FrontPage extras - read all about it... ;o)

  Taran 23:07 27 Sep 2004

As some of you may have gathered from previous threads I am a long-term fan of FrontPage. Anyone who wants to argue the case is free to do so and anyone with a different opinion of the product is welcome to it. In my view, it remains one of the single best web development applications currently available and is suitable for beginners right through to vast projects of enormous complexity.

Like most commercial web designers I have and use all the major web authoring tools and have done for many years and I can say without doubt that FrontPage, especially the current version 2003, can cut a rug with the best of them and leave most of them standing in many areas.

Now, since there have been quite a few mentions of this program recently, I thought it may help a few of its users to know of just a few of the many add-in components you can get, many of them offered freely and many that work from version 2000 up to 2003.

Take a look at this site: click here

Click on the Add-Ins link and spend a few happy hours being downright amazed at all the little tools people have coded to enhance FrontPage. From point and click code snippet/applet insertion and special effects through to additional menu items on right click and the File menu, or how about a Space Replacer add-in that replaces spaces in file and folder names with an underscore character ?

The Microsoft site has many add-ins available but the excellent Jimco site deserves serious attention (and an award). It is packed with some really nice (and totally free) add-ins for easy Flash movie insertion, a pop-up browser window generator and all kinds of other nice things.

I'm sure that Macromedia and Adobe fans are familiar with the excellent Macromedia Exchange click here and Adobe Studio Exchange click here where various add-ins and extensions can be sourced for those products but I doubt as many people know that FrontPage has a large and readily available selection of similar widgets to help you along.

Just thought I'd mention it.

Good luck to any FrontPagers out there who decide to try the add-ins.


  Forum Editor 23:42 27 Sep 2004

don't talk to me about FrontPage add-ins, I'm the add-in king. I have a special folder on my drive for nothing but FP add-ins, I love 'em.

I probably use FP 2003 more than any other of the mainstream design applications. That isn't to say I forsake DreamWeaver entirely - I've used it for so long I couldn't part company now - but it's not dusted off as often as it used to be since FP 2003 came on the scene. Adobe software isn't my forte - I stick to FP, DreamWeaver, and the excellent and somewhat addictive NetObjects Fusion for pretty well everything.

These applications are tools - they earn me a substantial part of my income - but if I'm honest with myself I can't deny that I have a distinct bias towards FP 2003. It's just so versatile, and those add-ins.............
When you work with software on a daily basis you develop funny little affections, and sometimes they're difficult to justify - I love Ulead PhotImpact for image editing for instance - but in the case of FP there's no such problem - it can hold its own (and more) against anything on the market.

  Simon_P 23:52 27 Sep 2004

FP 2003 ordered/lost in the post!

Looks very useful when it does eventually get here, I didn’t know that there were ad-ins.

  Taran 17:32 28 Sep 2004

Forum Editor. I just knew we had royalty on the PCA site... ;o)

I'm of a similar opinion overall regarding FrontPage. It is very difficult to think of doing what I do now without it available to me and, as you rightly say, its sheer versatility makes it so incredibly practical and efficient for rapid site design/deployment right through to being a fully-fledged developers tool. If only those who malign it so often would actually get under the hood and find out what it can do. There is life beyond the built in themes and page templates after all...

Adobe is another kettle of fish entirely and while I like and use GoLive, along with the rest of the CS bundle, FrontPage remains firmly at the top of my list of most used web authoring applications by a long way.

The add-ins just sweeten the tea still further...

  Simon_P 19:38 28 Sep 2004

FrontPage was the first html editor that I have used, and for once it seems that I made the right choice, and doing what I do I am unlikely to change it other than upgrades.

A few people have poked fun at me for using it but to be fair their sites are no better than mine, so I guess they just have never even tried it and use the “hate the movie you have never seen” attitude.

Furthermore it is nice to see that the real professionals rate it highly, I have come to find that this particular part of the PCA forum holds the answer to any problems that I have or don’t understand regarding FP.

As far as web design is concerned I am a novice, and sometimes make BIG mistakes, but its fun and I learn, I just do the best I can.


  Taran 20:30 28 Sep 2004

If you want an example of a very large site with lots of complex content (most of it pulled from a database) and all of it created with various versions of FrontPage including 2000, 2002 XP and 2003, try Paul Thurrott's Windows Supersite:

click here

Microsoft also feature some FrontPage sites on the Office/FrontPage section of their own site. One of them is this:

click here

As impressive as the above two sites are, it all comes down to this; the editor or program is nowhere near as important as the person using it, but you'd be hard pressed to find a single program capable of so much yet with such a gentle introduction for those starting out and finding their feet in web design.

I think if you stick with FrontPage and learn about it properly you might come to realise (if you haven't already) what a capable tool you have at your command.

The best advice I can give you is play, break what you make, learn how to put it back together and fix it, then start digging into the menu options to find the hidden gems. Don't forget that just like all the other Office programs, you can customise the toolbars with loads of options that aren't always listed by default in the drop down menus. There's a lot more to FrontPage than mets the eye and I'm finding new things out all the time when using it, even after all these years.


  Simon_P 22:48 28 Sep 2004

Thank you for the advice and links.

I have seen the fist link before but not the second, I would never have guessed that either was a FP website, so I have much to learn. (Some FP sites are very obvious)

I do break and mend some things as a way of learning, and use free web space to play about/experiment with (incase I destroy my site) and have managed to customize FP reasonably well. I have progresses beyond the web templates stage, so I’m heading in the right direction.
I tend to do a substantial redesigns about every six months, and when finished look at new ways to make it better, and so the cycle begins again!

Thank you for the excellent advise and enlightening me to the ad-in’s.

Sorry for hijacking your thread.



  Taran 16:41 03 Oct 2004

I'll tick this as resolved, just to keep things tidy.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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