FrontPage 2002 Tutorials - Adding functionality to your website with FrontPage 2002. Part I.
by Tina Clarke
(some tutorials cover FrontPage 2000 as well)
~TOC - Table of Contents
Every site needs a table of contents or site map; some people call it an index. It not only lets visitors know what's on your web but also lets them know just where to find it. For SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes it's an absolute must.
There are a few different ways of making a TOC
- Based on the navigational structure of your site
- Based on categories assigned to your pages
Either, offer lots of scope with added extras.
Creating a Table of Contents based on navigation structure:
You can either use the Wizard to create a TOC:
File | New | Page or Web and the ‘New page or list’ box springs up on the right hand side from there you can choose under ‘New from Template’ – ‘Page templates’ and select the ‘Table of Contents’ page from the ‘Page Templates’ Dialog box.
This creates a page with links to every document in your web, displayed in an outline format.
Or you can choose to insert a web component:
In page View, position the cursor where you want to produce the TOC on your page.
Go to Insert | Web Component and the ‘Insert Web Component’ Dialog box springs up, choose ‘Table of Contents’ from under the left hand pane of ‘Component type’ and on the right hand pane click ‘For this web site’ and click Finish.
Having used the wizard all you need to do is double click the web component to bring up the Table of Contents Properties box in order to customise it, if you inserted the component the box is now ready and waiting.
Customising the Table of Contents:
PAGE URL FOR STARTING POINT OF TABLE – This specifies the URL from where you want the TOC to collect it’s information, you could specify a page in a folder but then it would only index the pages within the folder to cover the entire web you need to enter the file of the homepage.
HEADING FONT SIZE - This adjusts the size of the heading the smaller the number the larger the text and vice versa when you change the heading number, the phrase ‘Table of Contents Heading page’ will change it’s text size in FrontPage and the homepage or the first page you inserted will replace this text when the page is next previewed in the browser. If you are creating a TOC on the same page as the starting point (homepage or index.htm) you should avoid creating a link that connects a page to itself, so click 'None' in the ‘Heading Font Size’ box.
SHOW EACH PAGE ONLY ONCE – This allows you to get FrontPage to display each page only once if your pages are linked to multiple hyperlinks.
SHOW PAGES WITH NO INCOMING HYPERLINKS – selecting this option includes pages that are not pointed to by any of the hyperlinks in your web from the homepage.
RECOMPUTE TABLE OF CONTENTS WHEN ANY OTHER PAGE IS EDITED – This allows FrontPage to automatically edit and reconfigure your TOC when any page in your web is edited, it can take time so the better option is to keep it unchecked and just save the page which recomputes it manually.
Click OK to insert the Table of Contents.
Is there anyway to tweak the TOC further? Not without a add-on called MenuPlus so if you want to be able to choose to specify a wide range of options, including the maximum levels down to show and whether to start from the web root, the current page or some other page you specify. For each entry, as well as the link itself, you can choose to include descriptive text which comes from the contents of the Summary tab in Navigation View page properties. You can choose whether or not to include bookmarks: these appear as children of the containing page. A neat feature (which needs the page to have a theme applied in order to work) is that you can adjust the "spread" - i.e. how far each level is indented - by means of a slider ranging from 'Narrow' to 'Wide'.
The version sold is 3.5 but there is a Updated version for FrontPage 2003 - menuplus v3.6, you will need to ask the webmaster if he is able to provide it!
Creating a Table of Contents based on Page category:
By using this feature you can categorise pages from the Folders view and FrontPage keeps track of all the files that belong to the same category, and by using the Table of contents component’s based on ‘Page Category’ selection you can display pages of like categories in a table of contents.
Firstly we need to categorise some pages in order to create the TOC. Click the folders buttons on the View bar and right click the page you want to assign to a category, click properties, which will open the ‘Page Properties’ Dialog box. Click the ‘Workgroup’ tab; in the ‘Available Categories’ box click the category you want to assign to this page.
You can select multiple categories so that a single page can appear in multiple categories on your site map.
NOTE: If you want to add or remove a category, click the Categories button on the workgroup tab, you can enter a new category then click the add button or select a category and click the remove button in the Master Category List’ Dialog box that springs up, click the ok button to return to the ‘Page Properties’ Dialog box.
Click the OK button and the category is assigned, repeat these steps for each page that you want to assign a category.
TIP: If you want to select a bunch of pages for the same category you can use the reports feature. Click View | Reports | Categories or choose Categories if the Reporting toolbar is active. When the Categories report appears, click the ‘Type’ column header and select htm.
You can select files either by clicking the first one you want and holding down SHIFT and then clicking the last file you want this selects all files in-between or holding down the CONTROL key and select individual files here and there. Once you have your selection just right click on any selected file and choose properties and follow through as above.
When you have your categories selected you can now create a TOC. Open up the page you intend to insert the component in. Type the name of the category (for example, "FrontPage Resources") as a heading for the list of files in that category.
TIP: The heading doesn't have to be the same as the category name. For example, if your category is "FrontPage Resources," you can type a heading such as "FrontPage Resources Section."
Next select Insert | Web component, the ‘Insert Web Component’ Dialog box appears. | In the left pane, click the Table of Contents and in the right pane click the ‘based on Page Category’. | Click the Finish button and the ‘Categories Properties’ Dialog box opens. | You can then select the categories whose pages you want to appear in your table of contents, these selected categories will appear in the ‘Selected Categories’ box.
In the ‘Sort files by drop-down’ box, you have two options:
To sort the list alphabetically, select ‘Document title’
To sort the list by file date, select ‘Date last modified’
Under’ Include the following information’, click the check boxes if you want to display the Date the file was last modified or any Comments added to the file.
Repeat the steps above for each category list that you want to include on your site map. Click the OK button and your TOC appears in Page View.
Click Preview in Browser to test the site map.
Your site map will be updated automatically whenever you add files to, or remove files from, a category.
By Tina Clarke
First Published in
ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers
Volume 9, February 2002