MICROSOFT FRONTPAGE QUICK REFERENCE RU TECHNOLOGY IN LEARNING CENTER Most every PC on the RU campus contains Microsoft FrontPage, part of the expanded Microsoft Office suite of productivity programs. While it contains many similar features to Word, Excel and PowerPoint, FrontPage is designed for authoring web pages. It is located in the Microsoft Office program group, located under ‘Programs’ on the Start menu: BEFORE YOU BEGIN Everyone at RU has space allotted for creating a web site. This was created whenever you were registered as faculty, staff or student. To view your web site, type ‘www.radford.edu/username’ into a web browser’s address window (substitute your username, of course). If you’ve never created a site before, yours will likely say ‘This user has not created a home page.’ Your web site is housed in the ‘public_html’ folder of your H: drive (accessible under ‘My Computer’ whenever you log into a campus PC). All files placed in this folder are viewable to the entire world. ASP.RADFORD.EDU As of summer 2006, all RU personnel have the option of storing their site on the ASP server. The primary advantage of doing so is to access FrontPage’s dynamic content tools (such as hover button and online forms), which are driven by server-side software. To create an ASP account, use the instructions at the following URL: http://setup.asp.radford.edu/docs/ If you are not interested in setting up an ASP account and only plan to use FrontPage’s simpler features, then using ‘public_html’ on your H: drive will suffice. ACCESSING YOUR SITE Once FrontPage is open, you are ready to begin editing your first page. In a website, the first page is always called ‘index.’ By choosing File > Open and browsing to your H: drive, you should see the ‘public_html’ folder. Open it and double-click the file labeled ‘index’ to begin editing it: If you have created an ASP account and are using it for your site, then choose the ‘‘username$ on ASP.NET’ location in the ‘Open File’ dialog instead the H: drive. You’ll notice a folder labeled with your username; open it and then double-click the ‘index’ file. OR, choose ‘File > Open Site’ and type ‘http//username.asp.radford.edu.’ Click ‘Open.’ EDITING PAGES Since FrontPage is part of the Microsoft Office suite, it features a similar look and feel as other programs in the suite (Word, etc.). Taking a look at the FrontPage interface will reveal the familiar office toolbar running along the top of the program window. This toolbar is used to set font characteristics, colors, justification, hyperlinks and bullets, as well as file management tasks such as saving, opening and creating files. The example on the following page illustrates the toolbar in detail. MICROSOFT OFFICE TOOLBAR IN FRONTPAGE Editing documents in FrontPage is very similar to editing documents in Word. Using the toolbar illustration above, users can begin to get comfortable editing with FrontPage. Many of the toolbar items are duplicated in the program menus, with a few exceptions. When choosing ‘Insert Picture’ from the toolbar, an ‘Open File’ dialog appears for the user to browse to an image in their website to insert in their page. However, if ‘Insert > Picture’ is chosen from the Insert menu, the user can choose from several different picture sources, including the clip art gallery (which appears in the task pane on the right of the FrontPage window) or a scanner. PAGE PROPERTIES Use the Page Properties dialog to set global preferences for a page, such as background color or picture, font color, link color, etc. In addition, you can also set preferences for meta-data (search keywords, etc.), page title, margins and language. When new pages are created (File > New, or click the ‘New Page’ icon in the toolbar), they should be saved with short, simple names in all lower-case letters. Avoid using anything other than a letter, number or underscore in a filename. EDITING TOOLBARS FrontPage contains many different toolbars for use when editing specific data. All available toolbars can be seen by choosing View > Toolbars: Choosing a toolbar from the menu shows it in the FrontPage window; choosing it again hides it. The arrows next to the open toolbars indicate which are active and which are not. Notice the Pictures toolbar below. By clicking to choose the ‘Athens 2004’ image, the buttons on the toolbar become active, allowing the user to perform edits to the picture such as rotating, adjusting lightness and darkness, cropping, and adding text. Toolbars can be free-floating in the FrontPage window (as in the previous example), or can be attached to the window itself. Drag a free-floating window to the top, bottom or side portions of the FrontPage window and it will automatically attach itself. To detach, drag the corner handle of the toolbar. WEB COMPONENTS FrontPage contains dynamic content tools known as Web Components, which make creating items such as hover buttons, photo galleries, or web search simple. Components require the presence of FrontPage Server Extensions, which reside on the web server and make components work; for this reason, most will not function without them. For ASP users, this will not be a problem, as the FP Extensions are installed; for regular H: drive (‘ruacad’) users, Web Components will by and large be unavailable. To launch the Web Component chooser, click the button in the Toolbar, or choose ‘Insert > Web Component. Follow the instructions for each: ONLINE FORM PROCESSING FrontPage contains tools for users to design online forms to collect data from visitors to their website. Like Web Components, the FP Server Extensions are required for them to work. Form elements can be inserted into a page by choosing Insert > Form: Before inserting any form fields such as text areas, option buttons, etc., the actual form itself must be placed on the page. Once inserted, the user will notice a dotted border, within which is contained ‘submit’ and ‘reset’ buttons. All form content must be placed within the dotted border area. Click to place your cursor within the form and type, insert, paste, etc., as normal. By right-clicking within the form, users can set properties for how data is managed, collected and stored. In addition, properties for individual form fields may be set by right-clicking the field in question and choosing ‘Form Field Properties.’ PREVIEWING AND PUBLISHING YOUR WEB SITE While you are working in FrontPage, you can click the ‘Preview’ button in the lower-left corner of the FrontPage window to get an idea of what your page will look like in a web browser. You may want to close items such as the Task Pane when they’re not in use to maximize your ‘desktop real estate. To return to editing, click ‘Design’ (also in the lower-left corner). You’ll also notice buttons labeled ‘design,’ ‘split’ and ‘code’ next to ‘preview.’ Most of the time, you can leave this option parked on ‘design’ when you’re not previewing a page. ‘Code’ reveals the HTML source code of the page (which only advanced users will need to see), and ‘Split’ divides the FrontPage window into code and design views. If you are using the ASP server, then your pages are already live, updated and ready for the world to see. If you are using ‘public_html’ on your H: drive, then you only need to run a permissions update for your site to be live and viewable. To do so, log into the RU Portal (https://www.portal.radford.edu), choose ‘Options’ and then click ‘Update Web Permissions.’ You’ll be taken to a new page -- click ‘Update.’ Momentarily, the page will notify you that your permissions are updated. What are permissions? Whenever content is placed on the Web, it is residing on a computer called a ‘server,’ named such because it delivers – or, serves – files to people surfing the Web. Some web servers require that users manually update their viewing permissions before visitors to the site can see their pages. RU’s main web server, ‘ruacad,’ is one such server. Whenever users make a change to an existing page or create a new one, they must use the RU Portal to update their viewing permissions so that visitors to their page can see them. If anyone ever visits your website and receives a ‘Forbidden’ error, then chances are you need to run a permissions update. The ASP server updates permissions automatically whenever a user edits a page, creates a new page, or adds new content (such as a PDF, MP3, or JPG file). QUESTIONS? Contact the RU Technology in Learning Center at 831-6594 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about using FrontPage, or any other web development tool available on the RU Campus.