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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4 shows the basics of doing just that—building a first web site. Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani walks through the important steps of creating a web site from concept to publishing, using Dreamweaver CS4. He teaches how to create basic web pages, add text and image content, use Cascading Style Sheets for design and layout, create a photo gallery, and even check the final site for browser compatibility. He also demonstrates how to create a contact form to encourage viewer feedback on the site. Exercise files accompany the course.
Dreamweaver has a lot of functionality built-in but if you are looking for something specific, it might not be in the box such is the case for this Portfolio page. Really what I would like to add to this is a photo gallery, something sort of lightbox gallery which allow me to select images and view them sort of at full size. So that's what I want to add to this page and really what I want to start doing is looking in Adobe's Exchange site.
So adobe.com/exchange, that's where I'm going to go. And I'm going to select Dreamweaver and I want to look in Dreamweaver Exchange for a lightbox, for whatever specific item you might be interested in. So there are many different things in here. Some of them you have to buy, some are free to download but there is a quite a few things in here. Everything from Flash Video Players to sort of web carts, all sorts of things.
But I'm searching for something specific. In fact I want a lightbox. So a lightbox web gallery. Sure enough my search results return this lightbox gallery, which looks pretty darn nice and it has pretty high ratings. Luckily, it is absolutely free so all I need to do is click Download. Now you will have to log in but once you are logged in, you will get the opportunity to open this file up with Adobe Extension Manager.
So that's what this file gets added to. So I'm going to select OK, I accept the disclaimer, and it adds this extension to Dreamweaver CS4. And in fact, it gives me a little description on what this gallery does and I'm going to show you all of this stuff. So with that added all I need to do is launch Dreamweaver and I need to open up my portfolio page. Here I am, here is my portfolio page, I'll delete that text on portfolio page.
I'll delete that photo gallery text there. And let me look at my Insert menu up here at the top and I have the Classic workspace selected. And if look through this I'll see TCN Widgets, I'll select that and I can see this little icon, the lightbox gallery. So all I need to do is be aware of where my cursor is and click that button and it adds this lightbox gallery down here.
Now the first thing I want to do is I want to save this page and when I do that it tells me, this widget requires supporting files, and it says that it's going to copy all of these files into the correct location. But don't forget to upload them when you upload your site. So I can look through this list. There is a sample lightbox layout. This is a CSS file. So in general, there is not only graphics; there is cascading style sheets. So that means I can change the style of this.
And some additional files to make this lightbox work. So I'm going to select OK. My images appear. In fact that looks pretty good. Let's go ahead and check out what it looks like in the browser. So File > Preview in Browser. Select Firefox. Here is my lightbox gallery. I can select say that first image and it opens up and kind of gives this black overlay which looks really good, and I can go to the next image and again the photo transitions one to the next. Perfect! The only issue is these aren't my photos.
That's the first thing I want to change. Let me close that browser and go back into Dreamweaver and in here this is where I want to change out my photos. I'm going to select this first one here and if I look in the Properties panel down here at the bottom it shows me the source image. So all I need to do is change this source image by clicking Browse for File. In the images folder if I scroll down I happen to have this portfolio folder and I can select AngkorWat image, AngkorWat_sm.
Click Choose and that replaces that thumbnail. I'm mindful of the size of these as well so of course these images are pre-built at 72 pixels by 72 pixels. So that's the small thumbnail image and it links to this larger image, so I do need to change out this larger image by clicking Browse for File and I'll go down to portfolio, and I'll select this large AngkorWat image. Choose that and really it's the same process for each which is changing the source to a new photo and then also changing what it links to as well.
Notice-- you are probably starting to notice this pattern. So I have this _sm and then I have the full size image and no _sm. Again, change this third one, so to Morocco_sm, Choose. And here is a little shortcut for you, what I can do is I can just select this entire source image, copy it. So I'm doing a Command+C on the Mac or Ctrl+C. And then I'm going to paste it right in here because the only difference between these two images is the fact that this thumbnail has the _sm.
So I have typed that in, hit Enter. So that might be a quick shortcut or you can always go through these menus, portfolio on down the line. I swapped out all the images but this still has some other issues, in fact let me go ahead and save this page and just view it one more time in Firefox. So File > Preview in Browser. Firefox is what I'm going to choose, these are the correct images and now I can call this my own.
Worked out perfect. But I have this issue where I really want this information to be centered in the space and I might want to even change the background color for instance because I'm not a huge fan of at least the majority of this gray. That's the next step, which is going to be changing the CSS for something which you have downloaded. So I'm going back into Dreamweaver, all I need to do is select the border for this widget.
If I look in my CSS Styles panel I can change this to current and notice that it does have the background color right here. So really it's just a matter of going to your CSS Styles panel, selecting what you want to change, in this case my background color, change it from gray to black just like that. The next thing I want to do is maybe change the width of this. Now I can change it in here if I want to as well. So I'm going to change the width to about 95%.
Again, not 95 pixels, 95% like that and that stretches it out and ultimately centers that content. If I click on View All of the CSS Styles, you can see that here is my sample lightbox layout that I was able to manipulate. And I can go in further, in more detail and edit some of these other details if I want to as well. I think it looks really good, in fact let's just preview it in browser once more. And make sure that page is saved, here is my portfolio of places, has that black background, it's centered and it looks really good.
So again, anytime you want to sort of extend the functionality of a page in a real specific way but aren't sure where to begin, I really encourage you to go out to adobe.com/exchange to the Dreamweaver section and then just look in there for sort of any functionality you might be needing to really enhance the look of any experience you are going for, for your website.
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