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WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors Forum

    
Share your Expression Web Tips
Undocumented features, productivity tips, etc...
steve




msg:3620858
 1:51 pm on Apr 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've been using EW for a while now its a big jump forward from FP but its not always obvious how to do things. So I thought it might be a good idea to share information, tips, etc.

I'll start with one which doesn't appear to be covered in the documentation, or the many books which are now available:

To open and edit pages on a remote server using ftp.
Click edit/open site and in the site name box enter 'ftp://your ip address', you'll then be prompted for name and password. The folder list will now show your site, and you can open, edit and save pages as though they were on your local machine.

 

steve




msg:3633895
 8:14 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess I'm the only one here using EW!

Learning how someone created a cool page
You can load any page on the internet into EW. Click file/open file and in the file name box enter 'http://the page you want to open' The page will now load into EW, you can then edit the page and it's CSS.

You can also use the site import wizard to load whole websites! But be careful with other peoples content and copyright!

Habtom




msg:3633900
 8:22 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

To open and edit pages on a remote server using ftp.

There has been many threads recommending strongly against using FTP as you mentioned for security reasons.

pageoneresults




msg:3633934
 9:17 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

To open and edit pages on a remote server using ftp.
Click edit/open site and in the site name box enter 'ftp://your ip address', you'll then be prompted for name and password. The folder list will now show your site, and you can open, edit and save pages as though they were on your local machine.

steve, I might strongly suggest that you close all FTP Ports. These days, FTP is a major risk that you should nip in the bud beforehand.

To do the above without using FTP, just enable FP Extensions (which are secure) and add the "Edit" button to your IE Toolbar. Browse to the site, click the Edit button, enter your login credentials and viola, you're in and editing live at the server.

Now, you could take this one step further and make sure that you have all the appropriate programs assigned to their respective file extensions. So, if I browse to the /images/ folder and want to edit an image, I'll double click it, my Fireworks opens, I edit the image, hit Save and viola, it is live. There are all sorts of neat things you can do live at the server from within IE.

FTP is a no-no these days. If you have an FTP Port open, the first thing you'll be faced with are the obligatory "Dictionary Attacks" on login areas, they can be nasty.

Learning how someone created a cool page
You can load any page on the internet into EW. Click file/open file and in the file name box enter 'http://the page you want to open' The page will now load into EW, you can then edit the page and it's CSS.

Using the same feature as above, just browse to the page in IE, click your Edit button and viola, you're good to go. You'll need to configure your Edit button to use EWD as the default editor so when you click it, that is what is being invoked. You can have all sorts of editors in the list with one of them being the default. I've got all the Office Programs in my list along with EWD and FrontPage.

bill




msg:3633951
 9:37 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

just enable FP Extensions

I thought that they were moving away from the FP Extensions in EW. (If memory serves) Even help in FP2003 mentioned that the FP server extensions were deprecated in favor of SharePoint.

pageoneresults




msg:3633954
 9:41 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I thought that they were moving away from the FP Extensions in EW.

They are. We just haven't investigated what replaces this particular functionality and it appears that the FP Extensions still work as expected with EWD in this instance of "Editing at the Browser/Server Level". The FP Extensions utilize WebDAV which makes it perfect for editing.

DaffyDuck




msg:3633982
 10:20 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im planing to get EW, but can you make wordpress themes using EW..?

steve




msg:3634009
 10:58 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Good points about FTP. I should have clarified I'm only doing this on my local development server which doesn't have FP extensions installed.

Microsoft have announced future versions of EW will support SFTP.

Microsoft aren't developing FP extensions anymore, although they are available for IIS7. Instead they are offering WebDAV for IIS7.

I'm running Linux/Apache so I've just googled WebDAV for Linux, it looks interesting. I might have a go installing it on my local server. Unfortunately my hosting company don't offer it :-(

just browse to the page in IE, click your Edit button and viola, you're good to go. You'll need to configure your Edit button to use EWD as the default editor so when you click it

I've just set it up, very slick!

[edited by: steve at 11:04 am (utc) on April 24, 2008]

pageoneresults




msg:3634011
 11:02 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've just set it up, very slick!

Its definitely one of those WYSIWYG WOW moments, eh? :)

Makes you think about the CMS possibilities, huh?

steve




msg:3634014
 11:08 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im planing to get EW, but can you make wordpress themes using EW..?

I don't know, EW uses DWT - Dynamic Web Templates.

You can download a free trial of EW2 from Microsoft, so it won't cost you anything to find out!

pageoneresults




msg:3634025
 11:22 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now that you are editing live at the server, one of the really neat features is image editing within FP/EWD. I have Fireworks set as my default editor for .gif, .jpg and .png files. Once you are logged in through the Edit/WebDAV functionality, go ahead and double click an image. Your default image editor should now open, if it isn't already, and that image will appear as an open file. You can now edit the image to your liking, save it, go back to your open web, just click it in it and it will refresh. Boom! Your edited image is now live. Its like you've opened up this entire real time editing environment through FP or EWD. You can now connect various programs as your default editors and invoke those while editing live at the server. I'm tellin' ya', it doesn't get much more powerful than this for WYSIWYG functionality. It just needs to be in the right hands.

When you save your edited image file, don't do a save as unless you are saving another copy. And then, you should right click it and drag it to create a copy and rename it. Then open that image for editing. Or, you could use the save as feature in your image editor, it gets a bit tricky because you have to browse the network to find the site your working on. I prefer to just overwrite the existing file. I create backups beforehand by doing a Publish to my local system. I publish down. Most people publish up.

NOTE: When you login using the "Edit/WebDAV" method, you may not see the folder the page you are editing is inside of. Be sure to click inside the "Folder Pane", and then go up and refresh the web (F5) and it will appear. Its been a long standing bug and if you are not aware of it, you're going to be wondering where the heck the directory is for the page you are editing.

pageoneresults




msg:3634045
 11:55 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

One more and I'll leave ya alone for a little while.

Once you've got the Edit/WebDAV setup, you can now use most if not all of Windows Drag and Drop functionality. For example, I'll have multiple windows open and will be copying, backing up, etc between those windows. All through the WebDAV interface. So, instead of FTP'ing, I just go to the site, click Edit and drag my files over from the local system.

I get excited when talking about this particular functionality of FP and EWD. I've been using the WebDAV features and didn't really know it from day one. That was when the product was from Vermeer Technologies, right before MS bought them. If you read about the History of FrontPage, you'll see that FP was quite ahead of its time and many just didn't want to accept that fact. I did. And it was an excellent choice.

If your system is powerful enough, you could easily have 10, 15, 20 webs open performing different tasks. Its really an excellent editing environment and now I know why I never really got involved with FTP.

steve




msg:3635395
 8:24 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

P1R you convinced me to have a go at WebDAV!

I've managed to set it up to connect XP Pro SP2 to a Linux Apache box. However, it took quite some time to get it going!

XP would happily connect via my network places, but it won't map to a drive letter, because of known authentication issues between it and Apache. I assume you are using IIS?

There are many different 'work arounds' - usernames with @ symbols, adding a trailing # symbol, adding :80 to the URL - none of which worked for me.

The web rumour mills say the problems which were created in SP2 are going to be fixed in SP3, we'll see.

In the end I stumbled across Novell Netdrive which is abandonware (I haven't heard of that before!) It gets round the authentication issue and makes the web folders appear local in 'my computer'.

Now I'm up and running, I've assigned each website on Apache a drive letter in XP, and I can drag, drop, copy, create and delete files as though they were on my local machine.

Clicking on a file or image launches the corresponding editor program.

As you mentioned the folder pane doesn't work in EW with the IE edit method, clicking it and refreshing with F5 doesn't help either. It will only work for me if I open the site in EW before clicking to edit in IE.

All in all its pretty impressive, my next step is to set up a Dynamic Web Template and move towards the CMS you alluded to.

pageoneresults




msg:3635537
 2:01 am on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

XP would happily connect via my network places, but it won't map to a drive letter, because of known authentication issues between it and Apache. I assume you are using IIS?

IIS of course. You are a brave man running EWD on Apache. I'm sure there are some around here that might call that blasphemy. :)

pageoneresults




msg:3635589
 4:11 am on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

All in all its pretty impressive, my next step is to set up a Dynamic Web Template and move towards the CMS you alluded to.

Ah, let's talk about DWT's or Dynamic Web Templates. This is a FrontPage feature and I've not looked to see how they are handled in EWD. I experimented with DWTs way back when and was impressed although there were a few bugs I wasn't comfortable with and my method of using include files was/is working without fail.

Those DWTs are a powerhouse! You can give a user "finite" editing capabilities. Don't want them to change the surrounding element?

<h1><!-- #BeginEditable "h1" -->Example<!-- #EndEditable --></h1>

Are the users more advanced and are capable of determining the right element? Want to give them more control over editing elements?

<!-- #BeginEditable "h1" --><h1>Example</h1><!-- #EndEditable -->

When I say "finite", I do mean finite...

<h1>E<!-- #BeginEditable "x" -->x<!-- #EndEditable -->ample</h1>

The above would only allow them to edit the "x" in example. A bit extreme but I wanted to show the "finite" editing capabilities.

I never really did get into using them. Right now I'm converting to .net based templates and am enjoying the learning experience. Its a bit of a change from my normal WYSIWYG setup but it is a bit more streamlined than my current methods which are getting old. :)

When you open a page that has a DWT attached to it. You'll quickly see those areas that are editable. Also, everything is now "locked" on the page while in editing mode. So, a user couldn't accidently move or resize something if the editable region didn't allow it. It's a pretty solid editing environment. And, if you are using document check-in and check-out, allowing multiple authors 24/7/365 access works well. One author checks a document out and the other team members cannot edit that file until the user returns it back into the document pool.

rushglen




msg:3635753
 3:04 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can somebody please tell me what EW stands for?

pageoneresults




msg:3635757
 3:32 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

EW = Expression Web
EWD = Expression Web Design (same as above)
FP = FrontPage

EWD is the replacement for FP. :)

VTI = Vermeer Technologies Inc

rushglen




msg:3635758
 3:44 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

many thanks, as someone who abandoned FP ages ago and now codes by hand in an editor its interesting to see what else is out there.

zafile




msg:3635844
 6:39 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

"... and now codes by hand in an editor..."

I like to see you Web sites.

I bet your sites look pretty simple. If not, then you're using a high end editor and you're BSing about coding by hand.

How can you keep track of multiple page changes? How can you keep track of multiple internal and external link changes? How can you keep your SPELLING correctly in multiple documents?

There's no way I could have done my research by hand... I mean, without something like FP or EW.

If you're relying 99% on dynamic content, I'll like to see the performance of your sites on the search engines SPECIALLY if your competitors use static content.

On the other hand, if you're just designing Web page templates, that's another story...

It'll be nice to know exactly what is what you do by hand.

rushglen




msg:3635855
 7:10 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I design dynamic database driven sites using ColdFusion and ajax. For an editor I use coldfusion studio. I'm going to look at CFEclipse for an editor as coldfusion studio is now obselete but for now and for me it works!

netchicken1




msg:3635870
 7:47 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have used EW for about 6 months, and its awesome.

But last week I found soemthing even better...

EW2 beta!

Its much faster and more stable, and has php support, and just looks snazzier.

dakuma




msg:3636007
 2:56 am on Apr 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

A great place for some tips/tricks/ideas/guidance is @ the official Expression Studio Forums, and as netchicken1 pointed out you may want to check out Expression Studio 2 Beta!

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