Your web home for how to's for web beginners. A jargon-free zone dedicated to helping your web knowledge grow.

Help For Web Beginners

Navigating A Website with Frames

Why People Use Frames

There was a time that people frequently created websites using a technique called Frames.

This technique made it easier for website owners to create and update their websites. The downside of this technique is that the visitors to that website had to figure out that the website used Frames and determine how to navigate the pages of that website.

The technique isn't difficult, it just requires some information that new users may not know.

(Note to website owners: please don't use Frames, new users don't understand them and experienced users don't like them.)

Despite my plea and the dismay of many, website owners are still creating websites that use Frames. Until these folks see the light, you'll need to learn how to navigate their websites.

My little rants aside, navigating a page with Frames is not that terribly difficult.

What is a Frame?

A webpage that uses Frames displays each area of the screen in it's own frame. When you use your Arrow keys or a scrollbar (see Scrollbars for more information) to move around the screen on a page with Frames, you may see that nothing happens. The Arrow keys and scrollbars only affect the 'active' part of the page.

This is where it gets a little confusing.

Even though you can see the entire page, only one section of it is 'active'.

Each area of the screen is displaying information in a box.

The outline of the box may or may not be showing. One of those boxes or Frames is 'active' and is therefore the only part of the screen affected by the arrow keys and the scrollbar.

For some perverse reason, when a page first displays, the active part of the screen is rarely the part that needs to be scrolled.

Viewing Information On A Page With Frames

To make one of the Frames the active part of the screen, use your mouse and move the arrow over the section of the screen that has more information you wish to see. Once there, click. If you clicked in the right area, when you use your arrow keys or scrollbar the information should now change.

If the part you wish to scroll still doesn't move, there either isn't anymore to be seen, or you didn't click on the right place and will need to try this again.

This extra step of hide and go seek is a major part of why people don't like Frames. While it is a nuisance, it should only take a click or two to access the information you want to see.

Be sure to check out Help For Web Beginners other Beginner Internet Tutorials.

About the Author is a website dedicated to providing free, easy to understand, online How To's for true web beginners. While the materials are not free or available for reprints, they are offered freely for individual use. Please use the contact page to let Michele know if this tutorial has been helpful or if there are any other beginner web programming related tutorials you would like to see.