Transition from Microsoft FrontPage to Microsoft Expression Web June 8, 2008 Introduction This document is designed for users of Microsoft FrontPage 2003 that need to transition to Microsoft Expression Web 2.0. UD has used FrontPage for many years as our centrally-supported Web editor. It is used widely by faculty, staff and students. Its popularity was based on its “ease-of-use” with an Office/Word- like interface, built-in Web components, themes and easy database access. When Microsoft discontinued FrontPage sales in 2006, UDit with input from faculty, students and staff researched alternative products to replace FrontPage . The recommendation was to use Microsoft Expression Web. For new users, UDit will make available training resources for how to use Expression Web. This document is designed to aid users familiar with FrontPage and have existing FrontPage-authored Web sites that will be used with Expression Web. Expression Web will be available to students in the fall of 2008. Faculty and staff are expected to migrate very slowly to Expression Web, since there is no significant gain for most users. Understand the Differences between FrontPage and Expression Web Expression Web is backwards compatible with legacy technologies found in pre-existing FrontPage sites. In other words, old FrontPage Web sites can be edited with the new editor. However, the Expression Web editor is different and for many users, they will notice changes. The changes in Expression Web are centered on an increase in standards-based approaches to building Webs, and a decrease in the use of proprietary code that goes against the open standards used to build the Web. We encourage users to reflect on these differences and how it will impact their work: New sites do not use built-in themes: Style sheets are used for formatting (this tends to be more technically challenging for new users). New sites do not use built-in Web components: Some loss of functionality is expected, but there are workarounds in most cases. Backup Your Old FrontPage Sites Before doing anything, please make backup copies of any existing FrontPage Web sites. If you do not have a local copy of your Web site, you need to open it within FrontPage and then use the File--Publish function to make a copy of the site on your local computer. Keep the copies in a safe place on a permanent media, such as a CD-ROM disk. Installation of Expression Web To obtain and install Expression Web: Beginning in fall 2008, faculty, students and staff will be able to download Expression Web from http://Software.udayton.edu (note that on some faculty and staff computers, the installation may require administrative rights). We recommend that FrontPage remain on your computer and not be removed when Expression Web is installed. We also recommend that during the installation process, you accept the option to associate HTML file name extensions with Expression Web, since your future Web editing will be done within this new tool. Introduction to the Program For most users of FrontPage, the new Expression Web interface will look familiar. With the folder list shown on the left, it is relatively easy to navigate through the list of folders and pages within the site. Double clicking on a file will open it within the middle of the application. Various windows on the left and right show detailed “properties” of how the HTML and style sheet tags are contributing to the content and appearance of the page. Opening Old FrontPage Sites Using the “File--Open Site…” menu will allow you to open your local copy of the Web site. Although it is possible to directly open a site on a server, it is always recommended to have a local copy to make changes, and then publish a copy to the server. In this respect, FrontPage and Expression Web are very similar. Publishing from Expression Web After updating your local copy of your Web site, you can publish it to the server using the same process as that found in FrontPage. Using “File--Publish Site…” on the menu, you can select the method of uploading your files. For UD’s academic server, the method of choice would be “FrontPage Server Extensions”. It is possible during this publishing step to have the following error message appear… This problem is solved by going into the “Site--Site Settings…” menu choice and using a different character set on the “Language tab” – namely “US/Western European (Windows)”: Using Themes to Control Formatting In both FrontPage and Expression Web, simple formatting changes can be made by using the toolbar to change the appearance of the text on a Web page. For example, the “B” button will turn on the bold font. However, for widespread changes to all pages, FrontPage used a set number of themes that applied a choice of fonts, colors and backgrounds across all the pages of the site. Expression Web will allow you to edit the older Theme-based pages, but you cannot apply a new theme. The preferred method of making changes is to use Style Sheets. For details on Style Sheets, see below. Using Style Sheets to Control Formatting Style Sheets are text files that have a name like “styles.css”, with the CSS file name extension (for cascading style sheet). They were used in FrontPage, but they become the primary way in which formatting changes are applied across a Web site using Expression Web. Where possible, you should try not to get involved in editing or adding style sheets unless you have a good idea of what you are doing. The style sheets contain specific instructions for a Web browser to format elements of a page – and generally these instructions are complicated. Most pre-existing Web sites will already have one or more style sheets (e.g. in a folder called “styles” or “_themes”). If you would rather attach a new style sheet to your Web site, then click on the menu choices: “File…”, followed by “New…”, “Page…” and then select “Style Sheets”. Although not as rich in pre-built choices as FrontPage, Expression Web does provide some pre-built style sheets. Additional sample style sheets are available on the UD Expression Web site (http://academic.udayton.edu/ExpressionWeb). Using Web Components FrontPage came with a number of built-in functional elements called Web components (or Web bots). An example would be a page hit counter. Shared borders and automatically-updated navigation controls were also in this category. Although Expression Web will allow you to edit pages that contain Web components (added using FrontPage), you will not be able to add these features from within Expression Web. Using Dynamic Web Templates A concept that began in FrontPage and is more pervasive in Expression Web, is the use of templates that create a uniform look and feel across multiple pages. For example, a site may have the same header, menu and footer on all pages, because each page inherits from the same “master.dwt” template. Editing the HTML code within the DWT file can then ripple across the entire site. Sites created from scratch within Expression Web will be using DWT files. Using Forms Existing FrontPage-authored forms can be edited with Expression Web. New forms are relatively easy to create from within Expression Web, but require a different method of adding form elements. To create a form, make sure the Toolbox is visible listing all the possible HTML tags that can be inserted. To see the toolbox, click on “Insert…” and “More HTML Tags…” on the menu. Then drag an empty “Form” tag onto the page, followed by individual HTML form elements (such as Text Area and Input/Submit). For basic forms, you should stick with HTML tags, and not use the more advanced ASP.NET tags and controls. Right clicking the mouse on a form and then selecting “Form properties” allow settings to be changed for the way the form data is saved on the server. HTML Code Changes Although HTML code is a recognized standard for authoring Web pages, it has been evolving since the last version of FrontPage was released. Although FrontPage-authored HTML code is still visible in most Web browsers, you will find that Expression Web complies with the newest versions of HTML and may even give warning messages about your older Web pages. There are very few “new” HTML codes, but there are more strict guidelines on acceptable ways of using tags, their layout (position) on a page and their formatting using style sheets. More Information Visit the UD Expression Web Site for more information at: http://academic.udayton.edu/ExpressionWeb Product information: http://www.microsoft.com/expression Training videos: http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/cc136535.aspx Guide for transitioning from FrontPage to Expression Web: http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/f/2/ff2d736a-9ec6-4e3b-b094- d782aa7cda72/Microsoft_FrontPage_to_Expression_Web.doc UD has access to online IT Training books through Safari Online. Visit this site by browsing through the UD Libraries Web site (http://Library.udayton.edu) and finding Safari Online in the electronic books section. After logging in, you can search for books with the search term “Expression Web”. An example of a book that you have access to in this manner is “Special Edition Using® Microsoft® Expression® Web 2” by Jim Cheshire.
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