FrontPage Navigation Editor

November 27, 2020

Microsoft FrontPage was one of the original visual HTML editors from the last 90s, back when that was an important thing. Microsoft acquired a company called Vermeer Technologies Inc. and we had to deal with “_vti” directories all over our web servers ever since.

FrontPage wasn’t just a page editor. It tried to take a more holisitic approach to your website. A project in FrontPage was called a “web,” and the tool had some magic stuff it could do based on the context of where your page sat in the structure. The image here is showing how it could automatically put navigation on the page.

Some of this only worked when you uploaded your files to a Microsoft web server with “Front Page Extensions” installed. Other features were injected onto the page itself before uploading. It also had a neat – and potentially dangerous – feature where you could open a “web” directly from the web server, without having to actually download the site.

FrontPage died in about 2005, replaced by Expression Web. It also had a weird incarnation as SharePoint Designer, which did special things when hooked up to a SharePoint installation.

This screencap was taken from a wonderful article about the history of FrontPage called “FrontPage: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” which has about a dozen screencaps of the UI. That author claims he took a lot of them from this site

Tagged as: frontpage, navigation