Expression Web (EN)

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Warning Warning
Expression Web is obsolete. Under strict conditions, it can be used for maintaining web sites. However, modern safety protocols prohibit working on or publishing to our web servers with Expression Web. For publishing a website maintained with Expression Web, you will need an external transfer utility such as WinSCP. For more information, contact ICT-Bèta.
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The information on this page is no longer valid. The page is kept for archival purposes only.
Nederlandse versie

Expression Web is a relatively simple HTML/web-editor, the successor to the FrontPage program.

Three is no manual available for Expression Web. The Microsoft site on Expression Web may offer some support.

On this page, you can read about activating Expression Web, connecting to the web server, and publishing. We will point out some restrictions you may encounter when using Expression Web.



The package is part of the managed desktop for the faculty of Science. It can be found under the menu item My Applications (see image on the right). When you first run Expression Web, an installation script will be executed, after which you may run the program itself.
If Expression Web is not available on your managed desktop, you can apply for activation through the ITS Selfservicedesk. Don't forget to mention your PC's UU tag with your application. After activation, the program will appear within the menu item My Applications.

You can also download the package from the software server. You will need administrator rights for installation.

The package on the software server will install a more recent version than the one available on managed desktops. However, there is no significant difference in the use or functioning of both versions.

Connecting to the web server

Open a site for editing


To open your site, you must supply Expression Web with the correct address. For this, go to Menu: Site > Open Site..., or use the hotkey <Ctrl-Shift-O>.

In the dialog box (image on the right), enter the full address for your web site in the Location field. This address will generally start with
unless it is a site residing on your own computer (but this is not recommended).
If you have used this address before, it is probably available form the list under Managed Sites: find the requested site and select it, but make sure you pick the right one!

Finally, click Open. You may be asked to login; if so, use your Solis-id to login. Finally click Open. Your web site will be opened in Expression Web. Usually, Expression Web will open the default web page for editing as well (this is a file like index.html, Default.htm or suchlike).

Setting up a Publishing destination


To setup the Publishing destination, open the Publishing view via the tab, or go to Menu: Site > Publishing. In the upper right corner of the view, you will find the Publishing Settings… button. Click it, and in the next dialog Site click the Add… button. You will be presented with the Connection Settings dialog (image on the right).


You may enter any name in the Name field: it is only a label to identify the current settings.

For Connection Type, select the FTPS option.

In the Location field, enter the web server address; this is always

In the Directory field, enter the path for your web site; this path always has the format
If you do not know you web site's path, contact the administrators.

In the Credentials fields, you can enter your Solis-id and password. Expression Web will remember these, so you don't have to type them in every time you open the publishing destination.

Make sure the Use Passive FTP box is checked.

Click Add to establish these settings. Settings are recorded separately for each web site, so you need to enter them only once on your PC. You can always change settings you have entered previously.

Managing the Publishing destination


In Expression Web, you can enter several publishing destinations for each web site, one of which will be designated the default. You can change any publishing destination's details at will.

For this, go to Menu: Site > Publishing Settings… to open the the Site Settings dialog (image on the right).

The default publishing destination is clearly labeled (Default). In general, this is the publishing destination first entered. If you want to designate another publishing destination as the default, select it and click the Set as Default button.

To change a publishing destination's settings, select it and click the Edit… button.

Publishing web sites

Open the Publishing destination


To publish your web site, you must first open a publishing destination (see Setting up a Publishing destination above for setup details). Go to Menu: Site > Publishing, and click Connect to the current publishing destination. This will open the default publishing destination. You can choose another publishing destination (if any has been defined) from the drop-down list at the top of the view (see image on the right).

After selecting and opening the publishing destination, the publishing view will change. The view will be separated into three different areas (see image below).


The upper left area (1) shows the web site originally opened in Expression Web. The upper right area (2) will show the publishing destination. Both areas will show the web address, so you can check which is which.

Within these areas, icons show the status of each file. A blue arrow indicates a file to be published, a question mark indicates a possible conflict.

The lower area (3) is the status view. It will provide information on the most recent publishing activity (if any). It also contains a link to the log files, giving detailed information on which files were published, and a link to open you publishing destination in Expression Web.

It is possible to show only certain files. For this, use the View option (C). Possible choices are:

  • Folder Contents: show all files in your web site's folder structure (this is the default).
  • All files: show all files in the web sites in a single list; this may be useful to see which files have been changed recently.
  • Changed Files: show only files that should be published.
  • Excluded Files: this option is not available on our web servers (see below).
  • Files in Conflict: show only files that may cause a conflict when published.

To publish, select the files and/or folders in area (1); you may slect several items by pressing the Ctrl-button on your keyboard when selecting.

Now use one of the arrow buttons between the two areas (D). The arrows indicate the direction in which files will be published. You can select items on both the current site and in the publishing destination, but be aware in which direction you are moving files.

Limitations of the IIS web platform

Problem with copying a file
Currently an unknown error prohibits copying a file within a web on the new IIS web servers.
You can use a simple trick to avoid the problem: open the file you want to copy, and use Menu: File > Save As... to save the file with a different name.

FrontPage Extensions

Microsoft has decided to discontinue the so-called FrontPage Extensions (FPE) on the IIS web platform. These extensions are used e.g. to manage navigation within a web site, to build simple web forms, to include content within a web page, and so on.

FPE to a certain extent also determine the working of Expression Web (and its precursor FrontPage). Without FPE, certain functionality of the program will be restricted or non-existent. In particular:

  • Exclude from publishing: it is not possible to exclude certain files from publishing; you must keep track yourself of files you do not want to be published.
  • Hyperlinks View: you cannot use the Hyperlink View to check the hyperlink relations within your web site.
  • Reports View: the number of reports is severely limited; e.g. it is no longer possible to check hyperlinks.

Checking your web site

Due to the way the new platform is setup, there is no direct relation between the location of your web site's files, and the webserver itself. In practice, this means Expression Web's Preview function will not work for content that is outside your own web, such as general style sheets.

The only way to check your web site is to view it with a browser. In general, you can use the so-called stageing server to this end. The web address is

For instance, if your web site's address is,
you can check your web site on the address