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The web is the quintessential communication tool, and many businesses depend on it to get out their corporate messages, both to their customers and to their employees. The web is certainly easy enough to use; browsing from site to site has become second nature for many of us. However, until now, putting information on the web has been left to the webmasters: the designers, developers, and programmers who code in HTML, JavaScript, and a host of other software languages.

Until now, the people who needed to get the information online the most had to rely on the experts to publish the content to the web.

Now, there's Macromedia Contribute, and anyone can publish to the web.

Contribute is an easy-to-use program that lets you update, modify, and expand the pages on your Internet or intranet site. If you know how to use a word processor and a browser, you'll be comfortable with Contribute. Roadmap to Macromedia Contribute was written to get you up to speed with Contribute quickly and to help you get the most out of the program as you work with it.

Dreamweaver Sites, FrontPage Sites, and All Others Welcome!

Contribute is an equal-opportunity program; it can work as easily with sites created in Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe GoLive, or Macromedia Dreamweaver. Any site—whether on the global Internet or local intranet—is compatible, as long as the site pages are written in valid HTML. Although it's true that some of the special proprietary code of programs such as FrontPage cannot be changed, in most cases such code is used to handle site-wide navigation and other elements that content contributors shouldn't be able to alter in the first place.

Are You a Contributor?

Does the work you do get published to the web? Are you responsible for keeping sections of your site up-to-date? Do you wish you had more control over what gets published and when? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are Contribute can help you get your work done more efficiently and with far less hassle, and Roadmap to Macromedia Contribute shows you how to get there.

Getting Your Hands on Contribute

If you don't have Contribute yet but want to see if the program is for you, Macromedia has a fully functional online trial available at http://www.macromedia.com/software/contribute/download. After you've installed the trial version of Contribute, use the Test Drives in this book to get a real feel for the software.

Take the Test Drive!

How do you familiarize yourself with a new car? You take a test drive, of course. So, how can you get comfortable using Contribute? You can take the Test Drive, naturally.

The Test Drive is a special element of this book that lets you try out all the features of Contribute in a controlled online environment.

Cross Reference

In Chapter 1, “Test Driving Macromedia Contribute,” you'll learn all you need to connect to a fictional hospital's website. After you're connected, you can use Contribute to modify existing pages, create new ones, and immediately publish your work. You can even browse to the pages and see your completed efforts live on the web.

In addition to the first chapter, you'll find Test Drive sections throughout the book. Each Test Drive is designed to give you practical experience in a real world environment; you'll learn Contribute by actually using it. Moreover, you can learn the program safely, without fear of needlessly modifying your own pages.


The Test Drives have been designed so that many people can simultaneously be working on the site, editing and publishing pages. To avoid the conflict of two or more people trying to edit the same page, many of the Test Drives ask that you make a copy of an existing page on the site and work with that. When it's time to publish the page, be sure to personalize the filename; where you see an instruction like this:

In the File Name field, enter policy by [your name].htm.

substitute your own name—first initial and last name should do it—where it says [your name]. This ensures that the filenames are unique as well.

Special Book Features

We've designed Roadmap to Macromedia Contribute to be easy to use, just like Contribute. Throughout the book, in addition to the Test Drives, you'll find special content marked with a variety of symbols:


Notes are supplementary information chosen to enhance your understanding of the subject at hand.


Take note of any Tips that come your way, but only if you want to get the inside scoop, do your work more quickly, and stay ahead of the crowd.


Make sure you read any Cautions carefully; they contain critical information and could help you avoid a degree of trouble.

Cross Reference

Cross-references point you to other sections of the book where you'll find more in-depth information on the current topic.

Not sure of your techno-speak? You'll find a glossary in the back of the book aimed to clear up any terminology issues. Additionally, we've italicized these terms the first time they appear in the text.


If you get stuck or can't figure something out, feel free to drop me a line at help@roadmap2contribute.com. I'll get back to you just as soon as I can and get you going again.

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