TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> I've been using FrontPage 98, and wondered if anyone could give me some
> tips. Where could I find some nice background .gifs that would be
> appropriate for an online audience's user guide?
> Do an Internet search for web graphics, and your biggest problem will be
> selecting from the tens of thousands of files you turn up.
Do a search for "free graphics" in Excite and you'll find plenty. The fact
that you'll have tens of thousands to choose from is a Good Thing :)
Assuming you're looking for free graphics. If not, try arttoday.com.
> There are only 2 provided with FrontPage, neither very appropriate for
this type of documentation.
Surprise, surprise :)
> Also, is there any code that I can use to manipulate the color of the
> links? When I use the default colors, they change when I run the HTML file
> under different platforms (going from Windows NT to 95).
This is a key point. Just because you're using FrontPage, or some other
WSIWYG HTML editor, doesn't mean you don't still need to know the code. I've
seen people all over the place use these editors, then not know how to fix
something. You might want to consider learning some HTML, or at least buying
a reference book (HTML Programmers Reference by Thomas Powell and Dan
Whitworth is *great* if all you're looking for is syntax. If you're looking
for more than just syntax [i.e., instruction], you'll probably want to
choose another one).
As far as your specific question, to change the link color, pull up the
source document in a simple text editor (like NotePad) and modify or add the
following to the body tag. There are three types of links: links (not yet
visited), visited links, and active links.
<body link="#xxxxxx" vlink="#xxxxxx" alink="xxxxxx" background="file.jpg">
Where the "xxxxxx" is the hexidecimal value of the color you want. You need
to use "browser safe" colors as your link colors to get them to appear the
same color on all browsers/platforms. There are 216 safe colors to choose
from (the standard 256 Windows colors with the remaining 40 being removed
for other platforms). There is a *great* color chart you can look at that
will show you the color and give you the hexidecimal and RGB values, at:
Just use these colors and they will appear the same on all browsers.
> If you develop this kind of page, try different browsers to see how much
> the look changes.
If you use FrontPage, you are absolutely right. If you use only W3C approved
HTML code (no proprietary NetScape or IE code), as well as browser safe
colors, you will not encounter this problem at all.
kelly -at- williamson -dot- net
Image Online Services