MS FrontPage

Assigning Tasks

Again, imagine you're in charge of a Web site that's created by a large group of people. In the course of your day, you notice that there's a missing product description on a page. Then you see that another page has a sale announcement that's out of date. But you're not responsible for making these changes (perhaps that's why you're running the site). What's the best way to let the peons know that they've got work to do?

FrontPage includes a handy feature for keeping track of all these niggling issues. It's a simple task list. The advantage is that everyone can look in one place and see what needs to be done. If you're working alone, you can also use the task list as a kind of "to do" list. See a problem but you're too busy to fix it? Just create a task.

Tasks are pretty simple: you can either assign them or work on them. Once you've added a few, you'll have a list like the one in Figure 14-6. To get to it, open your site and select View » Tasks (or click the Web Site tab in the document window and click Tasks at the bottom of the screen).

Assigning a Task

If you want to associate a task with a particular page, you need to open that page first. Then select Edit » Task » Add Task. Fill out the dialog boxyou can namethe task, select a person to complete it, set its priority, and type in a longer description, if necessary. Then click OK.

Figure 14-6. Tasks view shows who's assigned to each task, the page or file in question, and the completion status. An author can open and execute her tasks directly from this screen. Note that FrontPage won't show completed tasks in this list. If you want to view your accomplishments, select Edit » Tasks » Show History.

The list of staff members that shows up in this dialog box is linked to the list in the Workgroup tab (Assigning Pages). Add a new person by typing in a name.

You can also assign a general task that's not associated with any one file or pagejust make sure you don't have any pages open. Then create the task as explained above. Unfortunately, you can't assign a task to multiple pages or files.


FrontPage doesn't want to pressure you. Need to create a page? There's no rush; just give yourself a reminder.

The program gives you a chance to create tasks in the course of normal editing. Doing so lets you procrastinate on certain chores. For instance, if you select File » New and click "More page templates" in the task pane, you have an opportunity to drag your feet. Select the template you want and turn on the Just Add a Task checkbox in the Page Templates dialog box (see illustration). FrontPage creates the page in the folder you select, but won't open the new file. Instead, the program creates a task to remind you to finish making that page later. This checkbox appears on

every tab within the page template's dialog boxso you can postpone creating style sheets and other types of files as well. As you read in Testing Your Site, on Making A Good Impression, FrontPage lets you put off fixing your spelling errors, too. The Spelling dialog box lets you create a task for each page with misspellings.

Figure 14-7.

Working on a Task

To make a dent in your workload, go to Tasks view. Double-click the task you want to complete (or right-click it), and then select Start Task. FrontPage opens the page in question. Then make whatever edits are necessary. When you save the page, FrontPage asks you how much you got done. Should the program mark the task complete? If you click Yes, FrontPage changes the status of the task to Complete. If you click No, your colleagues won't think you're a shirkerFrontPage changes the status to "In Progress."

Say your boss found an error on one of your pages and created a task for you to fix it. Meanwhile, you were working away on your page and happened to resolve the problemoutside the task pane. The error is fixed, but your assignment to fix it is showing up in Task view as Not Started. If you don't execute the task via the Task list, the Task list won't update itself. But you can edit the list to reflect the true state of affairsjust right-click the task and select Mark Complete.

When it comes time to delete a task, right-click it, and then select Delete Task. You can delete only one task at a time.