FrontPage 2003 + Template w/CSS = Big Problem for Real Expert


G

Guest

This problem is a little difficult to explain. Basically FrontPage is
changing my WebPages depending on whether I open the Index page first or a
page in a folder first. Another observation is FrontPage will display a
webpage correctly, but when I preview the page in a browser, it looks
different. It also looks different if I publish it to my website and it
looks different if I preview it in FrontPage. It is definitely NOT the
differences in Browsers or other obvious small variations. It definitely has
something to do with the .CSS file in the template that I have been using.
Somehow, something changed and the .CSS file in the template appears to not
always get found. It doesn't appear to be a server or FP extension problem as
it also changes when I local preview. Let me regress a little, just in case
it is relevant.

I originally installed FP on D: because space was limited on C: and then I
lost my D: disk beyond recovery. When I reinstalled FP, I installed it on
Drive C: I started using folders and the first sign of trouble was when I
noticed that the shared border at the bottom did not show the color that I
used, if I opened a page in the folder first. None of the pages showed the
correct color. If I opened the Index page first, it would show the color and
every other page would also show correctly. This was acceptable and I kept
working and adding pages.

The real problem first showed up when FP would NOT upload to the server and
I had to uninstall FP server extensions (on a Unix host). For some horrible
reason when ever I have had to do this, I always had to delete my website,
reinstall FP Server extension and then re-upload my website. This is when I
first noticed that some of my pages did not look right. For example I use
Black bars with white letters on my Product Catalog page. They had Blue bars
like the rest of my site. And many of the paragraphs had the fonts changed.
In FP itself, the page was correct and still is.

One last note: I was able to straighten out some of it by selecting the
text that looked right, but would display differently and then reselecting
the Style. This did not work on all of the pages. I also noticed that
different Style list seemed to be found for different pages, even though all
the pages had the same code line <meta name="Microsoft Theme"
content="experience 1011, default">

I think the resolution of this problem will require interaction so if you'll
send me you phone number at junkmail <at> northcarolina.usa.com I will call
you. And even though you offer you valuable help for free, I would not be
apposed to a reasonable gratuity for your extra time and effort. Thanks
 
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G

Guest

Frank, I'm not expert enough to have an answer for you, but wanted to share
what might be some clues. If you find an answer to this problem, would you
please let me know? Anyway, here's more for an expert:

I am having a similar problem in FrontPage 2002, so it is not your version.
And, I don't think it's the servers or extensions. It happens even when all
the CSS files are in place on the server and the correct code is in them. It
doesn't seem to me like a 'not found' issue exactly--more like an 'ignored
under certain circumstances' issue.

For example, it seems that if I set a background image and/or color in a
shared border, it saves correctly and my pages display correctly in both
Normal & Preview modes, but not if I view the page directly with my browser
or after I publish the page. I can open the files in _border and see that
the HTML has been modified to include my background image or color. The
weirdness is that if I modify the HTML in the border directly--anywhere in
the file, the background image and color that I set with the 'border
properties' option on any page will disappear before my eyes. When I go back
to look at my page, it is still displaying correctly, but if I close and
re-open the file, the background image in the border is gone. If I reset the
background image from any normal page and re-save, I can get the file to
close and re-open without losing the pic. But as soon as I publish the page,
the picture is gone again. I have even directly edited the HTML on the
server (after publishing) in the border page, and though I can see the
picture is specified, it will not display in the browser. It doesn't matter
whether I edit the file with FrontPage or Notepad; the picture will not
display. From this, I inferred the behavior is not limited to CSS in themes.

However, I have also noticed similar behavior with my external CSS pages.
Even though I have them defined, and I can see the code, I cannot get them to
work in FrontPage--with or without a companion theme. If I copy my special
CSS into one of the theme's CSS pages, it still doesn't work.

The only thing that works to change a style is to use 'format theme' to do
your changes. If you can't change what you want through there, it will not
work in the browser--although FrontPage may display it correctly. An
additional annoying thing is that the 'apply using CSS' button in my 'format
theme' dialog is disabled. The compatibility settings are correct, but
anything I do with 'format styles' does not take. Nothing I do turns that
checkbox back on. I have both CSS 1.0 and 2.0 enabled; I can create styles
and edit them. They just don't work.

My theory is that editing styles or borders directly (because the
menu/dialogs don't let you touch a specific attribute or property) corrupts
those odd little pointers that FrontPage stores in all those hidden
directories (e.g. _vtf...). When you open and close files in a different
order, different pointers get accessed, and different results occur. What
you see on the browser would depend at which point you published the site.
The more you try to fix the problem, the more the pointers are corrupted, and
the more different the behavior on the published site becomes.

I've tried completely rebuilding my site from the ground up--twice, but have
not been able to get the look I want without directly editing those HTML and
CSS files. I'm just not expert enough to find a solution by myself.

Anyway, Frank, I've literally spent 30 hours this week alone wrestling with
this problem, so I can relate to your frustration. I hope both of us can
find an answer soon. Good luck.
 
?

=?Windows-1252?Q?Rob_Giordano_\=28Crash_Gordon=AE\

If you are using a Theme you should modify the theme, then Save As a new theme name...disable the old theme...apply the new Theme.
 
G

Guest

Yep. Did all that. I actually created most of a custom theme on a clean
page, first. Then, I disabled the stock theme on my web and reapplied my
custom theme. As I worked with the content on the site, I needed to modify
the custom theme. There were certain attributes I could not access through
Format | Theme; I attempted to edit code directly. I also created custom
style sheets to handle the attributes I couldn't change directly. Some of
these changes displayed okay in FrontPage, but once I published, they no
longer displayed. I can see the code I modified in some cases, but like
Frank said, it seems the applicable CSS is not being used.
 
G

Guest

Thank you Theresa. The only bad info is no info. You gave some very good
additional information, it's just a shame a MS FP Engineer doesn't get
involved to make a permanent fix. The reason I felt it might be selecting
different CSS files is because the drop down style list changes (maybe a
default) and as you say, sometimes there is none. I think your right about
the hidden pointers because I noticed when the site comes up in FP and at
other functions, it takes a bit of time to complete, so FP is updating or
reading something. I tried the following. First of course I backed up my FP
website... :blush:) I deleted the _vti_cnf folder from _borders, _themes and from
the top level directory of my website (also tried deleting all of them. I
then opened FP and just for the sake of argument, I Recalculate Hyperlinks.
This Did NOT work. If I can't get a workable answer here I am going to call
Microthief and pay for help. I know it's a darn bug and I hate the way they
make us pay to find their bugs.
In answer to your problem about changing the sharer borders files directly,
I would expect that to cause a problem because the shared borders need to be
propagated to all pages. FP seems to want you to change one of your pages in
the shared borders section so that when you save the page it knows to do this
and will add a line of code to each of your pages that look something like
this (<meta name="Microsoft Border" content="tb, default">). The tb stands
for top & Bottom. I can't tell you how many times my shared borders got
screwed up because I did not consider the entire website. I only need to
upload ALL my pages and it almost always straightens them out.
The last thing I did was reinstall the template and made it's theme the
default for the website. I seem to have the correct styles in the drop down
style list and the pages all show correctly in the design and the preview
view (again.. only if I open Index.html first), but still does not show all
the styles correctly in browser view. I tried opening the product-catalog
page first and sure enough, the styles list is does not have all the themes
styles in it. I've rethought this after your comments and now I do not think
it is a new style list, but part of the correct one.
Thanks Rob for your suggestion and it certainly was worth a try, but I'll
have to agree with Theresa on this one. It does NOT look like the theme is
corrupted. It look more like FrontPage is NOT reading the entire theme.css
file correctly. If you would like to see the problem use the following link
to open up a word document,
www.roadtrucker.com/FrontPageProblem.doc
<http://www.roadtrucker.com/FrontPageProblem.doc>
The first page shows the styles list and product page (both wrong) if the
product page is opened first. The second page shows the styles list and the
product page (both correct) if index.html is opened first and then the
product page is opened. At least there is consistency.
 
R

Ronx

Background images in shared borders require HTML publishing to a
server running FP2002 extensions, otherwise the shared border
background will be that set for the page, not the border.
Alternatively, place the shared border content in a table, and set the
background for the table.
 
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G

Guest

I had an old website that worked, so copied the theme folder from the good
website to the bad website and it corrected the problem after I Recalculate
Hyperlinks. Interesting thing here is just opening the good website cause a
change in the faulty website. It no longer mattered which file I opened
first, it rendered the pages correctly, but still would not look right in the
browser.
Long story short it turned out to be the theme.css file. A while back, I
tried to modify the theme in FrontPage and it corrupted my website (no
surprise, I have never found an MS developer product that made changes well).
I also added white space to make it easier to read. This worked because it
did pick up the change, but it must have caused FrontPage a problem (perhaps
amplified by later updates). For the life of me I cannot begin to tell you
why it worked correctly when you opened Index.html first or why it can see
the correct file in FrontPage but not when you view it in the browser. Unless
of course the browser is having trouble reading the .CSS file.
Apparently FrontPage does not like you messing with the themes.CSS file. I
think the reason this did not show up is because the server had the previous
theme.css file and FrontPage did not copy the modified one. FrontPage has
problems with upper and lower case letter. Sometimes it can tell the
difference and other times it cannot (for example renaming a folder to
smaller case).
So what is the final solution? I think it is in answering the following
question.
What is the proper way to make corrections or additions to the theme.css
file?
 
?

=?Windows-1252?Q?Rob_Giordano_\=28Crash_Gordon=AE\

Actually FP or Windows doesn't care about upper/lower case, but if you are on a linux/unix server it does...that's why it's best to stick to lowercase, no spaces, no illegal characters in file names...even though Windows doesn't care about most of that.
 
R

Ronx

The correct way to edit the theme CSS is to modify the theme, then
save the modified theme with a new name. Remove the old theme from
your pages and add the new.
If you directly modify a theme CSS file, it will be replaced with the
original when you publish or recalculate hyperlinks.
 
G

Guest

Thanks Ronx. I did try to overwrite the original theme when I modified it (I
had a backup). Is it possible to write CSS code directly? If I wanted to
strip out what I do not use, to make the .CSS smaller, or if I want to add
some custom CSS code, is that possible?
 
R

Ronx

I do not use themes, so am not up to date with what can be deleted or
added.
However, if you do not use the theme's navigation graphics you can
extract the CSS file, and any other graphics (background image,
bullets) that you do use and then remove the theme.
View the page with theme applied in a browser, then view source.
In the <head> section there will be a link similar to:
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"
href="_themes/bluecalm/blue1011.css">

In FrontPage, open the _themes/themename folder and copy the .css file
(blue1011.css in the example) to some other location within your
website. Also copy any images that you may want (the .css file will
have the image names.)

Remove the theme from all pages, then use Format->Style Sheet Links to
link the copied style sheet to all pages.
The stylesheet can be edited in FrontPage as you wish, you will have
to correct the paths to the extracted images.

Note that if you retain the theme, the theme's stylesheet will
over-ride any of your own styles, unless you use classes and/or ids to
keep them unique.
 
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S

Stefan B Rusynko

Yes
See http://sbrenjoy.bizland.com/frontpage/themes/newthemes.html#Granular

--




| Thanks Ronx. I did try to overwrite the original theme when I modified it (I
| had a backup). Is it possible to write CSS code directly? If I wanted to
| strip out what I do not use, to make the .CSS smaller, or if I want to add
| some custom CSS code, is that possible?
|
| "Ronx" wrote:
|
| > The correct way to edit the theme CSS is to modify the theme, then
| > save the modified theme with a new name. Remove the old theme from
| > your pages and add the new.
| > If you directly modify a theme CSS file, it will be replaced with the
| > original when you publish or recalculate hyperlinks.
| > --
| > Ron Symonds
| > Microsoft MVP (FrontPage)
| > Reply only to group - emails will be deleted unread.
| >
| > | > >I had an old website that worked, so copied the theme folder from the
| > >good
| > > website to the bad website and it corrected the problem after I
| > > Recalculate
| > > Hyperlinks. Interesting thing here is just opening the good website
| > > cause a
| > > change in the faulty website. It no longer mattered which file I
| > > opened
| > > first, it rendered the pages correctly, but still would not look
| > > right in the
| > > browser.
| > > Long story short it turned out to be the theme.css file. A while
| > > back, I
| > > tried to modify the theme in FrontPage and it corrupted my website
| > > (no
| > > surprise, I have never found an MS developer product that made
| > > changes well).
| > > I also added white space to make it easier to read. This worked
| > > because it
| > > did pick up the change, but it must have caused FrontPage a problem
| > > (perhaps
| > > amplified by later updates). For the life of me I cannot begin to
| > > tell you
| > > why it worked correctly when you opened Index.html first or why it
| > > can see
| > > the correct file in FrontPage but not when you view it in the
| > > browser. Unless
| > > of course the browser is having trouble reading the .CSS file.
| > > Apparently FrontPage does not like you messing with the themes.CSS
| > > file. I
| > > think the reason this did not show up is because the server had the
| > > previous
| > > theme.css file and FrontPage did not copy the modified one.
| > > FrontPage has
| > > problems with upper and lower case letter. Sometimes it can tell the
| > > difference and other times it cannot (for example renaming a folder
| > > to
| > > smaller case).
| > > So what is the final solution? I think it is in answering the
| > > following
| > > question.
| > > What is the proper way to make corrections or additions to the
| > > theme.css
| > > file?
| > >
| > > "Theresa U" wrote:
| > >
| > >> Frank, I'm not expert enough to have an answer for you, but wanted
| > >> to share
| > >> what might be some clues. If you find an answer to this problem,
| > >> would you
| > >> please let me know? Anyway, here's more for an expert:
| > >>
| > >> I am having a similar problem in FrontPage 2002, so it is not your
| > >> version.
| > >> And, I don't think it's the servers or extensions. It happens even
| > >> when all
| > >> the CSS files are in place on the server and the correct code is in
| > >> them. It
| > >> doesn't seem to me like a 'not found' issue exactly--more like an
| > >> 'ignored
| > >> under certain circumstances' issue.
| > >>
| > >> For example, it seems that if I set a background image and/or color
| > >> in a
| > >> shared border, it saves correctly and my pages display correctly in
| > >> both
| > >> Normal & Preview modes, but not if I view the page directly with my
| > >> browser
| > >> or after I publish the page. I can open the files in _border and
| > >> see that
| > >> the HTML has been modified to include my background image or color.
| > >> The
| > >> weirdness is that if I modify the HTML in the border
| > >> directly--anywhere in
| > >> the file, the background image and color that I set with the
| > >> 'border
| > >> properties' option on any page will disappear before my eyes. When
| > >> I go back
| > >> to look at my page, it is still displaying correctly, but if I
| > >> close and
| > >> re-open the file, the background image in the border is gone. If I
| > >> reset the
| > >> background image from any normal page and re-save, I can get the
| > >> file to
| > >> close and re-open without losing the pic. But as soon as I publish
| > >> the page,
| > >> the picture is gone again. I have even directly edited the HTML on
| > >> the
| > >> server (after publishing) in the border page, and though I can see
| > >> the
| > >> picture is specified, it will not display in the browser. It
| > >> doesn't matter
| > >> whether I edit the file with FrontPage or Notepad; the picture will
| > >> not
| > >> display. From this, I inferred the behavior is not limited to CSS
| > >> in themes.
| > >>
| > >> However, I have also noticed similar behavior with my external CSS
| > >> pages.
| > >> Even though I have them defined, and I can see the code, I cannot
| > >> get them to
| > >> work in FrontPage--with or without a companion theme. If I copy my
| > >> special
| > >> CSS into one of the theme's CSS pages, it still doesn't work.
| > >>
| > >> The only thing that works to change a style is to use 'format
| > >> theme' to do
| > >> your changes. If you can't change what you want through there, it
| > >> will not
| > >> work in the browser--although FrontPage may display it correctly.
| > >> An
| > >> additional annoying thing is that the 'apply using CSS' button in
| > >> my 'format
| > >> theme' dialog is disabled. The compatibility settings are correct,
| > >> but
| > >> anything I do with 'format styles' does not take. Nothing I do
| > >> turns that
| > >> checkbox back on. I have both CSS 1.0 and 2.0 enabled; I can
| > >> create styles
| > >> and edit them. They just don't work.
| > >>
| > >> My theory is that editing styles or borders directly (because the
| > >> menu/dialogs don't let you touch a specific attribute or property)
| > >> corrupts
| > >> those odd little pointers that FrontPage stores in all those hidden
| > >> directories (e.g. _vtf...). When you open and close files in a
| > >> different
| > >> order, different pointers get accessed, and different results
| > >> occur. What
| > >> you see on the browser would depend at which point you published
| > >> the site.
| > >> The more you try to fix the problem, the more the pointers are
| > >> corrupted, and
| > >> the more different the behavior on the published site becomes.
| > >>
| > >> I've tried completely rebuilding my site from the ground up--twice,
| > >> but have
| > >> not been able to get the look I want without directly editing those
| > >> HTML and
| > >> CSS files. I'm just not expert enough to find a solution by
| > >> myself.
| > >>
| > >> Anyway, Frank, I've literally spent 30 hours this week alone
| > >> wrestling with
| > >> this problem, so I can relate to your frustration. I hope both of
| > >> us can
| > >> find an answer soon. Good luck.
| > >>
| > >>
| > >> "Frank" wrote:
| > >>
| > >> > This problem is a little difficult to explain. Basically
| > >> > FrontPage is
| > >> > changing my WebPages depending on whether I open the Index page
| > >> > first or a
| > >> > page in a folder first. Another observation is FrontPage will
| > >> > display a
| > >> > webpage correctly, but when I preview the page in a browser, it
| > >> > looks
| > >> > different. It also looks different if I publish it to my website
| > >> > and it
| > >> > looks different if I preview it in FrontPage. It is definitely
| > >> > NOT the
| > >> > differences in Browsers or other obvious small variations. It
| > >> > definitely has
| > >> > something to do with the .CSS file in the template that I have
| > >> > been using.
| > >> > Somehow, something changed and the .CSS file in the template
| > >> > appears to not
| > >> > always get found. It doesn't appear to be a server or FP
| > >> > extension problem as
| > >> > it also changes when I local preview. Let me regress a little,
| > >> > just in case
| > >> > it is relevant.
| > >> >
| > >> > I originally installed FP on D: because space was limited on C:
| > >> > and then I
| > >> > lost my D: disk beyond recovery. When I reinstalled FP, I
| > >> > installed it on
| > >> > Drive C: I started using folders and the first sign of trouble
| > >> > was when I
| > >> > noticed that the shared border at the bottom did not show the
| > >> > color that I
| > >> > used, if I opened a page in the folder first. None of the pages
| > >> > showed the
| > >> > correct color. If I opened the Index page first, it would show
| > >> > the color and
| > >> > every other page would also show correctly. This was acceptable
| > >> > and I kept
| > >> > working and adding pages.
| > >> >
| > >> > The real problem first showed up when FP would NOT upload to the
| > >> > server and
| > >> > I had to uninstall FP server extensions (on a Unix host). For
| > >> > some horrible
| > >> > reason when ever I have had to do this, I always had to delete my
| > >> > website,
| > >> > reinstall FP Server extension and then re-upload my website. This
| > >> > is when I
| > >> > first noticed that some of my pages did not look right. For
| > >> > example I use
| > >> > Black bars with white letters on my Product Catalog page. They
| > >> > had Blue bars
| > >> > like the rest of my site. And many of the paragraphs had the
| > >> > fonts changed.
| > >> > In FP itself, the page was correct and still is.
| > >> >
| > >> > One last note: I was able to straighten out some of it by
| > >> > selecting the
| > >> > text that looked right, but would display differently and then
| > >> > reselecting
| > >> > the Style. This did not work on all of the pages. I also noticed
| > >> > that
| > >> > different Style list seemed to be found for different pages, even
| > >> > though all
| > >> > the pages had the same code line <meta name="Microsoft Theme"
| > >> > content="experience 1011, default">
| > >> >
| > >> > I think the resolution of this problem will require interaction
| > >> > so if you'll
| > >> > send me you phone number at junkmail <at> northcarolina.usa.com I
| > >> > will call
| > >> > you. And even though you offer you valuable help for free, I
| > >> > would not be
| > >> > apposed to a reasonable gratuity for your extra time and effort.
| > >> > Thanks
| >
| >
| >
 

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