Create a Web site with Microsoft Publisher
I here explain how I used a mixed approach to web-site creation using Publisher (for Windows 97 or higher), backed up by various computing tools, the programs Change & Sweep and Cram which can be seen on our Pressibus Freeware site.
The 'management' dimension
Publisher is a tool developed for small sites. For anything larger than about 30 pages, it is better to divide the project into several directories (folders), and to link them.
To start with the Pressibus site was all contained in one Publisher file. Early on I divided it up into one main file and 6 other smaller files corresponding to 6 sub-folders. For example, the first page of a sub-folder referenced the first page of another sub-folder ("revues") by the URL ../revues/index.html, and the first page of the main folder by ../index.html (these links have to be managed manually and be careful always to write file-names and folder-names in lower case).
How to personalise pages
For each of my Publisher files, I created a .bat file where I put various command-strings used by the program Change to effect for each page the personalisation that Publisher is unable to do. I executed this file after each HTML page had been generated by Publisher. What does it contain?
- Commands to centre the text
for %%F in (*.html) do change %%F "<a name" "<Center><a name"
for %%F in (*.html) do change %%F "<\body>" "<\Center><\body>"
<Center> </Center> goes behind the <Body> (just before <a name...) and before the </Body> of each HTML file. It is a good method for all HTML files.
- Commands to change the title of each page. eg:
Change page7~1.htm "BdBric Futur<" "Freewares<"
(page7~1.htm is the Dos name of page7.html, "BdBric Futur" is the name of the Publisher file)
- Commands to use the same image several times (better than creating several identical images). First, you have to create a text frame, of the same size as the picture, containing a specific text, for instance yybaudoin4 :
Change index~1.htm "yybaudoin4" " <img width=77 height=250 border=0 src="+34+"baudoin4.gif"+34+">"
(previously you have noted that the size is width=77 height=250) ("+34+" means ")
- Finally I used the freeware Cram to compact and reduce by about 5% the size of the HTML pages :
Cram *.htm (the removal of saved files : Del *.bak)
Anything may be modified
In the same way, you can make more complex modifications, such as the insertion of keywords (Meta Name...), of forms etc.
Two limitations :
- The length of a Dos command is maximum 128 characters. So to manage long chains of characters, it is necessary to divide one command (of over 128 characters) in several (fewer than 128 characters). It is boring.
- "Change" does not deal with files of less than 64 K, but only very large pages are as big as that.
Easy to actualise
The big advantage of this method is that it allows complementary work between two users. One, a computing technician, prepares the .bat files. The other, the office manager, prepares the Publisher files, sometimes making some small modifications to the batch file. So the latter, with a limited amount of logistic help, can manage an site of significant size.
Page created by Alain Beyrand in March 1997 in French,
created on 22 August 1997 in English.