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In Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson explores the tools and techniques of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe's web design and development software. This course covers both the ins and outs of Dreamweaver, as well as recommended best practices for crafting new web sites and files, the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and how to ensure clean and accessible code. The course also includes how to use tools in Dreamweaver to create and style web pages, manage multiple sites, and add user interactivity with widgets and scripting. Exercise files are included with the course.
The methods you use to create Absolute Links are rather limited. Since you can't really browse to your hard drive for external Web sites, you are going to have to know the exact link. That can be tough at times, especially for longer generated links. So copying and pasting the link can be a real lifesaver. Let's check out building some Absolute Links. So here I have the resource.htm opened up, and I just have a couple of Absolute Links that I want to create for our site. I am going to scroll all the way down towards the bottom section and right here under the Tour checklist section, we have the sentence, For more information on traveling to California, go to Visit California.com.
So I am going to go ahead and highlight Visit California.com and click inside the Link dialog box. There I am just going to type in http://www.visitcalifornia.com. Now hit Return. Notice I had to type in the protocol as well, so not just www. Absolute Links have to be the entire protocol. The http or https or whatever the protocol is going to be, you have to place that on the front end of it.
Now, I am also going to go ahead and Target this to a blank window. Now, this will lead to create a brand- new window or a new tab based upon the browser that your users are using. The benefit of that is is if you are going to send somebody away from your site navigate them to another location online, you often want to make sure that your site stays up. That way if they are browsing around for a while, they will have to take the Back button 15 times to get back to your page and if they close the tab, they are right back in your page. You should be a little careful about that though, because you don't want to call somebody to have 15 open tabs just by clicking around your site.
So my advice to you there is just use it judiciously. So I am going to go ahead and Save this file, and there's another file that needs our attention. I am going to go over to my Files panel. So, I am going to go into my tours folder, and I want to open up the tour_detail_bigsur.htm. If I scroll down a little bit, I can see that at the very bottom I have this little paragraph where I can view hiking trail information or a map of Big Sur. Well, we want to send our users to Google Maps and give them a map of Big Sur. That's going to be a really long link, and frankly, I have no idea what it would be.
So, we are going to go out Google Maps, find the map of Big Sur and copy and paste its link into our own page here. So I'm going to switch out to my browser and go to Google Maps and once I am on Google Map, I am just going to type in Big sur, CA and sure enough, it lands me right there on Big Sur, and now somebody has an idea where this, I can go in, find the points of interest, all sorts of things. So, I want to go ahead and send them to this page, but if you have noticed the URL still just says maps.google.com. And that's not going to help me.
If I copy and paste that link, they are still going to have to type in Big Sur, and that's not really helping. So what I am going to do is go right over here, and you can see there is a little Link right here for the link to that particular page. So, I am going to click on that, and it gives me two ways to embed that into my Web site. One would be just the link itself, and the other one would create an iframe, which would embed the map on your page. Now you're certainly free to do that, but what we're studying here is how to create Absolute Links, so that's not the solution that's going to work for us. So what I want to do is find this top section, and I just want to copy that.
So, I am going to highlight that really long query string and copy that and then go back into Dreamweaver. Once I am back in the Dreamweaver, I am going to highlight the text, View a map of Big Sur, click inside Link dialog box and paste. Now be sure to hit Return, and you'll notice that you have long string of characters right in there. Once again, I am going to Target that to a blank page and do a Save All. Make sure that you test this, so I am just going to go ahead and preview this on my browser. I am going to come down here to View a map of Big Sur and click on that, and I want to make sure that it goes right back to that Big Sur map I have had before.
The reason for that is occasionally when you copy and paste into Dreamweaver's Link dialog box, the link might become truncated. If it does, let me show you how to deal with that. Go back in the Dreamweaver and all you do is highlight your link, go in the Split Screen view and find the link itself. So, here's a link tag that we are working with right now. Notice that the href attribute is the one that contains that really long query string to Google maps. So, if you just go into Code view, if you highlight this and paste your link there, it's guaranteed to work.
Sometime in the Properties Inspector it truncates just a little bit, so you need to be aware of that particular behavior in Dreamweaver. That will sometimes get you in trouble. So make sure you test that thoroughly. So Absolute Links, they are just as easy to create as any other link in Dreamweaver. You just have to remember the protocol on the front of it. Leaving it off can create a broken link and frustrate your users. Now remember that using _blank for Target allows people to browse in a new tab or a new window without leaving your site. And that can be both a good and a bad thing, so you need to think very carefully about usability before committing any link to a new window.
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