FrontPage 2000 beta by January

By January of next year, Web page builders will have the full beta version of Microsoft's FrontPage 2000, the company says.

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By January of next year, Web page builders will have the full beta version of Microsoft's FrontPage 2000, the company said.

As earlier reported, including HTML as a file format within the next version of the software giant's desktop application suite, Office 2000, results in tighter integration with FrontPage 2000. When beta 2 of Office 2000 ships later this fall, company executives said it will be bundled with FrontPage 2000.

The latest version of FrontPage 2000 includes an HTML preservation feature that allows users to edit existing HTML and scripts with source preservation of tag and comment order, capitalization, and white space.

With FrontPage 2000, users can also apply cross-browser Dynamic HTML and cascading style sheets 2.0 positioning to page elements, restrict use of specific Web technologies to target specific browsers, and add scripts like Microsoft's Active Server Pages to Web pages.

Cascading style sheets , allow developers to control the style and layout of multiple Web pages all at once.

FrontPage 2000 also has 10 additional business themes, which are predesigned Web site looks to give a consistent image across single Web pages. The new addition brings the total number of themes within the tool set to 60.

With the tighter integration with Office 2000, users can open and save documents to FrontPage-built Web sites.

"It also now uses the background spelling checker from Office," said Julie Larson, group product manager for FrontPage.

FrontPage 2000 also enables Web collaboration on Web site development. For instance, it includes support for check-in and check-out, flexible access control, and new workflow reports that let users reserve files to edit, roll back to previous versions, and assign page responsibility to a team member, as well as establish approval levels or stages in their own publishing process.

In addition, new support in the package for Visual Basic for Applications 6.0 allows third parties and corporate developers to easily use FrontPage tools with custom applications and add-ons.

At $149 for new users and $109 for Office users, Microsoft FrontPage is available for the same approximate price as the previous version. Users of earlier versions of the product will be able to upgrade for $54.95, the company said.