The help section contains information on how to get the most from visiting the Citizens Advice website.
Help can be accessed from the menu bar ot the top of every page on the Citizens Advice website.
Our accessibility page covers our site accessibility features, how to customise your computer and keyboard shortcuts. Useful links provides further accessibility information.
For additional help, please contact us
Using the site
The site covers information about the Citizens Advice service in England and Wales. It also includes a directory of local CAB and the opportunity to find out more about becoming a CAB volunteer.
The main navigation is organised under the heading 'On this site' and links into the main content areas:
- About us
- Support us
- For professionals
as listed below the site name and in the footer links where you can also find links to Events, Publications and Training courses.
The page structure of the site stays the same throughout the site and has the following features:
- the CAB logo in the top left hand corner, which is a link back to the home page
- the main site tools (accessibility, help, site map, contact us) at the top of the page along with a site search box
- links to the different content areas are also at the top
- many key content links are also repeated in the footer.
Navigating Citizens Advice website
Your starting point when entering Citizens Advice website depends on how you arrived at the website. For example if you came from a search engine link, this would usually take you to the home page of the site; or if you had bookmarked one of the content areas, then that would be your starting point. Or you may have got to the Citizens Advice website via a link from another website to a particular page or section.
All text links are dark blue and may be underlined. When you move your mouse cursor over a link (known as ‘roll over'), the text will change to grey and underlined. As soon as you select a link and view the content, the link will change to light blue. This way, you can always tell which sections you have looked at.
As you browse through the content, a breadcrumb trail will appear above the page’s main heading and will indicate where you are in the site from the home page. For example, Citizens Advice home>Volunteering>Volunteer bureau search will be seen when you are enquiring about volunteering. Selecting a link from the breadcrumb trail will take you to that page.
Note: If you are not sure whether something is a link, move the cursor over a word; if it's a link, the cursor will change from an arrow to a hand with the finger extended.
ClearType: enhance screen fonts in Windows XP
This step-by-step guide describes how to enable ClearType to sharpen fonts on your Windows XP display. ClearType enhances your display by smoothing the edges of screen fonts. ClearType works especially well on Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) devices, including flat screen monitors and laptop computers.
To use Cleartype for screen fonts:
- Select Start, select Control Panel, select Appearance and Themes, and then select Display.
- On the Appearance tab, select Effects.
- Select Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts check box, and then select ClearType in the list.
Printing web pages
Most content of this website can be printed in a printer-friendly format. To print a page in printer-friendly format select the printer image at the top of the web page or use your usual method for printing a page.
You may need to access content on the Citizens Advice website that requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. You will need to download this software from the Internet and install it prior to viewing content in this format.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is free software that lets you view and print Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files on all major computer platforms, as well as fill in and submit Adobe PDF forms online. An expanded version of Acrobat Reader for Windows offers additional functionality, including support for the visually impaired and the ability to search a collection of Adobe PDF files. To obtain Adobe Acrobat Reader:
You may also require access to Microsoft Office packages such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. To download free versions of any of these software packages:
To download any of the above software, please follow the instructions given on the relevant website.
Microsoft Word versions of PDFs
If you require a Microsoft Word version of any of our PDF publications available to download on this site, please email Citizens Advice Public Policy Admin
Flash video content
You may need to access content on the Citizens Advice website that requires Adobe Flash Player to view. To download this free browser plug-in prior to viewing the content:
To download and install Flash player, please follow the instructions given on the relevant Adobe website.
Content load time
Content load time may become slow as more users access a particular video, therefore we recommend letting the video buffer (allow the content to temporarily download while it is being moved from our server to your web browser) for a few minutes before playing it.
Should the video fail to load, it may have been removed or the link broken, in which case, please contact us.
- Play / Pause - Pressing this button allows you to play and pause the content.
- Stop / Previous / Next - The stop button will stop the video, pressing the either the previous or next button will move the progess bar to its respective end.
- Progession - Once the video is fully loaded you can drag the progession bar in either direction to a specific time within the video.
- Volume Control - The volume icon allows you to enable or disable the sound, while dragging the bar will allow you to increase or decrease the volume.
- Full Screen - Pressing this button will cause the video to fit the size of your screen, pressing this button once in full screen will return the video to its normal size.
- Caption / Subtitle - By default captions will be turn on, you can click this button in order to remove caption or restore it.
Starting a search
In the search text box, enter a word or phrase that best describes the information you are looking for and select 'Search'.
Interpreting search results
When your search is completed, the results screen will show up to 10 matching documents. If there are more than 10, a link at the top and bottom of the list allows you to move to the next screen, with the next 10 in the sequence, until you reach the end of the search results.
The search results will look something like the example below, giving you
- the number of documents located, and how many web pages (in the example below, there are 496 matching documents, displayed on 10 web pages)
- the documents listed in order of relevance to the word or phrase that you search on the higher the percentage, the more relevant
- a summary of the contents of each document.
Citizens Advice press releases include links to a range of social bookmarking websites
RSS / news feeds
What are news feeds?
News feeds are also known as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and are usally indicated on a web page by an orange button .
They allow you to see when websites have added new content. You can get the latest headlines from websites in one place, as soon as its published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from.
How do I start using feeds?
In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications.
Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your email using Outlook, or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.
Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want it to receive. For example, if you would like the latest Citizens Advice press releases, simply visit the Press office page and you will notice an orange button below the latest press releases.
If you select the RSS button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the feed into your news reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your news reader.
Some browsers, including Internet Expolorer 7+, Firefox, Opera and Safari, automatically check for feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to feeds much easier. For more details on these, please check their websites.
How do I get a news reader?
There is a range of different news readers available and new versions are appearing all the time.
Different news readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to choose one that will work with your computer.
Mac OS X