LawPORTAL Help

Welcome to LawPORTAL.  This system has been designed to assist anyone who wishes to use the legal resources on the World Wide Web.  In addition a range of resources and tools have been created to make it easier and faster to achieve your goals.

For help on a particular aspect of the system, please select a topic below:


Using the Navigation Bar

A unique feature of the LawPORTAL website is the use of a navigation bar on the right hand side of the screen.  This navigation bar is your first point of reference for accessing the majority of LawPORTAL's functions.  You may use the navigation bar to jump directly from one area of the site to another, to pull up the master index or to access the discussion forums.

When in split screen mode the navigation bar also has a selection box that is used to change the active frame.  For more information, see the Split Screen Mode.

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The Master Index

One of the most useful resources on the LawPORTAL site is the Master Index.  This is an extensive database of links to legal resources on the World Wide Web.  In addition, this database is indexed into a logic set of categories and sub-categories.  This makes browsing the index simple.

The index is also searchable.  For more information on the search facilities, see the section of this document Searching LawPORTAL.

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Split Screen Mode

Split Screen Mode is accessed using the split screen button on the Navigation Bar.  The following information will help you to make the most of the Split Screen function:

Selecting Frames:
When under split screen mode there are two frames - the top frame and the bottom frame.  Each of these frames may contain different content.  To load different content into a particular frame, you must first set the active frame.  When under Split Screen Mode a frame selector appears at the top of the Navigation Bar.  Changing this option will change the active frame.

Resizing Windows:
When under split screen mode you will notice that a thin horizontal line appears between the top and the bottom windows.  When you move your mouse cursor over this you will notice it changes into a resizing arrow.  Click and hold your mouse button whilst you drag the horizontal bar to resize the windows.
NOTE: Some browsers (in particular Netscape Navigator) have problems with resizing frames when both horizontal and vertical frame splits are used.  This is a browser limitation.  For more information on different browsers, please see the section Browser Information.

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Refreshing Pages Viewed Through LawPORTAL

LawPORTAL uses frames technology to display multiple pages of content at any one time and to keep the Navigation Bar active on the screen at all times.  This causes certain limitations due to the way in which browsers implement frames.  One such limitation is the refreshing of pages.  If the standard Refresh or Reload button is used on a browser, this will cause an unpredictable effect.  It may reload the pages as desired, however it may also reload other pages.  

To refresh pages successfully, select the frame that you would like to refresh and right click in that frame on a blank space.  A menu will appear which should contain an option such as "Refresh Frame" or simply "Refresh" depending on your browser software.

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Printing through LawPORTAL

Browsers are generally not designed to print content but rather to view content.  However, each different browser prints documents in different ways and has a variety of different settings.  For more information on printing web pages, and in particular printing pages that use frames, please consult your browsers help / documentation.

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Searching LawPORTAL

An extensive range of search tools are available on LawPORTAL.  In addition, searching of the LawPORTAL database is available from the homepage, on the master index and the search tools page. 

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Moving Back

Most browsers have a back button that may be used to move backwards through pages that have previously been viewed.  Each browser implements its backwards movement technology in different ways - in particular where multiple frames are used.  If you find that when you use the back button the system moves back in a way that you do not expect, you may try using the back function under the frame.  To move back within a particular frame right click and a menu will appear.  There will usually be a "back" option which will move you back to the last page loaded in the given frame.

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