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[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
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Useful Tips for Viewing This Site


If you are still using a browser that does not show images, 90% of the value of my site is lost on you, and what's left will be horrible to look at, and even some of the text information will be unusable (footnotes, for example). The same goes for many other interesting sites. Do yourself a favor and get an image-capable browser. It doesn't have to be a fancy one.

Photo Colors

Is your computer set up for graphics? If this spectrum appears as a few blocks of colour and not a smooth transition from red to red, then you need to configure your computer for true color images. If you are a non-Macintosh user, you may need a hardware upgrade, but it's worth it: you'll be surprised how much better the Web looks.

A color spectrum

While I'm at it, is your monitor set to the correct brightness? If this greyscale does not show 10 distinct shades, then you need to adjust your screen brightness. Quite often screens are set at too low a level for the full image range to be displayed.

A black-and‑white spectrum

[ A warm thank-you to Marcus Farrar — whose photographic website, Images of England, now part of Pictures of, a few years ago opened with this helpful advice — for permission to reproduce it here along with his two test strips. ]


If you see a mess on the screen, where tables don't line up, text appears too large or scrambled, etc. —

i.e., if you're seeing things like this (A) instead of this (B)

you are either using a browser that does not read stylesheets, or you've disabled stylesheets in one that does. Since stylesheets are now the recommended W3C formatting scheme, do yourself a favor and get a stylesheet-enabled browser.

Even if things appear OK, if you don't have stylesheets enabled, you're missing a lot of simple formatting that I use to convey information on this site. For example, green text like this often indicates foreign words, etc.


About 15% of the pages onsite include passages in Greek text (not only in the original texts of Greek authors of course, but also, notably, in Smith's Dictionary, Platner & Ashby's Topography of Rome, and many journal articles), and occasionally in Hebrew, Russian, or Etruscan. All such text is rendered in Unicode on this site. If you're seeing the next line as Greek, you're fine:

μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία μηδὲ δειλιάτω

If, however, the characters display as boxes, blank space, question marks or error characters, your browser cannot read Unicode, or it has been disabled from doing so, or you may not have a polytonic Greek font. Do yourself a favor and — all common browsers now support Unicode — get a standard browser and check your settings; and check that you have a font that includes the polytonic Greek character set: one that is very commonly available is Lucida Grande, but there are many others.

Similarly, if you're not seeing the next line as Etruscan,


you need a font that includes the old Italic character set. While much less common, such fonts do exist; the one I use is Cardo, available for free download from Fonts for Scholars.

Finally, a number of pages onsite include Roman arithmetical symbols (like the denarius-sign 𐆖), text in Egyptian hieroglyphic, etc. Where good Unicode fonts are supported, I reproduce them as Unicode characters; when I've found no satisfactory fonts or support (as in the correct stacking of hieroglyphs in quadrats), these are usually rendered as images: again, if you have images turned off, you won't be able to read them.

Java and JavaScript

Java is an abomination — or more strictly speaking, has become an abomination thanks to Microsoft — and you will find none on my site.

JavaScript, on the other hand, has remained uncorrupted, and doesn't slow down your computer or do funny things to it: I've found it very useful for one specific purpose, and to get the most out of this site, you will too.

I use JavaScript to give you little prompts, either when I want to make a point without interrupting the flow and searchability of text, that appear in pop-up boxes that disappear when you move away (like this). Sometimes it's a comment,º sometimes it's to tell you where links will open and what kind of page you'll be going to before you click on them.

If in the last paragraph, you floated your cursor over the bullets or the links and saw no prompt (no need to click), either your browser can't handle JavaScript, or you've disabled it: you'll be missing some of the conveniences built into my site, and other sites as well.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 26 Sep 21