William Pegram
November 19, 2000

Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Basic Features

Modes

Three Different Modes:
-Normal
-HTML
-Preview If you have IE3.0 or later installed on your computer, this will preview it in IE.  If you do not, you can use the File, Preview in Browser command described below.

 Commands Not Using Advanced Features (e.g. Style sheets, JavaScript)

 FrontPage 2000, like other Office 2000 programs, uses an adaptive menu system in which the most recently used commands are moved toward the top.  For this reason, I have discussed the second level commands in alphabetical order within each first level category.  As in other Office programs, this feature can be turned off (go to Tools, then Customize, then Options, and uncheck the box "Menus show recently used commands first") or you can reset your usage data.

 1. File

             New, then select Page or Web.  If you select web, FrontPage will create a directory structure for you.  Selecting Page allows you to create pages without FrontPage doing that for you.

             Preview in Browser You can add browsers to the list.  One slight disadvantage of previewing through this command for non-IE browsers is that if you have already previewed a page through a given browser, and then make changes and save it, and preview again, a new browser window is opened, rather than reloading the page into the current window.  On the other hand, you don't have to remember to reload the page.

 You can also simulate the effect of viewing the page at different monitor resolutions.  Default is the resolution at which your monitor is set.

             Recent Files or Recent Webs allow you to access things you have worked with recently, just like in Word or Excel.

 2. Edit

The standard Cut, Copy, Paste, Find, and Replace function as in a word processor.  These commands can be accessed in both Normal and HTML mode.  In some situations, it is important to be in the right mode before you use these commands.  For example,

        If you are looking to find or replace something that only appears in the HTML code (e.g. a tag), you will want to use these commands in HTML mode rather than Normal mode.

        If you are copying and pasting text from another application and the text uses characters which have a special meaning in HTML, e.g. < or >, if one pastes into Normal view, the < > symbols will be translated into their equivalents so that one sees the < and > in the browser.  On the other hand, if one pastes these into HTML view, the < and > characters will appear in the HTML.  To achieve the latter effect, one can also be in Normal view, and select Paste Special, and then Treat as HTML.

3. View

FrontPage often divides the window into three columns in which Views are displayed in the left most column, folder list in the middle, and contents of the current page in the right most.  If all three are being displayed, you can eliminate Views column by clicking View, Views Bar and eliminate the folder list by clicking View, Folder List. 

4. Insert

            Bookmark To create an anchor for a link.  The names of existing anchors are displayed and a default one is suggested which one can change.

Break To insert a simple <br> tag, it is easiest to simply depress the Shift and Enter keys at the same time rather than use the menu.  If one uses the menu, one can insert a value for the clear attribute of the <br> tag.  The clear attribute is used with graphics.  Text will automatically wrap to fill the space along side of a graphic.  If you want the text to resume below the image, you insert a <br> tag with a clear attribute.  The attribute has three possible values: left, right, and all.  It tells the browser to skip down the page until the specified margin is clear and begin flowing text at that point.

Form To insert various form elements.

            Hyperlink To turn text into a link, highlight the text and then select Insert, then Hyperlink.  You can browse for the file if relative or enter if absolute.  It is important to save the file before making relative links so that FrontPage will know the location of the file containing the link and thus be able to construct the relative link appropriately.  You can also link to a bookmark (the named anchors on the page are displayed) or an email address.   

            Line inserts an <hr> tag.

            Component The Marquee option inserts a <marquee> tag and allows you to specify various attributes.  In Netscape, which does not support the <marquee> tag, the text between the <marquee> and </marquee> tags is displayed in a stationary manner, as opposed to the scrolling behavior in Internet Explorer.

Most of the other options (specifically Hit Counter, Confirmation Field, Include Page, Scheduled Include Page, Categories, and Search Form) are only functional if the page is hosted on a server that supports FrontPage Server Extensions (these are discussed later). 

             Picture then From File or Clip Art.  If from file, you can browse for the file in the box at the bottom of the dialog box and insert the picture.  To turn the picture into a clickable link, insert the picture into the web page, then right click on the picture and select hyperlink, and then browse for the file if on your computer or put in the absolute link.  FrontPage automatically specifies the height and width attributes for pictures you insert, and specifies border=0 for pictures you turn into links (so that they don't have a blue border around them).

5. Format

            Background This allows you to set properties for the entire page such as background color or image, and the color of links, active, and visited links.  Selecting  More Colors brings up the web-safe palette of 216 colors, or one can select an arbitrary color. 

Font You select the text, and then choose Format, then Font.  You can then select from a variety of fonts, font style (regular, bold, italic, bold and italic), and point sizes (using the size attribute).  The preview box shows you what some standard characters look like with this font, font style, and point size.  You can select a color for the text (as before, selecting More Colors brings up the web-safe palette of 216 colors, or one can select an arbitrary color).   You can choose from about 15 effects, including underline, superscript, subscript, code, etc.  All of these are accomplished using standard HTML tags.  As always, whether the browser will actually display the specified font depends on whether that font is available on that computer.

6. Tools

Page Options Page Options, then HTML Source allows you to specify that when a file is saved, existing HTML is either preserved or reformatted according to rules you specify.  I've set this and leave this at "preserve HTML".  About the only time I change it is if I have pasted material into an HTML document and I would like the HTML source to keep a line length that allows all the HTML to be visible without horizontal scrolling.  FrontPage 2000 generally preserves existing HTML pretty well;  FrontPage 97/98  was criticized in this respect.

Page Options, then Color Coding allows one to specify separate colors for text, tags, attribute names, attribute values, comments, and scripts.

Page Options, Compatibility, allows one to specify the browser, browser version, and server as well as specific technologies such as cascading style sheets, frames, JavaScript, etc.  For example, if one specifies Internet Explorer and Netscape for browsers, from that point on, FrontPage will only enable in menus, the options which are supported in both browsers.  The same holds true for the specification of browser versions and servers.  With regard to the technologies shown at the bottom, make sure that they initially all are checked.  Specification of browsers, versions, and servers will uncheck those technologies which are not supported by the specified browsers, versions, and servers.  If you do not want to use Front Page Server extensions or additional technologies that remain checked, uncheck them in this box and subsequent menus will "gray out" choices that depend on the technologies which are not checked.

7. Table Selecting Table, then Insert inserts a table into the page at the selection point with the specified number of rows and columns, and specified attributes such as alignment, border, width, cell padding, and cell spacing.  Once a table is inserted into a document, one can edit the table by clicking within in the table and then selecting Table in the menu.  There are several options at this point:

         To modify properties of the entire table, click in the table and then choose Table, Select, Table.  You can also do this by right clicking in the table.

        To modify properties of a row or column, click in the row or column, and then choose Table, Select, Row or Table, Select, Column.

        To modify properties of a single cell, click in the cell and choose Table, Select, Cell or click in the cell, and then right click and choose Cell Properties.

        To merge two or more cells so that they span several columns or span several rows, highlight the cells, and then select Table, Merge Cells or right click and select Merge Cells.  To undo this effect, click in the cell and select Table, Split Cells, and then choose how they are to be split.  Alternatively, one can click in the cell, right click and select Split Cells, and then choose how they are to be split.

8. Frames The commands under this option are only available after one has created a framed page.  To create a framed page, select File, New, Page, and then click the Frames Pages tab.  This will present ten templates of different frame pages.  One can alter the size of each frame by dragging on its edge, or create an additional frame by selecting Ctrl Drag.  Each frame will display a Set Initial Page and New Page button.  The former is to use existing pages for the frame whereas the latter is to create a page for the frame.  One these are created or specified, one can edit the frameset page, the no frames page, or the content of particular frames just by selecting the appropriate tab.

9. Window

Standard Toolbar

The standard toolbar provides access to some of the functions in the menus.  Several of items however provide functionality that does not appear to be available on the menus:

The Format Painter allows one to copy formatting from one section of text to another.  One highlights the source text, clicks on Format Painter, then drags the cursor over the text to be formatted and releases (unclicks) the mouse.

Next to the arrow pointing backward (Undo), there is an arrow.  Clicking the arrow shows multiple actions that one can undo.

 Formatting Toolbar

As with the standard toolbar, there appear to be some items on the toolbars which provide functions not available from the menus. 

  The left-most box provides a drop-down list through which one can specify the <h1> to <h6> levels of headings as well as pre-formatted text (<pre>).

 The 3 alignment boxes (left, center, and right) provide alignment for paragraphs.