About the Windows you see

The viewing area you see is separated into five distinct areas or "frames".
  1. The top left is the master index, with pointers to the these instructions, and to the various sections of the "Molecules-of-the-Month" display. It should always remain present.
  2. Below the master index are the various sub-indices, including a breakdown of these instructions, and details of the two sections of the MOTM molecules.
  3. To the top right of the index is the main molecule area, including a frame for the textual description and one for the molecule itself.
  4. Below the main display is the footnote area. Any explanatory notes, references etc in the main area are displayed here.
  5. To the right of the footnotes is the tools area. This is used to expand or contract the size of the molecule display.
The relative sizes of these five displays are initially fixed. You can however re-size them individually if you wish. Place the mouse cursor precisely on the dividing line between two frames, and it should change to a cursor comprising to parallel vertical or horizontal lines with arrows either side. With this cursor visible, press the mouse button down and "drag" the edge of the frame to the size you want.

You can also resize the total window display by "dragging" the bottom rhs of the browser window. You will find that the two windows on the left remain the same width, whilst the main display window will change in width.

Navigating the Display

A single mouse-press on any text displayed in a colour other than black, or on a graphical image surrounded by a coloured border, will replace the contents of one of the four main areas with a new document. If you get lost, the window on the top left should always serve as a reference point.

There are some pitfalls however. Version 2 of the Netscape browser has a little button on the top labelled "back". If you select this, you are liable to loose the "Molecule of the Month" display entirely and go back to the document you had before you entered this display. In version 3 of Netscape, this back button acts rather differently, taking you back to the previous document in the "current frame". This is defined as the frame that is currently "active" and can be recognised as the one having the black border. Try clicking on various frames to see if you can recognise the "current frame". The behaviour in Netscape 3 is felt to be the more intuitive one. To achieve the same effect in Netscape 2, move the mouse cursor to a frame you want to go back in, and press the mouse button (the right hand one using 2-button mice) for a second or two. A "floating menu" should appear, within which a "back in frame" item can be selected.

Using the Information in a Window

Some information in any window can be captured for re-use elsewhere. For example, you can select an area of text using the normal cursor mechanism, and copy it to a word processor.

The Status Display

If you move the mouse curser over a "hyperlink", ie text which is display in a colour other than black, a response should be seen right at the bottom of the browser. This will show either a one line explanation of the contents of the document that will be displayed if you actually click on the hyperlink, or in some case the so-called "URL" corresponding to that hyperlink.


If you find something you wish to print, you may experience some differences between versions 2 and 3 of the Netscape browser. When you first encounter this display, the print button at the top of the browser may be greyed out in Netscape 2. This is because no one frame is the "current one". Clicking on the frame you want to print should activate the print button, and you should then be able to print just that frame. In Netscape 3, if you have no frame as the current one, print should print ALL the frames as a montage.

Currently, rotating molecules in a window will NOT print correctly. This is a "bug" and should be fixed eventually.

How to view the Molecules in this Collection

Javascript is being invoked to try to find out what browser you are using, and whether molecule display is supported. If the browser version is not displayed in the next line, your browser does not support Javascript.

If you can see a molecule rotating, you are all set to start exploring. Try moving the molecule by placing the mouse cursor over it, pressing the mouse button (lhs if there are two or more) and moving the mouse. If you press the mouse button down without moving the mouse, you may find a "pop-up" menu appears (only on a Macintosh Computer) where you can select various options. For Windows users, this menu must be invoked using the rhs mouse button.

How to Move the Molecules

Once you have a rotating molecule display on your screen, how do you manipulate it? The first thing you might wish to do is to stop the molecule rotating. Press the mouse button down for a second or so inside molecule window (on a PC, use the rhs button). A menu should appear, one of which items should be rotation. You can also play with the other items to see the effects they produce.

You can also re-size the molecule in the display window by pressing the SHIFT key down whilst you move the mouse cursor up or down the screen.

How is it done?

If you are asking whether you too can write documents like this, the best way of finding out the secrets is to view the "source" of these documents. In Netscape 2, this might be a problem, since "view source" from the view menu shows only that for the document that calls the individual frames in the montage. You are advised to use Netscape 3 for this purpose.

The Internet

If you are using a CD-ROM to view these molecules, you may find that one or two hyperlinks will assume that you will need a "live" connection to the Internet. For this you will either need a "hard-wired" connection, or a Modem.