It seems like every programmer and company is trying to produce a better mousetrap for Windows Web authoring. Some of them we surveyed appear to be well-constructed and low on bugs, but we decided its more fun to cover the cheesy, buggy ones instead. (If you believe that, we have a deal for you on some swampland in . . . never mind.) We wouldnt waste your time or ours by discussing anything but the best we could find. The following sections describe the (most widely acknowledged) best in this category.
FrontPage 98 with Bonus Pack is Microsofts commercial Web authoring system for Windows 95 and NT. Since Microsoft bought FrontPage from Vermeer Technologies, Inc., in January 1996, Microsoft has made FrontPage its premier personal Web authoring, publishing, and maintenance tool for Windows. As we predicted, this product has become the most widely used tool of its kind on the Internet.
As Microsoft states in its promotional literature, . . . with the WYSIWYG FrontPage Editor, theres no need to know HTML! You have at your disposal more than 40 built-in templates and wizards to help you build Web documents and your entire Web site. You can copy an existing template and then replace its content with your own words, images, and ideas to help you generate a Web site. Or you can select a Wizard, answer a few questions, and let the Wizard do the work.
Each Web site is in its own project folder so you can develop and manage multiple sites. Enhanced drag-and-drop features lets you drag Microsoft Office files into the FrontPage Explorer or move hyperlinks, tables, and images within the FrontPage Editor. The Verify all links feature automatically verifies that all hyperlinks are valid -- within and outside your Web site. This feature even corrects all link errors within your site for you.
As if all of this isnt enough, the FrontPage Bonus Pack includes the following programs:
The Image Composer enables you to create and edit graphics for your Web documents. It includes more than 500 tools and effects and works with PhotoShop-compatible plug-in products, such as Kais Power Tools from MetaTools, Inc. Image Composer includes more than 600 royalty-free Web-ready images. You may also download the free Microsoft GIF Animator to animate your own Image Composer images and make your Web site really jump on the screen.
The Personal Web Server lets you host your Web sites on your own PC. This program is the Windows 95 version of the Microsoft Internet Information Server. The Personal Web Server gives you performance and management features to make administering your Internet or intranet site relatively easy (with the emphasis on the relatively because administering your Web site is still somewhat complex).
The Web Publishing Wizard makes it relatively (but not really easy) straightforward to post your Web site (send your HTML files) to most Web servers (at your ISP). The Web Publishing Wizard gives you step-by-step guidance, as long as you know the name of the Web server directory at your ISPs and have upload clearance (get this information from your ISP).
Microsoft Internet Explorer is included in the FrontPage Bonus Pack. Internet Explorers features continue to change monthly, but its hard to imagine a browser with more features than IE 4.0!
The FrontPage 98 with Bonus Pack interface also allows you to use any document created with Microsoft Office 97 because it works like other Office 97 applications. FrontPage 98 uses the shared spelling checker, global Find and Replace, and the Microsoft Thesaurus.
Now you cant quite say Use FrontPage to create my Web site into your PCs microphone, walk off, have an espresso, and come back to view the finished work. But if you apply the knowledge of planning and preparation from earlier chapters in this book, you should be able to have an outstanding Web site created, tested, and running on your ISPs Web server in very little time by using FrontPage 98.
|For more information about FrontPage 98, check
out the Microsoft Web site:
Sausage Software is the purveyor of HotDog Professional, currently available in version 4.5. Like its predecessors, HotDog Pro continues to grab massive accolades from users and editors alike. Although FrontPage 98 has more bells and whistles and is more widely used, most of the really smart people we know who use an HTML editor use HotDog Pro.
Not only does HotDog Pro assist with the HTML editing process and help you produce flawless HTML, its smart enough to recognize if its got the latest set of extensions installed and goes out and downloads them for you if its not in synch with the most current set. Weve heard of smart programs before, but this is the only HTML editor we know of thats got the brains to recognize it needs an HTML DTD tune-up, and then goes out and grabs the changes for itself! This makes it a snap to keep with changes to draft HTML standards and DTDs, and to track release of standards as soon as they go official.
|The free download version is available online,
but the commercial version isn't very expensive and is well worth every
penny. Visit the Sausage Software site and get an evaluation copy at
Extra 9 Main Page | Previous Section | Next Section
E-mail: HTML For Dummies
Webmaster: Natanya Pitts, LANWrights
Revised -- January 16, 1998