User manual

(last updated 18 July 2015)
1. Requirements
2. Installing MyWebSteps
3. Updating MyWebSteps 
4. Starting/Stopping recording web history
5. Where logfiles are stored
6. Viewing and deleting web browsing history
7. Blocking websites/webpages
8. Using the MyWebSteps to revisit webpages
9. Merging MyWebSteps data from different computer



1. Requirements
– Firefox browser version 3.6 and newer (on any operating systems; tested on Windows, Linux, and Macs)
– Initially, MyWebSteps needs about 5MB hard disk free on the drive where your Firefox browser is installed. After that, we have estimated that MyWebSteps will grow about 5GB (with version 1.1 and 1.2) each year to store your web history, principally for the thumbnail of each webpage you visit. NOTE from, version 1.3, MyWebSteps will only save the thumbnail of the first screen of a webpage rather than the whole webpage. Consequently, MyWebSteps will grow only about 1.5 GB each year. 
2. Installing MyWebSteps
Please visit this link to install the latest version of MyWebSteps from the Firefox add-on centre: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mywebsteps/
After restarting Firefox, you will see the MyWebSteps welcome dialog as in Figure 1. Congratulations! You have successfully installed MyWebSteps.

Figure 3. MyWebSteps welcome dialog.

Figure 1. MyWebSteps welcome dialog.

Then you will see the icon of MyWebSteps on the top right of the toolbar of Firefox (see Figure 2)

Toolbar

Figure 2. Icon of MyWebSteps on the toolbar of Firefox

3. Updating new versions of MyWebSteps manually
When a new version of MyWebSteps is submitted to Firefox Add-on Distribution centre. MyWebSteps needs to go through the review process and this process often takes a long time. To update the latest version yourself, please:
– Follow section 5 (below) to go to the location of logfiles. Copy the VVRWHT.sqlite file and the log folder to another folder (outside the folder of MyWebSteps as this folder will be deleted when you install a new version)
– Install the latest version of MyWebSteps
– Copy the VVRWHT.sqlite file and the log folder back

4. Starting/Stopping recording web browsing history
To stop/start recording your history, click the button on /off (VVRWebNavigatorRecordOn/VVRWebNavigatorRecordOff).
5. Where logfiles are stored
The add-on will create a file named VVRWHT.sqlite to store information about the webpages you have visited and a folder named logs storing the webpages’ thumbnails on your computer. To view the path to this folder, click the VVRWebNavigatorHome button  -> Click the button “Display path to data folder”
6. Viewing and deleting web browsing history
To view or delete entries from your web browsing history, click the VVRWebNavigatorEditor button.  Note that, if you decide to delete an URL, the tool will search through-out your history and delete all entries which have the same URL.
7. Blocking websites/webpages
If you want to prevent certain websites or webpages from being recorded, go to the menu Tools of the browser -> MyWebSteps Settings…. A dialog will appear to help you do this.
8. Using the MyWebSteps to revisit webpages
To open MyWebSteps, click the VVRWebNavigatorGraph button.  By default, the current date’s history is displayed (see Figure 3). MyWebSteps’ interface has three panels:
– The Global navigation panel provides a calendar and tab view to help you browse and search your web history.
– The Result panel can show a grid view Grid, tree view Tree or a list viewList. With the tree view, you can zoom in/out with mouse wheel, pan by dragging and dropping, and fit the tree to the screen by clicking Fit.
– The Toolbar panel provides buttons and sliders that let you select a view, reset MyWebSteps to its default view Home, search for pages on a topic by typing in keywords, and filter the results by the number times you have visited pages.

Figure 6. MyWebSteps with default view

Figure 3. MyWebSteps with default view

The best way of revisit a webpage depends on several factors, including what you remember about the page. Here are some suggestions:
– If you remember the date you last visited the webpage, choose that date on the calendar. The shade of the blue background on each day represents the number of webpages/searches you visit/launched on that day. If you select a date on the calendar, only domains visited on that date will be shown in the Domains tab, but you can always go back to the full list of domains by clickingHome.
– If you know the domain of the webpage, you can select it from the domain tab. By default, this tab lists all domains you have been to, so if the domain list is too long you can filter it by typing into the Filter domains textbox. The Results panel will show all of webpages in the selected domain that you have visited, and the calendar will be updated to mark only dates on which you have visited pages in that domain.
– If you remember the Google search that you used to find a page then you can start with the Google Searches tab, which works in a similar manner to the Domains tab. If you think that the webpage belonged to a particular search but cannot find it from the result, right click on any page on the tree and select option View all webpages on the same day/session from the dialog.
– If you remember something about a page’s topic, just type into the Search on topic box.
With any thumbnail you can
– Double click to open the webpage in a new tab of the Firefox browser.
– Right click to open a dialog with detailed information about the webpage and the following options:
Show all webpages visited in the same domain (similar to when you select a domain in the domain tab)
Show all webpages visited from this webpage. This function is useful when links of a certain webpage are changed regularly. For example, you go to the BBC homepage and click some links there to read latest news. The next day, those links might be no longer there, because the headlines have changed.
Show all external webpage visited from this domain. This feature helpd you revisit links that you originally accessed in emails, forums and social networks are very popular.
Show all webpages visited on the same day/session. This option allows you to see all webpages that have been visited at similar time to the current webpage.
Show all webpages visited about the same topic. We extract a keyword for the webpage, and display all webpages whose title or description contains that keyword.
9. Merging MyWebSteps data from different computers
If you have two computers and want to merge data of MyWebSteps, for example from Computer 2 to Computer 1:
– On Computer 2, click the VVRWebNavigatorHome button in the status bar of the Firefox browser -> Click the “Display path to data folder” button.
– Go to that folder and you will see a file named “VVRWHT.sqlite” and a folder called “logs”. Copy this file and folder to a removable storage (e.g., USB).
– Plug this removable storage to Computer 1 and click the VVRWebNavigatorEditor button in the status bar of the Firefox browser on this computer
– Click the “Import MyWebSteps from another computer” button and follow instructions.
– Manually copy all thumbnails from the logs folder on the removable storage to the logs folder on Computer 1

4 Responses to User manual

  1. simon wright says:

    Why do you not tell people how to uninstall this product?

    • tvd says:

      Firefox allows users to manage add-ons (search, install, disable, and remove). I think if users know how to install an add-on they would know other things

  2. Todd says:

    How do I uninstall MyWebSteps from Firefox? Can’t find that information by searching.

    • tvd says:

      Click on the menu icon of your browser (top right) –> Click Add-ons –> Extensions –> There is a Remove button next to each add-on.

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