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The Banner Generator FAQ

(Frequently Asked Questions)

1) How do I put my new banner on my web-page?

You will need to transfer your banner to the file-space where your web pages are stored. We cannot permanently store your custom banner on our file-space. That is why banners are only available for one or two days on our servers. We would quickly run out of room if we did not delete them.

There are two ways to transfer your banner to a safe place. If your web-page providor allows you to transfer graphics by URL, you can do that. Otherwise, you will need to download the banner to your computer, then transfer the banner from your computer to your web's file-space. (see below).

2) Can I download banners to the Web-TV or other tv-top systems?

WebTV users can now use a free online program called "Transload" which can transfer banners from The Banner Generator to your file space. You can find Transload at: http://transload.starblvd.net/. When your Banner Generator banner has been created, you will be given the URL for your banner. You should paste it into the Transload "Source URL". Thanks to the dozens of WebTV users who have told us about this free service! And here is a WebTV user's description of how to use Transload.

3) How do I download the banner to my computer?

To download a banner, hold down the right mouse button (in Windows Netscape) or hold down the mouse button (in Mac Netscape) then select "Copy Image" from the popup-menu that appears. After you then select a path and filename, your browser will save the image to your hard-disk.

4) I've downloaded my banner. How do I put it on the web?

The instructions will vary according to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). We've provided some background information that may be useful (see below). Contact your ISP for detailed instructions on 'uploading files' to the ISP web-server. You may be using a program called "FTP" (on PCs) or "Fetch" (on Macs), or a web-page on their system which allows you to upload files.

5) How do I put my banner into my email message?

For email programs that interpret and display HTML, you can attach a banner to your email message. You will need to download your banner to your own file space. Then you can put into your email the HTML code to display an image: <IMG SRC=http://whereever.your.files.are.com>

6) What graphics can I include in a banner?

You can use any of the backgrounds in http://www.coder.com/creations/banner/blanks/ There is no mechanism for importing other graphics right now. You can try to use The Imaging Machine at http://www.vrl.com/Imaging/ to superimpose graphics on your banner. Or you can send us the URL of a graphic you have made, to have it included in our banner blanks.

7)What fonts can I include in a banner?

You can use any of the fonts in http://www.coder.com/creations/banner/fonts/. If you have a request for other fonts, you will need to find them as freeware or shareware in Postscript form. If you tell us about new fonts, we can include them in The Banner Generator.

8) How do I make banners sized 400x40 pixels, 460x55 pixels, or 468x60 pixels?

You can do this with the Mount feature, by choosing a background of the proper size from the lists of banner-blanks. These are located at http://www.coder.com/creations/banner/blanks/. For a tutorial in using Mount please see http://www.coder.com/creations/banner/examples/mount.html.

9) How do I make two lines of text in my banner?

You will need to use the 'mount' option. There is an example of mounting two lines of text, one above the other, at: http://www.coder.com/creations/banner/examples/mount/

10) Why does emboss mess up the colors of my banner?

The emboss algorithm uses the difference in color as a depth, and then tries to give the graphic a 3d effect using that depth. You will find that there is a little color sensitivity in the embossed graphic on the edge of a color, however, in "flat" regions or regions of the same color there is no depth and so it appears grey.

11) How can I add '$$$' to my banner?

Some fonts do not have certain characters such as '$'. Many fonts, such as 'Courier', have the '$' symbol and most other symbols. If the font you want does not have a certain charaacter, you can use a different font, such as Courier, to make the special character, and 'mount' and 'border' to mount the character over the rest of your banner.

12) How do I animate, scroll, or make my banner blink?

You need to find a program which will create animated gifs. Look on download.com. Or, you can find "The Animated Banner Maker" on the web which can make animated gifs with only one font. (http://www.mediabuilder.com/abm.html). Additionally, we are considering adding the ability to create animated gifs; send us feedback if you are interested in this.

13) How do I Submit my banner to Link Exchange?

First, be certain that your banner meets Link Exchange requirements. The Banner Generator will actually tell you when your banner is legit for Link Exchange. Do not submit your banner if it does not meet the requirements; they won't accept it and you will have to make another banner.

You can Submit your Banner to Link Exchange in one easy step: On the Link Exchange Submit Your Banner page, paste in the URL of your banner (it starts with http://engine.coder.com/creations/banner/tmp/). When you hit "Fetch Banner," it will be immediately transfered from our server to the Link Exchange server. If you have problems, please double-check your URL for typos.

Your banner will remain on our server for two days for your convenience.

How to use FTP: Some Background Information

"FTP" is very commonly used to transfer files from computer to computer. In simple terms, "Upload" means transfering from your computer to your ISP's; "Download" (as you might expect) means the opposite, transferring from your ISP's to your computer.

When you signed up to have a web page, whomever you signed up with should have given you a program called "FTP," "WS_FTP," or something similar. If you're on a Macintosh, it may be called "Fetch". This program may already be on your computer, or you may need to download it yourself off of the web.

To transfer a file, you need to know where you previously saved the file on your computer (the "local directory").

You also need to know where it should be saved on the web-site computer (the "upload directory"). Your ISP probably has an instruction sheet telling you this. The upload directory can be a computer name (such as "www" or "ftpserver") and a directory name, such as "/www/gila" in your case. Or the ISP can give you a complete URL, such as "ftp://www.lightlink.com/gila"

You will also need your password for accessing this directory via FTP. This may be the same as your email password, or it may be different.

If you are unclear where your upload directory is, what your password is, or how to set your password, ask your ISP or look in their documentation.

FTP is easy to use. In broad terms, you start the program, instruct FTP what remote computer to connect to (such as www.lightlink.com), the remote computer authenticates who you are, you tell it where to find the file on your computer, and where to put it on the remote computer, you check to make sure it was sent properly, and you're done.

There are different versions of FTP, some which are text-based and some with graphical displays. I will go through the process for the basic, plain-vanilla 'FTP'.

First, you start FTP and tell it where to connect to.

It asks you for your name and password.

Then, you "cd" (change directory) to the correct upload directory.

Then, "lcd" (local change directory) to the correct local directory.

Then, "binary" will make sure your file will be transfered as binary and not as text. (if you are sending text, say "ascii" instead).

Then, "put" the file where it goes.

Next, switch to your web-browser and try reading the file the same way other people will access it. Such as typing in the URL: "http://www.lightlink.com/gila/yourfile.gif" (without the quotes). If it's there, you're done. If instead you get "file not found" error then you probably got the directory or filename wrong.

Say you've saved the file on your PC as "C:\graphics\myfile.gif" Here's an example of the commands you type using standard FTP, from the DOS prompt. Your responses are in boldface.

C:\> ftp www.lightlink.com

Connecting to light.lightlink.com

220 FTP Server ready.

User: gila

331 Password required for gila.

Password: ********

230 User gila logged in.

ftp> cd /www/gila

250 CWD command successful.

ftp> lcd C:\graphics

Local directory now C:\graphics

ftp> binary

200 Type set to I.

ftp> put myfile.gif

200 PORT command successful.

150 Opening BINARY mode data connection for myfile.gif.

226 Transfer complete.

291 bytes sent in 0.02 seconds (14.55 Kbytes/sec)

ftp> quit

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