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As a childhood fan of old-time radio shows like The Shadow and Orson Welles's infamous War of the Worlds broadcast, I often wondered what it must have been like to create a new mass medium from scratch. The creators of radio entertainment in the 1930s and 1940s were operating without a rulebook—the possibilities before them in the “theater of the mind” were limited only by their imaginations, actors, and the need for a good sound effects person.

When the World Wide Web came into our lives in the mid-1990s, I didn't have to wonder any longer. In the space of a few years, a quiet corner of the Internet grew into a mass medium to which millions of people turn for information.

People are using this amazing new medium to shop, learn, communicate, play, and teach. A network that once was occupied by a few thousand scholars, students, and military officials is now as ubiquitous as television. People who don't even own computers are familiar with Internet companies such as Amazon.com, Yahoo!, and eBay. Thousands of new Web sites are launched each day by a variety of publishers—corporations, small businesses, organizations, and individuals.

Millions of people are putting themselves and their companies on the Web, even if they don't consider themselves “computer geeks” by any stretch of the imagination, publishing interesting sites for people all over the world.

If you want to be one of those people, you've picked up the right book.

What Is FrontPage 2003?

FrontPage 2003 is the brand-spanking-new version of Microsoft's Web site creation tool, one of the most popular and easy-to-use programs of its kind.

The best thing about the software is all the things it prevents you from learning.

That might sound like a knock, but it's a compliment: A person who uses FrontPage 2003 can publish on the World Wide Web without learning any of the following:

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

  • Dynamic HTML

  • JavaScript

  • Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programming

  • Active Server Pages (ASP)

You don't need to learn any of these Web design languages and technologies because FrontPage 2003 does all it for you. When you work on a Web site in FrontPage, you edit it in a visual point-and-click environment that's similar to Microsoft Word. Web design features that are the stock in trade of professional Web designers can be implemented in FrontPage with a few mouse clicks.

Who Should Use FrontPage 2003?

FrontPage, now in its sixth major release from Microsoft, is also a tightly integrated part of Microsoft Office, the most popular productivity suite in the world.

You might be familiar with FrontPage 2002, FrontPage 98, or another older version of the software. FrontPage has always been one of the most popular Web-editing tools because it makes creating a Web page as easy as writing a letter in Microsoft Word.

Whether you are a business owner launching an online store, a high school student publishing fledgling literary efforts, or an armchair pundit seeking to share your political views on a weblog, you can benefit from FrontPage's sophisticated editing, publishing, and site-maintenance capabilities.

Who Should Use This Book?

FrontPage 2003 makes it simple to master the complex tasks required of a Web publisher, but you must first learn a bit about the software itself.

The fastest way to do this is with Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft FrontPage 2003 in 24 Hours.

During 24 one-hour lessons, you'll develop hands-on skills with each feature of FrontPage 2003:

  • Creating new Web sites quickly with templates, themes, and wizards

  • Editing Web pages exactly as they will appear in a browser—a feature known as WYSIWYG, or “What You See Is What You Get”

  • Turning on and off features of FrontPage 2003, depending on the Web browsers used by your audience

  • Adding interactive capabilities such as discussion sites, surveys, and feedback pages

  • Editing digital photos and other graphics within FrontPage instead of using an image-editing program

  • Publishing your own weblog site and using XML data created by another Office program, two of more than a dozen new features introduced in FrontPage 2003 that are covered in this book

  • Connecting your Web site to a Microsoft Access database

  • Integrating your Web seamlessly with the other programs in the Office 2003 suite

  • Bringing existing sites into FrontPage 2003 without altering their appearance

  • Telling FrontPage 2003 what you want and letting the software figure out how to implement it through sophisticated Web technology such as Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, and Active Server Pages

Creating a FrontPage Web site has never been easier.

Whether you're using FrontPage 2003 at your office, home, or home office, Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft FrontPage 2003 provides the skills you need to publish your own Web sites.

By the time you've completed the lessons in this book, you'll be taking part in the same publishing revolution that has spawned billions of pages, including well-known sites such as Yahoo! and ESPN.com, and more unusual fare such as Rocklopedia Fakebandica.

For several years, the writer T. Mike has been compiling the delightfully pointless Rocklopedia Fakebandica, an encyclopedia of musicians and musical groups that don't exist—fictional artists mentioned on TV shows and movies. If you'd like to know more about the Wonders and Cap'n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters (from That Thing You Do), or Johnny Bravo and the Silver Platters (from The Brady Bunch), visit the encyclopedia at http://www.vgg.com/tp/tp_080700_fakeband.html.

As you read this book, you'll also become well acquainted with one of the first Web sites created with FrontPage 2003: this book's site, at http://www.frontpage24.com. My site for the book contains the following features:

  • Updates to the material covered in the book

  • Links for any Web site mentioned in the book that has moved

  • Answers to questions commonly asked by other readers

  • A way to contact author Rogers Cadenhead with your own questions, comments, and corrections

You will also find information on this book at http://www.samspublishing.com.

By the time you finish Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft FrontPage 2003 in 24 Hours, you'll be equally surprised by how much FrontPage 2003 can do for you. It can make Web sites much easier to create and manage, letting you focus on the content you want to publish and the audience you want to reach.

How to Use This Book

Each lesson of this book should take you approximately an hour to learn. The book is designed to get you productively working in FrontPage 2003 as quickly as possible. There are numerous figures to illustrate the lessons in the book.

Each lesson begins with an overview and a list of topics. The lesson ends with questions and answers and a summary of the hour. Within the lessons, you'll find the following elements, which provide additional information:

Notes provide extra information on the current topic.

Tips offer a particularly useful technique for using FrontPage 2003.

Cautions put up a “danger” sign for potential problems, giving you advice about how to avoid or repair them.

You will also find a helpful Summary section at the end of the chapter that will give you a concise review of what you learned in that lesson. Following the Summary is a Q&A section where you can find answers to some common questions regarding the content of that lesson.

“New to 2003” notes point out something that's new in this version of FrontPage.

Code listings will be in this style of font:

Hello World!

Text that you are to type into a page or dialog box will appear in this style of font to help you pick it out of the surrounding text: Hello World!

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