Creating froms in FrontPage - help please!

  gplatt2000 23:41 22 Nov 03
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Hi all! I ahev just been learining how to create forms in FrontPage which I will eed for a site I am making. However, is there a way of creating a way where if a user selects an option, they are taken to another form/the form changes?

Ok not very well explained, perhaps an eg. would help:

In the question 'Which plan do you want?' OPTIONS in pull down menu - A, b, C, D
If the user chooses A, they are taken to another drop-down menu (or ven better it appears below), with the text
'Which feature would you like?'
OPTIONS in pull down menu 'X, Y, Z'

but if the user chose B, a different pull down menu would appear below, with options P, Q and R

Is there a way of doing this with FrontPage, as havin all the options on one page would get very confusing for the user!

Any suggestions much appreciated

Thanks in advance, Gavin

  gplatt2000 23:48 22 Nov 03

Sorry forgot to also ask this:

When creating a SEARCH form using FrontPage, instead of having just the text search is there a way of havin search criteria also (so users can search for key words in sub-categories, which contain the words). Eg so users can search for 'North Yorkshire Ones' uinder 'CLUBS' in a pull-down menu, or for 'Suspenision' under 'PARTS' in a pull-dwon menu.

Is this easy to do in FP, or does this require the use of databeses?

Thanks a lot for your help

  Taran 07:45 23 Nov 03

Fro a basic site search form in FrontPage, click on Insert, scroll to Component then click on Search Form. Fill in the criteria in the options boxes and you're off.

If you want a 'preoper' Search Engine to do the work for you outside of your site, one of the quickest and simplest methods is to go to click here and click the link called HotBot your site. You get some cut and paste code to integrate the HotBot search engine into yopur web page.

For something a little more exotic, you could create a CSV file, use an EXcel spreadsheet or an Access database of your information then create a database results form on a page. This brings you into ASP pages though, so unless your web host supports MS FrontPage ASP you could be stuck.

You can set up a form with drop down menus, where you spend the time manually inputting the values of each drop down. You can also filter the values of one drop down by selecting from another, so it is possible to do something like this:

Car Make | Car Model

If the user selects Ford from the Car Make drop down, only Ford models with be displayed in the Car Model drop down.

It's a little difficult to do, but possible, but you should know that it uses fixed values to filter by and not a data source that can be updated, so creating and using it long term can be quite labour intensive.

If you want more info on ASP forms using FrontPage and a dedicated database, try click here click here click here and click here

Advice on going with a PHP solution instead of an ASP solution is click here but getting FrontPage to cope with PHP is a bit of a wrestle at times since it was never meant to support the language.

You could also try

click here

click here

There is a wealth of information on the web about this, but it all comes down to knowing what to look for and how to search for it.

Post again if you need more.

Regards

Taran

  gplatt2000 16:38 23 Nov 03

THanks a lot for your onc3e agaiellent help taran, i will read thorugh all those links when I have a bit more time to try and fully understand them! THanks again, and Ill let you know of my prgress,

Gavin

  gplatt2000 18:53 24 Nov 03

Thanks a lot for your help, BUT, before i read thorugh all of that info (as there seems to be LOTS of it!), I have found an eg. of the 2 things I am basically looking for, so could you please tell me if you know wether or not these are covered in the above links (obviously i dont expect you to read through it all for me, but Im not sure if I explained what I meant properly in the original posts and so you may hvae link s to something slightly different).

Example 1 - you seem to know eaxactly what I mean here, and at the oement I am trying to create a form which CHANGES drop-down menus as you select different options in the drop-down above. But just for anyone who's not as sure..
click here
where if you select ford, only ford models appear below (as Taran has said)


Example 2 - i want there to ba a 'Search fo'r: with text box, follwed by 'In:' with a drop-down box.
click here
That is what I mean - you choose a keyword and (in this case) a price range, then the results are shown verry clearly - how can I achieve this - is it through a database as I have understodd so far from the links above?

Thanks again for your great help, and sorry to be so slow at grasping this, Im completely new to forms and haven't found FrontPage's help great.

Thanks again, Gavin

  Taran 20:19 24 Nov 03

Off the top of my head and from a tired brain point of view (I'm pooped this evening) you could use a JavaScript listbox filter where what you select in one drop down menu alters your available choices in the second drop down. This is along the lines of two drop down listboxes where you select a car manufacturer from a list of makers which gives you a list of that manufacturers models in the second listbox. Choose a different maker and their list of models appears in the second dropdown listbox.

The disadvantages are you need to make sure your site visitors can handle such a complex JavaScript in their browsers and its comparatively labour intensive; you have to manually code your lists and they aren't dynamic - they operate purely from a list of options you give them. Incidentally, the choose maker then choose one of their models would also have a Go button where once the maker and particular model is picked, you hyperlink to a web page on your site that corresponds to the selection.

I know what I mean even if nobody else does.

If you want a specific "search for" in "category" then your best bet would be to have a data source of your site content. There are ways of doing this where you could simply create a comma delimited file of all text in your site and the page it belongs to which you could set up using FrontPage as a data source. You could then filter or query it for the results, but you're getting pretty advanced and it would mean that if ever you change just one page you'd have to re-index the entire site to make the search feature work.

You'd be better off using a dedicated site search feature as detailed in the above links. Your disadvantage is that unless you pay for ASP hosting and find an ASP site search facility, using a PHP solution will not mix well with FrontPage.

If you were going to the extent of creating a FrontPage ASP site I’d say you’d be better off by going the whole hog and make it a data driven site served from an online Access database. This would be no small thing and certainly not for a beginner, but the end result would make it easy for you to administrate the site, your site search would actually be scanning the contents of the database that contains the page text copy which would make it entirely effective no matter how often you changed it and a whole lot of other nice things.

There are pros and cons to all methods and no simple solution comes to mind, at least not tonight.

I'm offline for the evening now, but if something comes to mind tomorrow or the day after I'll pop in and respond.

Perhaps in the meantime someone else may have a simpler solution for you.

Sorry I can't be more constructive.

Regards

Taran

  gplatt2000 20:31 24 Nov 03

LOl I know how you feel about the brain not working thing, Im always like that! But thanks a lot for your help, and although I am a beginner I am willing to prehaps at least TRY and learn the 'whole hog' method. The data I would be putting in would (i think!) be pretty starightforward - Name, Description, Link and Location, and that would be it for the moment, and I would like to have results shown as a table for viewrs to see. If anyone knows of any links decribing this please post I would be very grateful

By the way - I also have Dreaweaver MX which I have used to create my site (without the search, forms etc), and Acess if this is any help in your responses.

THanks again

  gplatt2000 18:50 26 Nov 03

Ok thanks a lot for you help everyone, but suddenly I have just thought of a much simpler thing - why not just have 2 seperate forms?!??! I dont know why this didnt dawn on me earlier but it didnt, so i think i wil just do that instead, as some of these methods sound hard.

AND, I have found in Dreaweaver MX a way of doing it a way I was thinking of earlier - having it so that one of the form drop-down items when selcted takes the user to a different form (at different URL), but form keeps same layout just with different items in menus, and I have found that Dreaweaver lets you set the items' links.

However I would still like any help regarding the search for' and 'search in' question for my search form.

Thanks a lot,

Gavin

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