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Compass - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I prevent Compass from loading when my browser (IE) loads?
A: Go to Compass Preferences and uncheck the following option: Tools::Preferences::Internet Explorer::Auto run Compass when IE starts

Q: I cannot sort alphabetically the Netscape bookmarks in the folderbookmark.htm using the alphabetical order of Compass file. But as I understand, this should be possible, even if Netscape cannot do this by itself.
A: To sort the file, you need to switch to "Compass Style" (Ctrl+E to switch), which displays all items (folders and bookmarks) in the tree pane. To sort the whole file, simply right click on the root folder in the tree pane, then select Sort > by Title+ or other options.

Q: What do the numbers in "Status" column mean?
A: They are the response code from the web server of the URL:
201OK - created
202OK - accepted
203OK - provisional information
204OK - no content
300Multiple choices
301Moved permanently
302Moved temporarily
304Not modified
400Bad request
402Payment required
404Not found
405Method not allowed
406None acceptable
407Proxy authentication required
408Request timeout
500Internal server error
501Not implemented
502Bad gateway
503Service temporarily unavailable
504Getway timeout

Q: Somehow, I seem to have gotten Compass set so that it's either maximized or minimized to the tray -- nothing in-between. When I click on either the minimize or size button, it minimizes to the tray. I've tried everything I can think of, but I can't figure out how to resize it.
A: You can edit the Compass.cfg (the configuration file) using Notepad like text editor. Simply remove the whole [LAYOUT] section, which includes FrameLeft, FrameTop, ..., and more.

Q: Is there a trick to dragging and dropping bookmarks when moving them between folders? I use the explorer view... and sometimes it seems like I've dropped a bookmark into the right place, but then I find out it went into the folder above, rather than the folder I dropped it onto.
A: When you drag items approaching a folder, you have two different visual responses--a thin line or a highlighted folder. If you are approaching from above, you'll get a thin line. If from below the folder, the folder will be highlighted. The difference is: Thin line: dragged items will be inserted at the line position. Highlighted folder: dragged items will be put into the folder.

Q: I read about a "Directory Map" but it is not sinking in. could you explain when I should say yes or no ?
A: "directory map" is just an HTML file, which images your hard drive directory. Because it's a separate HTML file, whatever you change there doesn't effect your actual directory (and files under it). So, it's safer. If you say No to directory map, then Compass will load the directory as if it's a Favorites directory. In this case, whatever changes you make in Compass will be realized immediately to your hard drive. For example, if you change the name of a folder, the real folder on your hard drive will be changed. If you delete something, they will be deleted from your hard drive. So, it's dangerous, but it's good for editing real Favorites. The rule of thumb is: Always say Yes except that the directory is your Favorites directory.

Q: Could you explain how do I use Compass as an outline editor?
A: For outlining, you simply create a new file (File::New, then cancel the Import Wizard dialog). Then, you can create your hierarchical structure of folders. For example

HTML Tutorial (root folder) Chapter 1 - Introduction Section 1 - Markup Language Section 2 - Concepts Chapter 2 - Basic Section 1 - Head Section Section 2 - Body Section Chapter 3 - Modern Section 1 - Style Sheet Section 2 - DHTML Chapter 4 - Script Section 1 - JavaScript Section 2 - VBScript References
Then, under each folder, you can add "bookmarks." Here, you'll use Descriptions extensively (instead of URLs). The Description field serves as your notes. For example, under the "Chapter 2\Section 2 - Body Section," you may have some note items (bookmarks): Title: Description: To center text. For example Hello Title: Description: To create a table. Sample code:.... If you find some useful documents on the web, you can also add the URL to the URL field of your bookmarks (note items).

Q: How come the Personal Toolbar Folder in my Netscape bookmarks is now displayed as "TOOL_LINK"?
A: You can change the setting in Tools::Preferences::Netscape::Change [Personal Toolbar Folder] By setting it to blank, the folder will not be renamed.

Q: I seem to be having problems deleting links and folders in compass 2.71. It shows that it deleted it, but when I close and reopen the application, the stuff (links or folders) I deleted are back. The only way for me to delete anything is to go to my favorites folder and delete the links and folders from there.
A: This has been fixed in v.2.72. Please download the latest version.

Q: When I click in the Find box, the program automatically expands the last folder clicked in the tree pane. Any way to stop this behavior? I've looked over the options, and didn't see anything...
A: This is the "Track Both Panes." You can disable it from "Tools::Track Both Panes" or from the 3rd toolbar icon from the right hand side.

Q: I can't figure out how to search "URL"s. Can I only search "titles"?
A: Click on the small "?" button on the right side of the search bar, and you'll see the options.

Q: How do I load Favorites into Compass?
A: Here is the simplest way to load favorites into Compass: Just drag the Favorites folder from Windows Explorer to Compass (anywhere but the tree pane). However, in order to use other file I/O features like Import, Export, or Merge, you need to know the somewhat different file dialog. I attached a screen snap which shows the file dialog to open Favorites. Things to notice: [File of type] is "Favorites Directories." [Directory] is grayed and reads "...\Favorites\~." In the file list window, nothing is highlighted (blue color). You can navigate to your Favorites folder by first clicking on the [Look in] combo box. Once you get to your folder, click on Open, then you are on your way.

Q: But today, the right pane is blank : I can't see the bookmarks. But they are in the pane. I can see the URL's in the status bar when I pick with the mouse. In the find button, I see the number of bookmarks.
A: In the compass.ini (in windows directory), search for the following settings Column0Width=??? Column1Width=??? Column2Width=??? Column3Width=??? Those values are in pixel. Reasonable values are about hundreds. I guess that those values are probably too big in your case. Change them to 80 (without Compass running) and then run Compass to see if it fix the problem. If it doesn't, please send me the compass.ini file.

Q: Can you import Opera hot List format into compass and if you can how
A: V.2.16 has added this function. You can open, save, import, export, and merge Opera's HotList. The file dialog has an extra file type option for Opera's HotList. The Light version only support Netscape bookmark format.

Q: Say I position a certain folder in the middle of the tree window. Then say I search for a file in the list window, with the idea of the selecting it and dragging into the folder that I had centered in the tree window. As you know, as soon as I select that file the position of the tree window shifts to the same file in it's window
A: Click on the second toolbar icon from the right, which reads "Track Both Panes." By doing this, you can disable or enable the tracking feature.

Q: When I saw Compass, I said to myself, jump for joy. A real problem has been solved. However, when I have the two panes unlocked, and drag a bookmark into its proper folder, the bookmark frame jumps to the folder where I have just dropped the bookmark. Now the question is, "Am I crazy, or should the bookmark pane remain untouched when the two panes are UN-locked?" I can't see any way to do what I want to do with Compass even though it is the slickest I've seen.
A: Uncheck the following option and see if it solve the problem: File | Preferences | New in v.2.1 | Auto sort list pane (the second on the right). V.2.2 will have a new style option: Explorer style, which will just like Windows Explorer--tree pane is for folders only, and list pane is for items in the selected folders. Oh, you need to download newer version (v.2.12 or higher) to have this option.

Q: I just can't figure out where a new folder will be created! I found that on different occasions, it was placed above the currently highlighted tree element (folder or link), or just below the top-level element, or (after I move a folder into another folder & don't select anything, just press ^A) *inside* the folder that I drugged & dropped. This may not be a "bug", but if you could document the behavior, I'd be able to use it more effectively.
A: First, if the focus is on the tree pane and only one item is highlighted, the rule is: New items are created at the highlighted position generally. However, if highlighted item is a folder, new links (not folders) will be created inside the folder. In your case, after you move a folder into another folder, the moved folder is actually highlighted (if you open the target folder, you'll see it). So, Ctrl+A creates an item, and follow the above rule--the new item is at the highlighted position, which is inside the previous drop target folder. If the focus is not on the tree pane, or there are more than one items are highlighted, the "new item folder" is used as a "highlighted" folder and the above rules apply. Of course, we don't want to create an item beyond the top-level folder, so everything must me below the top-level folder.

Q: Compass won't open. Gives warning box: "Unexpected file format. Try loading and saving with Netscape to rectify this file."
A: Compass was designed to handle the bookmark files created by Netscape. If the bookmark file has been processed by other utilities, the file format might have been slightly changed by those utilities. In some cases, Compass couldn't recognized the third-party changed format, so you got the message. Often, however, Netscape still can read the file. So, use Netscape's bookmark editor to open the file, and save back the file. Check the file date to ensure that it's been successfully saved (created) by Netscape.

Q: It seems, compass converts names when saving, so the bug in the last version which didn't allow to save with "umlauts" is gone, but now it inserts the character "$" in some names. I couldn't verify why, and when, i had not the time, sorry. But i have a bunch of duplicate Folders now, some OK and some with this "$" inside their name. I suppose it must be some special-character which causes this fault...
A: Some characters are not allowed in a file name or folder name. For example, <, =, >, /, ?, *, ... etc. are not allowed. Compass converts those characters to $.

Q: When i load/import the favorites-folder, some entries on the tree are not in alphabetically order. In my "Favorites-root", for example, the last 5 folders and url's begin with characters like "b..", "e", "k", "l" and are not sorted like the other 18 folders of the tree, which are sorted correctly. Maybe you can add an option in preferences, which allows sorting of the tree in alphabetically order, folders first... what do you think about it?
A: Compass does have sort function for the tree pane, but it does not sort automatically when loading or importing. To sort the whole tree, right click on the root folder then select Sort | by Title +. In Preferences, you have options to put folders first and sort sub-folders. Both options are enabled by default.

Q: When I create a new folder, and I do this with a certain bookmark folder highlighted, you would think the new folder would become a child of the one you have highlighted, but it doesn't, it always gets added right *above* the folder I have highlighted.
A: This behavior is by design. If you add a bookmark, it becomes a child of the highlighted folder, but if you add a folder, it becomes a sibling folder. Why? Because I thought creating a sibling folder is more often than creating a child folder.

Q: In the FAQs your answer to "How do you normally use Compass?" you say that you just set the bookmark file to a dummy file. I do not understand what you mean by that and would be very grateful if you could spell out to me exactly how I should go about making a dummy file.
A: I know the help file was not well written. Please download the v.2.11 to get a newer help file. The updated help file has a "Tutorial" section, which should clarify lots of confusion in the previous help file. Even though v.2.11 (and the help file) is shareware version, most of the basic instructions in Tutorial section also apply to the light version.

Q: Have you ever considered "expand and close 1 level" keys for the Tree view? Would be handy if the user had multiple layers of directories.
A: "ENTER" key does that. "ENTER" key acts exactly the same as double-clicking. Also, you can try the key pad '*,' which expands the current folder and under.

Q: I seem to behaving a problem with the latest version of Compass. When I launch a URL by double clicking or if I have Compass start a browser for me...both browser open (MSIE and Netscape). Netscape is my default browser and it is also set as my default within Compass. Any suggestions?
A: Here is how Compass interact with browsers when you double click a link: Compass will communicate with the specified (or default) browser (Netscape in your case). If failed, Compass will launch the browser using the browser location settings in preferences. Compass will try to talk with the browser again. This time, Compass will keep trying until successful or timeout. If still failed, Compass will use the other browser (IE in your case). Repeat step 1 to 3. I'm not sure what exactly caused the problem, but here are some possibilities: You have more than one user profiles for Netscape and the location string in Compass's preferences didn't specify which one to use. If that's the case, you normally receive a dialog from Netscape to prompt you to choose a profile. You can solve it by appending a parameter -P"" to the location setting. For example, my setting is D:\PROGRA~1\Netscape\COMMUN~1\Program\netscape.exe -P"newtech" Maybe the timeout was not long enough to get Netscape up and running. Delete the location string for MSIE, so that Compass won't launch MSIE. However, you might receive the warning message "Cannot initialize browser." If that's the case, please let me know so that I can increase the timeout for the future versions.