August 2002

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Microsoft FrontPage 2002: The Microsoft Office Web Site Creation and Management Solution & Complete Legal Collection 2002 from Broderbund

Microsoft FrontPage 2002: The Microsoft Office Web Site Creation and Management Solution

If you're a Web site designer, or new to Web design, requiring an Internet presence for your company or personally, then you should consider using Microsoft FrontPage 2002 as your Web page editor.  This is a full-featured professional Web publishing tool and manager designed to make it easy for anyone, beginner or professional, to publish on the Internet.  And, if you're familiar with Microsoft Office products like Power Point, Word and Excel, then you already know most of what you need to design and publish your Web site on the Internet.

Web page design can be difficult, especially for those who use HTML (hypertext mark up language) programming code exclusively. However, this isn't the case with Microsoft FrontPage because it uses the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface allowing more time to create an attractive and full-featured Web site, without the need to know the nuts and bolts of HTML programming. Unless you care to use HTML or, in some cases, are required to sneak a little code into your pages for special features, there's no need to learn it.  The WYSIWYG format allows you cut and paste or type in your text and drop in your graphics without the need to know or use HTML.  In case you need to add HTML, it's easy to do in FrontPage.

FrontPage also makes it easy to publish your complete site, with graphics and text, using HTTP or FTP (file transfer protocol). When you're ready to transfer your pages, you just click on "Publish Web" and it starts the process.  If you're publishing with FTP, FrontPage will need to know your domain's user name and password before it can publish.  You may also transfer your pages using the HTTP method, however, this requires your host's server to support Microsoft FrontPage Extensions or SharePoint Team Services, and it's best to activate that feature prior to publishing your page.  This will allow your site several built-in functions not available without the extensions including search forms, form processing, site maps by category and hit counters.  Also, it's easy to access the pages you're working on because they're listed by page name and number as a folder tab at the top.

After a quick installation from a single CD and activating your product (only requires country or region to be specified) you'll be authoring Web pages in no time.  The main menu of FrontPage looks like the Microsoft Word interface (standard menu bar, toolbar and formatting toolbar) with a few more features: the Views bar on the left and the New Page Or Web task pain on the right side of the screen.  Within the current page window, at the bottom of the screen, you'll see buttons allowing access to three different views: Normal, HTML and Preview.  Also, you can easily modify HTML code from the HTML window.  If you need help, don't be dismayed because FrontPage has an excellent help system with that cute little smiling paper clip guy (Office Assistant) ready to answer questions and solve your problems while you're creating your documents (if you think the paper click guy is annoying, you can disable him).

The Views Bar

The Views Bar has a column of icons controlling the kind of information that will appear in the main window.  Click on the Page icon to edit a Web page; click on Folders to view your Web site's files and folders, click on Reports for your Web site statistics including page sizes and links, click on Navigation to show your site's structure, click on Hyperlinks for a graphics picture of your site's links and finally, click on Tasks for a list you've created of tasks to be completed.

The New Page Or Web Task Pane

From this menu you can open an existing page or pages, create a new page from a blank or existing page, create a new page from pre-designed page template or one you've designed on your own and add a Web folder from other sites if required.  Also available from this menu bar is access to Microsoft FrontPage Help.

FrontPage also supports advanced Internet Web programming tools and techniques including ActiveX Controls, Java Applets and Scripts, Server-Side Scripting, Script Languages, Java Applets and Web Browser Plug-Ins.  It also includes NetStudio, a graphic design program to help you design banners, buttons and logos for your Web site.  You'll find several pre-designed layouts or you can create your own with the tools provided.

Microsoft FrontPage 2002 sells for $109 (after $60 in rebates) and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium 133 MHz or faster, 64 MB RAM with Windows 95/98/ME/2000 and a CD-ROM drive. 

Complete Legal Collection 2002 from Broderbund

This is a must-have collection of legal software for anyone interested in gaining legal knowledge and expert advice on personal and business law.  It's available as a complete collection, or individually for home and business use.  The Complete Legal Collection includes Family Lawyer 2002, Broderbund Business Lawyer 2002, Interest Vision and The Plain-Language Law Dictionary.

Family Lawyer 2002 and Broderbund Business Lawyer 2002

After a quick installation from a single CD, all programs are accessed separately from Windows under the Legal Products program group.  Each legal program basically works the same way: you select a contract or legal document (either for personal use or business) and then answer questions asked by the software to customize the document for your situation and needs.  When you're finished, you'll print the legal document for your personal or business use.  Later, you can edit the document if changes are required, or start a new one if you have different requirements and situations.

Whether you're in Family Lawyer 2002 or Broderbund Business Lawyer 2002, a menu of available contracts and documents appears on the left side of the screen, in alphabetical order (more then one hundred are available from "401(k) Rollover Request" and "Agreement to Cancel Lease" to "Will: Standard" and "Work for Hire Agreement"). You select a document type by clicking on the title, select a user and then click on the "Open A Document" button to start the process.  Each document is explained in some detail including what you may need to complete it correctly.  For example, if you're creating a standard will, you'll need to list the property for distribution and what person or group of people you want to receive that property.  So, when you fill out the will form questionnaire, you'll be prepared with the right information to enter.  However, if you forget some information, you can correct that by editing your document later.

If you need help, you can access the Legal Library for the answer or click on the help menu for software assistance.  At the Legal Library, you can get answers from Arthur Miller, a Harvard Law School professor, or browse The Plain-Language Law Dictionary (includes definitions of 7,000 legal words, phrases and procedures).  If you're connected to the Internet, you can click on The Legal Information Network for more legal information online from Broderbund.  Also, from the main menu, you have access to two tools: a calculator and Interest Vision, a utility to help you make personal financial calculations and decisions.

Complete Legal Collection 2002 sells for $39.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium 60 MHz or faster, 32 MB RAM with Windows 95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP and a 2x CD-ROM drive.  It will also run on a Power Macintosh with CD-ROM drive. Individually, the software sells for over $60, and although it's worth much more, it's a bargain at $39.95.

Broderbund Law-Related Products

Broderbund Business Lawyer 2002 - $19.99
Broderbund WillWriter 2002 - $9.99
Complete Legal Collection 2002 - $39.99
Family Lawyer 2002 - $19.99
Family Lawyer 2002 Deluxe - $29.99
Interest Vision 3.0  - $19.99

Howard Berenbon

Software Companies Mentioned

500 Redwood Boulevard
Novato, CA 94947
Phone: 415-382-4400

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: 1-206-882-8080