This page is about the user interface, accessibility and assistance using the site. For more generic info on the site, see the About Page.

While this website is heavily tested and should be accessible with any browser there are a few things which might improve your surfing experience. The following Tips & Tricks are valid for many modern websites.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Table xx shows the keyboard shortcuts of this website. Microsoft's new notation for keyboard shortcuts is used because this seems to be the most common nowadays. Mod is a browser dependent modifier key. See the following table for modifier keys of popular browsers.

Mod + a About
Mod + c Changelog
Mod + m Miniviax
Mod + f Femap FAQ
Mod + h Help
Mod + o Colophon
Mod + n Contact
Modifier KeyBrowser
 Alt  Firefox, Internet Explorer
 Shift  + Esc Opera
 Ctrl  Safari

Resize your browser window

This point is the most difficult one, but it is valid for most websites. Modern websites can be divided roughly into two groups: fixed and fluid design.

Fixed designs use a fixed width for their text columns. This has the advantage that every line of text has a certain length and line length is critical for legibility. The disadvantage is that these designs do only work well with the screen size and font size they were designed for. An example is Daring Fireball.

In fluid designs the width of the columns adapts to the chosen window and font size. Examples are this page or Wikipedia. As you can see, this can lead to very long lines which are not so easy to read.

There will be a solution to this problem. In the upcoming CSS3 Standard it will be possible to have your text arranged in multiple fixed width columns by your browser. Unfortunately CSS3 is supported by only a few browsers yet.

If you are on a website with fluid design, don't hesitate to change the size of your browser window until the line length fits your needs.

Adapt the font size

You may have noticed that there are websites where all text is ridiculously small or ridiculously large, and you may have blamed its creator for that. But he has a good excuse. Unfortunately currently there is no way for a web designer to have any control over the exact size fonts are displayed in the user's browser. Text size depends on platform, browser model and browser version. This is a very sad situation, but that is the way it is.

Most modern web browsers allow you to change the font size with the same keyboard shortcuts. Use Ctrl + + to increase and Ctrl + - to decrease the font size in many browsers. There is a minor drawback with this. Some websites, especially fixed width designs, may break if you change the font size.

Don't hesitate to adapt the font size to your needs.

Set the Language Preferences

Have you ever wondered why Google is in your own language even when you visited If you are an English native speaker you may have not, but try It will still be in English. The reason for this is that many modern web pages use the language preferences you have set in your browser and do not advertise prominently that they are available in different languages as well.

Therefore, it is important to set the language preferences in your web browser correctly.

Set the language preferences according to your needs.

URL Policy

The URL policy is simple for this website.

  1. The URL will be permanent as long as I own that domain.
  2. Every URL with a date or version indicator at the beginning of the path is a permanent one.
  3. Every other URL can and will change.
Examples: to change

I currently do not use version indicators but may do so in the future. If I decide to do it, I will explain how they look on this page. What I have in mind for them is pretty self-explanatory.

For bookmarking please use the permanent version of the respective URL.