Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 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 – . 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.

Common Sense Computing 101 aka "Why in the world would you lose your publisher file?"

As an MVP for Publisher over some 5 years, it has never ceased to surprise me how many times I’ve read this question – “I lost my pub file (insert long story here), how do I get my web site back from the html files on the server?”

It’s obvious that a lesson in common sense (computing) is needed. So I’ll get on my soapbox before I delve into answering the particular question.

First, the maxim. “If the file is important to you, have more than one copy.”

Simple, seems common sense to me. After all, think of all the various things that are important to you. I bet you have some sort of protection for them.

Me personally, in all my years of computing I’ve lost 3 hard drives. Where they just go kaput. I’ve misplaced, deleted, or otherwise lost, a file I was working on more times then I know. Yet I’ve never “lost” a file. The worst case scenario is redoing some recent work in an older version of the file in question.

“If the file is important to you, have more than one copy.”

My computing workflow goes like this…

If the file is very important, I make a copy of it before I begin modifications to it. You can do this in various ways. What I do is open Windows Explorer and right click the file and select copy, then in the folder I want the copy of the file I right click and select paste. Sometimes I leave the file name as is, other times I may append the filename. For example – . Where that would be the date I saved the file off before making a change to the original copy. Other times I may describe the change I’m going to make to the original copy – mycustomerfile_before I whacked half of it But that’s how I do it, like I said there are different ways, like opening the file and then going to File, Save as, and simply saving off a copy that way. Though the difference in that is you’ll open up the copy version of the file, ready for editing. Where I prefer to use the copy version of the file as a “snapshot” of the file as of that moment and then go edit the original version of the file.

Doing this copying methodology serves three purposes, it provides an easy fallback if the changes I make turn out to be a big mistake (it’s usually easier to go back to the copy and start over then to back out significant changes to an original), it provides fallbacks if the original should become corrupted, it provides fallback files that I can burn off to CD and/or copy to a secondary hard disk. I use both additional hard drives and CD’s to archive files. I routinely copy them to another hard drive and then I occasionally do a larger backup to CD or DVD media. That way in a hard drive failure scenario my most recent files are recoverable from the separate hard drive, and older files are available on media.

If you need to, write “If the file is important to you, have more than one copy” on a post-it and affix it to your monitor.

As for implementing common sense computing in managing your Publisher web publication file I recommend the following…

First, decide what “minor change” and “significant change” mean to you.

Before making a significant modification to your web publication file make a copy of it as I covered above.

At the very least make a copy at random times. You’ll want to guard against file corruption of the web publication file.

Make your changes, publish the site, test it. Repeat if necessary.

Now once you have the site files, those html and image files, remember that those files are not important. Not at all. Why? Because the site is fully contained in the Publisher file. At any time you can publish again and replace those files. It is the .pub file, that web publication, that is important. Vital even. The irony is that your web host is backing up your site files every single day. Something you probably assume and take for granted because – it’s only common sense. Am I right 😉

So take advantage of that. When you are done with your pub file, copy it to your web host account. These days the standard web host provider offers more disk space on their account offerings then you could ever fill up. (if you’re using some freebie then perhaps not) So take advantage of that. Most web host have a file manager tool that you can quickly upload the file. Or you can use an http web folder or an ftp tool. Whatever works for you. Start by creating a new folder on your account, call it what you like, perhaps “bkup”. That host file manager is perfect for creating a new folder. Then use that folder to copy the pub file to for its safe keeping. 

Of course once you do that the file is accessible by simply browsing to its URL, for example –

The likelihood of anybody ever knowing that address without you telling them is pretty much zero, and even if someone downloaded it, what purpose would it serve. But, if this is of concern to you then just simply restrict access to that folder. Most web hosts have a control panel that allows you to set and modify access permissions to the files and folders on the server for your account. Speak to your host support if you need assistance in removing anonymous access to your folder. Once done the result is that when addressing that folder you are required to explicitly enter login credentials.

Hopefully by this point you have been energized with common sense computing skills and you know you will never lose your Publisher wed publication and your web site, due to hard disk failure, file corruption, or other disaster. But, what if this common sense hits you to late. What if you’re the dude going “can I get my pub file back from the html files on the server?”

First, kick yourself repeatedly.

Next, accept the answer. Which is, No. But sorta Yes. Well No is the short answer. Yes is the long answer. Which do you prefer?

I thought so.

No, you can’t download all the site files, not just html files mind you, you need the image files too, and have them magically morph into a Publisher web publication .pub file.

But, if you have version 2002 or version 2003, and you are willing to suck it up and apply yourself, then you can recreate the web publication file. So ask yourself, how important to you is it? 😉

As of version 2002, Publisher will open a htm/html file. Which actually, technically, isn’t very useful since Publisher is not an html editor, nor a web design tool (i.e. FrontPage). However it’s handy in this situation. The kicker is, it’s only going to open one at a time.

Now is when your skills with the Ctrl + C (copy) and Ctrl + V (paste) keys comes into play.

How this works is that you open the index.htm (home page) file in Publisher (2002 or later) and then go to File, Save as, and save it as a .pub file. That gives you the new web publication file.

Insert new blank pages into the publication for how ever many web pages you have. Then there next to your publication you use a second instance of Publisher to open the next htm file. You copy everything on the page (either group, copy, or select all, or lasso, copy – whatever method you prefer) and you go over to the appropriate page in the new publication file and you do a paste. There you go. You repeat for each web page.

When you finally finish and have that recreated .pub file, then you will fully appreciate the time I took to write all this. At least I hope so 😉

Replace underlined hyperlinks in your Publisher web with non underlined hyperlinks

Publisher does not support setting a hyperlink with out the standard hyperlink underlining.

However it only takes a small snippet of CSS code to accomplish this on a web page.

You can drop an HTML code fragment (Insert menu) anywhere on the page and in the code fragment dialog just paste the following code:


That’s it. I recommend sticking the code fragment up in the top right corner of the page and size it really small so it’s unobtrusive. It’s placement and size is not relevant to the layout of the web page.

In the publisher web publication the hyperlinked text will still display the underlining. The html file you get once you save as a web site will not display the underlining (assuming you copied the code correctly).

Oh but what if you want the underlining to return when the mouse cursor hovers over the link (known as mouse over).

That’s easy, simply add this line into the CSS style…

a:hover {text-decoration: underline;}

You can also use this if you want the link to change colors on the mouse over:

a:hover {color: #ffffff;}

This example sets it to white. Use a color picker utility to locate the code for your desired color.

This CSS code is specific to the page it is on so it effects all links on the page, and it must be inserted on each individual page where you desire this over-ride of the hyperlink appearance.

Which Web Server? by Richard Lowe, Jr.

If you’ve been lurking in the various forums and newsgroups devoted to web-mastering, you could hardly fail to notice the heated debate going on at this time. No, it’s not which is the best browser. This debate is about web servers. More precisely, which one is better: Apache or Internet Information Server (IIS).

To tell you the truth, I’ve used them both (and a few others as well) and the simple plain truth of the matter is these two web server platforms are really functionally equivalent.

Ease Of Use

IIS is much easier for the novice as operators can maintain it from easy-to-use screens and forms. Windows 2000, on the other hand, costs a lot more than other operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD and Unix. Straight Apache requires a huge learning curve to learn how to operate and administer. Everything is configured in extremely obscure text files, and these configurations are done by hand (although you can purchase add-on utilities to enable entry of much of this information from screens and forms.)


The security model of IIS is one of the best ever designed, based as it is upon NTFS (the security model of Windows NT and Windows 2000). This model is far superior to the anything provided with Apache for non-Windows systems. Of course, on Windows, Apache can use NTFS as well.

Of course, IIS has been plagued with a number of vulnerabilities lately, and these are a concern. It’s common to patch IIS at least monthly, and to install a new service release (a collection of patches) twice a year. Most of the bugs were worked out of Apache (prior to version 2) long ago. Of course, with the release of version two of Apache you can expect a number of security and other flaws to surface – these are a normal part of a product’s life cycle.


IIS does NOT have the equivalent of HTACCESS. The HTACCESS file in Apache is used to individually configure virtual sites (web sites) without restarting the web server. However, on IIS you have a very flexible method of configuration with ISAPI filters and other similar methods. Both methods (HTACCESS and ISAPI filters) are very obscure and for advanced webmasters.


According to several reports that I’ve come across lately IIS is more efficient than Apache. My own testing has led me to conclude the performance of the two is roughly the same for static pages. PHP (the server side scripting platform common on Apache) tends to be more efficient than ASP (the server side scripting system for IIS) according to many sources, although I have tested neither for speed.

Hardware Requirements

I have run both web server platforms on large and small boxes of many different configurations, and I’ve found they require much the same hardware. This is not surprising, since the two platforms basically do the same thing. When you configure Windows and IIS, it’s a good idea to strip the operating system of unneeded functions. This reduces the size box you need (as well as increasing security).

I’ve run both platforms on 64mb of memory with a single 5600 RPM IDE drive and 200mhtrz processors with reasonable response time (all things considered). I’ve also run them on dual 2gigahertz systems with 15k RPM SCSI raid 10 drives with incredible performance. The two platforms are equivalent in hardware needs.

Large Server Farms

Microsoft has worked hard on load balancing, so there are more options available for IIS and Windows 2000 for this than other operating systems. In fact, Windows 2000 clustering (the ability to run several servers using the same disks) is very advanced and makes disaster recovery a breeze.

Disaster Recovery

IIS backup solutions (those which are provided with Windows 2000) are surprisingly weak. There is no way to back up the metabase (all of the IIS configuration parameters) from one machine and restore it to another (which makes disaster recovery difficult). On the other hand, with Apache it’s just a matter of saving all of the configuration text files.

Language and other support

IIS and Apache both support CGI, SSI and PERL (ActivePerl on IIS is excellent). IIS natively supports ASP and I’m sure you could find PHP if you looked (I have not). Apache tends towards PHP, although you can install something like Chilisoft ASP if you want. CGI, SSI and PERL are performance hogs and security nightmares in both web platforms.


Both web platforms are rock solid stable. I have run apache servers which have stayed up for longer than a year without a reboot, and my IIS servers have run for years with the only rebooting required is the occasional service pack and security patch. Neither web platform (or OS for that matter) has even once crashed due to a bug.

Operating System Integration

IIS and Windows 2000 is a more “integrated” environment than Apache, since IIS is targeted specifically for the operating system. This has the advantage that the GUI and controls of IIS look and feel the same as every other tool on Windows. On the other hand, you can find Apache for just about any platform, including Linux, Unix, BSD, and even such things as OpenVMS. If you need to be able to move between platforms, then Apache is a great choice.


SMTP on IIS is primitive but functional. This is because it is only provided to allow scripts and such to send email from the server. If you need additional email support, you are expected to use Exchange or some other email system. Apache does not support SMTP (sendmail), although a version is usually provided on the target system. The provided email solution is full featured – but you must be very sure to check the configuration to be sure your system is not an open relay. The IIS SMTP module is configured through the standard Windows 2000 entry system, while Sendmail requires configuration file editing. IIS SMTP is absolutely trivial to maintain; Sendmail can be a challenge.


DNS on Windows 2000 is far, far superior to anything available on Unix or Linux. Bind (he DNS for Unix and similar systems) has traditionally suffered from a huge number of security vulnerabilities) and is very involved to maintain. My own experience with DNS servers indicates the best solution is a dedicated DNS application box. These are inexpensive (for a business), easy-to-configure and much more secure than either the Windows 2000 version or the Unix version.

Search Engines

There is NO difference as far as search engines are concerned between Apache and IIS (or any other web server, for that matter).


I’m sure I could write for hours and hours about this subject (and perhaps I will in an article on my own web site). Basically, IIS and Apache do the same thing. They have a vastly different design philosophy, however, and the underlying operating systems have even wider differences.

My experience is that Linux and Unix people prefer apache, and Windows people prefer IIS.
To me, the choice of webserver really comes down to “what are you and your group comfortable with?” If your experience is with apache, linux or unix, then you probably want to stick with Apache. If your experience is with Windows, then you will probably be uncomfortable with Apache.

I’ve used both (and several others) and quite frankly, to me, it does not matter. Drop me on a server running apache or IIS, and I will feel at home.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at – Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS); Learning More by William Bontrager

In the “Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Getting Started” article, the first in this series, you learned how to use an external style sheet. You simply include one line of code on your pages to affect the entire page with the style specified in that external style sheet.

This article will show you how to embed a style sheet directly into your web page. It will also show you how to define custom styles, styles not associated with any particular HTML tags.

There are four ways a style can be applied to a web page:

1. Styles are specified through the use of an external file, a method called “external style sheet” or “linked style sheet.” There is one file on your site that specifies the styles. Then, one line in each of your web pages links to that file. To change the style on all your web pages, simply change the external file. This is the method you learned in the first article in this series.

2. Styles are specified in the HEAD area of each page the style is applied to. This method is called “embedded style sheet” and is the method you’ll learn in this article.

3. A style is specified in the actual HTML tag where the style is applied. This is called an “inline style.” This will be addresses in a future article.

4. A combination of embedded and external style sheets. For this, each page has an embedded style sheet. Within the embedded style sheet are certain codes that import one or more external style sheets. This method is called “imported style sheet.” This will be addresses in a future article.

Using an Embedded Style Sheet

To use an embedded style sheet, create a test page and insert these seven lines into the HEAD area:

<STYLE TYPE=”text/css”><!–BODY, TD, P, LI, BLOCKQUOTE { font-family: sans-serif;}–></STYLE>

There is no need to upload the test page to your server. It can be tested right from your hard drive.

That’s all there is to it. The text on your test page is “magically” converted to a sans-serif font according to the style you’ve defined.

Note: If you have FONT tags specified in the source code of your test page, those will need to be removed so the CSS style can do its job.

You can specify exact font names instead of the generic sans-serif, serif, or monospace. If the font name is available on the user’s computer then it will be used. Arial and Helvetica are common sans-serif fonts for PC and Mac desktop computers. To control the exact font name to be used, with backups in case the one you specify isn’t available on the user’s computer, list the font names in order of preference, separated with a comma.

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that the method of defining a style is exactly the same whether you’re using the embedded style sheet presented in this article or the external style sheet presented in “Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – Getting Started”

If you used the CSS definitions presented in that previous article and made them into an embedded style sheet, this would be the result:

<STYLE TYPE=”text/css”><!–BODY, TD, P, LI, BLOCKQUOTE { font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size: 14px;color: #000000;}H1 {font-size: 36px;font-weight: bold;text-align: center;color: red;background: blue;}A:link {color: yellow;background: red;font-weight: bold;}A:active {text-decoration: underline;}A:visited {color: red;background: yellow;font-style: italic;text-decoration: line-through;}A:hover {text-decoration: none;color: purple;background: pink;font-size: 22px;font-weight: bold;}–></STYLE>

The method of specifying styles is the same whether you embed the style sheet or use an external file.

Using an external style sheet, all the style definitions are contained in one file. Using an embedded style sheet, each page has it’s own definitions. With the former, you can change the style of many web pages by changing only the one file containing the style definitions. With the latter, you can change the style of individual pages with no effect on others.

Defining and Using Custom Styles

Regardless of what type of style sheet you use, you can define your own custom styles.

When you create a custom style, the name you give the style must not match any HTML tags. When you define the style, the name must begin with a period, but when you use the style then don’t type the period.

Here is an example of a basic style for common text tags and a custom style:

<STYLE TYPE=”text/css”><!–BODY, TD, P, LI, BLOCKQUOTE { font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size: 14px;color: #000000;}.reallybad {font-size: 24px;font-weight: bold;font-style: italic;text-decoration: underline;color: #CCCCCC;background: #333333;}–></STYLE>

Custom styles are used within HTML tags to change the style of the entire tag — DIV, SPAN, P, TD, etc.

A custom style, once defined, is called a “class.” Thus, to use a certain style, you use the “class” attribute and the class name as the value. When you specify a style in an HTML tag, it overrides whatever style, if any, that was previously defined for that tag.

Here are a couple examples:

<p class=”reallybad”>Hello everyone!</p><p>Hello <span class=”reallybad”>everyone!</span></p>

In the first example line, the entire paragraph is printed with style “reallybad”. In the second line, only the word “everyone!” is printed with that style (“Hello” being printed with whatever style is defined for the P tag).You can define and use as many different custom styles as you please.

Some of the styles demonstrated in the examples cause dramatic effects. They serve to demonstrate possibilities. Your actual implementation will probably be more pleasant to the eyes.

Copyright Will Bontrager. About the Author: William Bontrager Programmer/Publisher, “WillMaster Possibilities” ezine Are you looking for top quality scripts? Visit Willmaster and check out his highly acclaimed Master Series scripts. Some free, some for a fee.

Web safe fonts in Publisher 2003 web publications

When you open a web publication in Publisher version 2003 you will not find all the fonts installed on your system. Where did all the fonts go?

One of the most important things to remember when designing a web page is that you should only use the standardized “web safe” fonts. If you use a font other than one of the 8 web safe fonts, then your site visitor may view your content in a font their browser substitutes. That result can be unpredictable. To avoid that design ‘mistake’ the web publication only allows the appropriate fonts.

The 8 web safe fonts are: Arial, Comic Sans, Courier, Georgia, Impact, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, Verdana.

Publisher 2003 has not removed your other fonts, it is simply hiding them in a web publication in order to help you design as a Web Professional would.

This hiding of the fonts is optional, it is simply turned on by default.

If you opt to ignore this web safe design you can disengage the safe font setting. While in a web publication go to Format menu, Font, and deselect the “show only web font” option.

Afterwards all fonts on the system will be available to your web publication.

Real World examples – sites by Publisher customers

 I am frequently asked for an example of a web site created in Publisher. In response to that I have compiled the following list of sites that I have come across in assisting customers.

These sites were Publisher built to the last of my knowledge. You may need to review the site source (View menu, Source) to verify the site is still Publisher (details follow). Customers may also move to other versions of Publisher so I do not reference the version in use with a site at the time I reviewed the site.

Publisher 2000 writes a generator tag in the source identifying it as “Publisher 2000”. Publisher 2002 and 2003 make identification a little more difficult. If the 2002/2003 site is produced in Publisher “Rich” html (heavy page) it will indicate “Publisher 10” (2002) or “Publisher 11” (2003). If produced in Publisher’s “Filtered” html (lightest page), and you see lots of VML/XML code and “filelist.xml” in the first few lines of the source it’s 2003. Otherwise, if it starts with meta tags, and goes into the style (CSS) list and/or has “filelist.xml” than the source is likely 2002 SP1 (or SP2/SP3).  

Copy Protection for images in a Publisher web site

If your web site is for the purpose of selling artwork or imagary you may be concerned about the “save picture as” in the right-click menu of the IE browser. You might prefer to have some way to “copy protect” images on the website.

First I need to make some common sense points…

– A web browser downloads all web content to the client PC to be able to display it. Any one can go to the Interent temp files folder on their pc and grab image files or any file that is from the site. Basically anything on a web page is available to be taken. That is the nature of the web.

– The technique professionals in the image trade use is that of watermarking images and of only displaying low quality versions. Visit a professional image online seller and you can see these techniques. That is the proper way to implement a “copy protection scheme” to online image content, short of not displaying it at all.

– The no right click menu “trick” you may encounter on some sites is only a little JavaScript “trick”. Any idiot
that likes to copy images knows to go into the browser settings and turn off JavaScript support. That’s all it takes to circumvent that “copy protection”. That then enables them to right click until their fingers go numb.

– The fast way to grab an image off a web page is to just go to View, Source and look at the page source
for the image file name and then go to that URL and viola you have the image. For example the site – – the image is at . No JavaScript routine is stopping that.

You can’t stop the site visitor from doing something, you can only implement a level of security that minimizes your concerns. In the case of protecting image content, the solution is, as mentioned earlier, watermarking.

But, (there is always a but 😉 it just so happens that the “save as picture” being discussed in this article is not available on Publisher 2003 made web pages. For example look at the sample site at  – try the right click on an image.

Publisher 2003 implements VML technology, which if viewed in a VML browser (IE 6+) you will find that there is no “save picture as” option in the right click menu. If elimination of the right click menu option is the only level of security you desire then this meets your needs. However the image is still available, you only have to view the source code to find the image path –  – load this URL in the browser and you have the image. You can then “save picture as” or File, Save as.

Again the answer to actually “copy protect” images is to watermark a lower quality resolution copy of the image.

Publisher is not an image editor so plan on using your own photo editor tool to do watermarking.