MS FrontPage

Creating a Site in Navigation View

Imagine your boss has asked you to create a Web site. You're going to plan it, design it, and stamp it with your personal flair, but most of the actual contentthe words and picturesyou're going to get from your co-workers. You could create the site manually, page by page, but FrontPage provides another, more helpful approachNavigation view.

When you start a site in Navigation view, you can create and structure your site simultaneously. Essentially, you're creating the shell of a sitemaking empty pages and telling FrontPage how they relate to one another. You do all this in a diagram format like the one shown in Figure 10-4.

Read on to determine whether or not Navigation view is right for you. Then see how to create a site or just manage your site's hierarchy using this feature.

Figure 10-4. This page presents the Navigation view of FrontPage's Corporate template. The Home page includes links to the second tier of the site's informationthe company's three major departments: News, Products, and Services. To use FrontPage's Navigation-view lingo, Home serves as a parent to News, Products, and Services. These pages have subtopics of their own; for instance, the Products page features links to a third tier of informationdetails on each product offered. Consequently, the pages on each product page (Product 1, Product 2, and so on) are children of the Products page.

Why Use Navigation View?

If you need to create an empty site structure quickly, Navigation view provides a handy alternative to building your site page by page. Another reason you'd create a navigation diagram is if you want to use FrontPage's automated navigation aids, like link bars and page banners. These features supply your site with automated hyperlinks to other pages and sections within your site. (Themes, Link Bars, and Templates tells you all about how to use them.) The important thing to know about Navigation view is that the links FrontPage creates in a link bar pull their information from the navigation diagram you create.

You probably don't want to bother creating a navigation scheme if your site consists of only a few pages, or if you plan to create all the navigation links yourself. If you've incorporated frames into your site, you can also skip this option, since Navigation view can't handle framed pages.

Navigation view isn't just for new sites. If you have existing Web pages, you can still create a navigation diagram for them. But there is one drawback. Even though your pages may already be linked to each other and organized in folders, you have to build the diagram manually. FrontPage can't infer from hyperlinks or your site's folder structure what the hierarchy of a site should be. It seems like double the work, but setting up a navigation diagram does let you use the automatic site navigation links that you'll learn about in Themes, Link Bars and Templates. And if you're creating a diagram just so you can add link bars, the good thing is you need only to include those pages that you want link bars to appear on.

Creating a Home Page in an Empty Site

Sites designed in Navigation view always need to start with your home page. If your site has no pages, Navigation view prompts you: "To create a Home Page, click New Page on the toolbar." This message refers to the Navigation toolbar, which appears automatically in Navigation view, just above the document window (see Figure 10-5). Click the New page button on the Navigation toolbar. A page appears in Navigation view called Home Page. If you have the folder list open (View » Folder List), the same page appears there, called Index1.htm or default.htm.

Figure 10-5. Use the New Page button on the Navigation toolbar to add pages to your diagram. Other buttons on this toolbar let you change the Navigation display. For example, if you choose a smaller percentage from the zoom dropdown list (on the right end of the toolbar), FrontPage shrinks pages in your diagram so you can fit more on the screen.

Adding Child Pages in an Empty Site

Once you've established your home page, you can create the next tier in your site's hierarchy. Since these pages will link to the home page, but live one level down in the hierarchy, FrontPage calls them "children" to the home page (their "parent"). Whenever you want to create a child page, do the following: in Navigation view, select the parent, and then click the New Page button on the Navigation toolbar. Or right-click the parent and then select New » Page.

File names

Navigation view slaps generic names like "new page 1" on each page. Assuming you have a personality (or a need to keep organized), you'll probably want to rename these. In Navigation view, right-click the page, select Rename (or click once on it), then click again to edit the name. Next, type the title you want for the page. To speed up the process, lay out your navigation pages first, and then use the Tab key to hop from page to page, renaming as you go.

Page Titles vs. File Names

Navigation view displays page titles, not HTML file names. File names (like prometheus.htm, mountsthelens.htm, rossperot.htm, and so on), which appear in your folder list, are for your benefit. You (and the browser) use them to find and organize Web pages. The title, on the other hand, is there for the benefit of your site visitors. A page title displays in theyou guessed ittitle bar of a browser, above the menu. Preview a page and take a look. Even more importantly, the page title serves as the name of your Web page within search engine result lists, so you really want titles to express page content accurately.

Often, FrontPage automatically titles pages with lackluster and irrelevant names like New Page 0, New Page 1, and so on. Avoid a bad first impression. Enter appropriate and descriptive names for your pages in Navigation view or within the Title field of the Page Properties dialog box. (To open Page Properties, select File » Properties.)

Now that you understand that, you've got to deal with a minor FrontPage annoyance. Navigation view creates and uses page titles, yes. However, once a page is saved in Navigation view, page title and navigation name actually exist separately. Making changes to one has no effect on the other.

Creating HTML files for child pages

Unlike the Home page that FrontPage automatically creates in your folder list when you use Navigation view to start a site from scratch, FrontPage doesn't create the actual files for child pages as you add them in Navigation view. This gives you an opportunity to arrange and name files before FrontPage actually creates them. Naming pages properly in Navigation view before you create their actual HTML files will save you a ton of renaming work later on.

When you are ready to create these pages, right-click the Navigation background and select Apply Changes. Or double-click on a page to create and simultaneously open it within the document window.

Adding Top Pages

Not all pages fit neatly into a navigation structure. There'll be pages that you want to include in your diagram, but that don't require a parentusually a contact or search page. Why would you include a page like this in your navigation map even though it's outside the hierarchy? Because you want it to have a link bar, so visitors can get back to the main pages of your site. Navigation view calls these floaters top pages (see, for example, the Feedback, Contents, and Search pages in Figure 10-4).

To add a top page, click on the Navigation background so that no specific page is selected. Then click the New Page button, or right-click and select New » Top Page. Then name the page and save it.

Creating a Navigation Diagram for Existing Pages

If you've already created all or most of the pages in your site, you can still create a navigation diagram. You really need to include only those pages to which you'll add link bars or page banners.

To get started, open your site in FrontPage and switch to Navigation view. The program should recognize your home page. If it doesn't, this might be because it can't recognize the file name as a home page. To correct this problem, locate your home page in the folder list, right-click, and select Set As Home Page. FrontPage changes the name of the file to Index1.htm or default.htm (Home Page Names on Planning Your Web Site's Structure to understand why).

You build a site from the top down. Once you've got your home page, create child pages by dragging files from the folder list into Navigation view. If you have a page you'd like to add, drag it onto the Navigation diagram, over the page you want to make its parent. FrontPage shows which page it'll set as the parent by displaying a temporary dotted line connecting parent to child (see Figure 10-6). If you're a fan of browse boxes, you have a couple of other options: you can select a parent page and click the Add Existing Page button on the Navigation toolbar, or, right-click the parent and select Add Existing Page. Then browse to and select the desired child page.

Figure 10-6. When you drag a page from the folder list onto a page in Navigation view, FrontPage displays this dotted line, indicating where it'll place the page within your site's hierarchy.

As you add existing pages to Navigation view, their names may surprise you. Page names in Navigation view are page titles, not file names.