Practical Tips

We want everyone to be able to use our website as fully as possible, regardless of the technology they are using, their IT skills or personal ability.
The Practical Tips section contains guidelines to getting the most out of our website, including accessing content and customising the site to suit your own computer and requirements.


The DHSSPS website has been tested on a range of browsers including:
  • Chrome Version 3+
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 6+
  • Mozilla Firefox Version 3+
  • Opera Version 10+
  • Safari Version 4+

Changing the Screen Resolution

You can set your computer to display different screen resolutions.
The DHSSPS website has been designed to work best in screen resolutions of 1024 x 768 pixels and above.
For information on adjusting the display resolution try the help files in your operating system or consult the manufacturer's website.

Changing Font Colours

Our font and background clours have been chosen to give maximum contrast in colour and brightness.  However you may find it beneficial to change these to suit your own needs.
The BBC website provides detailed guidance on how to do this in each browser and operating system.
View the BBC My Web My Way guidelines on Changing Colours in Your BrowserLink to an external website.

Changing Text Size

To change the font size, select the View Menu at the top of your window. Scroll down and select the Text size option.
You can then select a text size from the range listed.

Changing to a Full Screen View (F11 Key)

Normally when you view a web page the window is framed by the browser toolbar, menu items etc. If you are  using a large font size this leaves only a small space available for the web site information.
To give yourself a bigger screen view, press the F11 key on the top row of the keyboard. To go back to the normal view press F11 again.

External Links

If a link goes to an external site it is clearly marked with the double arrow symbol at the end of the link (Link to an external website). The symbol contains the alternative text 'link to an external site' when you hover over it with the mouse.
All of our external links open in the same browser window enabling you to use the back key or Shift and Tab keys to go back to the DHSSPS website.
If one of the external links fails to open, it may be due to a technical problem with the external website.  
If you have persistent problems with a link from the DHSSPS site to an external site, please contact the giving the details of the link.

Navigation Using the Keyboard

Use your up and down arrow keys to scroll up or down the page.
Pressing Page Up or Page Down will move you further up or down the page.
You can use the Tab key to move between links, and then press Return or Enter to select the link.
Pressing the Shift and Tab keys together will move you back between links.
To go back to the previous page, press the Backspace key.

Printing a Page

An option to print the current page has been included at the bottom of the right hand menu.  
To print the page, simply select this link.  On the window that appears select your printer or number of copies required and then select print.
To return to the webpage, select the Return to Standard Page option at the bottom of the window.

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and provides a fast and effective way of keeping up to date with news and information using website feeds.
To view RSS feeds you will need a news reader, which you should choose based on your browser type. Some News Readers are built into Internet Browsers others are available online and many are free of charge.
Once you have installed a news reader you can subscribe to this RSS feed in a number of ways, including the following:
  • Drag the orange RSS button RSS Feed into your News Reader
  • Drag the URL (web address) of the RSS feed into your News Reader
  • Cut and paste the URL of the RSS feed into your News Reader
Currently the DHSSPS website has the following RSS Feeds.

Viewing and Downloading Documents

Documents on the DHSSPS website are normally available in one (or more) of the following formats: PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
The following software is available to enable you to open the different file types used on the DHSSPS website.
The documents on our website can be opened and viewed online, but you may wish to download them.
To download a document simply right click on the document link, on the menu that appears select the Save Target As option. You can then choose a folder on your computer to save the document into.

PDF Documents

PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is a common document format used on the DHSSPS website.

Viewing PDF Documents

To open and read a PDF document you need to have a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.  The program is free of charge and may be downloaded from the Adobe Acrobat site.

Searching PDF Documents

When you click on the link to a PDF, it will open in your browser window. The Acrobat toolbar will appear below the address bar, featuring a number of tools to help you view and search the document.
Running your mouse over the icons, without clicking, will tell you what each of them does.
The Search Tool (a pair of binoculars) allows you to search the PDF document for a particular word or phrase.

Converting PDF Documents

An online PDF conversion tool is also available if you want to convert a PDF document into HTML or Text.
You can choose to type in the address of a PDF file and get the software to translate the file into a more readable format while you wait. Or you can email the address of the file (or the file itself) to Adobe, and they will email a translation back.
The translations of the files may not be as clearly formatted as the original PDF file.

Web Help

My Web, My Way

As well as the guidance above, you may find it useful to visit the BBC My Web My Way SiteLink to an external website.
The My Web, My Way aim is to to help arm its audience with the tools and understanding which will enable them to make the most of the world-wide web, whatever their ability or disability.

Contact us

Write to us

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Information Office
Castle Buildings

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The main switchboard telephone number is 028 90520500.
Please see our contact us page for a full list of telephone numbers and email addresses.

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Open Government Licence

All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0Link to an external website, except where otherwise stated.