Text Only Browsing (Turning off Images)

If you are using a modem to connect to the internet then your connection is relatively slow. As people with such slow connections still make up the vast majority of web users it is important that webmasters keep their web pages as small as possible. A 100k page will take approximately half a minute to download via a 56k modem which is longer than most visitors are prepared to wait for a page before going elsewhere. Unfortunately there are a lot of webmasters out there who seem totally unaware of this and make their web pages much larger than this.

It is all very well to give up on such pages and go elsewhere when you are just browsing the web but there are occasions where you just have to access some piece of information on a specific web site and so giving up and going elsewhere is not an option. Fortunately there is a way that we can get around these inconsiderate webmasters and speed up our access to their pages by effectively reducing the size of the page to be downloaded. We do this by removing all of the images from the page and just downloading the text content. As most times the images make up the largest part of the page this can significantly speed up the download of web pages. Hopefully the webmaster will have been considerate enough to make the page useable without the images but if not then there is still the option of selectively downloading the images separately from the page once the text is displayed.

How we turn off the automatic downloading of images depends on which browser we are using so I am going to list the steps separately for recent versions of each.

Internet Explorer 5, 5.5, 6

Netscape 4

Netscape 6, 7

Opera 5, 6, 7

Alternatively just click on the camera icon that appears near the left of your Opera browser tool bar.

And whichever browser you are using, if you subsequently want to manually download a specific image, right click on the image placeholder and select Show Picture or View Image from the menu that appears. Depending on your browser the option will be named differently but you should be able to figure out which one it is. Note that if the web page is using a no right click javascript then you will also need to turn javascript off before being able to do this and hopefully the webmaster will have supplied an email address so that you can complain about how badly designed their site is.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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