Typical questions from the typical Publisher web design Newbie

How do I paste a code snippet into the HTML Code Fragment dialog? By using the keyboard – Ctrl key + V key

How do I view and/or modify the HTML source code? No. Publisher is not an html editor nor is it a web design tool. More importantly there is no code for you to see nor edit. It simply doesn’t exist. The html source is not created until Publisher writes it, which is when it generates the web site when you save the web publication as a web site.

How do I password protect my page(s)? This is a server side function outside the scope of Publisher. Speak to your web host about what options they support for permission based access. More advanced functionality such as an actual login/logout page requires web programming (not to be confused with web design) and typically a server side database with user data. That is beyond the scope of Publisher, take a look at http://www.asp.net instead.

How come I only got the first page when I saved the web publication as a web site? Publisher generated web pages for all the pages of your publication. You are just not being observant. Look again and you’ll find a folder that has the same name as the home page file name. Look inside that folder. The home page web file and the matching folder are what compose the web site.

How do I use frames. You don’t. Not with Publisher.

How do I make a drop down or fly out menu? This is a dynamic effect created by scripting. Publisher has zero scripting support and provides for zero dynamic effects. It is designed for static web pages and static text. You can however acquire a 3rd party menu and use Publishers HTML Code Fragment dialog to implement it.

How do I get a hit counter? See answer in previous sentence.

How come my text on the web page is not a accurate reproduction of the text box in the web publication? This is most typically due to the use of any type of Paragraph formatting to the text in the text box. Such formatting is for a print publication, and not a web publication where the results will be unpredictable. So do not apply things like – tabs, indents, line-spacing. Font face and font size are to be the only formatting applied to text in a web publication.

How come when I wrap text to an image the web page displays the text over the image? As of Publisher version 2002, wrapping text to an image in a web publication is not supported.

How do I get my Publisher web pages to display correctly in all browsers? Basically you don’t. Publisher is designed to exploit the technologies of the Internet Explorer browser. Support in a non Windows IE browser is limited at best. It is a limitation of using Publisher for a web site.

Publisher web publication forms 101

A Publisher web publication form is comprised of form controls (fields, checkboxes) and a submit control.

A form requires server side processing. Your web host is the server. The web site visitors PC is the client. When a submit control on a form is clicked that tells the client browser to send the form control data to the server, the server then processes the data it received and responds back to the client. Publisher uses FrontPage technology (webbots) on the server to perform this (that’s why you can’t “preview” a form). A functional form requires – A) FrontPage Server Extensions (FPSE) installed on the web server (order from your web host) and B) your site must be published in the HTTP protocol, and C) the form properties must be properly configured on the Submit button control.

To use a Publisher form you must do two things:

use a FPSE enabled web host account
publish the Publisher web using HTTP

You can confirm that FPSE was successfully installed and are functional by browsing to the page “_vti_inf.html” at the root of your domain. For example – http://www.mydomainname.com/_vti_inf.html . If the FrontPage configuration page loads then that is your confirmation page. A “page cannot be found” or other such server error would indicate that FPSE needs to be installed or reinstalled by the host.

The extensions require HTTP file uploads to be functional, therefore if you need support for forms your site must be published via HTTP. Do not use FTP for publishing if you have FrontPage Server Extensions installed on your domain. See the HTTP publishing article.

After the form is submitted the page is redirected to a confirmation page. You cannot change that function nor change the confirmation page. That is not available in Publisher. FPSE processes the form submission and then dynamically generates a confirmation page listing the form controls it received. You can opt to not use FPSE for your form processing in which case your program may provide for a level of customization not available with Publisher and FPSE. If your host provides and supports a form program and you have the technical know how to program it (or your host assists you). In the form properties dialog for your form simply select the option to use “an ISP Program” and then input the server path and name of the form program.

The form controls have no validation functionality (you cannot require a field).

By default Publisher sets the tab order of the form controls (fields) in the order in which the controls are added to the page. The Arrange (front/back) feature can be used to set an explicit tab order in a form. This is done by selecting each control in the order you want the tab order to follow, and setting it to “bring to front”. In v2003 you can right click the control and select Order, Bring to front. In v2002 you can use Alt + F6. Or just use the Arrange menu.