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Old 29th Apr 2018, 4:15 pm   #1
ukcol
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Default http://www.sitename.com or www.sitename.com

First the vital statistics of my system:

Microsoft Word (Part of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2010).

Firefox 59.0.2 64-bit

Windows 7 Home Premium version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601

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I wrote an article using Microsoft Word recently and added some web links. I typed the links in the form:

http://www.sitename.com

although the site name actually has the form:

www.sitename.com

I then tested the link(s) from within Word. As most of you will know this involves holding down the CONTROL key whilst clicking on the link in the document. This took me to the web site with no problem.

When I came to proof read my document I put myself in the place of the reader and typed the link directly into the address bar in my browser.

I typed it in the form as written in the document, that is:

http://www.sitename.com

and the browser failed to find the site.

Next, I removed the "http://" from the front of the address (so that it matched the site name exactly) and then, unsurprisingly, the browser found the site with no problem.

My next observation was (to me at least) really bizarre.

I went back to the Word document, and again used the link with the form

http://www.sitename.com

and again it worked fine.

Next, I removed the "http://" from the front of the link in Word and then found (in spite of the fact that the link now matched the site address exactly) that the link no longer worked. In fact Word even failed to open the browser.

Word "knows" that the form www.sitename.com is a hyperlink because the text colour changes to blue.

I have noticed in the past that often a thread here on this site contains a link of the form

http://www.sitename.com

and it fails to work unless the "http://" is removed from the address.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what is the cause of this, on the face of it, bizarre behaviour?
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Old 29th Apr 2018, 8:14 pm   #2
mhennessy
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Default Re: http://www.sitename.com or www.sitename.com

The host name "www.sitename.com" allows you to find the machine you wish to connect to.

"http://" tells the system what sort of connection you wish to make, having identified the machine, and is as essential as the host name. For example, you could type "ftp://" instead.

If you omit "http://" in a web browser, the browser will add it for you when it makes the request, on the assumption that is what most people want to do. But Word requires it - that isn't all that surprising, given that Word is not a web browser that is trying its best to be as user-friendly as possible. Bear in mind that whatever you type in the address bar of the browser is subject to an awful lot of "thinking", as these days, you can type search queries and other things in there. Firefox call it the "Awesome bar" rather than the "Address bar".

Adding "http://" to the address in your browser should not cause a problem - I've never encountered that with Firefox before. It's worth trying another browser to see if the behaviour is isolated to Firefox (it sounds like it will be). Then, it might be a case of playing around in the settings. It would be worth checking your firewall settings for firefox.exe. There's some more pointers here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb...r-browsers-can

Fascinating
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Old 29th Apr 2018, 8:30 pm   #3
ukcol
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Default Re: http://www.sitename.com or www.sitename.com

Thank you Mark.

I have had odd things happen with Firefox before so I'll have a look at the things you suggest and see how I get on.

I have change the links in my document to the form:

www.sitename.com

so with any luck when they are typed into the address bar most systems should allow them to work.
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 1:37 am   #4
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Default Re: http://www.sitename.com or www.sitename.com

The other thing that may confuse Word is whether it is "http://" or "https://" for the website in question.

I use Scribus and it is very picky about how links are formatted (just www.sitename.com wont work at all).

Funnily enough, the 'generic' website address being used in this post does actually go somewhere.
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 6:26 am   #5
Dave Moll
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Default Re: http://www.sitename.com or www.sitename.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry_VK5TM View Post
Funnily enough, the 'generic' website address being used in this post does actually go somewhere.
It's just one of those web hosting thingies offering to sell you an unclaimed domain name. And no, my Hebrew wasn't up to determining that (though I had my suspicions), but it offers an English translation!
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 12:03 pm   #6
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Default Re: http://www.sitename.com or www.sitename.com

Yes, I worked out it was Israel, but didn't bother with a translation to find out what it said, I was just surprised that it (even if by redirection), ended up somewhere.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 12:10 pm   #7
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Default Re: http://www.sitename.com or www.sitename.com

You could force the reader into typing the address into their browser of choice by inserting the address as an image - a gif or jpeg for instance. More work for the reader but at least it would force a known behaviour rather than relying on their particular PC setup.
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