FP (FrontPage) is a Microsoft WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) app for working on web sites. FP is intended for non-programming intensive site files whereas Visual InterDev and Visual Studio are intended for programming intensive site files. 2006-12: Microsoft FrontPage has been "replaced" by Microsoft Expression Web and Sharepoint Designer. See also Web Character Sets because it has FrontPage specific tips for handling character sets.

Shortcuts

Page Shortcuts

  • CTRL+K Edit hyperlink.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+B Preview page in browser.
  • CTRL+PAGEDOWN or CTRL+PAGEUP Switch between Normal, HTML, and Preview views.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+8 Hide/Show non-printing characters.
  • CTRL+/ Display HTML tags.
  • CTRL+TAB  or SHIFT+CTRL+TAB Switch between open pages.
  • CTRL+F4 Close a page.
  • ALT+F4 Quit FrontPage.
  • F7 Check spelling.
  • SHIFT+F7 Check thesaurus.

Formatting Shortcuts

  • CTRL+SHIFT+F Change font.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+P Change font size.
  • CTRL+PLUS SIGN Apply superscript formatting.
  • CTRL+MINUS SIGN Apply subscript formatting.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+C Copy formatting.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+V Paste formatting.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+Z or CTRL+SPACEBAR Remove manual formatting.
  • CTRL+L Left align a paragraph.
  • CTRL+E Center align a paragraph.
  • CTRL+R Right align a paragraph.
  • CTRL+M Indent a paragraph.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+M Outdent a paragraph.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+S Apply a style.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+N Apply the normal style.
  • CTRL+ALT+N Apply heading tag H1, H2, ...., H6.
  • CTRL++ Apply/unapply superscript formatting.
  • CTRL+= Apply/unapply subscript formatting.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+L Apply the List style.
  • SHIFT+ENTER Insert a line break.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR Insert a non-breaking space.

Table Shortcuts

  • CLICK at left or top edge to select a row or column.
  • CLICK and drag at left or top edge to select multiple rows or columns.
  • ALT+CLICK just outside of the left or top edge to select the table.
  • CLICK in a cell to edit its contents.
  • CLICK in a corner cell and then SHIFT+CLICK in another cell to select a block of cells.
  • ALT+CLICK in a cell to select cell.
  • CTRL+ALT+CLICK in cell to add to or delete cell from current selection of cells even if cell is non-contiguous.
  • CTRL+ALT+CLICK and drag around to add cells to current selection of cells.

Miscellany Shortcuts

  • ALT+F1. Hide or show the Folder List.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+B or F12. Preview the current page in a browser.
  • CTRL+;. To find the corresponding beginning or ending tag in Code view.

Saving Web Pages

There are four places to store web pages using FrontPage:

  • As files on any local disk. EG: file:///C:/wwwCDrive/MyWeb.
  • As a FrontPage Web on any local disk. EG: file:///Z:/wwwZipDisk/MyWeb.
  • As a FrontPage Web on a web server on your local computer. EG: http://MyComputer/MyWeb.
  • As a FrontPage Web on a web server on some other computer. EG: http://OtherComputer/MyWeb.

The web server can be the actual web server accessed by clients (EG: http://www.MyWeb.com) or a web server used for development of the site (eg http://MyWeb).

I have a personal convention of prefacing the developmental site versions with the kind of site it will become:

  • wwwMyWeb for Internet Web sites.
  • intraMyWeb for intranet web sites.
  • pvtMyWeb for non-networked web sites.

If the web server has the FrontPage Server Extensions installed, then the web pages can be published with FrontPage's Publishing feature which has some nice options, including publishing only pages that have changed since the last publication. The Extensions also handle things like changing all links that point to a file when the file gets moved or renamed or both. The Extensions is what creates all the directories that start with _vti_ and are visible with Windows explorer but not within FrontPage. If you are using Extensions, then you should always do Tools > Recalculate Hyperlinks before you publish your site.

If you get errors like "An error occurred accessing your FrontPage web files. Authors - if authoring against a web server, please contact the webmaster for this server's site. WebMasters - please see the server's system log for more details." or 'Server error: Error 2 opening registry key "SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\Ports\Port 80".', then most likely your Extensions are goofed up. My experience has been that these problems are fixed by these methods:

If the web server does not have the FrontPage Server Extensions installed, then the web pages can be published with either the FP Publish or FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Note that if you use FP to manage your navigation bars, then if you post via FTP you will have goofed up navigation.

FrontPage 2000, like all Office 2000 application, also supports Microsoft's "Web Folder". These are web servers accessed via the Windows Explorer. Files can be transferred to and from these web folders just like regular folders.

CSS

See also my section on CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Here is FP links web pages to CSS Files:

  • To create a new CSS File, use File menu, New Page selection, Style Sheets tab.
  • Once the CSS File is made, it can be linked to web pages in one of two fashions:
    • To link selected files to CSS File(s): select the files; then use Format menu, Style Sheet Links, Selected Page(s) option;, and the use the Add button to select which .css files will be applied and in which order.
    • To link the whole site to CSS File(s),: do not select any files; then use Format menu, Style Sheet Links, All Pages option; and then use
  • From there use the Add button to select which CSS Files will be applied and in which order.
  • Once the CSS Files are linked, the CSS Selectors may be applied to tags on the linked page:
    • Type Selectors apply automatically.
    • Class Selectors can be applied by highlighting items and then use Format toolbar, Change Style drop-down menu. Note that the shortcut to this is CTRL+SHIFT+S, and that the tool tip calls the drop-down menu "Style".
    • ID Selectors have to be applied directly in the HTML code.

Here is how FP implements the <style> tag in a web page:

  • To insert a <style> tag and create CSS Rules, use Format menu, Style selection. From there you can make a Type, Class, or ID Selectors that can be applied to that page only.
  • Once created, the different selectors can then be applied just like the linked style sheet:
    • Type Selectors apply automatically.
    • Class Selectors can be applied by highlighting items and then use Format toolbar, Change Style drop-down menu. Note that the shortcut to this is CTRL+SHIFT+S, and that the tool tip calls the drop-down menu "Style".

Single-tag or inline styles are best applied in HTML view in FrontPage.

Improvements Desired

  • An improved "Insert Symbol" function. There should be the option to have it always enter a Unicode hexadecimal NCR (Numeric Character References) instead of directly entering in Windows 1252 ANSI for the that need to be NCRs for utf-8.
  • The ability to change case of high-lighted item. It shouldn't be too hard to enable these pretty standard features:
    • To Upper Case. EG: "The Tale of the Tail" becomes "THE TAIL OF THE TAIL"
    • To Lower Case. EG: "The Tale of the Tail" becomes "the tale of the tail"
    • To Title Case. EG: "the tale of the tail" becomes "The Tale of the Tail".
    • To First Letters Case. EG: "the tale of the tail" becomes "The Tale Of The Tail".
    • Invert Case. EG: "The Tale of the Tail" becomes "tHE tALE OF THE tAIL".
    • Convert tabs to spaces and vice versa.
  • Ability to hide/show spelling errors via toolbar and keyboard shortcut.

Miscellany

  • To save minor settings in FrontPage, such as how wide your Folder List View is, close the app while you have some documents unsaved.
  • If you constantly use FrontPage to work with particular webs, make shortcuts where the Target is set to the FrontPage executable followed by the target web. Note that in the following examples, the quotation marks are required because of the spaces in some of the directory names.
    • For a disk-based web: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\FRONTPG.EXE" Z:\MobileWeb.
    • For a server-based web: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\FRONTPG.EXE" http://www.YourWeb.com.
  • When publishing, set Tools: Options: Publish to "Changed pages only" and "Determine changes by comparing source and destination webs". You can also select individual files for publication via RIGHT CLICK.
  • From HTML view, RIGHT CLICK will give you the option to "Apply XML Formatting Rules".
  • To insert a video on your page it is usually as simple as going to the menu and selecting Insert, then Picture, then Video. [Ref http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;318280 2003-09].
  • When you want to place a table from MS Excel into your web page in Front Page, it creates a lot of HTML, esp. CSS. One work around is to insert the Excel document into your web page with Insert > Insert File. This will create much cleaner HTML that is easier to clean up with the usual search and replace.
  • The spell check in FrontPage shares the same custom dictionary file as Microsoft Office. If you mistakenly put a misspelled word in there (EG: "spellling"), you cannot correct it through FrontPage. Either change it via another MS Office product (like Word) or edit the file directly. A typical path for such a file is C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof\CUSTOM.DIC.

Links

Links that lead to off-site pages about Microsoft FrontPage.



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