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To get the most out of Dreamweaver CS4, it's important not only to master the application, but also to understand fundamental concepts of modern web design. James Williamson teaches just that in Dreamweaver CS4 Essential Training, covering everything from site structure to the value of standards-compliant XHTML and CSS. He shows how to create clean and accessible code in Dreamweaver, as well as how to publish compelling content. James demonstrates how to use a variety of techniques for adding interactivity, creating and styling forms and tables, and saving time with templates. He explains the benefits of using programs like Word and Photoshop to speed up workflow, and shows how to publish and manage finished sites. Exercise files accompany the course.
Dreamweaver features a wide array of panels for setting properties and performing tasks. Keeping track of and organizing these panels would be an exhaustive task if Dreamweaver's interface wasn't so well thought out. In this movie, we will take a closer look at managing and taking care of these palettes. So one of the easiest ways to change our palettes location and/or appearances is to simply use the preset workspaces. I can go up to the Application toolbar, to the workspace switcher and switch back and forth between workspaces. So if I don't like the Designer view for example, I can go to the Classic view and I get a very different arrangements of panels. Let me switch back to the Designer view real quick here. So that's one way to sort of hop back and forth between panel sets and different appearances within panels.
There are others things that we can do in panels that we can access that aren't part of some of these default workspaces. So if you need to access a panel that's not opened by default, you can go right up to the menu, go to Window and just find the panel you're looking for. Any currently open panel has a checkmark beside it, so it's really easy to find one that's not opened and go and open it up. You'll notice that this time, I selected the Tag Inspector and a new panel didn't really open up, it was just a part of a group, it wasn't active but it's still part of a group. So when I have multiple panel groups like we have here in the middle, simply Clicking on the tag for that particular panel, will focus on that panel and allow us to access that panel's content which is awesome.
Even though these panels are originally arranged within sort of this panel doc that we have over here on the right- hand side, they don't have to be. Notice with the Insert panel here for example, I could undock this by grabbing the tab and dragging it and releasing it and it floats out and undocks as a floating panel. So you can do that as much as you want. As a matter of fact, you could totally customize these, you can grab another panel, float it and you can even combine them together. So I can create new groupings out of existing panels. So you're really free to place these anywhere that you want and if I place this back into the grouping there, where it was previously, you'll notice that it's located now all the way over to right, instead of being the first one in the group, you can change that too.
I can grab this, slight it back over into the position I needed and it's right there on the left-hand side which is where I would normally find this. You can dock panels in other locations as well. I'm going to take the Insert panel, for example, I can move it up to the top and dock it horizontally, I could undock it again and I could even dock it over here on the left-hand side which would create two separate docks. So if you have a big enough monitor, you can even go ahead and have a panel dock on the right and a panel dock on the left which is pretty interesting. Let me go ahead and undock that.
If you do a lot of playing around like this, your interface can get really cluttered. So anytime that you want to reset one of your interfaces, all you have to do is get right back up to your workspace switcher, choose Reset and it will reload it right back where it was before. So all my panels are now right back in the position that they were before. Let's talk about working with these panel sets on smaller monitors. Right now these panels are taking up a lot of screen real estate and this can sort of make it hard to work on larger sites. So I can come over to my panel groupings and I have got a little icon right up here at the top of the dock and when I Click that, I can collapse these panels down to icons.
Now the first set of icons that you see also has the label of the panel. So simply Clicking that icon will activate that panel and now I can use it and do what I need to do and Clicking the icon again will collapse it back down to the icon. However, I can grab the divider between these and to further save a little bit of screen real estate, I can move the divider to the right and class it down to where these are simply icons. Once again, hovering over them will give me the name of the panel and Clicking on it will activate the panel just as it did before. Whenever I need these panels back out and expanded, I simply Click the icon up top, this expands the panel out again and I'm back to where I started.
If you're really looking for a fast way to hide all the panels and get everything out of the way, so you can simply work on your site, F4 is the function key you want to remember. If I Click F4, notice that all of my panels go away. They are not really gone, if you notice at the bottom, in the right side of the interface, there is sort of a little grey bar over there. If I hover over that bar, my panels come right back, I can access them, do whatever I want to do and then when I move my mouse away, they collapse again. So that's a very quick and easy way to sort of hide everything, only accessing these panels when you need to. F4 is a toggle, so hitting that key again brings the panels right back again.
What I hope this illustrates is how customizable Dreamweaver's interface really is. You can modify it to see your own personal workflow and as we will see, use workspaces to save these custom layouts to make switching between interface layouts quick and easy.
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