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Microsoft FrontPage to Expression Web

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Microsoft FrontPage to Expression Web

Transitioning to Microsoft® Expression® Web from Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003

Published: March 2007

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FrontPage is being replaced by Microsoft Expression Web, a professional Web authoring tool with features that help you design, develop, and maintain exceptional standards-based Web sites. Expression Web’s interface is similar to FrontPage, making it easier for FrontPage users to transition to Expression Web, but Expression Web comes with many new, different tools—and the ability to customize the interface layout—to help Web designers and developers work more efficiently.

FrontPage users who are interested in bringing their Web sites to higher levels of sophistication and standards compliancy will find Expression Web an invaluable tool for developing Web sites.


Summary 2

Contents 3

Introduction 1

Differences between FrontPage and Expression Web 2

Introducing Expression Web 4

The Expression Web Interface 5

Web Standards and Expression Web 9

Building Standards-Based Web Sites with
Expression Web 10

Checking for Compatibility and Accessibility 13

Working with FrontPage Web Components in Expression Web 15

Themes and Shared Borders 23

Other FrontPage Server Extension-based Features 35

Conclusion 37

Appendix A 38

Appendix B 45

Appendix C 46


After ten years of being an award-winning Web authoring tool, FrontPage has been discontinued. FrontPage has been among the most popular what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) Web site creation tools since Microsoft released FrontPage 97 in late 1996. With its innovative use of server-side script and familiar user interface, FrontPage enabled users to create Web sites quickly and easily.

As the Internet industry has grown, so has the level of sophistication of the average Web site, and so have the expectations of Web designers and developers regarding the tools at their disposal. More and more, the industry is moving toward standards-based Web design as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). FrontPage served a significant need during its product lifetime. However, as the Web has evolved, so have the needs and expectations of Web designers and developers regarding tools such as FrontPage.

FrontPage is being replaced with two great new tools for application building and Web authoring. For FrontPage users who work with sites built on the Microsoft SharePoint® platform, there is Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007. (For more information about SharePoint Designer, see the SharePoint Designer home page on Office Online.) For FrontPage users who develop non-SharePoint sites, there is Microsoft Expression Web, a professional Web authoring tool with features that help you design, develop, and maintain exceptional standards-based Web sites.

With Expression Web and FrontPage installed on the same computer, you can continue to manage your FrontPage Web site and use the new tools and features included in Expression Web to take your FrontPage to the next level by transitioning to standards-based practices.

Expression Web isn’t simply FrontPage in a fancy new package with a new name. Built with Web standards in mind, there are significant differences in how Expression Web works, all of which relate to building sites that are up-to-date with today’s standards and technologies.

To help you make the leap not only to Expression Web but also into the world of Web standards, this document:

  • Outlines the differences between FrontPage 2003 and Expression Web.

  • Introduces the Expression Web workspace.

  • Discusses Web standards.

  • Provides information on how to work with your existing site, including FrontPage Web components, themes, and shared borders, in Expression Web.

  • Introduces ASP.NET support and data integration available in Expression Web.

In an effort to provide you with practical, useful information, we’ve included links to third-party sites and solutions. Please note: Microsoft provides this third-party information to help you find the technical information that you need. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. Third-party Web addresses (URLs) are subject to change without notice.

Differences between FrontPage and Expression Web

Expression Web builds on FrontPage 2003 technologies to provide an unprecedented level of support for creating standards-based Web sites. However, one of the objectives of Expression Web is to help you create high-quality Web sites based on today’s standards and technologies. This means that non-standards-compliant features and functionality that were familiar tools in FrontPage do not exist in Expression Web.

Web Components

One of the first things you might notice as a FrontPage user is the absence of Web components in Expression Web. While Web components were an important feature in early versions of FrontPage, they were also code heavy (resulting in slow download times), difficult to customize, and they generated proprietary code that was far from standards-compliant. Much of the functionality that FrontPage Web components provided are now provided in new and often easily customized ways by Web-based services. For example, there are now multiple sites that make it possible to store, sort, and share your photographs in ways that were not possible when the Photo Gallery component in FrontPage was developed.

If your existing site uses Web components, you can still edit those components using Expression Web. However, you won’t be able to add new Web components. For more information on working with existing Web components in Expression Web, or to find new and better ways to provide similar functionality, see the section entitled Working with FrontPage Web components with Expression Web.

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