Help and site information


Recommended browsers

This authors of this site have attempted to make the Fabrica text available to users on most commonly used browsers. While users are strongly encouraged to access this site with the most currently available browsers, it has been tested on several older browsers as well (IE 4.5 on Macintosh 9, Netscape 4.7 on Macintosh 9 and Windows). Occasionally, styles or special characters used will not be supported by an older browser, but most content should be available.

A special arrangement has been made for the Macintosh OSX version of Internet Explorer. This browser resizes stretched frames to their original dimensions when content is reloaded. Because this site relies heavily on dynamic content, content is frequently reloaded into what may look to the user like a still frame. This is the only special provision made for a specific browser. Please use the Feedback form to report any unusual behavior in your browser.


Flash and No Flash

There is a Flash and a non-Flash version of this resource; this difference only affects high-resolution image viewing. Text viewing and search functions are identical to both versions. The Flash version requires the Macromedia Flash 6 player, which may be downloaded for free from Macromedia's web site. There is also a page to allow you to test to see if you have the player and to test the player version.

The Flash version has smoother zooming and panning features, and we recommend users who can to use it. The non-Flash version does not require plugins of any kind. You may wish to review the sections (below) about Tools in the image viewing panes to better understand how to view images.


Connection speeds

This site is full of high-resolution images that may be too large for users with modem or other slower connections. These users may find that the non-Flash version performs better, but should still expect long download times when viewing images.


Displaying Greek and Hebrew characters

Vesalius uses Polytonic Greek throughout the Fabrica. Though most of these characters are found somewhere in the Extended Greek Unicode set, Unicode is still not supported consistently across all operating systems and browsers. Therefore, the Greek found in this site is rendered using betacode, and a special font is required to view it properly. In addition, all Greek characters are presented in light green text, so readers can easily identify where there may be problems.

Please review this special page for more information about proper display of Greek in the online Fabrica and instructions for downloading and installing the Greek font.

In a few very special circumstances, Vesalius also uses Hebrew characters. These are found, for example, in the three large images following Chapter 40 in Book One. The Index that accompanies these three images contains Unicode Hebrew characters. If your browser/operating system combination do not support Unicode, you will most likely see garbage characters (a series of ????? or boxes) instead of Hebrew. However, since Hebrew is used only rarely, transliterations are also provided.


Frames

The site was designed using frames for a number of reasons. First, and most importantly, the user must be able to view the images and the text that describe them side by side. Using frames allows us to improve on the traditional book experience of flipping from an image page to a text legend page (which, in the case of the Fabrica, are sometimes separated by several pages of intervening text) without significantly disrupting the flow of information. The frames are also adjustable; the navigation/image frame can be stretched or shrunk according to the size of the image to be viewed, and the footnotes/search results frame at the bottom of the right hand side can expand or collapse according to the user's preference. More information and a short movie demonstrating frame resizing.

In early project stages, we experimented both with layers and with separate popup windows, but found the experience with these technologies too disruptive, sometimes due to inconsistencies in browser implementation. We understand that frames are not recommended for best usability, and tend to interfere with some navigation and printing functions. We hope to experiment more with alternate pane configurations in future project stages.


Viewing images

All of the original images from Vesalius' text have been scanned and are presented here at high resolution. Many of the images have been digitally cleaned to remove dropouts introduced in the printing process. Because these images are very intricate, occasionally the labels on the figures were indistinguishable from surrounding lines in the drawing. Professor Garrison painstakingly touched up all images at high resolution.

Many images are accompanied by lengthy figure legends which explain the contents of the image in greater detail. Figure legends are usually easily identified; they look like long charts, with the label in the left-hand column and an explanation of the anatomical element on the right hand side. The labels are clickable links that will turn on "overlays" on an image: a red line and circle to indicate where the region being described may be found. Presenting images this way helps to clarify Vesalius' meaning, since labels are often small, close together, repeating throughout a single image, or difficult to identify.

Vesalius's somewhat idiosyncratic approach to these figure legends varies throughout the text, a circumstance that introduced a number of complications in the text markup and image display processes. Frequently, he uses a single figure legend to describe the contents of more than one image. In these cases, he employed a subscript convention to indicate whether the label "QQQ" , for example, might be found on the third 3 or fourth 4 image of the chapter. The editors of this online edition extended Vesalius' subscript convention to cases where Vesalius used a less formal method. For example, in Chapter 33, Vesalius says in the description of regions labeled 1,2,3,4, etc: "These numbers in the first, second, twelfth, and thirteenth figures mark the four bones ..." .
For the online edition, this statement is presented in the figure legend as: 1,2,3,4 [1,2,12,13]
The square brackets are used wherever the editors felt it necessary to insert content not part of Vesalius' original work. See "Conventions in the text," below, for a fuller explanation.


Tools in the image viewing pane (Flash version)


Tool Tool description
Current image view The image at its current resolution is displayed here. When first summoned, the full image and the thumbnail view may be close to the same size. As the user zooms in, the current image view will expand. It may be necessary to resize frames to get a satisfactorily-sized browser window for viewing.
Zoom in Click the zoom in tool to increase the magnification at which the image is viewed.
Zoom out Click the zoom out tool to decrease the magnification at which the image is viewed.
Reset Click the reset button to return to the magnification at which the image was originally loaded.
Thumbnail view The thumbnail of the image is presented for navigational purposes. The red rectangle indicates which portion of the image is currently visible in the Current image view section. The thumbnail may be used to pan around on the image: click and drag the red rectangle to move up and down or left and right. Clicking on the thumbnail without dragging will usually zoom in.
References Clicking on the References icon will bring up a list of all the places in the text which refer to the image. In some cases, Vesalius uses the same image more than once, and clicking the References icon will retrieve all instances. This is particularly useful when the user has retrieved an image using the Image Browse; References will then allow her to navigate backwards to the appropriate section of the text.

 


Tools in the image viewing pane (non-Flash version)


Tool Tool description
Current image view The image at its current resolution is displayed here. When first summoned, the full image and the thumbnail view may be the same size. As the user zooms in, the current image view will expand. It may be necessary to resize frames to get a satisfactorily-sized browser window for viewing.
Level of zoom Use these" zoom dots" to zoom in and out by clicking, or just use them as a visual frame of reference. Depending on the size of the original image, there will be a varying number of zoom dots.
Navigation tools To zoom in, zoom out, or pan around (move left, right, up, and down without changing level of zoom) on an image, first click the corresponding tool. The two tools not selected will be grayed out. Now click on the image in the current image view (to the right) to zoom in, zoom out, or pan around.
Thumbnail view The thumbnail of the image is presented for navigational purposes. The red rectangle indicates which portion of the image is currently visible in the Current image view section. The thumbnail also may be used for navigation; first click the Navigation tool (see above), then click on the thumbnail view to zoom in, zoom out, or pan around.
References Clicking on the References icon will bring up a list of all the places in the text which refer to the image. In some cases, Vesalius uses the same image more than once, and clicking the References icon will retrieve all instances. This is particularly useful when the user has retrieved an image using the Image Browse; References will then allow her to navigate backwards to the appropriate section of the text.

Conventions in the text

Convention Used to identify Example
Superscript characters Footnotes. Footnotes are clickable links that will display text in the frame below the main text window. In some cases, it may be necessary to raise or lower the border between these two frames. In all humans they are. 2
Subscript characters A specific image which the label in the figure legend refers to. Z3
Square brackets [] Editorial insertions. For the most part, these are only used to extend Vesalius' figure legend subscript convention and to indicate nomina anatomicae .

1,2,3,4 [1,2,12,13]

[os parietale]

Green text Greek characters. Users who do not have proper Greek fonts installed will at the very least be able to identify which characters are Greek so that they may skip over them.  oi
Ruled lines and page numbers Page breaks in Vesalius' original text.

page 22
Red arrows in Table of Contents Sections that contain "children" sections. For example, Books contain Chapters, and Chapters contain sections. Clicking on these red arrows will expand or contract to show or hide the children below.
Small red box in Search results A section that contains an image.

Text markup

The translated text has been marked up according to the Text Encoding Initiative's Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (P4). Using this XML-based markup standard, rather than a display-based standard such as HTML or a less open format such as Word or WordPerfect, assures the longevity and preservability of this important new work. The TEI specifies that sections of the work be tagged according to their structure and content, so that, for example, chapters and chapter headings can be identified, foreign words, bibliographic references, footnotes, and so forth.

Northwestern continues to explore and experiment with different technologies for delievering XML and XML searching to users through standard web browsers. This version of On the Fabric of the Human Body batch-translates the XML into XHTML for browser display, and uses Inktomi's XML Toolkit to handle searches and indexing.