Help & Support


Interactive Watercolour CD Help


Please look through the information below for help in correcting any problems with the Interactive Watercolour CD. This help file will be supplemented by user information feedback.

There are over 4500 files, over 1000 pages and over 27,000 hyperlinks in Interactive Watercolour. It is quite possible therefore that there are a few mistakes that I have failed to spot. If you find a problem with a link, operation, layout, typing error etc. please or use the contact form to send a report. Where these will help other users I will update the help pages as appropriate.



Operating system
    Windows 7
Screen Resolution and colour depth
Your screen settings
Starting the Interactive Watercolour CD
Making CD's start automatically
    Text file loads
    Movies don't play
    Sound doesn't play
    Pop up Blocker Service Pack 2
    Other problems
CD Help file

Operating system

An operating system of Microsoft® Windows®  95 or later is required to use Interactive Watercolour. The CD will not function on Windows® 3.x


Windows®  7

IW Version 1.2.1

When the CD is inserted in the optical drive Autoplay dialog should pop up:

Windows 7 Autostart

Click Run iw_start.exe

This will run the loader for Interactive Watercolour:

IW Loader


Click on 'Click here to start' text and Interactive Watercolour will open your default browser, if it is not already open, and load the application into the browser. The loader will then automatically close.

Clicking the 'visit web site' text will take you to the Interactive Watercolour web site at

IW Version 1.1.2 and earlier

Interactive Watercolour has been designed to "Auto-Play" using Internet Explorer browser
However, on some configurations of Windows 7, (usually security settings), the operating system may block the full auto-play feature of the CD. If the CD does not load automatically, use one of the methods below to start the CD.

Opening the Browser before inserting the CD in the CD/DVD Drive

Run Internet Explorer before inserting the CD in your CD/DVD drive.

Insert the CD

Autoplay should pop up:

auto play vista

Click Run Winopen.exe

The User Account Control will pop up:

user account iimage

Click 'Yes'. (Please note: Interactive Watercolour will not make any changes to your computer nor will it install anything on your computer)

Interactive Watercolour will open in your browser.


Starting Manually

Start Windows Explorer This application should be on your task bar but if not:

Click the start icon,
Click All Programs,
Click Accessories,
Click or double click Windows Explorer,

Click or double click on the IW Logo showing on your CD/DVD Drive. This will show the files and folders on the CD
Click or double click the file index.htm (shown as just 'index' if your computer is set to hide file extensions)

This will open Interactive watercolour in the Internet Explorer Browser.

You can now add Interactive Watercolour to your browser favorites folder so you can start the CD from this favorites link without having to go through the above process each time.

With Interactive Watercolour showing in your browser window, click 'favorites' and click 'add to favorites'.
You can now use this favorites link to start Interactive Watercolour each time you want to use it.

Note: If you have more than one CD/DVD Drive and you want to use either for running Interactive Watercolour you will need to go through the same process to create a favorites link for each drive. 


Note: You may still need to configure the browser as shown here: Pop up Blocker Service Pack 2

Windows® Vista

Windows Vista may not automatically start the CD. The dialog box shown below will show:

auto play vista

Click Run winopen.exe to start the CD. You can also set defaults for AutoPlay by clicking the link in this box.

When the CD loads you may get this message in Internet Explorer:

active x

Click for options and select to run the active content.

active content

Windows Vista includes Internet Explorer 7 or 8. This may not have the Java add-on which is required to operate some features on the CD.
The Add-on can be downloaded from

Also see browser settings here which may need to be set.

Help menu


IW Version 1.2.1

Interactive Watercolour is optomised for Internet Explorer. However all key features will operate in most modern popular browsers.

IW Version 1.1.2 and earlier

Interactive Watercolour is optimised for Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 4 or later. Using the latest Versions are recommended.

Certain features, (Movie Clips and active content) will not operate in Netscape Navigator® or other Browsers.

If you want to use Netscape for general Internet Use and Internet Explorer for Interactive Watercolour:

Start Internet Explorer, open the Tools menu and choose Internet Options and select the General Tab. Type or cut and paste one of the following brown text strings into the home page address box  file:///D:/index.htm where 'D' is your CD-ROM drive, and press OK. If your CD-ROM drive is 'E' then the home page address box should be file:///E:/index.htm Interactive Watercolour will now start up whenever Internet Explorer is opened.

A copy of Internet Explorer 6 (for Windows® 98 or later) is included on the CD.

If you want to Install Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6: From the Windows® Start Button select Start: Run: and type d:\ie\ie.exe (where d: is your CD ROM Drive). Follow the on screen instructions.

You can find the latest updates for Internet Explorer at:

Help menu

Screen resolution and colour depth

Interactive Watercolour is optimised for display at a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and for True Colour (at least 16 bit).

If your screen resolution is less than 800 x 600 the text columns on some pages will be narrow making the text difficult to read. If your screen resolution is greater than 800 x 600, the images will be relatively smaller and not as clear as in 600 x 800 mode. If your screen colour depth is less than True Colour (16 bit) the images will display in a lesser quality and some images may appear scrambled.

Your Present Screen settings:


Starting the Interactive Watercolour CD

Interactive Watercolour should run automatically when inserted into your CD ROM drive provided that Auto Start from CD has not been disabled. (see below to configure CD's to start automatically).

If the CD fails to run when inserted:

From the Windows® Start Button select Start: Run: and type d:\index.htm (where d: is your CD ROM Drive)

Alternatively, use Windows Explorer (Start Menu, Programs, Windows Explorer). Navigate to the CD-ROM drive where the Interactive Watercolour CD is installed and double click the file 'index.htm'. (the file extension '.htm' may not appear in the file name if your computer is configured not to show the file types)

Help menu

Making CD's start automatically

To make CDs play automatically when inserted in the CD drive:
Open control panel by selecting 'Settings' from the Windows® start button,
Double click on the 'System' icon to open System Properties dialog box,
Select the Device Manager tab,
Click the plus sign next to CD-ROM, right-click the device you want to use, and then click Properties.
Click the Settings tab,
Select the 'Auto insert notification' check box and click 'OK'.

Note 1: For Windows® Vista go to Control Panel and select 'Auto Start' to open up the auto start configuration utility.

Note 2: See here for auto start problems with Windows 7

Help menu


Text file loads:

Example part of text file which may be seen

<html>   <head><script LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
<!--   function getBrowserName()
   var lsBrowser = navigator.appName;
   if (lsBrowser.indexOf("Microsoft") >= 0)
      lsBrowser = "MSIE";

If a text file as shown in green opposite is displayed when the CD is inserted, this may be due to web page files being associated with another program on your computer.

To check this, open control panel, select 'folder options'.

Select the 'file types' tab and scroll down until you get to 'HTM'

Under the heading 'Extensions' Click on HTM and in the bottom part of the window.

It will tell you which program is associated with the HTM files.

It should say 'Internet Explorer'. If it says 'Notepad',  or Microsoft Office, the association needs to be changed. 

To correct this, the HTM files will need to be associated with Internet Explorer.

In the same window: Click 'Change' and select the Internet Explorer icon from the list of files in the window that opens.

It may be under the 'Recommended Programs' list.

Click OK and close the folder options window. Load the CD again.

Help menu

Movies don't run

Version 1.2.1

This version uses Adobe Flash movies. If the movies don't show or run, it may be that your browser does not have the Flash Movie player installed or it may be installed but disabled. You should be prompted to download the latest Flash player add-on.

You can check to see if the Adobe Shockwave Flash player add-on is installed by selecting 'Manage add-ons' from the tools menu of Internet Explorer or Firefox (see browser help for other browsers). If it is listed, check that it is enabled.

If the add-on is not listed it can be downloaded and installed into your browser from


Version 1.1.2 and earlier

Things to check if movies don't run:

1.    In Internet Explorer: Select from the top menu: Tools/Internet Options/Advanced tab - scroll to multimedia heading and check that 'play videos in web pages' in Internet Explorer 6 or 'play animations' in Internet Explorer 7 has a tick.

2.    Interactive Watercolour uses Plug-ins and ActiveX ® controls to display MPEG movie clips and AVI video clips. The Plug-ins used are common utilities and you will probably already have these installed on your Browser. However, if your browser is not equipped with the plug-ins required you should be prompted to download them from the Plug-in provider via the internet.

To check if you have the Windows Media Player installed as a browser plug-in: In Internet Explorer: Select from the top menu: Tools/Internet Options:

The help files on the CD are reproduced here. CD Help file These files give comprehensive guidance on operating and configuring your system for running and using the CD.

 internet options


Select the Programs tab:

programs tab

Select 'Manage Add-ons'. In the 'Show' drop down list select 'Add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer. from the list that loads, make sure that Windows Media Player is 'enabled' (If disabled, click on Windows Media Player and select 'Enable).


If Windows Media Player is not listed, select 'Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer from the show menu. Search for Windows Media Player and enable it:

media player add-ons

You should find that installing Internet Explorer 6 from the Interactive watercolour disc or downloading Internet Explorer 7 from the Microsoft site, installs the plug-ins required for the CD.  Instructions on Installing Internet Explorer 6 are given above and on the CD Cover.

3 Navigate to the CD in using Windows Explorer (Open my computer and right click on the CD icon - select 'explore' from the menu that opens).
Click on the 'doodles' folder and from the folders that can now be seen, click on the 'birchrigger' folder. click or double click on the file m2950.mpg. This should load Windows Media Player and start playing a movie clip. If the clip doesn't play, this indicates that there is a problem with Windows Media Player. Re-install Windows Media player from your Windows installation disc or check the Microsoft site for an update. (Open Windows Media Player when connected to the internet and from the help menu, select 'check for updates')


Also see browser settings here which may need to be set.

Help menu

Sound not playing

There is no sound on the movies by design.

Version 1.2.1

This version uses mp3 sound files for background music. If the sound does play, Check that your sound card or mixer is set to play mp3s

Version 1.1.2 and earlier


 Midi Music can be played while using the CD.

Check that your computer's sound system speakers are switched on. Click on the 'notes' icon in the top control bar and a tune title will show to the right of the notes icon. The music, except for the opening guitar chord, which is a .wav file, are midi files. If you have the yellow speaker icon on your system bar double click it to open up the mixer. Check that midi is not muted and that its volume control is not at the bottom. (Depending on your sound card the controls may be different so if its not as last statement you'll have to look at your sound card help)

What you need is 'midi' switched on.

If there is still no sound: In Internet Explorer menu bar, Select 'Tools', 'Internet Options'. In the dialog box that opens, select the 'Advanced' tab and scroll down to 'Multimedia' make sure that 'play sounds in web pages' is checked. If there is still no sound: Open control panel, double click 'multimedia' and select the midi tab. Click on wave synthesiser or whatever name your sound card gives for synthesiser.

Help menu

Pop up Blocker XP Service Pack 2, Vista & Windows 7

If you have installed XP service pack 2, Vista & Windows 7 you may find that your CD triggers off a security enhancement  that is provided for Internet Explorer by Service Pack 2.
An Information Bar window appears, under the Internet Explorer menu bar similar to the one below,  that explains that a pop up, Activex or download has been detected.

active x

There's neither a download nor pop up on the page. It's a script that checks for Java capability before running the CD. It is harmless and does not interfere with your computer or settings in any way.
If the search facility is used. The same messages will appear. Again it's just a JavaScript program that does the search that has been detected.

Solution to problem:

Some new features have been added in the Advanced tab of Internet options which when activated, allows active content from My Computer without compromising the additional internet security features provided by Service Pack 2.

In Internet Explorer:
From the Tools menu select: Internet Options.
Select the Advanced Tab.
Scroll to 'Security' section.
Put a Check mark on both:  

'Allow active content from CD's to run on My Computer'

'Allow active content to run in files on My Computer'

The CD will then load without the warning and the Search window will also load without the warning.

You may have to close and re-start Internet Explorer for the setting to take effect.

All the additional Internet security features provided by Service Pack 2 will still be operative.

Other problems

The help files on the CD are reproduced here: CD Help file These files give comprehensive guidance on operating and configuring your system for running and using the CD.

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