Front Page

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Browsers: Internet Explorer  Mosaic  Netscape  Opera
Web Editors: Frontpage  Dreamweaver

The Interface:

There are three main components of the FrontPage interface. They are the Views window, the Page tabs, and the menus and toolbars. The Views window allows you to choose between the 6 major FrontPage views: Page, Folders, Reports, Navigation, Hyperlinks, and Tasks. The Page tabs allow you to toggle between Normal What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG), HTML, and Preview modes. The toolbars and menus let you manipulate objects and manage documents.

Views Window:

The Views window is located on the left side of the screen, and has six vertically aligned icons, each of which affects a change in the window to its right when selected. The default selection is the Page view.

The Views Window

The Page View

This is the view in which you will create your pages, and probably spend the majority of your time. While in this view you can see what's going on with the particular document that you have open. This is also the only view in which you can access the Page tabs.

The Folders View

This is the view in which you will do most of your file management. Files should always be created, modified, and moved within FrontPage. If changes are made outside of FrontPage, certain elements may cease to work correctly. The Folders view is the best place to move files in your Web, although this can also be done in the Folder List which can be viewed from the Page, Navigation, and Hyperlink views.

The Reports View

In this view you can quickly get reports about different aspects of your site. You can get a site summary which will tell you about almost every aspect of your site. Or you can customize your reports to give you just the specific information that you are looking for. Possible reports include unlinked pages, slow pages, and broken hyperlinks.

The Navigation View

From here you can view the entire tree structure of your Web site. This is where you would organize your pages to use the automatically generated FrontPage navigation bars. We will go over exactly how to do this in a future article.

The Hyperlink View

This view allows you to see all the hyperlinks that a particular page has. You can also immediately see whether or not a link is broken. If it is, the blue line connecting the two pages will be broken as well.

The Tasks View

If you have a lot of things to do (and what Web developer doesn't), the Tasks view can be a help in keeping track of them. Just create a task, assign it to someone, and as it gets done, mark it completed. This way you can easily see what needs to be done and what has already been done.

These are fairly straightforward. When in the Page view, you will see three tabs at the bottom of the right window. They should say "Normal," "HTML," and "Preview."

The Normal Tab:

This is the default selection. It allows you to work on your document in the normal WYSIWYG mode. This is where you will do most of your work.

The HTML Tab:

Selecting this tab lets you view the actual HTML of the document that you have open. In this mode you can edit the HTML just like you would in a text editor. Any changes that you make to your document in this tab will take effect when the Normal tab is again selected. If you don't know HTML, then you don't need to use this feature, but it can add an element of extra customizability for the experienced designer.

The Preview Tab

Selecting this tab will show you what your document will look like in Internet Explorer. There are some exceptions to this, however. Certain FrontPage components like hover buttons and hit counters cannot be viewed in this mode. They appear as gray boxes or bracketed text, and are only visable when the page is published to a server. But for the most part, the Preview tab is a quick and useful way to see how a browser will display your document. If you want to view your document in a wider window than FrontPage will allow, or want to see what it will look like in various other browsers, then you should use the "Preview in Browser" option from the File menu at the top of the page.


Along the top of the FrontPage window there is a line of menus. They are File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, Tables, Frames, Window, and Help. Each one of them allows you to interact with a different aspect of FrontPage. This format should be familiar to any user of Windows. Each of these menus also has a set of downward pointing arrows at the bottom of the menu. Clicking on these arrows reveals extra options which you have not previously used. Also, many options have their shortcut keys next to them. An example of this is Ctrl+Z for Undo (this is a particularly useful one). Using these keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time and energy. Pressing the appointed key combination accomplishes the same work as selecting that option from the dropdown menu. Now we'll go through some of the more important options in each menu.


The toolbars are quick graphical shortcuts to the commands found in the menus. The fastest way to perform most functions is still through keyboard shortcuts, but the toolbars are useful when you don't know a particular shortcut or you need to make a very specific change. When you're just starting out with FrontPage, you'll be using the toolbars a lot. I'm not going to go through every button (most of them are the same as menu commands), but if you are in doubt as to which button is which, simply leave your mouse over a button and its name will pop up.

Some toolbar buttons have small arrows to the right of them. Selecting this arrow will open a small drop-down menu with additional options.

You can select which toolbars you see by clicking on "Toolbars" in the View menu. The default FrontPage workspace has two toolbars right below the menus at the top of the page. They are the "Standard" and "Formatting" toolbars.

Note: This page is modified from FrontPage 2000 Interface .