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FrontPage Hosting  Creating Form Tutorial

| Front Page Hosting| Creating FrontPage Form | FrontPage Form FAQ | FrontPage WebBots |FrontPage Form|

 

In this article we describe how to insert a form into your page:
 

Place your pointer where you want to add the form. On the Insert menu select Form and then select the form area.   doing so will insert the following into your page
 

The Submit button will be used to enable users of the form to submit their data into the server.  The Reset button will reset all fields in the form.

To add a check box to your form click Click in the form where you want to place the check box then On the Insert menu, point to Form, and then click CheckboxRepeat these steps for each of the fields you need to insert into your page.  Repeat the previous steps for each of the fields that you want to add to your form, click here to view the fields and their usage.

Webmasters usually require a form on their website to collect information from their visitors. For example you may want to create a newsletter and ask your visitors to subscribe.  Subscription requires information about users such as name, email address and any other information that might interest you. Here are the steps to create a form (before creating the form its a good habit to create a form inside a table):

Lets create a table to insert our form:

Place the insertion point where you want to insert the table.
On the Table menu, point to Insert, and then click Table.
Set the properties to:

  • Number of rows to 2
  • Number of column to 1
  • border size to 1
  • Pickup the color you wand for the table border
  • check the box “Collapse table border”
  • specify the width of the table to 180
     
 
 

HTML CODE TO CREATE THE ABOVE TABLE

<table border="1" cellpadding="0" width="180" style="border-collapse: collapse" bordercolor="#336699">
<tr>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
</table>

Now in the first row we write the title of our form

the second row for the form:

 

Create a the form
When you insert a form, Microsoft FrontPage inserts a rectangular area outlined with a dashed line that contains a Submit and a Reset button. Inside this rectangular area, you can add text and form fields, such as text boxes, option buttons, check boxes, drop-down boxes, and push buttons.


On the Insert menu, point to Form, and then select the fields you want to add to your form.

in our example we need to add two Textbox

Type first the label of the first Textbox "Name"
and click on the Shift+Enter to have one break line then On the Insert menu, point to Form, and then click Textbox.
 

put the cursor after the textbox then click on the Shift+Enter to have another break line then type the label of the second textbox  "Your email" then click Shift+Enter to have a break line. On the Insert menu, point to Form, and then click Textbox.
Set the properties for Textbox

Double-click the first textbox.
In the Name box, type "Name" to identify the First TextBox and "email" for the Second Textbox.
For your form to work correctly, you need to use a unique name for each form field.

If you want a default text to appear in the text box when a site visitor first opens the form, type the text in the Initial value box.

Now we have our Textboxes ready, note that for small form we don't need the Reset button just delete that button.

Double-click on the Submit button. In the Name box, type "submit" to identify submit button and change the Value/label: to Subscribe Now

now we have a form that looks like this form:

Now when your visitor fill the form and click on Subscribe Now what is going to happen?

The form data get send to your server, next we will describe how to collect and make use of these data.

Collect and store form data entered by site visitors

One of the simplest ways to collect information about your site visitors is by saving the form results to a text or an HTML file. By default, the file is located in _private, a hidden directory in your Web site. This directory is set up so no one can browse it, making it more secure. You can change this location and file name as needed, however doing this isn't as secure as using the _private directory. You also can select the format of the text file and specify whether to include field names in the form results. In addition, you can specify a second file in which to save results.

 
 

In Page view, right-click the form, and then click Form Properties.

  1. Click Send to. A default file name and a location for the results file are displayed in the File name box.
    the folder _private is created in your server during the FrontPage installation.  The file form_results.csv can be changes to a name of your choice.
  2. You can specify a different file to use by typing the new name and location in the File name box, or by clicking Browse to locate the file.
    in our example we use different file name let us name the file sales_alerts
  3.  you can Set up a the form to send form results in an e-mail message
    You can send form results in an e-mail message. Each time a site visitor submits a form, a message containing the results of the form is sent to the e-mail address you specify. You can also configure other options for the messages, such as the text for the Subject line and the address for the From (Reply To) line. In the E-mail address box, type the e-mail address to which you want to send the form results.
  4. Click Options, and then the File Results tab.
  5. In the File format list, click the file format of the form-results file.  in Our example we will use the Text database using comma as separator "the extension .csv"
  6. Under Optional second file, you can specify a second file to contain form results. You may want to specify one results file for input to a database or spreadsheet and the other results file for readability. To specify a second form-results file, type a name and location in the File name box, or click Browse to locate the file that you want to use.
  7. In the File format list, click the file format of the form-results file.
  8. click the E-mail Results tab.
    Then do one or more of the following:
    • Set the format of the text by clicking a format in the E-mail format list.
    • Type the text that you want in the subject line of the e-mail message in the Subject line box. If you leave this box blank, the default subject line in the message will be Form Results.
    • If you want the subject line of the e-mail message to contain the results of one field from your form, select the Form field name check box, and then type the name of the field in the Subject line box.
    • If you want a specific e-mail address to appear as the sender of the message (the From or Reply To line in the e-mail message), type the address in the Reply-to line box.
    • If your form contains a field that collects the site visitor's e-mail address, you can use that address as the sender's address. In the Reply-to line box, select the Form field name check box, and then in the Reply-to line box, type the name of the form field.
     
  9. Click OK twice to close the Saving Results and Form Properties dialog boxes.

The HTML file for our form will look like this:

<table border="1" cellpadding="0" width="180" style="border-collapse: collapse" bordercolor="#336699">
<tr>
<td>
<p align="center"><b>Sign up for sales alerts</b></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
<form method="POST" action="--WEBBOT-SELF--">
<!--webbot bot="SaveResults" U-File="_private/sales_alerts.csv" S-Format="TEXT/CSV" S-Label-Fields="TRUE" -->
<p align="center">Your Name<br>
<input type="text" name="T2" size="20"><br>
Your email<br>
<input type="text" name="T1" size="20"><br>
<input type="submit" value="Submit" name="B1"><input type="reset" value="Reset" name="B2"></p>
</form>
</td>
</tr>
</table>

 

Note  : To test the functionality of your form, you must first publish your Web site to a Web server.

Name the html page that has the code to : example form.html then upload this file to your server using FrontPage publish don't use a regular ftp to upload the html file.

You can insert your form in any page in your website. Note that all the pages that have form should be published using FrontPage to ensure a proper functionality of the forms.

 


Troubleshoot publishing files and folders

After I publish my Web site, some components don't work.

You may have published to a Web server that does not have the most recent version of the FrontPage Server Extensions from Microsoft or Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. Without the server extensions, certain features will not work, such as most form handlers and hit counters .

I want to publish a file that I originally set as Don't Publish.

The Don't Publish command is a toggle. To publish a file that is currently set to Don't Publish, do the following:

  •  In the Folder List, right-click the file you want, and then click Don't Publish on the shortcut menu.
  • If the Folder List is hidden, on the View menu, click Folder List.


I republished a Web site with a guest book that contained comments from site visitors, and now the guest book pages are blank.

You should always publish your Web site before you republish certain files that contain Web components, such as guest book forms, hit counters , or discussion Web sites. If you have created and published a Web site that includes a guest book, and then later update your Web site and republish all of your files, your guest book will be replaced by a blank one.


Frontpage Hosting - Form Glossary

ISAPI : (ISAPI: Internet Server Application Programming Interface. A Web server application-development interface, developed by Process Software and Microsoft, that can be used in place of CGI.)

NSAPI : (NSAPI: Netscape Server Application Programming Interface. A Web server application development interface developed by Netscape Communications Corporation.)

CGI : (CGI: Common Gateway Interface. A standard method of extending Web server functionality by executing programs or scripts on a Web server in response to Web browser requests, such as in form processing. Use of CGI can make a Web page more dynamic.)

ASP (Active Server Page) A method for creating programs that run on a Web server, first available on the Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.0. See also IIS.

E-mail (electronic mail) A service for sending messages over a computer network.

Form A set of data-entry fields on a page that are processed on a server. The data is sent to the server when a user submits the form by clicking on a button or, in some cases, by clicking an image.
form field A data-entry field on a page. A user supplies information in a field either by typing text or by selecting a field.

Form handler A program on a server that executes when a user submits a form. A FrontPage form is associated with a form handler in the Form Properties dialog box.

FrontPage Server Extensions A set of programs and scripts that support FrontPage authoring and extend the functionality of a Web server. The FrontPage Server Extensions are available for the Microsoft Internet Information Server and other popular Windows and UNIX Web servers. If you are not sure if your Web server is supported, visit http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/

Hidden Field A form field that is invisible to a user but supplies data to a form handler. Each hidden field is implemented as a name-value pair. When a form is submitted by a user, its hidden fields are passed to the form-handler along with name-value pairs for each visible form field.

line break A special character that forces a new line on a page without creating a new paragraph.
Publish The process of making your FrontPage web public on the World Wide Web or an intranet. You publish your FrontPage web using the FrontPage Explorer.

Web server Web server: A computer that hosts Web pages and responds to requests from browsers. Also known as an HTTP server, a Web server stores files whose URLs begin with http://.)

Form handlers form handler: A program on a server that is executed when a site visitor submits a form. A form in FrontPage is associated with a form handler.

Hit counters Hit Counter component: A component in FrontPage that keeps track of the number of visitors to a World Wide Web site.

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