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Customizing the FrontPage Interface

The menus and toolbars in FrontPage are designed with the majority of users in mind, but all users use software differently, and most want a customized interface. The FrontPage 2002 interface is somewhat customizable for this reason. It's not as customizable as those in other Office applications, but it's not bad.

You've already seen two major customization methods in this chapter. The first is changing the major screen components: The View bar, Folder List, Navigation pane, and Task pane can be shown or hidden at will. The second is the displaying and positioning of toolbars. You can display whichever toolbars you want (including getting rid of the default toolbars), and you can move them wherever you want onscreen. The trick is to make these basic interface issues as useful to you as possible, and to experiment until you get it the way you want it.

FrontPage 2002 offers formal customization methods as well. Those are covered in detail here.

Adding Toolbar Buttons with the More Buttons Arrow

At the far right of every toolbar is a down arrow called More Buttons. Clicking this arrow yields a button named Add or Remove Buttons; moving the pointer over this button yields a list of the buttons currently on the toolbar. You can click whichever of these you want to remove it from the toolbar and then return to this button to re-add the button later (if you prefer).

The Reset Toolbar and Customize commands are at the bottom of the list of available buttons. Reset Toolbar restores the toolbar to its default configuration—the way it was when you installed FrontPage 2002. Customize yields the Customize dialog box, which is covered here.

Working with the Customize Dialog Box

The Customize dialog box is available either via the Add or Remove Buttons option in More Buttons, or via Tools, Customize on the menu bar. The dialog box, shown in Figure 3.7, contains three tabs: Toolbars, Commands, and Options. Each offers different customization options.

Customizing and Creating Toolbars

The Toolbars tab lets you select the toolbars you want displayed onscreen. The toolbar immediately appears when you click the check box. This corresponds exactly to the View, Toolbars command on the menu bar. The Reset button returns the buttons on the selected toolbar to the defaults.

The New button lets you create a new toolbar. You can name it whatever you want in the resulting New Toolbar dialog box, and after the toolbar is created, you can rename it by selecting it and clicking the Rename button.

Figure 3.7 The three tabs on the Customize dialog box reveal different means of tailoring the interface.

When you click OK in the New Toolbar dialog box, the toolbar name is added to the list of available toolbars. The actual toolbar appears as an empty toolbar beside the Customize dialog box.

Click the Commands tab to add buttons to this new toolbar. The Categories pane shows the menu bar titles, and the Commands pane shows the commands assigned to any particular menu when you click it. You can drag any command from the Commands pane to the new toolbar, where it will appear as a button. A vertical bar helps you position the new button on the toolbar.

The Commands tab's Description button helps you understand what the command actually does. When you select a category or command and click Description, a short description of that item appears from FrontPage's Help system.

The Modify Selection button yields a menu of options you can apply to the buttons on your new toolbar. The Reset command abandons all changes you've made to the currently selected button, whereas Delete gets rid of the button. The Name command consists of a field in which you can edit the button name. Place an ampersand (&) to the left of the character you chose as the keyboard shortcut character.

The Edit Button Image yields the Button Editor and a simplified graphics applet that lets you redraw and recolor the button. The Change Button Image yields a palette of button images from which you can choose. With these two commands, you can copy the button image to the Clipboard or paste the current image from the Clipboard to the toolbar. (Note that you can work with identical images in different toolbars this way.)

The next four commands let you establish how the button will appear. The Default Style is an image, whereas Text Only (Always) eliminates the image and replaces it with the name of the button. Text and Image shows both the name and the icon. You can select various styles for each icon on the toolbar.

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