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Switching from FrontPage to KompoZer - page 3

Dangerous Confessions

  • November 24, 2008
  • By Eric Geier

There're many features you'll miss from FrontPage. However, with some effort you can get similar functionality in KompoZer. To get you started, here are workarounds for several lacking features:

  • Forms and database connectivity - Getting form results, such as from a contact us or signup form, to email or post to a database in FrontPage was pretty easy for the average, when FrontPage Extensions were installed on the web server. Unfortunately, KompoZer doesn't offer anything more than placing form boxes and buttons on the page, just like most other HTML editors. For this emailing or database functionality, you can search the web for PHP, ASP, or CGI scripts. Then incorporate the scripts into your pages. The same applies to other features or components in FrontPage that require the extensions or integrated scripts.
  • Themes - Themes in the sense of what FrontPage provided is not available in KompoZer, where you can pick a website layout and apply it across all your web pages. Under the Tools menu there is a Themes feature, however, this is for the KompoZer GUI; skins for the application. For similar functionality of FrontPage's Themes feature you can create a CSS scheme. CSS though only provides formatting management. You'll have to go elsewhere for buttons and banners. You can try googling web art or you may also want to check into CSS templates, such as what FreeCSSTemplates.org provides.
  • Clip art - Like most other Microsoft programs, you could add their clip art and digital photos to your pages in FrontPage. In KompoZer, you could use other free clip art you find on the web or, if you hold a license for a Microsoft Office product still, you can use their media. If you haven't checked out their content lately, you may be surprised. Among the ol' generic clip art they have very nice digital photos.
  • Frames - KompoZer does not support frames, like FrontPage does. KompoZer is among many others that discourage the use of frames. Instead, using CSS and div elements are preferred by some. Using inline frames, the HTML iframe element, is also a possibility.
  • Auto spellcheck - You may have noticed the Check Spelling feature off of the Edit menu, however, did you known you can also enable it to check as you write, like FrontPage and other Microsoft products? Simply click Tools > Options > Advanced and click the Underline Misspelled Words checkbox. Now words you goof up, or aren't in the application's dictionary, will be underlined in red. You'll still have to run the Check Spelling feature from the toolbar to see recommendations.
  • Bookmarks - KompoZer calls bookmarks Named Anchors. Just like in FrontPage, you can tag certain spots on your web pages, so you can create a hyperlink not only to a page, but one of the tagged spots. To mark a spot, click Insert > Named Anchor, enter a name into the dialog box, and click OK. To point a hyperlink that's on the same page to the location, choose the desired Named Anchor from the dropdown list� for the Link Location field on the Link Properties dialog, such as Figure 3 shows. To hyperlink to the spot from another web page, you'll have to manually enter the Named Anchor after the filename of the Link Location. For instance, if the Named Anchor is section1 and the filename is services.htm, you would enter services.htm#section1. You always follow the filename with a pound sign, then the Named Anchor name.
  • Background sound - In FrontPage, you could specify a sound file from the Page Properties, to be played after the web page loads. Though KompoZer doesn't have this setting, you can still manually insert the HTML tag. To do so, click the Source tab in KompoZer and between the head tags insert . Then replace SOUNDFILE with the path to a .wav, .mid, .ram, .ra, .aif, or .au audio file. Leave the loop value as is if you want the audio clip to play over and over, otherwise specify the amount of times you want it to loop.
  • Page transitions -�As with the background sound, KompoZer lacks a page transition setting to apply effects such as to box in, wipe, or dissolve the page when the page entered or exited. Again, you can still manually insert the HTML tag, such as , between a page's head tags. This example will do a� random one second transition when loading the page. To display them when visitors leave, you can use Page-Exit instead of Page-Enter; or both, if you insert two lines. You can reference a list of possible transitions if you prefer.

Support and Help for KompoZer

This tutorial should have given you a jump start to your transition or introduction to KompoZer, particularly if you are or were a FrontPage user. Now you should be a bit more comfortable. Start creating those pages and sites!

If you find you need help on using a certain feature, check out the application's built-in Help or refer to the online user guide. Additionally, for live human assistance on features, or even your coding, visit the discussion forum.

Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft? Windows Vista (Que 2007).


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