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WARNING: Be very careful editing your server configuration or .htaccess files. Even a minor typographical error can make your site unusable! Always make a backup copy of any file so you can recover quickly.

Altering APACHE Error Messages Using the Text Method.

The simplest method for changing the message that your readers see when they encounter an error is to modify the srm.conf file if you have the ability to do so, or to modify your .htaccess file.

In the srm.conf file you will find a line that looks like this:

#ErrorDocument 500 "The server made a boo boo.

To change the error message for what is usually a script failure, change the line to read:

ErrorDocument 500 "I am sorry that we inconvienced you with this error. The person responsible has been shot.

Please note that you must use the " (quote) mark between the error number and the text. Do not include a closing quote.

If you do not have access to the master system files, you can add the line as shown above to your .htaccess file. In order for this to work, the system administrator must make certain that the AllowOveride option called FileInfo is set. You should try to obtain AllowOveride All on your directories.

You can of course have a special message for each error code:

ErrorDocument 400 "Thank you for making a bad request.
ErrorDocument 401 "You must have authorization to go here.
ErrorDocument 403 "Hey, you can't go here.
ErrorDocument 404 "Oh Toto, where is Toto? Have you seen Toto?
ErrorDocument 500 "Managing programmers is like herding cats.

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