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Tutorial Frontpage 2003

Tutorial Frontpage 2003

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Using FrontPage 2003 to Create Accessible Web Content
file:///d:/Microsoft/Using%20FrontPage%202003%20to%20Create%...
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www.webaim.org
Using FrontPage 2003 to Create Accessible
Web Content
Author: Jon Whiting
Date: November 2004
Contents
Introduction

New Accessibility Features in FrontPage 2003
CSS support
Improved XHTML support
Accessibility evaluator

Creating Accessible Content
Change the default template to one that is valid
Addingalt attributes to images
Creating accessible client-side image maps
Defining table headers
Adding labels to form elements
Giving titles to frames
Adding headings and subheadings

Introduction
FrontPage is one of the most popular HTML editors on the market. There are several reasons for this:

The price is relatively low when compared to Dreamweaver or many other editors.
Its MS Office interface will be familiar to many people.
It has a powerful Spell Checker and other proofing tools.
It integrates with Office products like Word.

Just like every tool, FrontPage does have its weaknesses:
The default template you use when starting a new Web page is not compliant with HTML standards

(more on this below).
Changing an element's properties can sometimes take several steps.
Some basic accessibility features must still be added manually (more on this below).

Despite some of these shortcomings, it is definitely possible to create accessible Web pages in
FrontPage, often without leaving the WYSIWYG environment.
Using FrontPage 2003 to Create Accessible Web Content
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Note: Though many of the accessibility features are the same, this article focuses on
FrontPage 2003 and not on previous versions. Read the archived tutorial, Using FrontPage
2000 to Create Accessible Content.
New Accessibility Features in FrontPage 2003
CSS support

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) support has been greatly improved in FrontPage 2003. Not only can you use layers for CSS layout, but you can also create CSS-based templates and themes. You can also preview your CSS-based layout in the design view.

Improved XHTML support

Frontpage offers improved, but incomplete, support for XHTML. While there are are no features to actually create XHTML pages in the WYSIWYG view, FrontPage incorporates XHTML elements, like lowercase tags and the use of CSS for layout. You can also create XHTML documents in code view as well as edit XHTML documents created in another program.

Accessibility evaluator
FrontPage includes an accessibility evaluator. To use it, click on Tools > Accessibility (F8). A dialog
box will appear with several options:
Check where: You can choose to check all pages in the site, all open pages, selected open pages, or
the page you are currently working on.
Check for: You can choose to evaluate your page(s) according to WCAG Priority 1 guidelines,
WCAG Priority 2 guidelines, Section 508 standards, or all of them.
Show:Errors\u2014Definite accessibility problems, similar to the issues marked in red in The Wave.
Warnings\u2014Possible accessibility problems, similar to the issues marked in yellow inThe
Wave.
Manual Checklist\u2014This is a list of potential accessibility problems that this checker cannot
detect, but should be checked by the developer.
Using FrontPage 2003 to Create Accessible Web Content
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Once you have chosen your preferences, select theCheck button. FrontPage will generate a report
that lists the page name, line number, checkpoint and summary. From here, you can either review the
issues in the report window or you can generate an HTML version of the report by selecting theGenerate

HTML Report button. The HTML Report feature creates a more visually-pleasing, checklist-style report
that you can save and review later.
Creating Accessible Content

Many of the following accessibility techniques are possible in the WYSIWYG environment, but
sometimes it is necessary to make the changes to the HTML code itself. Before FrontPage 2000, you
would sometimes make a change to the code, only to have FrontPage change it back. This isn't really a
problem anymore, but if you are using a pre-2000 version of FrontPage, upgrading will provide you with
many additional accessibility features.

Unless it is indicated that a feature is new to FrontPage 2003, all of the following
techniques are possible in FrontPage 2000 through 2003.
Change the default template to one that is valid

One of the strengths of FrontPage is its ability to create templates. When you create an accessible
template, you can reuse the same template for your whole site (or at least for the appropriate parts of your
site). By reusing templates, you only have to worry about the parts of your site that are not included in the
generic template.

Many Web developers use scripting languages such as Java Server Pages, PHP, Perl, Cold Fusion
and others to create templates. These languages allow for great flexibility and programmability\u2014much
more than FrontPage's template and theme features. Still, the concept is the same: use templates, and make
them accessible.

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