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The FrontPage 2002 Page View: Windows, Icons, and Menus

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In this sample chapter from Special Edition Using MS FrontPage 2002, learn such techniques as how to customize the FrontPage interface, troubleshoot, and tinker with the page view in FrontPage 2002.
This sample chapter is excerpted from Special Edition Using MS FrontPage 2002.

Page View's Screen Areas

When you launch FrontPage 2002, you find yourself looking at the program's default multipart interface. This is your workspace. You do everything from here, by switching among the various FrontPage views and working within each as you need it.

Figure 3.1 shows the default interface. As with essentially all Windows software, the title bar runs across the top of the screen, with the menu bar immediately below it. Below that comes the Standard toolbar and then the Formatting toolbar. Other toolbars are available, as you'll see in a minute.

Figure 3.1 The Folder List appears automatically when you enter Folders, Navigation, or Hyperlinks view.

FrontPage's three largest screen areas are below these typical components. At the far left is the Views Bar, and on the right is the Task pane. Between them is the largest screen area, the main viewing window. In Page view, in which FrontPage starts by default, only these three areas appear. When you switch to any other view, the Folder List appears between the Views Bar and the main viewing window. This chapter deals exclusively with the Page view.

What you actually see, in fact, depends on other things as well. See the section, "Customizing the FrontPage Interface," for some ways of changing the interface features. Page view itself offers three tabs at the bottom of the screen: Normal, HTML, and Preview. Each changes the look of the main viewing window (although not the layout of the screen areas), and each alters the menu commands and the right-click menu for specificity.

The Page view is your document editor and where you'll spend most of your time. In essence, it combines the word-processing and layout portions of the FrontPage package. You create, format, and edit documents in a word processor, and that's precisely what you do in Page view. From there, in other words, you build the contents of your Web site. At the top of the main viewing window in Figure 3.1, you can see four tabs. These are called page tabs; when you click one, the selected page appears in the main window. The page tabs are immensely useful when working on a site because you frequently need to move from page to page to add and edit material. Think of this feature as similar to the worksheet tabs feature in Excel.

Title Bar, Menu Bar, and Toolbars

The title bar runs along the top of the FrontPage screen. This bar always displays the name of the product itself, Microsoft FrontPage, and, if you have a web open, the directory path of that web.

When you save a document to a web, the name of the web appears in the title bar. If you save a document to a non-web location, such as a data folder on your hard drive, that location's pathname appears in the title bar.

The menu bar, of course, contains the headings for each of the program's menus. As with all Windows software, you can click a menu to reveal the items beneath it, or you can access it by pressing the Alt key and simultaneously pressing the underlined character in the heading. To access the Table menu, for example, hold Alt and press the A key.

The menus are covered in detail later in this chapter's "Page View's Menu Bar" section.

The Standard toolbar contains a series of icons, each of which corresponds to a FrontPage command or option. Most of them can be accessed with a simple click, although some display a down arrow next to them. In these cases, clicking the icon performs the default task associated with that icon, whereas clicking the down arrow reveals a submenu. In one case, the help icon at the far right, the down arrow leads to another down arrow.

The formatting toolbar also contains a series of icons corresponding to FrontPage commands or options. In addition, it also contains the Style, Font, and Font Size drop-down lists, which are active only when you start a new web document or open an existing one. To access the drop-down lists, click the down arrow to the right of the default entry in the lists: (None) for Style, (default font) for Fonts, and (Normal) for Font Size.

TIP

By default, the Formatting toolbar appears beside the Standard toolbar. If you use the Formatting toolbar regularly, consider sliding it down to the next line, docking it onto that line, for easy access.

All toolbar details, as well as details about other FrontPage toolbars, are covered later in the chapter, in the section "FrontPage's Toolbars."

Views Bar

The Views Bar appears by default down the left side of the screen. From here you can access the various FrontPage views; you can do the same from the View menu on the menu bar. This chapter discusses only the Page view, accessible by clicking the topmost icon. All other views are detailed in Part III, "Web Creation and Management."

You can't move the Views Bar, but you can hide it. To do so, right-click anywhere on the Views Bar (even on an icon; it makes no difference where) and select Hide Views Bar. Alternatively, deselect Views Bar from the View menu.

Folder List

When you switch to Folders, Navigation, or Hyperlinks view, the Folder List (see Figure 3.2) appears in FrontPage between the Views Bar and the main viewing window. You also can access this feature by selecting Folder List from the View menu while in Page view. In Page, Navigation, and Hyperlinks view, the Folder List displays both folders and files in your web; in Folders view it displays only folders. In all four views, however, the contents are presented as a list of folders and documents, and the folders are collapsible.

CAUTION

FrontPage opens with no documents open in Page View. If you don't have either the Folder List or the Task Pane toggled on, you will see only a big empty gray space in place of the Main Window. This can be confusing, since it looks as if something has gone wrong. Simply toggle the Folder List on and go from there.

Figure 3.2 The Folder List appears automatically when you enter Folders, Navigation, or Hyperlinks view.

Right-clicking in the Folders view brings up a context menu. If you right-click in the whitespace (away from the folder and document names), you can add a new page or a new folder, paste a page from the Clipboard, or display the directory above the current directory (through the menu item called Up One Level). You have the following options when you right-click a document name:

  • Check Out/In—If you have Use Check-in and Check-out selected in the Web Settings dialog box, the first menu item is either Check Out or Check In, depending on the current status of the file.

  • Open—Opens the file either in FrontPage Editor or in the editor associated with that file type.

  • Open With—Opens the file in an editor of your choosing. This option is useful if you have an editor besides FrontPage that you like to use, or if you have a file associated with a program that you want to open with a different graphics package.

  • Preview in Browser—Opens the Web in the Browser Preview window, exactly as if you'd clicked the Preview tab at the bottom of the main viewing window.

  • Cut—Cuts the file from the list.

  • Copy—Copies the file into the Clipboard.

  • Paste—Pastes the file that's currently in the Clipboard to the web. It will appear in the Folder List. The Paste option appears only if there is something to paste.

  • Set as Home Page—Renames the selected page to index.html to make it the web's home page. If you already have a home page, you'll be prompted to confirm the overwrite.

  • Rename—Renames the document.

  • Delete—Deletes the document from the web.

  • Publish Selected Files—Transfers the selected file(s) to the Web server using the Publish Web feature.

  • Don't Publish—Sets the currently selected document to be excluded from the list of files to be transferred to the server when the web is being published via the Publish Web feature.

  • Properties—Calls up the Properties dialog box for that document.

For more information about the contents of the Properties dialog box, see "Developing Text, Lists, and Hyperlinks," p. 63

The same Context menu appears when you right-click a folder name instead of a document name, except that the first item is Convert to Web, a process that changes the selected folder into a sub-web.

Main Window

The main window in Page view shows the contents and the format of the currently selected document. You can load a document into the main window the following ways:

  • Double-clicking the document's name in the Folders list

  • Selecting File, Open and choosing the document from the Open File dialog box

  • Clicking the open icon from the Standard toolbar and selecting the document from the Open File dialog box

After the file is loaded, you can work with the document through the commands and options on the menus and toolbars. You also have access to context menus by right-clicking in the document. Right-clicking text reveals one set of options, right-clicking a hyperlink another set, right-clicking a graphic another set, and so on. Options common to most of these menus are as follows:

  • Cut, Copy, Paste, Paste Special—These are the common editing features. They correspond to the same commands on the Edit menu.

  • Properties menus—You can access the Page, Paragraph, Font, Hyperlink, Bookmark, List, Form, and Table properties menus through this Context menu.

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