FrontPage Tips Setting up your FP Page Options

Here is another interesting tip for you FrontPage fans out there. One of the first things you should do before setting up your FP web is to configure your page preferences in Page Options. You do this by going to...

Tools > Page Options > HTML Source

The HTML Source tab is where you can make or break your FP web. Years ago I got away from the typical tabbed or indented html layout. I now use a left justified layout and will use HTML comments (<!-- Comments Here -->) when necessary to separate content. Comments are treated as HTML markup and are ignored by indexing spiders.

I have my Page Options set up like this...


  1. Tags names are lowercase (Checked)
  2. Attribute names are lowercase (Checked)
  3. Allow line breaks within tags (Unchecked)
  4. Indent: 0 spaces
  5. Right margin: 2000 characters (Prevents code wrapping)

You want to make sure that the allow line breaks within tags is unchecked. If checked, you will typically run into the hanging </p> or </td> tags which cause spacing problems within your copy.

Everything else is left as shown in the below screen shots from FrontPage 2002.

General | Auto Thumbnail | Default Font | HTML Source | Color Coding | Compatibility

Note: You can also click on the Page Options Tabs below.

Once you press okay, all pages developed in that web will maintain those properties until you go back in and modify them. When you do, then there is a somewhat time consuming process of reopening each page that has already been built with the previous preferences, and resave them going through this routine...

While in normal view go to...

Tools > Page Options > HTML Source > Reformat using the rules below (hopefully your new preferences).

Now switch to HTML view and go to...

Tools > Page Options > HTML Source > Preserve existing HTML.

Before you Save, you may want to strip out the two proprietary FrontPage Tags if they are there. You do this by right clicking your page in FP Normal View and go to...

Page Properties > Custom > User variables

...and remove the two FP specific META tags. Once you do this, they will not reappear unless you right click on a page in normal view and go through the page properties tabs. Its the Custom Tab that will bite you. If you view that tab and then press okay, you've just reinserted the two FP tags.

Page Properties - Custom

Best thing to do is work with an initial test page for your web. You can experiment with the preferences and see which ones you like. I would strongly suggest using the format I've got set up as it makes for some very clean and optimized html. It also puts you one step closer in the transition to xhtml.

For detailed specifics on these procedures, visit WebmasterWorld and view this topic...

Things to be aware of when using FrontPage


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