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Chapter 6. Giving Your Web a Theme > Troubleshooting - Pg. 137

Giving Your Web a Theme Each FrontPage theme has an information file (.INF) and Cascading Style Sheets file (.CSS) associated with it. You can find these files in the Templates\1033\css directory of the file in which you installed Office XP (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\ by de- fault). Tip 137 Troubleshooting Visitors Seeing Different Hyperlink Colors When visitors load a page from your Web, they might see hyperlink colors that are different from those you've specified in the Modify Theme dialog. If you set up a theme you feel is perfect, but some visitors comment on your site in a way that tells you they don't see the theme, remember this point: All users can change features such as back- ground images and hyperlink colors through the preferences or option menus of their browsers. You have no control over this, although most users are unlikely to change these options at all. Still, it's worth remembering, and worth pointing out to visitors if they tell you your site looks different from the way you have designed it. You can change hyperlink colors through the Themes dialog box. If you do so, test your Web on as many different resolutions and color settings as you can. If a user has a system that works in 800×600 resolution with 16 colors, subtle differences in hyperlink colors simply won't show up. There's also a possibility--and hardly an uncommon one--that the visitor might have some degree of colorblindness, enough to render the distinctions visually meaningless. Design Corner: Setting the Tone with Themes The first thing to realize about themes is their strengths and their weaknesses. They can be an enormous help in getting a design started, but they can also establish limits in your mind about how the design can proceed. After you have a theme in place, thinking of your Web any other way is difficult. What can happen so easily is that you let the theme dictate the way you design the infor- mation and the interfaces for the Web. Although that can work fine for a personal Web, you don't want it to happen with a Web that's for your organization. Those Webs need designs tailored to the organization's image and offerings. For these reasons, you should become familiar with what themes do by building a few sample corporate presence and discussion Webs. These Webs provide a wizard that, among many other things, lets you decide on a theme for that Web. As soon as you know how they work, use one of these samples as a basis for modifying themes using the modification features on the Themes dialog box. Then, create a Web with no theme and add individual themes to the individual pages, modifying all of them to achieve some design effect (navigation bar, background image, and so on). To see how to build a site using the Corporate Presence and Discussion Web wizards, see Creating a Web: Templates and Wizards The idea behind all of this is to keep thinking of themes as a starting point, not as a finished design element. In other words, treat them as a helpful tool, but not as a restriction to your own sense of design. The problem with them is that they're so helpful they can easily become relied upon, and that's not the idea behind them.