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Typing a URL

Friday, April 28th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
When typing an Internet address, does capitalization and spacing make a difference?

A:
That is a very good question and this may just be the reason why some of you have had problems accessing a Web site in the past. Of course, if you ever spell a word wrong when typing in a URL, you’re going to get a “Page cannot be found” error message. Well, if you mess up capitalization and spacing, the same thing might happen.

First of all, you cannot use any spaces in any Internet address. It’s just not the way URLs function. If you somehow hit the space bar while typing, you’re not going to be able to get to the Web site you’re looking for. So, make sure you never use any spacing in a Web site’s address.

Capitalization is a little different. Some Web sites may require capitalization. On the other hand, even though a URL has capital letters in it, you may still be directed to the site even if you use all lowercase letters. It all just depends on how the address is set up.

An Internet address only relies on case sensitive letters after the domain name. In other words, if you are ever trying to reach a page with some sort of a directory, you have to use all lowercase letters. For example, if you were trying to access WorldStart’s Computer Tips page (a directory), you wouldn’t be able to use uppercase letters. The URL is http://www.worldstart.com/tips/index.php. Now, if you tried to type that in all capital letters like HTTP://WWW.WORLDSTART.COM/TIPS/INDEX.PHP, you would get a page saying it is not available.

If you were just going to WorldStart’s homepage, you could type it either way, because it’s not dealing with a directory and does not interfere with the domain name.

This rule also works the other way around. If a Web site’s URL is all uppercase letters, typing it in lowercase would not work. If you’re unsure about a site’s address, try typing it in lowercase first, because the majority of URLs are set in lowercase letters. Very few sites actually make their address in all capitals.

~ Erin

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