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Remove Shared Borders with a Find - Replace Utility

Use WildEdit® to remove FrontPage Shared Borders

Removing the Shared Borders without FrontPage will require a text editor or utility with a good multi-file Find and Replace feature. There are many examples including WildEdit® from WildEdit® is a multi-file Find and Replace utility designed for replacing the same text in multiple text files, including HTML documents. This article will use WildEdit®.

Expression Web v3 or earlier can also be used without problems - use the FrontPage 2003 method as detailed at  Removing Shared Borders with FrontPage 2003. The free trial for Expression Web 3 can be obtained (correct at 20 November 2011) from

The easiest way to remove the shared borders is to remove the Shared Border meta tag from the <head> of the page. The Shared Border meta tag can take either of the following forms:

  • <meta name="Microsoft Border" content="tlrb, default">
  • <meta content="tlrb, default" name="Microsoft Border">

where ', default' may be missing and "tlrb" may vary in number and order of letters, and may be spelt 'none' - this makes over 160 possible variations between the two generic tags!

This article assumes the web site has already been been downloaded to a folder on a PC. If the site uses shared borders do not use Expression Web 4 to download the site - the result will be corrupted pages. Alternatives are any other version of Expression Web, FrontPage, an FTP client (such as Filezilla), Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer.

WildEdit®Open WildEdit®.

In the Folder Selector, browse to and select the folder containing the website.

WildEdit® Find and ReplaceIn the Search for: box type:
<meta.*?name=\"Microsoft Border\".*?>

Ensure the Replace with: box is empty.

Set Encoding: to the encoding used in your pages- this is usually UTF-8 or Windows-1252, but could be something else. The page encoding is contained in a meta tag on the web pages.

Tick the boxes "regular expression" and "Search subfolders"

In the File Filters section, set the include and exclude dropdowns to then extensions you need - some are preset, some have to be typed in.

Green Arrow locationClick the green arrowhead to run the Replace - a log of the affected files will be made, visible at the bottom of the window.

As for the FrontPage 2003 Find and Replace, the regular expression used here will remove the shared border meta tags entirely. Open the web in FrontPage or Expression Web and run Tools->Recalculate Hyperlinks to complete the process.

WildEdit® saves backup files of every file changed with names in the form  filename.ext.nn , where .ext is the file extension (for example .html) and nn is a two digit number between  00 and 10 - up to 10 backups can be saved. However, when the program is closed you have the opportunity to delete all these backup files.