I work from 2 different locations and the first thing I do as I begin from each location is to "publish" remote to local so whatever local I am on always is the same as my remote server.
One issue that bugs me is when I publish that way I am also publishing/importing unnecessary folders ..for example I may have a forum on a site and I cant figure out how to "not publish" that directory .
I simply delete the folder once it's published locally .. same issue publishing to remote .. individual files that you dont want to publish are easy.. right click the file and click "Dont Publish"
How can we accomplish the same "dont publish" on Folders/Directories without opening up the folder and "dont publish" on each individual file within the folder ?
Anything beyond what is in those three tabs for publishing I am not familiar with. But, the options available seem to serve all of my needs. I only use it for creating backups locally as I work live at the server (no publishing routine except for bu).
One issue that bugs me is when I publish that way I am also publishing/importing unnecessary folders.
You shouldn't be. Only on first publish would that happen as FrontPage needs to catalog the site and develop history. Each time thereafter, depending on how you have your publishing preferences set up, will determine what takes place when you publish the site.
P.S. Make sure Logging is checked in the Publishing tab. If it isn't, then FrontPage is going to treat each publish as a new one (no history).
In your shoes, I'd convert the folders, which I don't want published, to FrontPage sub-webs.
It is easy enought to do. Just open the site live on the server in FrontPage, right click on a directory (e.g. forum) in folder view and choose "Convert to Web". It will then put all the usual _vti hidden folders etc in that folder and create or modify .htaccess so you can publish to/from it exclusively.
Then when you want to publish the main site back to your computer, ensure that the check box in the Publish window called "Include Sub-webs" is NOT selected.
NB: I have FP2002, so the procedure might be slightly different in 2003.