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PART I - STARTING STRONG WITH FRONTPAGE 2000.Hour 1. Set Up and Run FrontPage 2000.
PART II - DESIGNING WEB PAGES WITH FRONTPAGE 2000.
PART III - USING GRAPHICS IN FRONTPAGE 2000.
PART IV - PUBLISHING AND MAINTAINING YOUR FRONTPAGE 2000 WEB.
PART V - ENHANCING A FRONTPAGE 2000 WEB.
PART VI - ROUNDING OUT YOUR FRONTPAGE 2000 EXPERTISE.
PART VII - APPENDIXES.
[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]
This hour contains graphic descriptions. Reader discretion is advised.
Half the battle in any Web project is to create the information that will be displayedon the pages of your site. FrontPage 2000 makes this easier through the use of templates,which can generate pages--and even entire Webs--for you to customize.
The other half of that battle is to make that information look good.
There was a time when the World Wide Web was almost entirely text. The informationcontained on a Web was more important than the different ways that browsers displayedit.
That time ended a few minutes after a new Web page element was introduced--theimage file. Images such as GIF and JPG files could be displayed on the Web as partof pages, creating a new expectation for what sites should look like.
Most Web users expect sites to be easy to use and visually interesting. FrontPage2000 makes this part of Web design easier through the use of themes, packages ofcoordinated graphics that can be applied to your Webs.
During this hour, you'll learn how to apply themes to Webs and individual Web ppages. You'll also be creating one of your own customized themes.
As a Web publisher, one of your most important tasks is to establish the visualappearance of your site. This is determined by each of the following, among otherthings:
Another choice you must make is whether these things should vary from page topage or be consistent throughout an entire Web. Using the same visual elements makesit easier for a visitor to know they're still on your Web. It also can make a Webeasier to navigate, if you've kept the layout consistent and used navigation bars.
FrontPage 2000 enables you to establish the visual identity of a Web by assigninga theme to it.
Themes establish the visual appearance of a Web or a Web page by defining itscolors, fonts, text, and images.
There are more than a dozen themes included with FrontPage 2000. Themes are selectedby using the Format, Theme menu command. A Themes dialog box opens that enables youto preview each available theme before applying it to any part of your Web, as shownin Figure 3.1.
The themes in FrontPage 2000 are given short names that help describe their appearance.Blueprint is a technical-looking theme that resembles draftsman's markings. CitrusPunch features tropical flowers and bright colors. Blank, though not actually blank,is relatively plain.
Select each theme to see a preview of it in the dialog's Sample of Theme window.The Romanesque theme is show n in Figure 3.1.
The first choice you must make is whether to apply your chosen theme to a pageor your entire Web. If you choose a single-page theme, it will be applied to thepage that's currently open in Page view.
NOTE: Themes are one of the easiest features to experiment with in FrontPage 2000. If you apply a theme to your Web and don't like it, you can easily wipe out the change by choosing a different theme. You also can remove all themes by choosing (No theme) in the Themes dialog box.
The next decision to make is whether to select any of the following options:
The Vivid colors option determines whether the theme will use a variety of brightcolors or a white background and darker colors.
If a theme uses vivid colors, it will have a bright background color such as lightgreen or yellow and other colors that work well on that background.
If a theme does not use vivid colors, the background will be white and all othercolors will be darker, making them easier to read.
This color choice will not be as significant if you use the theme's backgroundimage. This causes a graphic to be tiled--repeated over and over like tiles on akitchen floor--underneath the contents of a page. The difference between vivid anddarker colors is less noticeable over a background image.
Choosing Active graphics adds some animation effects to the theme. One commonfeature of an animated theme is a na vigation bar with buttons that change in responseto mouse movement. These are called hover buttons in FrontPage 2000, becausethe buttons change when a mouse hovers over them.
CAUTION: Like all features offered through scripting, hover buttons are not supported by all browsers. Versions 3.0 and later of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator support these buttons. On browsers that don't support them, a non-animated version of the graphics will appear.
The last option you can enable with a theme is to apply it using CSS--CascadingStyle Sheets. Style sheets are a standard for Web browsers that has been recentlyimplemented in Navigator and Internet Explorer. They enable the basic visual elementsof a page--its text, colors, fonts, and formatting--to be defined separately fromthe information the page contains.
Since a theme is a representation of a Web's visual appearance, it makes senseto define it through the use of Cascading Style Sheets.
However, the most important thing to note about Cascading Style Sheets are thewords "recently implemented." Although a standard for Cascading Style Sheetshas existed since December 1996, at the time of this writing Microsoft and Netscapeare offering different and occasionally incompatible implementations of style sheetsin their browsers.
If you apply a FrontPage theme using Cascading Style Sheets, it should be fullysupported by the current version of Internet Explorer. This is the first versionof FrontPage that offers support for style sheets, and its implementation is mostcompatible with Microsoft's Web browser. You should test the Web in other browsersto make sure that their users are able to successfully view the site.
Every theme that you apply to a Web adds more than a dozen graphics files to it.These files are used behind-the-scenes by FrontPage 2000, and they include hoverbuttons, the background picture, and the graphic behind every page banner.
If you apply a theme to a specific page, the files used by this theme stay aroundeven if that page is later deleted.
You can find and delete these files with the Unused Themes report on the Reportsview. This report lists the number of themes that are no longer associated with anypart of the current Web.
To remove these files, double-click the line of the Reports view that lists UnusedThemes. FrontPage 2000 must recalculate the hyperlinks of the Web before it can finishthis task, so you need to be connected to the Internet.
During the last hour, you created a Web using the Personal Web template. Althoughyou might not have realized it at the time, you were using a theme. The PersonalWeb, like all built-in templates, has a default theme that it applies to all pagesin the Web.
Depending on the person for whom you were creating that Web, the theme may nothave been quite what you were looking for. A Jimmy Buffett home page is a lot morecomfortable in Citrus Punch than Industrial. A Web devoted to the French m athematicianand scholar Marin Mersenne probably is more suited to Blueprint than the Artsy theme.
TIP: As you're selecting a theme, you might notice the (Install Additional Themes) option. Select this to install more than 45 additional themes from the FrontPage 2000 CD. These themes take up approximately 3M of disk space.
As the first project of this hour, load the personal Web that you created andapply a new theme to all of its pages.
Because it's so easy to experiment with themes, preview the Web in a browser inthree different ways:
Figure 3.2 shows last hour's Annie Wilkes home page with a different theme anda background image.
As you have seen, themes are a quick way to establish the appearance of a Web.Whether your Web contains 5 or 500 pages, the same minimal amount of work is requiredto apply a theme.
If none of the built-in themes suit the Web you're trying to create, you can developyour own.
To create a new theme, you can begin by modifying an existing one. Start by selectingthe existing theme as if you're going to apply it to a Web, and click Modify in theThemes dialog. Three new buttons will appear: Colors, Graphics, and Text. Each ofthese enables you to change part of the selected theme.
The Colors button is used to pick the five colors that make up the theme's colorscheme. These colors can be selected in three different ways:
Many of the listed colors correspond with existing themes, so you can borrow themfor your new theme.
The color wheel is shown in Figure 3.3.
The color wheel is used to pick a set of five related colors. Picking a red areaof the wheel creates a color scheme that is predominantly red, for instance.
The scheme changes as you move to different places on the wheel, making it easyto meander around until you find something you like.
Another thing you can do that greatly affects the scheme is to adjust the brightnesslevel of the entire wheel. If you're looking for a gloomy range of colors, you willneed to darken the entire color wheel first.
Every change you make while selecting colors is reflected in the Sample of Themewindow, as shown in Figure 3.3.
NOTE: One thing that isn't obvious about selecting a color scheme is what the five colors are used for. The color in the middle is the page's background color. The other colors are used in a variety of different ways, as you'll see in the Sample of Theme window.
The third way to select colors for a theme is to assign them manually. Insteadof picking a five-color scheme, you assign specific colors to specific Web elementssuch as the page background, active hyperli nks, and body text. This is more time-consuming,but it provides total control over the colors employed in the theme.
After you have made changes to an existing theme, you can save them in the Themesdialog box by clicking Save As and giving the theme its own name. This is preferableto clicking Save because it doesn't wipe out the existing theme.
The Text button of the Themes dialog box is used to associate fonts with bodytext and the six different heading sizes that are used on Web pages. A dialog boxopens, enabling you to select any font that's installed on your system, as shownin Figure 3.4.
Fonts are a very system-specific element of Web page design. If you use a fonton your Web that isn't present on a visitor's system, their browser will defaultto a standard font such as Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana.
If you're developing a Web that only will be seen on a company's intranet, youcan use any font that you know will be present on the machines that have access tothat Web.
If you're a corporate Webmaster, you can always order your colleagues to install a font. This might seem a little cheeky, but it's time someone showed why the word "master" is part of the job title. Harbormasters control traffic on a waterway. Jedi masters control potent Forces. Is it too much to ask that Webmasters have sovereign power over fonts?
Anything bound for the World Wide Web probably should stick to fonts that arethe most widely supported. The built-in themes in FrontPage 2000 use the follo wingfonts: Arial, Book Antiqua, Century Gothic, Helvetica, Times, Times New Roman, TrebuchetMS, and Verdana. The safest of these fonts to use are Arial, Helvetica, Times, andVerdana.
If you're concerned that a font won't be present, you can specify one or morealternate fonts when modifying a theme. Instead of picking a single font, enter alist of fonts separated by commas, such as "Verdana, Arial, sans serif"or "Times New Roman, Times, serif." Web browsers will look for each fontin the list and use the first one that's present on the system running the browser.
The final way to create a new theme is to modify an existing theme's graphics.
Every theme has graphics files associated with 11 different page elements, includingthe background image, page banner, and both horizontal and vertical navigation bars.Some of these elements have several different graphics files associated with them--hoverbuttons have files for each image that appears on the button.
Changing graphics requires strong working knowledge of how the different pageelements function.
To change the graphics associated with a theme, click Graphics from the Themesdialog box. A new dialog box opens, enabling you to select graphics and see how theylook in a Sample of Theme window, as shown in Figure 3.5.
One of the simplest graphics to change is the background picture. This graphicis displayed beneath Web pages when the theme is applied with the Background Pictureoption selected.
Click Browse to choose a new graphic file. If this file is located anywhere onyour system, you can find it using the standard Windows file open dialog box. Ifit is located on the World Wide Web, you can find it using the image's URL.
Regardless of where you find the file, FrontPage 2000 will make a copy of it foruse with the theme. FrontPage will use a copy instead of the original whenever thetheme is applied to a Web.
CAUTION: One thing FrontPage 2000 doesn't do for you is secure permission to use the graphics it can grab from the Web. Portals such as Yahoo! have dozens of links to sites that offer background images you can freely use on Webs. Search for text such as "Web page backgrounds" or "background archive."
The last project for this hour is to express your patriotism by developing a patriotictheme devoted to a country and the colors of its flag. If you're not feeling patrioticat the moment, your project is to express someone else's patriotism.
Take one of the existing themes and save a copy of it as Patriotic or a comparablyinspiring name. Any of the themes can be used for this purpose, though some of themore generic themes such as Blank are probably the best choices.
Using this new theme, make each of the following changes:
Some artistic license may be required if you're patriotic about a country witha one-color or two-color flag.
After setting the colors, select two new fonts that suit the th eme--one for bodytext and the other for each heading. These fonts should be relatively common if you'regoing to employ the theme on your own Webs. Otherwise, you can take more liberties.
If you have graphics software such as Microsoft Image Composer, you can expandthis project by creating a background picture and other graphics.
Figure 3.6 shows a version of the Patriotic theme created for the Republic ofPalau, an island of 16,000 people in the Pacific.
During this hour, you learned how to use FrontPage 2000's built-in themes to establishthe graphic appearance of a Web. FrontPage has themes suited to a variety of purposes:corporate sites, personal home pages, hobbies, and more.
If the software's built-in themes did not fit a project, you learned how to createyour own theme by customizing an existing one.
If you can develop your own graphics, plug them into new themes for an easy wayto establish the appearance of a page or an entire Web.
If you're not graphically inclined, themes are a good way to hide this fact.
Challenge your knowledge of FrontPage 2000 themes with the following exercises: