TECHNIQUES - Archives Nov. 99


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FrontPage 2000
by Mary Donnelly and Kiley Amundson

Microsoft recently released its newest Website authoring tool: FrontPage 2000. The software package combines usability with innovated tools, which allows it to be easily used with other Microsoft products.

FrontPage2000 contains new and improved features to make Webpage design easier. These features include 60 different design themes that can be altered to the user's needs. Movement and interest is easily brought to the page through animation effects that are provided by dynamic hypertext markup language (DHTML). The color selector allows users to customize themes by applying pre-set color schemes or by choosing coordinated colors from a color wheel.

FrontPage also allows users to work with existing Webpages and will not modify the existing code. One feature that FrontPage has for users who are learning HTML is tool tips that reveal a complete tag description when the mouse is hovering over a tag.

Websites can be easily managed with the following views:

Various pre-built summary reports such as broken hyperlinks, slow pages, and unlinked pages help troubleshoot any problems. The software allows users to select browsers that their Webpage will work best with. It also restricts features that will not work with selections.

For more information on FrontPage 2000 visit Microsoft's Website at http://www.microsoft.com.

Websites
by Sue Beelman

www.tds.lib.mn.us

This site will help those who wish to start researching prospective companies. The site focuses on providing information about numerous companies around the nation. It also provides insight to entrepreneurship, foreign trade, investments and patents. There are links that give free access to annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1994 to present.

www.monster.com

Monster.com is a site that will help anyone searching for a job, researching a company or looking for a place to store a resume online. It also has a chat room with scheduled times and topics for those with employment related issues. Monster.com is also helpful for employers who want to post jobs complete with a description and location.

www.pals.msus.edu

PALS is a part of the southern regional library system. Search PALS will lead to business indexes and company profiles. Through business indexes you can search for specific business magazines and newspaper articles, whereas company profiles will give descriptions of particular companies.

Technical Communication Situations and Strategies
by Brandi Mason

Technical communication is evolving into more than communicating technical concepts to a non-technical audience: It now incorporates page design, visuals, and Webpage development. With new responsibilities, technical communicators are faced with new situations that require new strategies.

Mike MarkelŐs book, Technical Communication: Situations and Strategies, discusses a technical communicatorŐs primary responsibilities as analyzing audience; conducting research, both primary and secondary; and writing the document. In addition to discussing the basics of technical communication, Markel also discusses the new responsibilities technical communicators must be prepared to perform. These include using electronic tools such as computers, creating Webpages, and choosing effective graphics.

All of these topics require a separate book to fully develop the concepts behind them, but this book introduces a variety of topics that technical communicators must master to be effective. The book provides novice technical communicators with basic definitions used in the field along with ethical concerns to consider. It also provides experienced technical communicators with new concepts and ideas in the field that are being explored. Technical Communication: Situations and Strategies also includes appendices that could be used as a reference handbook for current or future technical communicators.


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