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Frames are an organizing tool for web pages that let you see more than 1 page on the same browser window at the same time. They operate by dividing your browser window into sections, like sections in a window pane. Each section may contain a different web page. Think of how a table divides information up into easily defined chunks. Frames are kind of like tables--at least visually. You can have frames the same size or different sizes. They can have different page layouts. You can make the divisions between frames visible or invisible. You can have frames have scrollbars or not. It’s all up to you!

The only downside to frames is that if you print a page with frames, the frames will not print out. To get around this, you have to click your cursor over the frame to select it (it will show a heavy border around it), click and hold or right click your mouse button, and then select “Open new window”. The page in the frame will then be opened up into a new browser window, and you can print to your heart’s content!

The same problem exists in terms of bookmarking a site in a frame--the site that gets bookmarked is the FRAMESET--not the site you’re after. Follow the directions on opening the site into a new browser window for printing, only bookmark the newly opened site--you will now have a bookmark on the site you’re after.

How does a frame operate?

Since each frame contains a different web page, you must first create or locate the web page as you normally would. You must know the URL of each page you want to call up in the frames you will create.

Then you create a web page that gives directions to your browser window on how to divide itself up into sections which contain the pages you want to see.

**Rule of frames:
There is always one more web page than there are number of frames showing in a browser window.

  1. A web page for each frame.
  2. A web page to control what goes into each frame. The browser window this file generates containing multiple frames is called the FRAMESET.

Some common elements in a frameset:

Since the whole idea of frames is to let the surfer go to different pages within a page, you will have one frame which acts as your list of sites to go to. This can be thought of as your “home base” or “navigation” frame.

When you click on a link in the navigation frame, it will call the link up in one of the other frames on the page. You might think of these other frames as knowledge frames or “instructional frames”.

See some examples of different commonly used frameset layouts.

Because there may be more than one frame which you can change the view of on a page, each link in the navigation frame must tell the browser which frame to use for that link. To do this, you must give each frame a name which you use to indicate in the links the location of where the page is to come up in your frameset.

OK--now for some HTML and practice!