Using the advanced features that are built into FrontPage Express, as well as the FrontPage Server extensions on your web site, you can take advantage of the latest developments in Web browser technology. These advancements include ActiveX controls, scripting, plug-ins, Java applets, Microsoft PowerPointŪ animation, database integration, multimedia, and secure communications. You can also incorporate late-breaking HTML features into your pages by directly editing the HTML generated by FrontPage.
ActiveX controls are software components that provide dynamic features on your pages. For example, a stock ticker control could be used to add a live stock ticker to a page, or an animation control could be used to add animation features. For more detailed information about ActiveX controls, and to see a gallery of free controls that are available on the World Wide Web, visit http://activex.microsoft.com/
In FrontPage Express, you insert an ActiveX control into your page using the Insert: Other Components: ActiveX Control command. To easily insert a control, you must first have it installed on your machine. If you choose the ActiveX Control command and the Pick a Control dropdown list in the ActiveX Control Properties dialog box is empty, you do not yet have any ActiveX controls installed on your system.
After you pick the control to insert, you can adjust the controls settings in the ActiveX Control Properties dialog box. For example, all standard size and alignment options for objects that can be placed on a page are available. You can also specify an Alternate Representation that users will see if their Web browser does not support ActiveX controls.
Once youve picked an ActiveX control from the Pick a Control dropdown list in the ActiveX Control Properties dialog box, you can set control-specific options by clicking Properties, in the ActiveX Control Properties dialog box. This opens a dialog box with options that are specific to the ActiveX control that you want to insert. As you change the control-specific values, you can click Apply to immediately see the impact of those changes on the appearance of the ActiveX control. Some ActiveX controls also come with documentation that describes the controls properties.
The ActiveX Control Properties dialog box includes a Network Location section. You can use this section to specify where a Web browser should look on the World Wide Web for the ActiveX control or its associated data if the control is not yet installed on the users computer. This is often the Web site of the ActiveX controls vendor or your own Web site.
Java applets are similar to ActiveX controls. They are software components written in a programming language called Java, which provide dynamic features on your Web page. A software vendor might choose to create a product as a Java applet because its interpreted nature lets it run on several different hardware platforms.
Inserting a Java applet is similar to inserting an ActiveX control. Java doesnt support a customized property-setting interface, so a generic one is provided for you.
To insert a Java applet, choose Insert: Other Components: Java Applet. In the Java Applet Properties dialog box, type in the name of the applet source file that you want to insert. Java applet source files usually have a CLASS extension. Enter any general size and alignment options properties. Then use the Applet Parameters section to set particular properties for a control. Since Java does not provide a mechanism for displaying the valid properties and values are for a given control, youll need to consult the documentation that comes with the Java applet and input the right property names and legal values for each property.
When youre done configuring the Java applet, click OK, and FrontPage inserts an actual-size placeholder icon on the page to retain your page layout.
Plug-ins are platform-specific components for pages. Originally designed for Netscape Navigator 2.0, they are supported in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and higher as well. If you have a plug-in that you want to insert on the page, use the Insert: Other Components: Plug-In command. Enter a reference to the plug-in data file you want to use, and set the optional size and alignment parameters. When you press OK, a placeholder graphic will be inserted for the plug-in.
Microsoft PowerPoint Animation
The Insert: Other Components: PowerPoint Animation inserts a PowerPoint animation file into your web page either as an ActiveX control or as a plug-in. For information about Microsoft PowerPoint animation, see the product information at http://www.microsoft.com/mspowerpoint/
After you choose Insert: Other Components: PowerPoint Animation command, enter the animation file to insert and choose whether to insert the animation as an ActiveX control or as a plug-in. When you click OK, FrontPage will display a static representation of the animation if you inserted the animation as an ActiveX control or a placeholder graphic if you inserted the animation as a plug-in.
Scripting is a type of programming language that you can use to write custom code for your web page. This is an advanced FrontPage feature that requires knowledge of programming. Scripting is useful for custom Web-based solutions development. It provides a full object model for the Web browser and the objects on the current page. This makes it easy to write code that manipulates elements on the page without knowing the details of the HTML or how the objects are implemented.
Internet Database Connector (IDC) is the database interface included with the Microsoft Internet Information Server. It allows Structured Query Language (SQL) queries (including database additions and modifications) to any Open Data Base Connectivity (ODBC) compliant database accessible from the Web server machine.
The SQL query and database connection information is specified in an IDC file.
After creating an IDC file, you can use it as a form handler by selecting Internet Database Connector in the Form Handler field of the Form Properties dialog box.
Microsoft Index Server
Microsoft Windows NTŪ Server, versions 4.0 and later support the Microsoft Index Server. This Windows NT service provides rich and efficient indexing of pages and other files on your Windows NT Server. If you are running Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) as your Web server, FrontPage Express will automatically take advantage of the Index Server, if installed, when you use the FrontPage WebBot Search component. You will notice increased performance, support for multiple languages, and indexing of Microsoft Office document files.
Working Directly with HTML
FrontPage Express provides features that let you edit HTML files directly.
You can edit the HTML of a page by choosing View: HTML in FrontPage Express. This command opens the View or Edit HTML dialog box. You can click the main window of this dialog box and edit your HTML. You can optionally view the syntax of the HTML with color-coding. This makes it easy to see unbalanced tags and other errors. The HTML that you type into this window will be re-parsed and displayed in FrontPage Express when you click OK to close the View or Edit HTML dialog box.
If you open a page in FrontPage Express that contains HTML tags that it does not support directly, FrontPage Express displays the Unknown HTML icon on the page. To edit this HTML, double-click the icon to open the HTML Markup dialog box. You can also insert HTML tags that FrontPage does not support by choosing Insert: HTML Markup and entering the HTML directly in the HTML Markup dialog box.
If you open a page in FrontPage Express containing HTML attributes that FrontPage Express does not support directly, or if you used the View: HTML command to enter your own HTML attributes, you can use the Extended button in most objects properties dialog boxes to view and edit these unsupported HTML attributes. You can also add extended attributes directly, by clicking Extended and editing the Extended Attributes dialog box for form fields, images, paragraphs, and many other objects.
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