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Frontpage external CSS

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Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) were introduced way back in 1996. A cascading style sheet is a set of instructions called styles in a linked external file or within the source code of a page that tells a browser how to render page elements - text color and sizes, page backgrounds, tables etc.  they are very similar to MS Word styles and its a shame that even FrontPage 2003 does not handle external styles gracefully: it makes available only paragraph styles in the style selection windows on the toolbar (as well as in a special class selection window of the style toolbar). 

Another Frontpage idiosyncrasy is the it automatically copies and make internal style sheet is you cut and paste a clip from a web page. This is very annoying feature as you need to delete this stylesheet each time you past the clipping.

The most basic way of using CCS is to specify using them typical types of paragraphs. for example instead of

<blockquote><p><font size="2" face="Arial">

...text...

</font></p></blockquote>

you can use paragraph style:

p.quote { font-family: arial; font-size: 10pt; margin-left: 50pt }

By using a linked stylesheet you only need to change one file and then the entire site would be updated. Also if you decided to change the font to Helvetica 10, you do not need to edit all pages. You can do it in the external stylesheet. Generally using external stylesheet makes HTML markup tidier.  Styles can also help to parameterize fonts, for example:

<font class="normal">

Styles are essentially a parameterless macros and you can imitate them (and do much more) using macroprogramming. Here is a function that can add an HTML to the page:

In FrontPage 2003, FrontPage 2002, and FrontPage 2000, this function adds any HTML content to a specified document, either appending to or replacing the document. It does this by creating an IHTMLTxtRange object from the body element of the FPHTMLDocument object. If the argument for the blnClearPage parameter is True, the entire contents between the opening and closing <body> tags is replaced; otherwise, the HTML is appended to the bottom of the current content, before the closing <body> tag.

The objects used in this example are as follows:

Public Function AddHTMLToPage(objPage As FPHTMLDocument, _
        strHTMLtext As String, blnClearPage As Boolean) As Boolean

    Dim objRange As IHTMLTxtRange
    Dim objBody As FPHTMLBody

    On Error GoTo ErrorHandler

    If blnClearPage Then
        Set objRange = objPage.all.tags("BODY").Item(0).createTextRange
        ' clear out the current document

        If blnClearPage Then
            Call objRange.pasteHTML("")
        End If

        objRange.collapse False
        Set objRange = Nothing
    End If

    Set objBody = objPage.body
    objBody.innerHTML = objBody.innerHTML & strHTMLtext & vbCrLf

    AddHTMLToPage = True

ExitFunction:
    Exit Function

ErrorHandler:
    'Could not insert HTML.
    AddHTMLToPage = False
    GoTo ExitFunction

End Function

'Use the following subroutine to call the preceding function.
Sub CallAddHTMLToPage()

    Dim strHTMLString As String
    strHTMLString = "<P><B><I>BLAH</I></B></P>" + vbCrLf

    Call AddHTMLToPage(ActiveDocument, strHTMLString, True) 
End Sub

External stylesheet is a text file with the extension .css that contains a series of styles. When a page in the web links to this file, the browser reads the stylesheet before rendering the page. To attach a CSS file in FrontPage:

You can have one "master" stylesheet for you website and several "ad-on" stylesheet that are necessary only for a few pages. That prevents from putting in the mater stylesheet too many styles that are not used by the most pages.

Also you probably should avoid excessive zeal in using this feature. Stylesheets are a good tool but overused they make coding less transparent instead of more transparent.

External CSS are typically located in a special directory, for example CSS

Frontpage 2003 support of external style sheets is weak. It does not import definitions into menus.

  1. In Page view, at the bottom of the document window, click Design
  2. On the Format menu, click Style Sheet Links, and then click Add.
  3. Locate and click the .css file for the external (external cascading style sheet: A cascading style sheet in a file with a .css file name extension.
  4. , and then click OK.
  5. Do one of the following:

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Inline Elements - Adding Style using the <span></span> Element

Want to be able to add <span class=""></span> elements without hand coding? Do this...

When working with frontpage and CSS, you have to be very specific with your stylesheets. If you want inline elements to appear in your formatting menu (as inline elements), you need to precede your classes with [b]span[/b]. For example, let's say you want to make a word blue. You would need something like this in your stylesheet...

span.blue{color:#369;background:#fff;}

Once you append the [b]span[/b] to the class, that will now appear in FP's styling menu with an a (with underscore) symbol to the left of it. This means that it is an inline element. Block level elements have a ∂ to the left of them which means they are block level.

If your style sheets have generic classes that start with a dot (.), they will appear in the menu without the a or ∂ symbols and will be treated as if they were block level elements.

FP's styling menu is sorted in a specific way. All of your predefined block level elements will appear at the top of the list. Then your generic classes will appear (in alphabetical order). And then your specific block and inline classes will appear at the bottom, in alphabetical order.



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Last modified: March, 12, 2019