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If FrontPage 2003 can do it, you can do it too...
Whatever your level of expertise, this comprehensive guide to FrontPage 2003 helps you create and manage Web sites that support your objectives. If you’re building your first site, the step-by-step tutorials will get you going quickly and easily. If you belong to a corporate project team, you’ll find help coordinating the work of editors, designers, and programmers. And if you’re already a Web ...
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If FrontPage 2003 can do it, you can do it too...
Whatever your level of expertise, this comprehensive guide to FrontPage 2003 helps you create and manage Web sites that support your objectives. If you’re building your first site, the step-by-step tutorials will get you going quickly and easily. If you belong to a corporate project team, you’ll find help coordinating the work of editors, designers, and programmers. And if you’re already a Web professional, here’s what you need to expand and refine your technical know-how.
Inside, you’ll find complete coverage of FrontPage 2003
Bonus CD-ROM and companion Web site!
Part I: FrontPage Essentials.
Chapter 1: Getting to Know FrontPage.
Chapter 2: Working with FrontPage Web Sites.
Chapter 3: Publishing and Maintaining Web Sites.
Chapter 4: Integrating FrontPage with Office Applications.
Part II: Designing Web Pages.
Chapter 5: Page and Text Formatting.
Chapter 6: Working with Layout: Tables and Layers.
Chapter 7: Designing Pages with Shared Borders and Frames.
Chapter 8: Editing HTML.
Part III: Organizing FrontPage Webs.
Chapter 9: Building Navigational Elements.
Chapter 10: Using FrontPage Themes.
Chapter 11: Working with Styles and Style Sheets.
Part IV: Working with Pictures, Animation, and Multimedia.
Chapter 12: Using Pictures.
Chapter 13: Using Animation Effects.
Chapter 14: Adding FrontPage Web Components.
Chapter 15: Embedding Components: Plug-Ins, ActiveX, and Java Applets.
Part V: Activating Web Pages.
Chapter 16: Designing Forms.
Chapter 17: Activating Forms.
Chapter 19: Server-Side Programming: CGI and ASP.
Part VI: Data-Driven Web Sites.
Chapter 20: Working with Databases in FrontPage.
Chapter 21: Building a FrontPage Database Application.
Part VII: Advanced Topics.
Chapter 22: Developing Custom FrontPage Solutions.
Chapter 23: Web Server Administration.
Chapter 24: SharePoint Team Services Sites.
Chapter 25: Introduction to Microsoft InfoPath 2003.
Appendix A: What’s New in FrontPage 2003?
Appendix B: Index of FrontPage Templates.
Appendix C: Best FrontPage Add-Ins and Resources.
Appendix D: What’s on the CD-ROM.
End-User License Agreement.
FrontPage 2003 is both a powerful tool for creating sophisticated Web sites, and fairly easy to use. This means that you'll probably feel at home in FrontPage right away, and it also means that many important FrontPage features won't be so obvious to you.
FrontPage is actually a combination of many different elements. FrontPage's Page view provides an easy, intuitive way to edit and format Web pages. Other views provide complex options for managing the large sets of files used in a Web site. In addition, FrontPage comes with built-in tools that generate animation (moving graphics), interactivity (objects that respond to visitors' actions), and even online data collection and data management.
This book explores the full depth and breadth of FrontPage. I assume that you want to squeeze the most out of FrontPage, and I'll help you do that. I also assume that you're not necessarily a programmer or Web technician, so I'll break even high-powered features, such as animation, media, and Web database management, into bite-sized pieces.
If you're in a hurry to create a Web site, start here. The chapters that follow expand on and add to the concepts introduced in this chapter. You can use the rest of this book as a reference, looking up features as you need them. You can also work your way through the book section by section, explore the tutorialsalong the way, and acquire a complete set of skills for creating and managing FrontPage Web sites. This chapter moves quickly through all the essentials necessary to create a Web site in FrontPage 2003. If you're already familiar with Web design and Web page editing, this first chapter will serve as a quick roadmap so you can apply your skills to FrontPage 2003. If you're brand-new to Web design, this chapter is a good introduction and starting point.
Before diving into the nuts and bolts of creating a Web site, the following section briefly defines some of the basic elements with which you will be working.
FrontPage Webs, Web Sites, and Web Pages
From the vantage point of a Web designer, you work on two basic levels when you create a Web site: Web design and page design. Unless your Web site is only one page, you have two related jobs. You must design a Web structure that visitors can use to navigate from page to page, and you must design the Web pages themselves. To use an analogy from architecture, your job is to design both a building (your site) and individual rooms or offices (your pages).
The streamlined interface in FrontPage 2003 makes all of this very intuitive. You can easily jump to views that enable you to see an overview of your entire Web site. You can also zoom in to an individual page, and edit the content and look of that page.
Although the FrontPage interface enables you to shift back and forth seamlessly between Page view and Site view, having a basic sense of what's happening "under the hood" will help you while you put your Web site together.
FrontPage Webs and Web sites
FrontPage Webs are organized collections of files associated with a Web site. Unless they are very simple, one-page sites, most Web sites are composed of many Web pages, and almost every Web site (even a one-page site) will have many files-HTML Web pages, media files, images, and so on. To visit a Web site, you enter a Web site address, known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), into the browser. The browser locates and displays the Web site.
Just to complicate things, FrontPage has its own use of the term "Web." A Web, in FrontPage's lexicon, is a set of Web pages and associated files organized in a single folder or directory structure. In general, your FrontPage Web is your Web site, although you can create multiple FrontPage Webs on the same Web site. That is because FrontPage uses the term "Web" to refer to the folder or directory structures that hold Web site files. More than one of these Webs can be attached to a single URL or Web site.
The practical implication of all this is that the first step in creating a Web site in FrontPage is to define a FrontPage Web. This chapter jumps right into that process; but first, let's take a quick look at the other main elements of Web sites.
In most cases, a FrontPage Web and a Web site are the same thing. The two terms describe what is going on from different perspectives-Web site being the external appearance, and FrontPage Web being the underlying file structure. Unless it is necessary to make a distinction, this book refers to FrontPage Webs as Web sites.
Web pages differ from other documents in that they are designed to be interpreted by Web browsers. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Netscape Navigator take text, graphics, and even interactive elements, such as input forms, sound, and video, and enable Web site visitors to access them.
Web browsers interpret and display Web page content by reading Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). FrontPage shields you from having to learn HTML by translating the menu options that you select into HTML code. If you prefer to do your own HTML coding, see Chapter 8.
Not only does FrontPage translate your commands into HTML, but it also generates programming scripts in other languages, enabling you to add content such as search boxes, input forms, interactive responses to visitors, and sound and video.
FrontPage server extensions
If you have used Microsoft FrontPage in the past, you know a thing or two about the mystifying and frustrating FrontPage Server Extensions. I'll give you the good news up front-FrontPage server extensions are now gone in FrontPage 2003. Now for the bad news-my previous statement isn't exactly correct.
FrontPage server extensions enable the most powerful elements of FrontPage to work. Among the FrontPage features that require server extensions are the following:
* Collecting form data
* Presenting database content
* Assigning Categories to Web pages (useful in defining search engines)
* Style sheet links (for assigning formatting to multiple pages)
* Confirmation fields for input forms
* Online discussion forums
* Hit counters
* Search forms (for your site)
In FrontPage 2003, FrontPage server extensions are no longer needed when you use SharePoint Team services for publishing. However, in many cases, you'll be uploading your site to a server that is still running FrontPage server extensions. In this case, you can configure your site to work with them. The goal here is to phase out FrontPage server extensions, but in reality, they will still be an important part of your FrontPage life until the rest of the Microsoft Web world catches up.
Confusion about the necessity and role of FrontPage server extensions can lead to frustration. Therefore, let's take a brief look at what FrontPage server extensions are, where you get them, and how they work.
FrontPage server extensions are files that are installed not on your personal PC, but on the server on which your Web site is hosted. Technically, you can have a Web server on your own PC. However, your server software is more likely to be located on a remote computer connected by an office intranet or the Internet. FrontPage facilitates publishing your Web site from your own PC to a server, a process described in detail in Chapter 3. Your server administrator provides you with a URL, a user name, and a password. With that information, you set up a link to transfer files from your local development computer to a Web server.
A Web server is the computer that hosts a Web site and the associated software. The client is another way of talking about the computer and browser software used by a visitor to view and interact with your Web site. Do all Web servers have FrontPage extensions? No, but millions do. Office intranets created using the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system come with FrontPage server extensions (although installing them is an option for the server administrator). In addition, thousands of commercial Web site providers that offer FrontPage extensions are competing for your Web-hosting dollars. Some of these providers will set you up with a fully FrontPage-enabled Web site for less than $100 per year.
Developing a Web site in FrontPage probably doesn't make sense unless you plan to publish your site to a server with FrontPage extensions. FrontPage extensions enable approximately 20 percent of the features in FrontPage, and they are among the most powerful and valuable features. Of course, if you are publishing to SharePoint Team Services, you don't have to worry about the extensions.
The biggest drawback in this entire scenario is that until you publish your Web to a server, you won't be able to test features such as input forms, search boxes, and other elements of your Web site.
Previous iterations of FrontPage and Office included a stripped-down version of a FrontPage-enabled server called the Personal Web Server (PWS). Unfortunately, as of FrontPage 2003, you can find no version of the Personal Web Server available for Windows 95, 98, or Me that supports the most recent FrontPage extensions. In short, if you are developing a site using any of these Microsoft operating systems, you will need to publish your site to a remote server before you can test many of the features you include in your Web site. Developers who have Windows 2000 on their local computers can install a local server that does support FrontPage server extensions.
Chapter 3 explores all this, including your options for publishing to FrontPage servers.
The simplest and most universally available option for publishing Webs to FrontPage-enabled servers is to contract with one of the many Web-hosting companies that provide FrontPage extension server sites.
Using FrontPage extensions can cause headaches for Web server administrators (and you folks can jump to Chapter 23 for help). You can avoid worrying about any of it, however, by simply contracting with a Web provider that has FrontPage extensions as part of its Web-hosting package.
What's New in FrontPage 2003?
More is new to FrontPage 2003 than the interface design. New elements in FP 2003 range from little fixes to rather substantial new features. Table 1-1 describes the most impressive ones.
A Quick Tour of FrontPage
When you open FrontPage 2003, you see a Home list (also called a Task list) on the right side of the screen. You can open different Web sites and pages in FrontPage from this list. On the left side of the screen is a big open space, which is your workspace.
FrontPage views are generally divided into those that let you organize your entire Web site, and Page view, which is where you design the content of specific pages.
FrontPage 2003, like other Office 2003 applications, opens with a Task Pane displayed on the right side of the FrontPage window. Here, you'll find quick links to jump to frequently used features in FrontPage.
The FrontPage Task Pane
The drop-down arrow at the top of the Task Pane toggles between displaying the standard Task Pane (with links to create new pages and Webs), a Clipboard display, and a help search box, Clip Art, Themes, and a number of additional features for easy access. The drop-down list is displayed in Figure 1-1.
The standard Task Pane is a nice way to quickly open a new Web page. The specific tasks displayed in the FrontPage Task Pane depend on your work history. For example, recently opened Web pages are displayed as quick links.
The Clipboard pane is a helpful way to grab recently copied or cut objects. The Search pane is an easy way to rummage through a Web site to locate pages with select text. You can easily access Clip Art, Themes, and even data sources here.
All the features available in the Task Pane are also available from the FrontPage menu, and many are available from buttons on various taskbars. In other words, the Task Pane duplicates features found elsewhere in FrontPage, and it takes up a lot of space. You'll probably find yourself using its handy links when you first start using FrontPage, but closing it for good as you learn your way around the available views and toolbars.
Before you start creating Web pages and organizing them into a Web site, you can introduce yourself to the following different views in FrontPage 2003:
* Page view: If you are responsible for the content of a Web site, you will probably spend much of your time in Page view, where you edit individual Web pages. Figure 1-2 shows FrontPage's Page view. You can view or hide a list of your files by selecting View [right arrow] Folders from the menu.
* Folders view: This is a directory of the files that you create in FrontPage. FrontPage creates two empty folders (_private and images) when you open a new Web site. When you save a Web page, or any other element of your Web site, you'll see files listed in this view.
* Reports view: FrontPage can generate reports that assess the status of your Web site. The default view that appears when you click the Reports icon in the View bar displays a summary of the different reports available. You can view any report by double-clicking it in the Site Summary spreadsheet, or by selecting a report from the View Reports submenu.
* Navigation view: This view enables you to organize all of your different Web page files into an integrated Web site, and to define navigational links between pages.
* Hyperlinks view: Hyperlinks (or links, for short) are text or graphics that, when clicked, connect a visitor to another Web page within or outside your Web site. Links can become corrupted or outdated when Web pages change, and this view checks them for you.
* Tasks view: FrontPage enables several members of a Web design team (or an individual Web designer) to create lists of things to do. Tasks can be assigned to different team members, who in turn can check off their progress as the Web is completed.
Creating a Web site
Because Web sites are collections of Web pages, you can start either by designing the site structure or by creating the page content. If, for example, you are designing a site that will include many Web pages created in other Office 2003 applications, you may not need to do much with page content, and your entire task may involve orchestrating and organizing all these pages into a Web site. In another scenario, you may be creating the entire Web site, including its content, from scratch.
In either case, your first task is to create a FrontPage Web, the underlying structure that holds together, coordinates, and manages all the files in your Web site.
Excerpted from Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Bible by Curt Simmons Excerpted by permission.
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