Introduction to Expression Web

Expression Web is a web editor from Microsoft that was released December 4, 2006 and is the successor to MS FrontPage. Cheryl Wise is the author of Foundations of Expression Web: The Basics and Beyond and is the instructor for this four week course which begins April 5, 2009.

Introduction to Expression Web – This class is newly updated for Expression Web 2 but you may take this class using either version of Expression Web.

Are you ready to take the plunge and move to a standards based web editor?

This class has been restructured to get you up and running with Expression Web in just 4 weeks. While you will not be an expert on Expression Web or a professional web designer you will be able to create and manage small websites and, with practice, be able to expand on the skills you learn to create more complex websites using Expression Web.


Expression Web – You may download the 60 day trial version from the Microsoft Expression Web Site our class is 4 weeks long so the 60 day trial is adequate. If you choose to take this class with the trial version make sure that you obtain and use the registration key or your trial will end before the full trial period.

Prior Experience:

No prior web design experience required but will be useful.


The book required for this class is Foundations of Expression Web: The Basics and Beyond available at Amazon or a bookseller near you.  ( There will be reference to sections of this book that will help you better understand CSS.

Introduction to Expression Web – The Class

This course covers the fundamentals of standards based web design, including xhtml and css:

Week 1 – Getting Started

  • Why Worry About Standards
  • Why CSS Layouts?
  • Website Planning
  • Installing Expression Web
  • Interface
  • Configuring Expression Web
    • Site Settings
    • Page Editor Options Overview
      • Version 1
      • Version 2
      • CSS Tab
      • Font Family Tab
  • File Menu
  • Page Properties
  • Semantic HTML – Structuring Your Page
  • Publishing

Week 2

  • CSS Basics
  • CSS Tools
  • Fonts
  • Block
  • Background
  • Box
  • Positioning
    • Options in the New-Modify Styles Dialog box
    • Float vs Positioning
    • Lists & Tables
  • Applying Styles

Week 3

  • Contextual Selectors
  • Creating Page layouts
  • Layout Examples

Week 4

  • Dynamic Web Templates
    • Creating the DWT
    • New Pages and DWTS
    • Editing a DWT
    • Detaching or Changing a DWT
  • Preparing an Existing Page for a DWT
  • Site Reports
    • Report Options
    • Slow Pages
    • Hyperlinks
    • Accessibility Report
    • Compatibility Reports
    • CSS Reports
  • External Stylesheets

By the end of the 4week course you will have a simple multi-page website that will work on all modern browsers. You will have an understanding of the underlying principles of effective web design that will look good.

If you are interested in taking this class, you can read more about Introduction to Expression Web and register for the class at Start To Web. Cost of the Class is $89.95. Readers of this blog can obtain a 10% discount by using the coupon code PGfriends.

Tables: The Next Evolution in CSS Layout

Tables are used extensively by the genealogy community in both the layout of their sites as well as presently data for their viewers.

Crafting CSS layouts is tricky. In this article, Kevin Yank introduces CSS tables (which, once IE 8 is released, will be supported by all major browsers). They promise to make CSS layouts much easier for everyone.

Today, a talented web designer must be a modern-day MacGyver-that 80s TV action hero who could turn a rubber band and three tin cans into a serviceable aircraft. Turning the average site design mockup into a living, breathing slice of HTML and CSS is a comparably delicate miracle, which must be accomplished using whatever makeshift tools happen to be lying around in current browsers.

That’s exactly why so many professional designers still choose to use HTML tables for layout. How can we expect beginners to adopt CSS for layout when it takes someone with the resourcefulness (and snappy dress sense) of MacGyver to fully understand the techniques involved?

Thanks to the imminent release of Internet Explorer 8, CSS layout is about to become something anyone can learn to do-no chewing gum or makeshift explosives required.

Read Tables: The Next Evolution in CSS Layout

Clean Messy HTML using Expression Web

Are you tying to clean up your old FrontPage site and move to Expression Web? Maybe you have been using Search and Replace to try and make this job easier. Have you tried EW queries? One of the newest members of the Expression Web team, Pad Gallagher, has posted on the Xweb blog, about cleaning messy code with Expression Web Queries.

If you are interested in learning more about Cleaning Messy Code and getting your site standards compliant, Tina Clarke and I will be teaching this in Migrating from FrontPage to Expression Web Class and Ebook which begins on August 30th.

Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor for Expression Web

Eric Meyer’s Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor for Expression Web
is now available for the regular price of $49.99.

I have been using Expression Web since it first became available in Beta format. EW is the successor to Microsoft’s web editor FrontPage which is being discontinued. You can download a free trial from Microsoft’s site. Expression Web 2 gives you all the tools you need to produce high-quality, standards-based Web sites including a very good css editor. EW2 comes with a variety of css based layouts you can use to build your sites.

One of the first books I purchased when I started learning how to use cascading style sheets was Eric Meyer’s Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide.

Eric A. Meyer is an American web design consultant and author. He is best known for his advocacy work on behalf of web standards, most notably Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a technique for managing how HTML is displayed. Meyer has written a number of books and articles on CSS and given many presentations promoting its use. ~from Wikipedia ~

WebAssist, a company known for its DreamWeaver Extensions, is now offering Expression Web Addons. An EW Addon is software you install on YOUR computer that will add functionality to Expression Web that is not available with the original product. Then came the announcement from WebAssist for a free trial of their newest addon, Eric Meyer’s Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor for Expression Web
. Eric Meyer is recognized as a leading authority on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). [Read more…]

Updated Expression Web “in box” Templates

If you are a new user to Expression Web and tried to use any of the “in box” templates provided as part of the program, you will find that

  1. All of the templates use absolute positioning
  2. All of the templates create folders for each section
  3. All of the templates use two separate style sheets

Absolute positioned elements are fragile and can break easily. Cheryl Wise, Microsoft MVP Expression Web has taken each of the personal and organization templates included with Expression Web and restructured the site so that every folder has a default html page and folders that are highly unlikely to ever include more than one page have been deleted with their single page moved to the root section of the website. She has made these Updated Expression Web “in box” Templates available for F*REE download along with quite a few other templates.