This guide is designed to start automatically after you put it into your CD drive. Please wait several seconds (up to 20) for it to start.
The first screen that you see will be the Nature-at-Hand Screen with the title and a photograph. This screen uses your normal Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari, for example). To get to the interpretive guide’s Home Page, click on the photograph.
You can also start it manually:
You can also start it directly from your Internet browser:
This interpretive guide can not start automatically on a Mac because of security restrictions. But you can easily start it manually.
This interpretive guide uses the Internet browser that is already installed on your computer, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari. Its operation feels like using the Internet.
The first page that you see after the Nature-at-Hand screen is the Home Page, with the navigation panel in the upper left. For detailed information on the different features of this interpretive guide, click on Introduction. You can return to the Home Page from anywhere in the interpretive guide by clicking on the Home button at the bottom-right corner of the screen, or by clicking on the Nature-at-Hand logo in the navigation panel.
All pages of this application have some information on what to do, such as "Click on any photo". Some will have a button on the screen that says "Help on this Page". When you click on that button, another window will open with specific instructions on how to use that portion of this interpretive guide. In addition, you can always click on the Help button at the bottom of the screen to see this Help file.
The plants are shown in Plant Pages, with one plant per page and multiple photographs per plant. You get to the Plant Pages by making a choice in the navigation panel. The list of your choice will appear in the lower-left panel. You can click on a plant name in that list to show the Plant Page for that plant.
To enlarge a photograph and see better detail, click on the Photo or click on the Zoom button (the magnifying glass with a plus sign).
When you want to return to the overall Plant Page, Click on the Enlarged Photo.
You can view the other photographs of the same plant by clicking on the Next Photo or Prev Photo buttons.
When a Plant Page is shown, with its multiple photos, you can get information about what a photo contains by moving your mouse pointer over the photo and pausing for about one second. A short description will appear. You can also click on the photo to see a larger view of the same photo. The same short description will show on the Photo Page, in larger text. To read a more detailed description, click on the icon.
Note that if you have another window, such as a plant description or Glossary, open beside the Plant Page, the short photo description will not pop-up. If you click in any blank area on the Plant Page, the pop-ups will then work.
Whenever plants are listed in the left side panel, clicking on the Next or Prev buttons will move you forward or backward through the list of plants, much like paging through a book, starting from the currently displayed plant.
Near the top of each Plant Page, below the names, there is a row of icons that provide access to the plant descriptions. A click on any icon will open a Plant Description Window, on the left side of the screen. The Info icon (with the letter "i") will take you to the top of the plant description, with general information about the plant. Other icons will position the description at the more detailed paragraphs that are illustrated in the icons (Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, etc.). If you pause your mouse over one of the icons, a small window will tell you what it means. When the Plant Description window is open, you can scroll up or down to see the other parts.
In the Plant Description window, the Range paragraph contains a Map button. A click on that button will open a large Map window. Regions of California, in which the plant grows are highlighted in green. When you pause your mouse over a map label, a small window will open to show the name of the region. If you click on the label, the Glossary window will show a description of the region.
You can get to descriptions of plant families in two ways. If you choose one of the Plant Family lists in the navigation panel, you will see the families represented in this interpretive guide on the left side of the screen, organized by either common or botanical names. With a click on a family name, the family description shows in the main window, and the list on the left will expand to show the plants that are in that family.
Alternatively, when you have a Plant Description window open, you can click on the Family Name at the top of the window or on an underlined family name in the text. The family description will open in a separate window - and you do not lose your place in the plant list.
In the navigation panel in the upper-left corner of the screen, click on SEARCH. The Search screen contains a number of plant characteristics to search on, including Flower Color, Flowering Month, Plant Community, Type, Gardening Information, Bird and Butterfly Information, and some details of the leaves and flowers. There also is a blank box to type in a plant or family name (or a portion of a name). You can search one or more characteristics, and/or a name fragment. When you click on the Go Search button, the program will locate the plants that match ALL of the selected boxes, and list them in the left-hand panel of the screen. You can use that list the same as you would the other lists.
You can select to have the results of your search displayed by common names or by botanical names, by clicking on your choice in the selection box in the middle of the SEARCH screen. The default is by common name.
To select a characteristic, such as Plant Community, click the down-pointing arrow next to the box labeled "Plant Community". A list of possible communities will drop down. Click on the one you want to search on. That community name will show in the box. To select additional characteristics, do the same for those characteristics.
To include a portion of a name, you can type a part of the name in the Name entry box. For example, if you enter "calif" in the Name box, you will get all plants that have "California", "Californica", "Californicus", and "Californicum" in the common or botanical names, unless you have restricted the search with other options.
The program will ignore any entry boxes that are blank. If they already have a value selected, you can remove them from consideration by making sure that they are set to blank. The program will also ignore the Name selections if that value is blank. You can make it blank by highlighting any letters in the box and pressing the backspace or delete keys.
Any time that you click on SEARCH, all of the values on the Search screen will be reset (set to blanks). If you want to use values from your most recent search (with modifications, if you wish), you can click on the Recall Last Search Values button.
The glossary contains brief definitions of the botanical terms and geographic locations used in this guide. There are two ways to access the glossary:
In the Glossary window, you can then scroll up or down through the glossary to look at other terms. You can also move to a different part of the alphabet by typing a letter. The window will be positioned at the first word in the glossary that beginns with that letter.
The glossary contains many small diagrams that illustrate the term being defined. When the diagram shows the term as part of a larger object (a petal in a drawing of a flower, for example), the part being defined is shown in red. If you place your mouse over many of the diagrams, the diagram will change colors. This indicates that you can see a more detailed drawing by clicking on the diagram. You can also see and compare different leaf shapes, margins, and attachment types in the same way.
Text windows, such as plant or family descriptions, will close automatically when you click to get to another plant page.
Yes, you may print photographs or text from this guide, but only for your personal use and for education that you provide to others free of charge. The entire interpretive guide and its components are covered by copyright. All printed copies must include the copyright notice, ©
Copyright 2003-2013 Gabi and Cliff McLean, or the notice at the bottom of each individual photograph page. Information on how to print portions is included in "How do I print the photos?".
You can begin Quiz Mode by clicking on the Quiz button at the bottom of the screen.
You can have the interpretive guide display the plants automatically, similar to a timed slide projector. When you have a plant list displayed on the screen, you just click on the Auto button at the bottom of the screen; it will rotate through the plants continuously, one every 5 seconds.
To stop Auto Slide Show, you can click on the Stop button at the bottom of the screen, or click on any of your usual choices: a plant list in the navigation panel in the upper-left corner, a plant name on the left side panel, or a photograph on a Plant Page.
You can change the length of time between plant pages. Please see "How do I change the Auto Slide Show timer?".
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