Project Management

FrontPage 2000 Magic: Five advanced tips for FrontPage programming

Find out how to create a password-protected site, target specific browsers and technologies, and more.

By Scott R. Garrigus

1. Create a password-protected site
It's easy to set up a password-protected Web site with FrontPage. With your project open, select Tools/Security/Permissions. Click the Settings tab of the Permissions dialog box and activate the Use Unique Permissions For This Web option. Click the Users tab, select Only Registered Users Have Browse Access, then click OK. Your site is now configured so that only authorized users have access.

Every time you want to add a new user to the authorized list just select the Tools/Security/Permissions menu. Click the Users tab and then click the Add button. Type in a username and password. You can also change the list using the Edit and Remove buttons.

2. Target specific browsers and technologies
Keeping your Web site compatible with the many different versions of browsers available these days is a intimidating task. Another problem, specific to FrontPage, is developing a site without utilizing the server extensions. In either case, FrontPage 98 leaves you working blind, but FrontPage 2000 has a new compatibility feature that lets you target specific browsers and technologies. Once you select the level of compatibility you want, FrontPage will automatically disable any incompatible features.

To access the compatibility settings, select Tools/Page Options and click the Compatibility tab. If you are creating a site that won't be using the FrontPage server extensions, disable the Enabled With Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions option. You can also target specific browsers by selecting the type and version from the drop-down lists. Or you can just select what technologies your Web site will support from the options at the bottom: ActiveX controls, VBScript, JavaScript, Java applets, Dynamic HTML, frames, CSS 1.0, CSS 2.0, and Active Server Pages.

3. Prevent premature file publishing
There may be times when you don't want to publish a file or group of files along with the rest of your site. If you want to change the status of individual files, select View/Reports/Publish Status, which displays a list of every file in your site with a number of their parameters, including a column for Publish Status. To change the status of a file, click once to select the file, then click again in the Publish column to activate the drop-down list for that file, where you can choose either Publish or Don't Publish.

If you need to change the status of a group of files, select View/Folders to display a folder hierarchy of your site. Find the group of files you want to change and select them. Next, right-click any file in the selected group and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. Click the Workgroup tab in the dialog box that appears and select the Exclude This File When Publishing The Rest Of The Web option. Click OK and all of the files' publishing status will change.

4. Get organized with file properties
Organizing all your files for a Web project can be a daunting chore. Many times you'll have large groups of files that relate to each other—whether by the person assigned to the file, the topic, or the status. FrontPage 2000 has a number of different ways you can keep your files in order.

In the Folders view, select a batch of files that you want grouped together. Right-click any one of the selected files and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. This will bring up the File Properties dialog box. Under the Summary tab, you can type a comment that will be added to every file that you've selected. Under the Workgroup tab, you can assign categories—such as Business, VIP, or any user-defined category—to your group of files. You can also assign the files to a specific user in your workgroup, along with a review status.

When it comes time to find the files that you've assigned to a certain category or user in your workgroup, you can use the Reports view to display an organized list sorted according to Review Status, Assigned To User, and Categories.

5. Find and replace HTML
FrontPage 98 provides a nice way to find and replace text within all the pages in a Web site. This is a great feature for changing the name of a product or some other text that might be found on many pages in a site, but what about the underlying source code? FrontPage 98 doesn't let you do a global find and replace for the HTML in a web, but FrontPage 2000 will.

You can find and replace HTML in all the pages in a site or in a selected group of pages. To limit your global changes to a group of pages, first go to the Folders view and select the pages you want. After that, the procedure is the same for processing all the pages in a site. Select the Edit/Replace menu to bring up the Replace dialog box. Type the code you want to find and then the replacement code. Under Search Options, choose either All Pages or Selected Pages. Be sure to also select the Find In HTML option. Click the Find In Web button to find every occurrence of the code you're looking for. Then click the Replace All button, and every instance of your code will be replaced.

You can use this technique to change anything in the underlying source code of a page, including tags, attributes, values, comments, and scripts. It's also very helpful for changing email addresses or any other hyperlinks.

(Note: Special thanks to Tricia Fahey, Gretchen Tosh, and the FrontPage Development Team for all of their expertise.)

Scott R. Garrigus is an author, musician, and all-around, multimedia guru. In addition to his frequent contributions to CNET, he publishes his own e-zine called Comp-media.

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