *.html extensions (as versus 3-character *.htm extensions), the reason being that it's easier to keep file names in one's head if known that they are always lower case and end in htm (less than 10 of over 1,000 Combs files have html extensions). Only files with extension *.html can have counters.

Note: Both Netscape and FP98 come with built-in uploading capability. Netscape, however, cannot rename or delete files on our Rootsweb Server Space. Netscape Editors needing to delete or rename files will need to use WS_FTP (Don't know about FP98).

Also Note: RootsQuest.com also has FTP instructions at http://www.rootsquest.com/quest.html, including graphic files showing exactly how WS_FPT32 works.


Click: Go To (menu bar)
Click: Keyword
Type: FTP
Click: Go to FTP
Click: Other Site

Note: Click Red Heart NOW to add to your Favorite Places so that from now on, you can go directly to this window. In your Favorite Places, it will be listed as "Anonymous FTP" After this you can use Favorite Places to skip the above steps.

Type: www.usgennet.org AND Check Box for "login name and password"
Click: Connect
Type login name: cfocombs
Type password: xxxxx
Click: Continue
Double Click: public_html
Double Click: records [sub-directory if Combs County]
Click: Upload Icon
Type: file name [exactly, including lower case]

Note: All files can be uploaded as binary.

Click: Continue
Click: Select File
Use pop-up window to find file on your hard drive
Highlight File and Click Open.
Click Send

Note: If you have more than one file to FTP (Upload), you just type the next file name, click Continue and follow same steps as above.

Also Note: If you need to delete a file you have just uploaded, highlight the file, click the Utilities Icon and Click Delete Icon. You can also use Utilities Icon to rename a file (if you need to change to lower case or change from html to htm file extension); HOWEVER, if you do so, don't forget to change the file name on your hard drive also.

Unlike all other FTP programs, AOL'S program allows you to upload only one file at a time. Moreover, every time you Click Select File to upload, AOL'S default is to take you directly to the AOL sub-directory on your hard drive. You will then have to change to the sub-directory where the file is located. This is a Total Pain when you have multiple files to upload. Tip: You may want to use copy/paste from Windows Explorer to temporarily copy the files you want to upload into your AOL sub-directory on your hard drive so that you don't have to browse to find them.

Winzip is a Free file compression program for Windows Users (There is also PKUnzip for Mac, but don't know anything about it), which allows you to "compress" files for storage and or email file attachments. In some cases, a file may be compressed as much as 78%. WinZip can be obtained as a free download from http://www.winzip.com/ (where there are also numerous other WinZip versions, some top of the line). Two advantages to WinZip in addition to saving bytes: (a) You can zip multiple files of all types into a single WinZip file; and (b) sometimes files are 'corrupted' by email servers when sent as file attachments, but if sent inside a WinZip file, they tend to arrive intact).

Notepad and NoteTab (plain text file programs): There is a nifty text file program called NoteTab which is a modified version of Window's NotePad, and which permits Global Editing. Example: If you change the URL of a file and want to change all of the hot links to that file which appear in all your other files, then you can do a Global Edit of your entire hard drive and/or any part of it to effect that change. There are a number of versions, including shareware, all available from http://www.notetab.com/

I've downloaded the shareware program myself, but not yet had a chance to do more than install it and use it as a straight text program (in same way as notepad.exe). We "might" have been able to use this when we changed servers last year (although there would have been a humungous number of global edits to do), but certainly can (once I've figured it out) use it to make some long-needed sub-directory changes now.

PS To ALL (not just web editors): If you are Windows, whether you use NoteTab or NotePad (the latter is probably on your hard drive under c:\windows\notepad.exe), or whatever, these plain text file programs are Very Handy for when you're wanting to copy contents of a web page (HTML file) to somewhere on your hard drive, including into an email. Example of why/when you might want to use NotePad or NoteTab:

When you copy from a web page (using edit > select all > copy), then paste directly into an email, for example, if you have anything other than most basic email program, then you'll be pasting in "formatted text" which is something that you can't send to most Mailing Lists (plain text only). If you try to change the formatted text to plain text, you'll end up losing entire segments of your paste job. If INSTEAD you Copy from web page, then Paste (using edit > paste) into NotePad or NoteTab first, those programs will Automatically convert the formatted text to plain text. You then use Copy/Paste again to copy from the plain text file to your email, and VoilA, you have it. (Not a very good explanation, but if you're of a mind to play with this procedure, it does work).

Permissions & Hot Links

For Web Editors on non Combs Research sites:

To Insert a Combs Graphic on your web page, the HTML Language is:
<a href="http://www.combs-families.org/combs/graphics"><img src="http://www.combs-families.org/combs/graphics/filename"></a>

Reminder: File names are Case Sensitive. File Name must be typed exactly.

Also Note: In order to conform with Combs Copyright Restrictions (see below), please add a hot link back to our Combs &c. Research Master Index (or our Photo Gallery if applicable).

To add the "Combs Research" Logo/Hot Link to your web site, the HTML Language is:

<img src="/c.png" alt="Combs &amp;c. Research Group" usemap="#c">

The result will be:

Combs &c. Research Group

See Also Copyright Restrictions below.

Click Back to Return

Quick and Easy Web Editing (Win95/98 Only)

If you're interested in learning how to web edit, but think it's far too difficult to ever learn, try this:

  1. Download & Install Netscape per above instructions.
  2. Go to http://www.combs-families.org/combs/records/template.htm (our template for creating Combs Counties) and save that file (web page) to a specific sub-directory on your hard drive (File Save As).
  3. You will also need to save the graphics file for (the Combs Research Logo) to the same sub-directory. This file (c.png) is located at http://www.combs-families.org/c.png.
  4. Open your Windows Explorer (Left-Click the Start button on your lower left screen, Right-Click Explore) and double-click the file (template.htm) you just downloaded. You will now be viewing the file on your hard drive (as versus the same copy on the web) using Netscape's web browser.
  5. Click File, Click Edit Page and you're all set. The Netscape web editing program is exactly like a word processing program except that it "codes" all of your HTML language for you.
  6. All you have to do when you're done Creating Your Own Combs County (for example) is (a) Click File Save As (give the file a name such as nj-hunt.htm (Hunterdon Co, NJ), etc. and Right-Click your mouse anywhere on the page, then (b) Left-Click "Page Properties," which allows you to give the file a title (Combs &c. Families of Hunterdon Co, NJ, for example) and add an author's name (Combs &c. Research Group).
  7. The Result? You are now a Combs Research Web Editor! All that's left to do is to post to the Combs List to volunteer and you're all set. And not just for new Combs Counties either. You can also volunteer to maintain a pre-existing Combs County (we'll take all the help we can get!)