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  1. #1
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    Question MS Office 2010: Create simple intranet?

    Hello - we are a small business, 40 employees, all Windows 7 Pro computers, with a very old Intranet created with FrontPage (and we all know that it has gone bye-bye). The person who created it has left, we do not have an in-house web designer, or anybody with skills close to that. However, we all know how to hyperlink quite well and can add / change content as needed. The server that hosts the FrontPage intranet is also quite old.
    I was looking at our MS Office 2010 offerings, and wondering if Publisher or Word could actually take care of our needs. It seems difficult and clumsy to purchase some software outside of Office, and then have to be concerned about upgrading it with each new Windows version, and of course then there is the learning curve. What do Lounge members think about using Publisher vs Word?
    I appreciate your input.
    thanks

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  3. #2
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    What are your objectives with this "simple intranet"? File sharing? Content management?

    Joe

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    Hello Joe - I am going to say that our current Intranet is mostly hyperlinks to documents on our file server (primarily Word, Excel, and .pdf) - with some text, pictures, and clip art. We liked the presentation of it with tabs across the page for each department, and then dropdowns on those tabs, and buttons on the left - that type of thing. But really, I can see that we could also do this with a Word document using a table of contents. It just would not be as pretty (but then, I have not visited the table of contents feature in a really long time).

    Does that explain it enough?

  5. #4
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    Have you considered the free version of SharePoint - Sharepoint Foundation 2013? It does require a server running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows Server 2012. See SharePoint 2013 for IT pros or SharePoint Overview for much more information. Note: it is difficult to tell what is for SharePoint Foundation and what is for SharePoint Server.

    If you would consider a cloud service see SharePoint Online.

    Joe

  6. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for the quick response - I was trying to avoid a new product and make use of what we already have - but I do appreciate the advice.

  7. #6
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    I understand trying to use what you already have. We do that too. The nice thing about SharePoint foundation is that you can use your familiar Office programs to save and access the files easily. Even better from our viewpoint is SharePoint online. No need to deploy and maintain a server. Server updates & backups are the service providers responsibility. You do not necessarily have to go to Microsoft for SharePoint online. You can find a hosting provider if you wish. You can still use the Office programs as you can with an in-house deployment.

    There are any number of service levels you can get with Microsoft's Office 365 online services. If you regularly upgrade Office you might wish to subscribe to one of the business levels and get the Office desktop programs included. You can mix & match Office 365 SKUs to fit your usage demographics in the company. See Compare all Office 365 for business plans for a quick comparison.

    Joe

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    Great question, seems like I had the same thought sevberal times. Simple answer is yes. You can create an HTML page using Word and as you already know include hyperlinks to other documents. That's the guts of a simple web site. Of course the devil is in the details. Where will those HTML document reside? Probably a network share drive. Thus your hyperlinks to the other documents will have to specify the full network path to the other documents. Warning, Word has an optional "feature" that simplifies hyperlinks when you save a document - it will drive you nuts if you let it. Find that feature in Options, Advanced, Web Options, File tab - you do not want word to update hyperlinks each time you save the file. In most cases, the network path links have to remain the full network path. I think if you experiement with croslinking two simple documents, you'll figure it out. That being said, I'm sure you'll also bump in to the missing functionality. I should also warn you that the web page code created by Word is notoriously cumbersome - but for a simple site - who cares.

  9. #8
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I did a website using MS Publisher one time (many years ago). It worked fine if you used Internet Explorer to access it. However, there were mixed results with other browsers. But it was easy to put together.

    Since it is in-house only, and since everyone will be updating it as needed, if everyone uses Internet Explorer, Publisher would probably be ok. But you can't get any simpler than a Word document containing links (and maybe some pictures). If that is all you need, I recommend that you go with Word. In this way, you won't waste a lot of time trying to maintain it. Everyone will be able to easily update it.

  10. #9
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    I'll start by stating that this is not an area that I'm very familiar with, which may be why I'm having some difficulty identifying exactly what problem(s) you're trying to solve. That said:

    1. I believe that an intranet is an assemblage of organization-local hardware and low-level (e.g., IP-level) software rather than something 'created with FrontPage' (an application that can create an HTML presence on an existing intranet - or Internet - server). Thus whether FrontPage is still available should not affect the usability of your existing intranet (though it might compromise your ability to significantly change its existing HTML presence unless you can find an old version of FrontPage to use to modify it).

    2. Thus if your aging server is the problem you should be able to slide new hardware and/or an up-to-date Windows operating system right in under your existing FrontPage content (giving the new server the same name, IP address, directory structure, etc. to keep network paths the same and then just copying over the relevant FrontPage content).

    3. On the other hand, if your goal is to develop some in-house experience with designing, creating, and maintaining your intranet HTML presence, upgrading to a Web-design application that's still supported makes perfect sense and there are a great many options to choose from (many of them free).

    If this post isn't any help to you understanding why will be of some help to me, so it won't be wasted either way.

  11. #10
    Lounger Splash's Avatar
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    I am very late to this discussion (catching up on old WS newsletters)
    What you really need in this situation is a wiki
    A wiki is really a simple html page that can be viewed and edited (by those authorised) to share info
    The simplest wiki is just a page of text and links to documents - which sounds like exactly what you require
    The wiki can be stored on any network shared drive or you can even use an internet solution
    try looking here for a start http://lifehacker.com/106247/pbwiki
    NOBLEJOKER
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    My Tech Help Site www.techhelpsite.com
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  12. #11
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    Much depends on what is "simple".
    If your main browser is Internet Explorer, and the network OS is Microsoft, your intranet can be "really simple". Depends on your requirements for user access.
    For example, if all you want is some text with links to basics - *.jpg, *.pdf, *.htm, a plain HTML page would suffice, where the users access rights are the same as their network rights. The plain HTML page could be no more than a <!DOCTYPE html><body>... text and links ... </body></html>, sitting in a folder on the file system. No web server needed.
    Technically, this is not an intranet, because there is no web server, and the user only opens a web page with links to files on the network file system.
    This is like substituting a Windows Explorer window limited to one folder with a "web page" with links to multiple folders.
    It's cheap. It's plain. It may be an enabler.
    For a start, open IE, and type a path to your folder on your computer in the address line. It should display the contents of the folder. Click on an item, it should "open".
    If the item was a web page with links, it should "open" in your default browser, IE in this scenario.
    I believe this is default behavior for IE on a Windows computer, and in a Microsoft network OS.
    This is basically doing hypertext across the network file system.
    If your browser was Firefox, not the Microsoft browser, the functionality is the same, but what you enter in the address line is different. Instead of "d:\folder\file.htm", one would enter "file:///folder/file.htm", because of a morality issue based on Firefox not born of the operating system. Or if not morality, one can say security. Depends on the degree of intimacy between the browser and the network operating system.

    I should say I do this often. I do hypertext way more than desktop publishing. Less paper.
    Last edited by dried_squid; 2014-04-26 at 15:15. Reason: typos

  13. #12
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    Hi Techdls,
    Yes you can use Word to create the internal web page you want, just note that you'll want to create it in a table to help line things up and keep things together, such as a picture and text. Once created you can hide the lines that define the table. Then just create the hyper links as described by others above.

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