Problems viewing cards (including blank screen, no music, other anomalies)

When I view a card I get a blank screen, or it gets stuck part way through

It's hard to be sure exactly what might cause this problem, but the following steps have been shown to help. Please follow them carefully.

Try a "hard refresh"

Your browser may have a bad copy of the card in its memory, and doing this will force it to go and get a new copy. The following instructions work for most browsers. First, make sure your browser is showing the page with the faulty e-card. Then:

  • Windows computers: Hold down your Ctrl key, and then press the F5 key
  • Apple Mac computers: Hold down the Cmd key, and press R

Failing that, Wikipedia has a useful article on how to do this in all modern browsers!

If this doesn't fix the problem, try the next steps.

Log out of

Click "Log off" in the orange menu bar above. If there is no orange menu bar, and if there is a username and password prompt in the top right hand corner of this page, then you are already logged off.

Clear your browser cache

Please follow the instructions here.

Disable any web accelerators

If you are using a web accelerator to speed up download of websites, disable it. If you don't know what a web accelerator is, you almost certainly don't have one, so ignore this step.

Update your copy of the Flash Player

Please click here for information about the Flash Player and how to ensure yours is up-to-date.

Check your security settings.

One other possibility is that there's some kind of third-party security or privacy software, or possibly a setting in your browser's security options, which is preventing the card from displaying. Correcting this will obviously depend on exactly what software you have, and may be beyond the scope of any assistance we are able to give you. However, if you are unable to resolve this yourself and would like us to try to help, please take the third option to the question below, and contact us for further assistance.

The card page doesn't appear at all!

Our card previews should open in a new tab or window. Unfortunately some websites use the same technique to show annoying advertisements, and therefore many computers include "popup blockers" which will stop new tabs or windows from opening. This may be what is preventing our preview window from appearing. To fix this, please see this FAQ page.

Problems hearing music

If you are unable to hear the music then the first thing to check is whether the problem is restricted to web animations or whether it is more widespread and affects other music also.

Please click on the following link, which will download and play an MP3 file containing a short piece of music.

Deck the Halls test MP3

If you can hear "Deck the Halls" then the problem must be something to do with your Flash Player: please click here for instructions on how to make sure you have the latest copy.

If you cannot hear "Deck the Halls", then the problem is not just Flash animations or our e-cards, but all MP3 music files. Please check that your speakers are plugged into your computer (if applicable), and make sure that the volume control on your computer is turned up. If you still cannot hear the music, you may need to consult a specialist to determine why you are unable to hear MP3 music files.

Only part of my message is displayed

Our e-cards will display a message up to 1500 characters. If the message does not fit into the limited space available on the card, then a couple of little scroll arrows will automatically appear. Clicking on these arrows will allow you to scroll up and down through the message.

If the scroll arrows do not appear then either the message is not long enough for them to be required, or you have an out-of-date Flash player. For instructions on loading the Flash player, please click here for further instructions.

"Missing image" icon seen when trying to view card

This is usually caused by security settings on your computer which are preventing the display of the Flash plugin (or of ActiveX objects, in the case of Internet Explorer). Unfortunately there are too many different versions of browsers in use these days for us to give detailed instructions on each, but if you search the internet for "how to enable plugins" followed by your browser name and version (e.g. "Internet Explorer 11") then you should quickly find instructions. Then try viewing the card again.

If you have any third-party security software (e.g. Norton, McAfee, Zone Alarm) then these products may also be preventing the display of the Flash plugin. Please check the help for your product to find out how to prevent the product from interfering with the Flash Player. (Note: lots of people have Norton or McAfee anti-virus programs: these do not have any effect on the Flash Player and should be left running under all circumstances.)

I am viewing one of the darker cards (e.g. Halloween) and it is too dark

Some of the cards on our site are deliberately fairly dark – for example, the Halloween cards need to be quite dark in order to achieve a spooky effect!

Unfortunately, many computer screens are not properly adjusted for low-contrast, low-brightness images, because the vast majority of the images displayed on a normal computer screen are optimised for exactly the opposite – high brightness and high contrast. Most websites and computer applications are designed to be easy to see, not to offer a dramatic artistic effect.

As a result of this it is quite common for computer screens to be badly adjusted for the display of dark graphics, while the owners are generally completely unaware of the problem, since they very rarely (if ever) have a need to display a dark, low-contrast graphic. Until, that is, they get to see a Jacquie Lawson Halloween card!

If you're having problems with viewing one of our darker cards, take a look at the graphic below. On a properly adjusted screen you should be able to read the numbers from 1 to 10 quite clearly. It's OK if the number 10 is a bit indistinct, but 9 should be readily visible. If the higher numbers are not distinct, then you definitely need to adjust your monitor's brightness and contrast settings if you are going to appreciate the finer detail of your computer's graphics capability – not just, but other graphics also.

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To contact our helpline directly please select the third option above, or please feel free to send us a snail mail.