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FrontPage 2002 Tutorials - Adding functionality to your website with FrontPage 2002 Part III ~ Included Content.

by Tina Clarke

(some tutorials cover FrontPage 2000 as well)

INSERTING REPEATED CONTENT - You can display a web page on another page in the web site, allowing you to maintain separate pages. For example, to display a copyright notice on several pages in a web site, create one page that contains the copyright notice, and include that page on other pages in the web site. When you update the copyright notice, you simply update that one page; all other pages that include the copyright page will be automatically updated.

SUBSTITUTING CONTENT - FrontPage includes tools that will insert content from one page to another page, display pages and images on a certain date and more. These are known as configuration variables. FrontPage has four predefined variables that gather information automatically when you put them on a page:

NOTE: Some of FrontPage’s web templates contain additional standard configuration variables.

You can also define a variable yourself, such as a copyright or a comment.

NOTE: This information is not for your visitors, but for other people who will work on your website.

CREATING INFORMATION THAT CAN UPDATE AUTOMATICALLY - The page based on schedule component allows you to merge one page with another, the only difference between this and a normal page component is that it enables you to change the pages automatically on a certain date.

Inserting an Include Page: -
Includes are something we talked about at the end of Part II. Unlike a shared border which has to stick to the page’s margins, an include component can be inserted anywhere.

Place the curser where you want the include page to appear. Include pages spread themselves across the page so it’s best to utilise a table with an Include and then you can control the rest of the width of the page. Go to Insert | Web Component |. On the left pane click ‘Included Content’. In the right pane click Page. Press Finish. The ‘Include Page Properties' Box appears here you can type in the page you want to appear in the current page, however in my experience, it is best to utilise the browse button as this makes sure the path is absolutely correct.

It is best to make a folder named _includes (note with an underscore) as this excludes the folder and it's contents from being included in the FrontPage Search and TOC (Table of Contents). When the page name has been inserted, press OK and the contents of the included page will appear in the current page.

In Normal view if you pass the mouse over the included information, the pointer turns into a little hand holding a piece of paper, this is there to remind you of the included content. To edit the properties box, double click the included content.

To update the included content merely open the include page and edit the contents and save. Next time FrontPage recalculates and refreshes the website all the pages that this include page is inserted on will all have that content updated, saving you hours of time. This is why it is particularly good for customised navigation bars. If you don’t want to wait, go to Tools | Recalculate Hyperlinks and a box will appear. Click Yes and FrontPage proceeds with the recalculation.

To make sure you see the folders marked _ with an underscore you need to make sure you have show documents in hidden directories ticked to check this go go Tools | Web settings | Advanced Tab | Make sure the 'Show documents in hidden directories' box is ticked. Press ok. You will be asked to refresh the web.

How to use the Substitution Component: -
Go to Tools | Web Settings | Parameters tab | Add |

In the Name box, type a name for the variable. (This is what you will call the variable.) In the Value box, type a value for the variable. (This is what will be displayed on the page.)
Click OK. Position the cursor in a page where you want to display the variable. Go to Insert | Web Component | and, in the left pane, click ‘Included Content’, and in the right pane, double-click ‘Substitution’. In the ‘Substitute with’ box, click a variable from the list (for example, Author) and click OK and it appears on the page. If you selected the Description command however you won’t see anything when viewed via the browser. This is because you have not specified a description anywhere for this page.

To add a description Go to View | Folders and right click the current page you are editing and select Properties from the pop up menu the Dialog box will be named after the current page for example ‘mypage.htm Properties’. Select the Summary tab and type, (for example) “This is an example of the description” into the Comments text box and click OK. Now preview the page in the browser and you will see the description.

NOTE: If you use the Substitution Component to display ‘URL configuration variable’, the URL that appears corresponds to the computer on which the page is CURRENTLY located. If you later publish the page on another web server the old, incorrect URL remains displayed inside the page. To fix this, just reinsert the component.

How to change content automatically: -
This component acts much like an include page however the difference is that the ‘Page Based on Schedule’ Component enables you to change the pages automatically on a certain date. For example you can set an included page with the text Welcome to automatically change to Merry Christmas on December 31st.

Display a web page or picture at selected times

Position the cursor where you want to display another page or picture. Go to Insert | Web Component | and in the left pane click ‘Included Content’. In the right pane, double-click either ‘Page Based on a Schedule’ or ‘Picture Based on a Schedule’.

Do one or more of the following:

In the ‘During the scheduled time’ box, type the relative URL of the page or picture to include, or click Browse to locate it.

To specify a page or picture to display outside the specified time period, in the Before and after the scheduled time box, type the relative URL of the page or picture you want to include, or click Browse to locate it.

In the drop-down boxes after Starting, specify the year, month, day, and time at which you want to start displaying the page or picture.

In the drop-down boxes after Ending, specify the year, month, day, and time at which you want to stop displaying the page or picture.

NOTE: The web server's clock is used to determine the time period.

The ‘Picture Based on Schedule’ component enables you, for example, to turn your standard welcoming graphic to a picture of a pumpkin during Halloween and back to the standard picture, then a picture of a Christmas tree at Xmas.

NOTE: All the included Content options open the same dialog box, except for page Banners, which opens the Page Banner Properties dialog box and we will be discussing Page Banners along with other Cool Components in Part IV.

I thought you might also like to know about this add on.

Server-Side Include Add-in (SSIbot)
The Server-Side Include Add-in by Swanfield (SSIbot) is a component for FrontPage that acts like a FrontPage include while you are editing the page, but puts a server-side include in the page, which is used when the page is browsed. In addition it controls the formatting of the include command and only allows valid commands to be inserted.

First Published in ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers
Volume 13, June 2002