FrontPage in the Classroom

with Blip UNIT 7
Dynamic Content
  • Jazz it Up
  • Video Signals
  • Where am I?
  • Neat Features
  • Cool for School

FrontPage in the Classroom is produced by ACT360 Media Ltd.
in conjunction with Microsoft Corporation.
Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.

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Jazz it Up

First let's put in some background sound. Something to set the mood for our web site. Maybe a teen reciting some poetry. Or some techno music.



Hey, let me sing a song. I can sound techno.

Your singing is more like torture than techno. Maybe you should save that for your personal home page.

What's background sound?
You can add background sound to your web site by inserting sound files. Then, when your visitors arrive at your web site, they will hear these sound files through their own computer speakers.

Background sounds can convey the theme of your site or set the ambiance. For example, a web site that features martini recipes might play lounge music in the background. A hockey web site might play the sound of cheering fans. A North Pole web site might have the sound of Santa's friendly "Ho ho ho".

Just like the different types of image files, there are also different types of sound files that can be transmitted on the World Wide Web. The most common audio format is the .wav file, pronounced "WAVE". There are also many others, including RealAudio files (.ram); MIDI files (.mid); AIFF sound files (.aif); and AU sound files (.au). Each type of sound file is generally more suitable for a different type of sound.

For your visitors to hear these various sound files, they must have corresponding software to download and play them. However, there is no way for you to know what software your visitors have on their computers. This means you must assume that not all visitors will hear your background sounds.

Okay, time to lay down some "phat beats" into our web site.



What's that silvery disk? A frisbee?

No, it's called a CD. It's an old-fashioned way of storing sound. They haven't invented midichips yet.

Adding background sound
To add background sound to your web page:

    1. Click the Normal tab in FrontPage Editor.

    2. Click File on the Menu bar and select Page Properties.

    Select Page Properties from the File menu

    3. Click the General tab in the Page Properties dialog box.

    4. Click the Browse button in the Background Sound section and select an audio file from the list. If you don't see anything in this list, this means you don't have any audio files saved on your computer.

    If you need a good source for sound files, try one of the many sound effects CDs now available.

    Browse for an audio file

    5. Decide how many times you want your sound to be played. Enter this number into the Loop spin control box. If you want the sound to play continuously, click the Forever check box.

    Specify how many times the sound file should play

    6. Click OK on the Page Properties dialog box.

NOTE: Think twice before you click the Forever check box. Some sounds can be very pleasing, while others can be very annoying. What will it be like for your visitor to hear your audio file over and over and over and over? Is it the kind of sound that would be good to hear repeatedly?


Isn't this music grongy?



It sounds like the CD is broken and repeating over and over.

It's supposed to sound like that. Repetition is what techno is about.

Don't forget to save the sounds, Pixel. According to the instructions, we should save our sounds individually, just like we would our image files.

Saving your sound file
When you add a background sound file to your web page, it isn't a permanent part of the site until it is saved individually - just like image files.

To save your background sound file:

    1. Click the Save button Save button on the Standard toolbar.

    2. The Save Embedded Files dialog box will appear and you will see your sound file on a list. Click OK in the Save Embedded Files dialog box.

    Saving your embedded sound

Video Signals

I have another idea, Blip. For our web page on the resurgence of independent filmmaking, "Teen Auteurs," we should insert some clips of student-produced short films.



That's a great idea. We can give a break to the next Hitchcock or Scorcese.

Inserting a video clip
You can add a video clip to your web site. Video clips are usually saved as AVI files (Audio Video Interleave). RealPlayer is another format that produces excellent quality audio and video.

You can get AVI files from many CDs now available. You can also download them from many different web sites. If you choose this option, make sure you keep your local copyright laws in mind.

To add an AVI file from a CD:

    1. Click Insert on the Menu bar.

    2. Select Active Elements and then click Video.

Select video from the Insert menu

    3. The Video dialog box will appear. Click the Select A File on Your Computer button.

    Click this button

    4. Select your CD drive, then select the AVI file you want to use.

    Locate your CD drive

    5. Click OK on the Video dialog box.


FrontPage also allows us to add a video control panel. That will allow viewers to control the volume, stop the video, or rewind and watch parts they want to see again.

It's kind of like a virtual VCR.


Adding a video control panel
You can provide a video control panel on your web site. This will allow your visitors to start, stop and control the volume of your video clip.

To add a video control panel:

    1. Select the video clip by clicking on it.

    Select your video

    2. Click Edit on the Menu bar and select Image Properties.

    3. The Image Properties dialog box will appear. Select the Video tab.

    Click inside the check box

    4. Select the Show Controls in Browser check box and click OK.

    Video controls appear!

This video thing is cool. I want more. Let's put a video on our main page of us waving hello to everybody.



Yeah! And we can set the video to start up automatically as soon as the viewer arrives. That's a nice welcome to our web site.

Making your video run automatically
You can choose to have your video clip start playing as soon as your visitor arrives at your site. Here's how:

    1. Select the video clip by clicking on it.

    2. Click Edit on the Menu bar and select Image Properties.

    3. The Image Properties dialog box will appear. Select the Video tab.

    4. Select the On File Open check box and click OK.

    Check this box and your video clip will start as soon as your visitor opens the web page

Where am I?

Whew! Our web site keeps growing and growing. We've got music, literature, fashion, and film. We should create a Table of Contents and list all of the pages in our web site--but that's going to take forever. I don't think we'll have time to go surfing.



Start polishing your surfboard, Pixel. Creating a Table of Contents is a snap because FrontPage does the bulk of the work for us.

Creating a Table of Contents
You can create a Table of Contents that will display and provide hyperlinks to all the different pages that make up your web site. FrontPage automatically updates this Table of Contents when you add a new page, helping you to stay organized. The more organized you are, the easier it will be for your visitors to find their way around your site.

To create a Table of Contents:

    1. Click Insert on the Menu bar and select Table of Contents.

    2. The Table of Contents Properties dialog box will appear. Choose the name of the page your visitors will see first. This name should appear by default - but if it doesn't, just click the Browse button and select the opening page from the list of file names.

    Selecting your first page

    3. Select your Table of Contents heading size in the Heading Size drop-down box. If you do not want a heading, select None.

    Selecting heading size

    4. Click the Show Each Page Only Once check box. This will ensure your visitor sees only one listing of each page in the Table of Contents.

    5. Click the Show Pages with no Incoming Hyperlinks check box. This option allows your visitors to go to pages on your site that do not connect to any hyperlinks.

    6. Click the Recompute Table of Contents When Any Other Page Is Edited check box. This will ensure your Table of Contents is automatically updated when you add a new page to your web site.

Selecting all the check boxes

    7. Click OK on the Table of Contents Properties dialog box.


Neat Features

Even though this web site is a school project, it's turning out to be great fun. Maybe I'll keep adding to it from time to time.



In that case, let's add a timestamp. It will automatically inform viewers when you last made changes.

Adding a timestamp
A timestamp tells your visitors when you last updated your web page. This option is especially valuable if you are presenting current events and activities - showing your visitors just how fabulously up-to-date your web site really is. For example, you may want to use a timestamp if you are publishing daily or weekly updates on activities at your school.

The best place for a timestamp is the opening page of your web site. This way, your visitors will see it right away.

To add a timestamp:

    1. Click Insert on the Menu bar and select Timestamp. The Timestamp Properties dialog box will appear.

Select Timestamp from the Insert menu

    2. Select the Date This Page Was Last Edited radio button.

    Click this radio button

    3. Choose how you want the date to be displayed by selecting a format from the Date Format drop-down box.

    Choosing a date format

    4. Choose how you want the time to be displayed by selecting a format from the Time Format drop-down box. If you do not want to display the update time select None.

    Choosing a time format

    5. Click OK on the Timestamp Properties dialog box.


I think a lot of people are going to be hitting our web site.

Ouch! Why do people want to hit our web site? Did it break some primitive 1990's social custom?


No, Pixel. A "hit" is a web-term used to decribe a visit to our web page. Hits are good, so we want lots of them. If we use a "hit counter", we can keep track of how many people come to our site.

Adding a hit counter
Each time someone visits one of your web pages, this is known as a "hit". You can keep track of how many visitors you have by including a "hit counter" on your web page. A hit counter is visible to your visitors, so it is a good option to use when you want to show off the popularity of your web site.

To add a hit counter:

    1. Click Insert on the Menu bar.

    2. Select Active Elements and then click Hit Counter. The Hit Counter Properties dialog box will appear.

Select Hit Counter from the Insert menu

    3. To choose how your counter will look, select one of the Counter Style radio buttons.

    Look at all the pretty counter styles!

    4. You can specify a start number for your counter. For example, if you want the hit counter to start from the number 10, select the Reset Counter To check box and type 10 into the box.

    Starting a hit counter

    5. You can also specify how many digits you want displayed. For example, if you think only a few hundred people will hit your site, you may want to limit your counter to three digits. If so, simply select the Fixed Number of Digits check box and type 3 into the box.

    6. Click OK on the Hit Counter Properties dialog box.

cool for school 7

When to use multimedia elements

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could transmit scents over the Internet? It could be very, very good or very, very bad - but let's not stroll that path right now!

Multimedia available today includes images, sounds and video, all of which add new senses to the information-gathering palate. No longer living in a text-only world, Web creators can use these rhythmic and colorful tools to convey information in ways unheard of a few years ago. Who knows? Maybe one day you'll be able to plug in your portable smell-o-phone and enjoy the aromas of the Web…

Here are a few suggestions for how to use audio and video.

Remember - when you add multimedia to your Web page, you are adding a lot more download time. Your Web page will also take up more file size, which could cost you money. But don't let this little warning dampen your enthusiasm! The world of multimedia is a fascinating one.


Audio files are a great tool for people who are learning to speak a new language. If you are teaching a language class, consider a web site that helps your students with word recognition and pronunciation. You can record yourself, link the sound files to words, and put it all together in a language-practice site for your students to use outside of regular class time.

You can also use audio files in a music class, presenting examples of different types of instruments. Or how about a spoken message from one of the students on the school Web site? The sounds of a killer whale as part of a science project? Just think of the possibilities...


Video files can liven up a "dry" concept and engage your students. They are particular useful for conveying processes. Take photosynthesis, for example. Instead of presenting motionless diagrams, you can show plants "eating" sunlight in an animation. You can show how a snake sheds its skin, how a hurricane brews at sea, how a butterfly emerges from a cocoon, or how your lungs expand when you breathe. Goodness, think of all the different processes you'll be able to explain...

Okay, let's get back to reality. Video clips are not the easiest things to source. Your best option is using CD-ROMs that offer video clips and animations on specific subjects. You can try creating original video clips, but you'll need a few extra pieces of electronic equipment and some special software - and another tutorial to explain how to do it. So we won't go there today.


    Tune in later…