Children's Television
Online Filing System
Frequently Asked Questions

This file contains answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the FCC Children's Television (KidVid) Online Filing System.

The most recent copy of this FAQ can be found at the FCC's Children's Television Programming (KidVid) home page at

Last updated on: May 14, 2007.


Administrative Issues
How do I access the system?
The top-level web page for the Online System can be found at:
What are the system requirements?
The electronic FCC Form 398 should work on standards compilant browser supporting HTML version 3.2. The system has been tested and known to work under Microsoft Internet Explorer (Version 6 or later), Netscape (Version 7 or later), and Mozilla Firefox (Version 1.5 or later). The system requires that the user's browser supports JavaScript and that the JavaScript funtionality is enabled. (It is enabled by default unless the user takes specific action to block it.)
Is there a User's Manual?
The User's Manual can be found online at:
Where are the FCC Form 398 instructions?
A PDF version of the FCC 398 report (not for editing) and instructions can be found at:
How do I get help or report bugs?
If you have any questions or encounter any problems or bugs, please contact Ron Graser of the Media Bureau, Video Division, at 202-418-1600. He will direct your call to the appropriate support person.
List of New Features
'Collapse / Expand All Sections'
The system provides a feature which allows the user to Expand or Collapse the sections of the form. This can also be thought of as showing or hiding a section. At the top of the form, a menu allows the user to expand or collapse all sections in the form by clicking on 'Collapse All Sections' or 'Expand All Sections'. No data is lost when a section is expanded or collapsed. This may be useful if the user has added several programs to the Analog Core section and is now working on the Digital Core section. The user can Collapse all sections and then expand only the Digital Core section..
'Hide / Show Section'
The system provides a feature which allows the user to Expand or Collapse the sections of the form. This can also be thought of as showing or hiding a section. Click on a section title to hide (collapse) or show (expand) a section. No data is lost when a section is expanded or collapsed. This may be useful if the user has added several programs to the Analog Core section and is now working on the Digital Core section.
'Clear Section' Button
The 'Clear Section' Button allows a user to clear any information that they have added to a particular section of the form. This action will reset that section of the form to its default values. This action can not be undone.
'Clear Program Data' Button in Program Report Sections
The 'Clear Program Data' Button appears in the 'Program Report Sections' of the form. The 'Clear Program Data' Button will reset all entry fields of the Program back to their default values. Usually, this means that any text that has been entered will be cleared. This function will also delete any Preemption Reports attached to the Program. Since this is the case, ensure that you also want to delete the Preemption Reports as well. This action can not be undone.
'Delete Program' Button in Program Report Sections
The 'Delete Program' Button will remove the associated Program Report from the form. This action will also remove any Preemption Reports attached to the Program. Since this is the case, ensure that you also want to delete the Preemption Reports as well. This action can not be undone.
'Clear Data' Button in Preemption Sections
The 'Clear Data' Button in the Preemption Report Section (for Analog Core and Digital Core Programs) is used to clear any information entered into that section of the form. It will reset the associated Preemption Report to its original values. This action can not be undone.
'Delete' Button in Preemption Sections
The 'Delete' Button in the Preemption Report Section (for Analog Core and Digital Core Programs) will remove the associated Preemption Report from the form and delete its data. Any Preemption Sections below the deleted one will move up. This action can not be undone.
New 'Number of Preemptions' functionality
The process for adding Preemption Reports to a Program (for Analog Core and Digital Core Programs) has changed slightly from the previous form. In the Program area for Analog and Digital Core Programs, in the 'Number of Preemptions' box, there is a drop down list, with a button labeled 'Create' next to it. This allows you to select the number of preemptions that you want to create. When you click the 'Create' button, that number of Preemption Reports are created for you under that associated Program. Once you add Preemption Reports, you can no longer use that area to add more. You can add additional Preemption Reports by going to the top of the Preemption Section and clicking the 'Add' button. You can also delete individual preemptions using the 'Delete' button.
Technical Information
Can I manually change the HTML that is saved locally?
In the past, you may have been able to make changes directly to your HTML source code that was saved locally on your system, open it, and then submit the information. The current version of the KidVid system utilizes a special facility when storing the data locally. It stores some data in hidden fields that are serialized and compressed. Modifying the HTML source file directly may cause the form to become out of sync and be unusable.
Why do I see symbols in some fields when I copy and paste from a Microsoft Word Document?
We are aware of and are working to correct certain issues that are associated with copying and pasting text from a Microsoft Word Document. The situation arises when a user copies text which contains special formatting or extended set characters from a Word document and pastes them into fields in Form 398. These characters include 'smart quotes' and 'apostrophes'. When the user does a Save Local Data to the form, these will be replaced with a series of strange, graphic characters and/or question marks (?).

A workaround for this limitation is to make a text-only copy of the Word document. Open the Word document, select 'File' -> 'Save As...' and pick a file name for the copy. In the 'Save as type:' field, select 'Plain Text (*.txt)'. Finally, click the 'Save' button. You will be able to copy and paste from the new document into the Form 398 without any issues.

Another workaround is to manually replace all special characters immediately after pasting with their ordinary versions.

There is a hidden field in the source html with random characters and numbers. Is that normal?
Yes, this is normal and expected. The current system stores some information in a hidden field which is serialized and zipped. The field appears as a very long stream of random characters. Do not delete or modify this field or the form will become unusable.
Why can't I access the system?
Sometimes, an attempt to access a web page of the Online System will "time out" with a message that the host was not reachable. If this happens, try the operation again (by clicking the link again or pushing the button again). If the problem still occurs, there could be a problem in the route that your computer is taking to get to the FCC computer. Try to reach another web site. If you cannot access any web sites, the problem is probably with your internet service provider. If you can access other web sites, but not the FCC computer containing the Online System, please contact the FCC at the number in the How To Get Help paragraph so that we can restart our web server if necessary.
How do I print the form?
The FCC 398 form has the option to create a printer friendly report. Click on [Report to Print] at the bottom of the form. This will display in your browser a read-only, printable version of the form that shows all of your data. Then, use your browser's menu to go to "File" then select "Print Preview", this will allow you to see the report broken up into different pages. From there you can select the "Print" command from the Preview screen.
How do I save the form?
Saving the form has two steps: preparing the data and saving it into a file.
  1. First, press the [Update Local Data] button in the Electronic Filing Operations section at the bottom of the form. This prepares the data for saving and must be done.
  2. Then, use your browser's File/Save As command to save the form. Select the appropriate folder and specify an appropriate name (e.g., kid97_q2.htm). For the file type or format, if given a choice by your browser, select a type of "HTML" or "Source" (depending on the term used by your operating system), particularly not "Text". If your browser supports 'Web Page, Complete', when you click on 'Save Page As...' that is the best option.

How do I restart from a saved form?
When you want to continue filling out a form that you have previously saved in a file, use your browser's File/Open File command to read in the file. It will be displayed in your browser and all of the buttons (e.g. [Update Local Data], [File 398]) will work as before.
When I open a file which has been saved locally, it has strange formatting.
When you open the file locally, it is looking at your computer for resources such as images and CSS, which are used to compose the page. If the save process did not save these items as well, you may get strange formatting. This is not an issue, simply click the 'Update Local' button and the page will be restored to normal.
Problems opening a saved file.
Some users have encountered difficulty restarting the Online Filing System from a saved file. For example, a browser may show all of the HTML tags instead of properly formatting a form, or a browser may ask you to a pick an application for the file. These symptoms are usually due to a file naming problem and can be easily fixed. When you saved the form, your browser may have suggested a name for you that was based on the name of the processing script at the FCC. If you clicked "OK" without changing the name, you probably have a file on your system named f398.faces. It is better (and required for some browsers) to rename this file so that browsers know that the file contains HTML. Simply rename the file to something like kid_q2.htm and your browser should be able to read it and display it properly.
Data not being saved.
When restarting the Online Filing System from a saved file, you may encounter a situation in which data that you entered and thought you saved is not displayed when you open the file. This is usually due to the data not being properly prepared prior to the file being saved. You must press the [Update Local Data] button prior to using your browser's Save As command. Please refer to the User's Manual for more information.
File not being overwritten.
In some instances, a browser's Save As command may not actually overwrite an earlier version of a file - even if a dialog box appears to show that the file is being overwritten. If this seems to be occurring, check to make sure that the file you are attempting to overwrite is not "Read-only". For Windows, this information is one of the "Properties" of the file, and for Macintosh, this is called "Locked" in the "Info" about the file. You can also check to see if the file has been updated properly (for example, by checking the date/time of modification of the file) before exiting the browser. If you still have difficulty overwriting a file, you may have to specify a new file name each time you save the file.
Printer only prints "Data Missing".
If your printer only prints one page containing "Data Missing" and/or "has expired from the cache" when attempting to print, you probably have experienced a timing problem. You should wait until the FCC Form 398 has finished being loaded and displayed in your browser (often, there will be a "Done" message in the browser status line) before invoking your browser's print command. Try to print again (assuming, that the form has finished being displayed).
Browser contains "Data Missing".
If your browser window contains "Data Missing" and "document resulted from a POST operation and has expired from the cache", the browser is missing some data that it had stored in its memory or disk cache. This situation may occur when you use the browser's Back command to return to a page that was created by a script at the FCC (for example, an FCC Form 398 created by pressing one of the form's buttons) and you have explicitly cleared the memory cache and/or disk cache since you last displayed that page. If this occurs, you can follow the suggestion in the browser window "to recreate the document by pressing the reload button".