FrontPage Basics


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FrontPage® is Microsoft's web development and management package and the most recently released version is FrontPage 2002. FrontPage uses the concept of "webs", which most other packages would refer to as "sites".


There are plenty of tutorials on the web for FrontPage. Three are

The first two sites also have tutorials for other Microsoft Office 2000 products.

(Very) Basics

What is a FrontPage Web?

In FrontPage, a web is a directory that contains special folders where FrontPage stores its information. When FrontPage creates a web, or converts a directory to a web, it creates these folders as well. These files start with the underscore (_) character and usually are not visible within FrontPage. The figures below show the difference between looking at the files on your computer versus looking at them in FrontPage.

Windows Explorer View FrontPage View

The example on the left shows how a FrontPage Web looks in Windows Explorer, and the example on the right shows how it looks in FrontPage. 

Notice the folders that are missing in the FrontPage view.  Folders that you will never see in FrontPage are the ones that start with "_vti". Do not delete any folders that start with an underscore unless you really know what you are doing. 

Where is my FrontPage web on my computer?

You need to decide if you want to keep your web locally (on your hard drive or computer) or if you are working on a web server. If you are working on a server, you will need to open your web by creating a link to your Web Folder. If you decide that your files should be on your hard drive or network drive, by default FrontPage creates a directory in My Documents called My Webs. Each web you create should be in its own folder inside of My Webs. You may also create webs on your network drive, but create a My Webs or FrontPage folder in the drive and place all of your webs in separate folders in the drive.

Home Page Name

Name your home page (or starting page) index.htm. Most servers will automatically serve up the page called index.htm if a file name is not specified. Also, FrontPage will use this page as the starting point for all of those neat reports that help you maintain a website. (Sometimes, depending on the server, you may see that your homepage ends up as index.html or default.htm. These should work as well.)

File Names

Make your file names and folder names short, yet meaningful. Use only:

  • Lowercase letters
  • No spaces
  • No characters except letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores. 

Be Legal

Be legal; get permission to use any content that you didn't create. Read about copyright and intellectual property issues on the Copyright page.

Other Items

Prior to publishing, use the Web Page Checklist to check your page content.

Ready to publish for the first time? Go to the publishing page

Interesting links

WiserWays Resources
Links to numerous other resource sites.
Little tips and tricks for various uses of FrontPage.
FrontPage 2000 Tips and Tricks
Other useful tips for FrontPage.


Revision F

Last Maintained 09/06/2003


This site best viewed with browsers released in 2001 or later.

Original Content ©2001-2008 by Derrel Fincher, Other rights reserved by individual authors

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