MS FrontPage

Viewing Your Site

Your new site has only two pages, but imagine that you've got 20 or 200. At that size, keeping track of all your files is a real challenge. How can you see what's going on?

FrontPage has got you covered. As you've already seen, the program provides different views for individual pages, so you can see and manage what's on your pages effectively. In much the same way, FrontPage's site views let you keep track of your entire site. You get a few different options. Use Folder view to group relevant files together so they'll be easy to find and edit. At a glance, Hyperlinks view assures you that your links lead to the right pages. Click and drag in Navigation view to rearrange the hierarchy or navigation of your site.

The next two sections show you all the different ways FrontPage lets you look at everything from individual pages to your entire site.

Exploring Page Views

You've read about FrontPage's different page views (Main FrontPage Window), but now that you have an actual Web page open in FrontPage, you can see them in action. Your document window has been set to Design view as you've been working. You'll probably spend most of your time there, but check out all your options, like Split view, pictured in Figure 1-8.

Figure 1-8. In Split view, when you highlight text and elements in the Design pane, they appear highlighted in the Code pane, too. Use this feature to find a tag quickly or to learn HTML.

Explore some other page views by clicking the buttons on the bottom-left corner of the document window. For details on page view options, flip back to The Main FrontPage Window.

Exploring Site Views

Managing an entire Web site means that you'll be handling lots of information. You've got to keep track of where things are, what files are linked to each other, and who's working on them.

You can handle it all with FrontPage's site view options. Not only do these views show you the details you need, they also give you a handy visual representation of your site. When you tackle abstract matters like site hierarchy and the flow of your hyperlinks, a diagram of page relationships is really helpful. You'll use site views to manage links, files, folders, and tasks.

Usually, you'll have a page active in the document window. Tell FrontPage that you'd like to get the big picture by clicking the Web Site tab at the top of the document window. A view of your site's folders appears in the document window. Also, the view buttons at the bottom-left corner of the document window change. They now reflect the following options to help examine your site:

  • Folders view mirrors the display within the folder list on the left side of the FrontPage window. Though the information is the same, this view offers an expanded workspace, which is great for reorganizing folder structure or moving files around.

  • Remote Web Site view is not relevant at the moment (you'll learn more about it in Publishing Your Site). The normal workflow for a Web site is to edit a copy of the site on your computer or network (the local site) and then upload it to a Web server (the remote site). Using this view, you can compare the two sites, publish only select files, and exclude files from being published.

  • Reports view offers a variety of site tracking queries. For example, you can run a report that lets you know if your site contains unlinked pages that readers can't access, or check for pages that load too slowly.

  • Navigation view provides a diagram of a site's hierarchy. It comes with one big drawback, however. You've got to create and manage this view manually. There are two cases in which you'd use this view: when you want to create a Web site structure before you create individual pages filled with content, or when you plan to use some of the features that need Navigation view to work, like FrontPage link bars (automated site navigation menus). Otherwise, you're better off using folders to handle issues of hierarchy.

  • Hyperlinks view, illustrated in Figure 1-9, gives you a visual representation of the location and direction of your site's hyperlinks.

  • Tasks view is your site's to-do list. You can enter notes about page edits or corrections. If you have a lot of people working on your site, use this view to delegate and track assignments.

Figure 1-9. Here's a Hyperlink view of the Corporate Web site, a template that comes with FrontPage. It shows how all pages are linked to each other. When you click the + on a page name, you reveal more hyperlinks.

Previewing Your Site

As you create your Web pages, keep in mind that there are a variety of operating systems and browsers out there, each with its own capabilities and quirks. Creating pages that look the way you want them to in browsers from different companies (and from different eras) is a challenge worthy of a United Nations interpreter.

Get used to the fact that you'll never have complete control over how your pages display in a browser. The browser takes fonts and other settings from a viewer's system, which may differ vastly from those you used to preview your site. Imagine, for example, that you create a beautiful page layout, only to discover that your Aunt Sophie has her old 640 x 480 monitor set to large fonts and your page turns to a jumble on her Windows 95 jalopy.

You probably won't have access to all the species of browsers that are out trawling the Web, but the latest release of FrontPage provides you with some additional preview options that can help. You can use these preview tools to avoid trouble and steer your site safely through most pitfalls.

These preview tools work with whatever browsers are currently on your computer. So download and install as many different browsers as you can, including less common ones like Opera and Firefox. See Testing Your Site for details on getting your browsers to appear on FrontPage's list.

While the page Preview view gives you some idea of how your page will look, you should always preview using an actual Web browser. In fact, you should preview in many browsers, which FrontPage helps you do. Here's how:

  1. Confirm that Index1.htm is saved.

    FrontPage won't let you preview your site in a browser until you've saved all changes.

  2. Click the Preview in Browser button.

    This button is located on the Standard toolbar. It opens the page in your system's standard browserthe one that opens every time you go on the Internet. You can check the appearance of your page and test the hyperlinks and other interactive elements on your pages.

  3. Close the browser.

  4. Select File » Preview in Browser to display the menu pictured in Figure 1-10.

    This menu is where you pick from all the different browsers you've got loaded on your PC.

    Figure 1-10. FrontPage 2003 includes new options for previewing your work. Not only does the Preview in Browser menu offer whatever browsers you have loaded on your system, it lets you see what your page will look like at different screen sizes. A page that works on your 1024 x 768 screen may not work on a monitor set to 640 x 480.

  5. If you have multiple browsers, select one that you haven't used, or try a different screen resolution.

    You've done it! You've built a basic Web site and come to know some of FrontPage's editing options and controls. When it comes time to work on your own site, you'll constantly be using the skills you just sampled. You'll be creating pages, formatting text, adding images, and linking pages like crazy. The tutorials that follow cover all of these procedures in detail.