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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Applying templates to existing pages


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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

with James Williamson

Video: Applying templates to existing pages

Occasionally, you might have an older page or a site that you want to move into your new templated format. Instead of having to copy and paste everything into a new page, you can apply a template to an existing page. As you'll see, this technique does have its drawbacks. So most of the time, you'll need to make a determination as to which approach will be quicker, either applying the template or copying and pasting the content into a new page based from the template. As you'll see, that decision is largely made based upon the complexity of the page that you're working with.
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  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 49s
  2. 7m 50s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      3m 16s
    2. Learning web design
      2m 22s
    3. Current web standards
      2m 12s
  3. 43m 9s
    1. The Welcome screen
      4m 5s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 23s
    3. The Application toolbar
      4m 7s
    4. The Document toolbar
      4m 40s
    5. Arranging panels
      8m 19s
    6. Managing workspaces
      7m 32s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      5m 54s
    8. The Insert panel
      6m 9s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Basic site structure
      3m 11s
    2. File naming conventions
      1m 49s
    3. Defining a new site
      4m 35s
    4. Managing sites
      4m 51s
    5. Managing files and folders
      6m 36s
    6. Working with browsers
      4m 43s
  5. 27m 21s
    1. Creating new documents
      5m 16s
    2. New document preferences
      3m 6s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      4m 56s
    4. Working with starter pages
      3m 46s
    5. Managing starter pages
      10m 17s
  6. 30m 2s
    1. Basic tag structure
      2m 15s
    2. Adding structure to text
      8m 20s
    3. Creating lists
      9m 59s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      5m 59s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 29s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding style sheets
      2m 16s
    2. The anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 48s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      6m 36s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      10m 2s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      5m 14s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      7m 21s
    7. Using CSS Enable
      6m 45s
    8. Understanding element selectors
      8m 11s
    9. Understanding class selectors
      8m 49s
    10. Understanding ID selectors
      5m 59s
    11. Understanding descendant selectors
      6m 51s
    12. Attaching external style sheets
      7m 44s
  8. 1h 47m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      7m 11s
    2. Declaring font families
      9m 39s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      9m 9s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      8m 0s
    5. Controlling line height
      8m 29s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      12m 3s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      5m 39s
    8. Aligning text
      8m 26s
    9. Transforming text
      5m 36s
    10. Writing global styles
      15m 42s
    11. Writing targeted styles
      17m 37s
  9. 1h 32m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 3s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      12m 51s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      4m 20s
    4. Setting external image editing preferences
      3m 52s
    5. Placing images on the page
      7m 37s
    6. Photoshop integration
      5m 54s
    7. Modifying Smart Objects
      5m 51s
    8. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      8m 8s
    9. Modifying image properties
      11m 14s
    10. Styling images with CSS
      7m 11s
    11. Using background graphics
      9m 3s
    12. Positioning background graphics
      11m 6s
  10. 55m 16s
    1. Link basics
      3m 37s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 14s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      11m 1s
    4. Absolute links
      5m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      11m 19s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 44s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 24s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      13m 49s
  11. 1h 34m
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 56s
    2. The Box Model
      13m 21s
    3. Understanding floats
      6m 53s
    4. Clearing and containing floats
      8m 56s
    5. Using relative positioning
      4m 8s
    6. Using absolute positioning
      7m 18s
    7. Creating structure with div tags
      12m 7s
    8. Styling basic structure
      10m 34s
    9. Creating a two-column layout
      10m 37s
    10. Using Live View and CSS Inspect
      7m 51s
    11. Using Browser Lab
      9m 39s
  12. 56m 22s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      7m 41s
    2. Importing tabular data
      5m 13s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      9m 56s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      4m 0s
    5. Basic table styling
      8m 45s
    6. Styling table headers
      7m 52s
    7. Styling column groups
      4m 22s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 1s
    9. Styling table captions
      3m 32s
  13. 1h 43m
    1. How forms work
      3m 0s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 2s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      7m 33s
    4. Setting form properties
      4m 6s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      4m 32s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 58s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      5m 26s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      7m 50s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      6m 22s
    10. Inserting text areas
      4m 12s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      3m 37s
    12. Basic form styling
      12m 0s
    13. Form element styling
      8m 52s
    14. Styling form layout
      11m 49s
    15. Adding form interactivity
      2m 47s
    16. Using Spry validation widgets
      12m 49s
  14. 1h 23m
    1. Planning for templates
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a new template
      10m 37s
    3. Using editable attributes
      13m 43s
    4. Creating optional regions
      6m 23s
    5. Creating new pages from a template
      9m 17s
    6. Applying templates to existing pages
      6m 9s
    7. Working with nested templates
      7m 56s
    8. Working with repeating regions
      12m 58s
    9. Modifying templates
      5m 41s
  15. 40m 14s
    1. Behaviors overview
      3m 47s
    2. Hiding and showing elements
      9m 18s
    3. Spry overview
      4m 4s
    4. Using Spry widgets
      11m 36s
    5. Adding Spry effects
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Widget Browser
      8m 23s
  16. 28m 18s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      5m 4s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      6m 27s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      6m 6s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 10s
    5. Adding Flash video
      4m 31s
  17. 45m 28s
    1. Running site-wide reports
      6m 33s
    2. Checking for broken links
      5m 41s
    3. Checking for browser compatibility
      8m 3s
    4. Adding remote servers
      8m 0s
    5. Uploading files
      7m 20s
    6. Managing remote sites
      9m 51s
  18. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
15h 22m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Defining and structuring a new site
  • Creating new web documents from scratch or from templates
  • Adding and formatting text
  • Understanding style sheet basics
  • Placing and styling images
  • Creating links to internal pages and external web sites
  • Controlling page layout with CSS
  • Building and styling forms
  • Reusing web content with templates
  • Adding interactivity
  • Working with Flash and video
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Applying templates to existing pages

Occasionally, you might have an older page or a site that you want to move into your new templated format. Instead of having to copy and paste everything into a new page, you can apply a template to an existing page. As you'll see, this technique does have its drawbacks. So most of the time, you'll need to make a determination as to which approach will be quicker, either applying the template or copying and pasting the content into a new page based from the template. As you'll see, that decision is largely made based upon the complexity of the page that you're working with.

So here I have the mission.htm page open from the 13_06 directory. And as you can see, this is fairly simple. There is really not a lot going on here. We have some content. Some headings, some paragraphs, an image, and they're all inside of a div tag that's sort of holding all that content together. Now, this is clearly not a complex page and it fits perfectly within the workflow of applying a complex template to a simple page. It's when your pages getting more complex that applying the template to it gets a little bit more difficult.

And as we go through this exercise, I think you'll see what we are talking about. So we want to go ahead and apply our Explore California main template to this page. Well, one of the easiest ways to do that is to use the Assets panel. So right there beside the Files panel, I am going to click on the Assets panel and bring that up. Now, in your Asset panel categories, you want to click right here on the Template category. It's the second to last icon from the bottom. This kind of looks like that page with some blue text on it. Okay, inside of our templates we really only see one main template.

One of the options of our Assets panel when we highlight main template is Apply. Highlighting a template and clicking Apply will go ahead and apply that template to whatever open page you're currently focused on. So obviously that's a button that needs to be treated with a little bit of care. Well, there is another way to apply templates to pages that you might find a little bit easier or at least certainly more fun. You can grab the main template right here in the Assets panel and literally just drag that on to your page and let go. Now, Dreamweaver will go ahead and apply the template to that page.

Well, anytime you apply a template to a page, you are going to see this dialog box. Essentially, Dreamweaver wants to know, okay, everything that's on this page, where do you want it to go within your new template? Now, since this is a fairly simple document, we're essentially given one choice. Everything inside the document body where would you like me to place that? Now, we don't have any links to CSS files. We don't have any external JavaScript files that we were bringing in. We don't have any keywords or meta tagging. And so because of that, we don't actually see a listing for the head of our document.

But if we had those things in this page, Dreamweaver would also want to know if we wanted to bring that material into our new templated page as well. Okay, so how do we tell Dreamweaver where to place the contents of the page? Well, simply highlight document body right here and then using your pulldown menu, you tell Dreamweaver where you want to place this content. Now, in this case, this content is going to go into the mainContent region. Now, to be honest with you, this is one of the biggest drawbacks to using this technique. Let's say that you had your sidebar content on this page, maybe some breadcrumb information, maybe some mainContent region.

You aren't going to have that ability to basically say take these elements and place them in this region. Everything on a page has to go in one region. Now, if you have a big enough region, you could place everything in there and then when you get into the page, cut and paste things into other regions. But that's not really ideal workflow either. So occasionally, if your page is really complex, it's probably going to be easier for you just to create a new page from the template and then copy and paste from an existing page. But for the page we have here, this workflow is going to work fine. I am going to go ahead and click OK.

And now our mission.htm is using the template for its page structure. You can see here is the content we have, who we are, and our image and all of our paragraphs and they fit in there just fine. So all we need to do at this point would be to place some Trivia information in there, and then determine what we want to do as far as our sub-navigation menu, breadcrumbs and Region ID would be helpful. So I am going to highlight that. Type in Mission. Now, I am going to go ahead and set our template properties as well.

I am going to go up to Modify and choose Template Properties. Now, for my bodyClass, we don't have any breadcrumbs on this page. So instead of the bodyClass being hasCrumbs, I am going to change that to noCrumbs and I'mable type in anything I want there. Breadcrumbs will remain invisible as will all of my sub-navigation. So since their default is to be invisible, I am not going to have to go change anything there. I do need to go down however to my missionLink and make sure that Dreamweaver knows that that is the current link. So I am going to replace the text baseLink with current, again being very careful not to modify mission or the space between the two of them.

So I just wanted to say mission current. Now, when we previously modified template properties and in modifying in this time, you may have noticed this little checkbox right here, Allow nested templates to control this. Well later on, we'll be creating a nested template based on our main template. And this as gives you the option or the ability to go ahead and allow people to set these attributes in your nested templates as well. For what we are doing here though, we don't need to do that. We'll just leave it as mission and current. I am going to go ahead and click OK.

And you may have noticed that the headline in the body copy moved down. That's because this page doesn't have breadcrumbs, so the margin above the content region was increased to compensate for that. I am just going to go ahead and save this and preview this in my browser. There we go. There's our page. It's looking good. The only thing it lacks is our trivia information, which we could go ahead and put in at any time. Now, for complex pages, or pages where you might have to move multiple regions around, once the template has been applied to it, this might not be the best workflow.

Often copying and pasting content into a new page based off the template will actually be faster and less prone to error. Regardless, it's helpful to understand both workflows so that when the time comes, you can make an informed choice as to which method to use.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: After creating a website following the instructions in the course, the header background graphic appears correctly in all browsers except Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7.  The graphic works properly in IE 8. What can be done to make the graphics appear in IE 6 and IE 7?
A: To make the header background graphic appear, wrap the header div tag in another div tag and give it an ID like “mainHeader.” The problem stems from a bug in Internet Explorer that prevents the browser from dealing with absolutely positioned elements that are right next to relatively positioned elements.  Following the steps above should solve the problem.
Q: In the tutorial, the author links the Tool Tip to the word "More" at the bottom of the thumbnail photo field. I can't figure out how to place the <a> "More" on the thumbnail photo field.
A: In the example, there is a paragraph that wraps an <img> tag and the word "More," which is surrounded by an anchor tag (<a>). The author uses CSS to make sure the parent div tag of the thumbs floats to the left, and is only wide enough for the image. This causes the link text to break down onto another line. Then, the instructor uses CSS to align the link text to the right of the <img>. The link itself is a void JavaScript function, ( javascript();). This gives you a "dummy" link without returning you to the top of the page as the "#" dummy link tends to do.
If you were manually typing the text in, you could select the image, hit the right arrow button, and begin typing. The text should then appear on screen.
Q: In this movie, you are making changes to the HTML in order to customize the text layout on your page (i.e. h1, h2, and h3 tags as well as strong and em tags). I'm wondering why you are not using CSS to do this (i.e. font-size, font-weight). Do you typically use one method, or is it customary to do use both in a layout, and if so, what guidelines would you suggest to determine which to use when?
A: We modify the page's structure through the use of h1, h2, and other heading tags. So when we are choosing heading levels, we're not concerning ourselves with typography; we're establishing page structure. A heading is chosen to denote the level of importance for the heading, not typography.
CSS should always be used for presentation, not HTML.
Q: In the “Understanding ID selectors” movie, the author states that only one ID tag can be used per page, but then he adds two ID tags. Can you please clarify this for me?
A: You can use as many IDs per page as you wish. They just must all use a unique name. Therefore if you assign an element the ID of "header" no other element on THAT page may use the same ID.
Q: I noticed that in this course, the instructor uses this code on his CSS external sheet: @charset "UTF-8"; I was under the impression that this code wasn't necessary. The W3.org site is unclear on the matter. Is it necessary? Is it a best practice? Is it an older form of CSS?
A: The characterset attribute is added automatically by Dreamweaver, and there’s no practical reason to remove it. While it's not needed (the HTML page should indicate which encoding to use for the page) it is helpful if the CSS file is ever imported or used on a page where the characterset isn't specified. Think of it as a safety net for characterset encoding. Not necessary, but not harmful either.
Q: I need to add captions below images that I insert in pages of text. I played all the lessons in Chapter 5 (Adding Text and Structure) but none dealt with captions. I hope the author has an answer or can refer me to a source.
A: In HTML 4 and XHTML 1 (which is what Dreamweaver CS5 uses by default), there wasn't really a way to add captions below your photos. Most web authors would "fake" captions by having paragraphs of text below their images and using CSS to position and style the captions in the desired manner. Many would use a class such as .imgCaption to control the styling. To do this you would essentially position the text underneath the image through CSS (often by grouping the image and the paragraph in a div tag) and italicizing the text.

However in HTML5, there are new elements that allow us to associate images and their captions, the figure and figcaption element. Our author James Williamson just finished a course on HTML5: Syntax, Structure, and Semantics which details how to use it.

HTML5 Doctor also has a nice article on the figure and figcaption elements at http://html5doctor.com/the-figure-figcaption-elements/.
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