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Discover how to build web sites, prototypes, and more in this course on Adobe Dreamweaver CS6. Author James Williamson shows designers how to take control of their site by properly naming and structuring files and folders; how to create new documents and web pages from scratch or with starter pages; and how to add content such as text, images, tables, and links. James also provides a background on the languages that power projects built in Dreamweaver—HTML and CSS—and introduces the programming features in the application, for developers who want to dig right into the code. The last chapter shows how to finesse your project with interactive content such as CSS3 transitions and Spry widgets.
In any program as complex as Dreamweaver, one of the biggest challenges is keeping the workspace organized. There are multiple panels, views and panel groups to keep track of and access when you need them. So in this movie, I want to take a closer look at managing and arranging these panels, so that you are taking full advantage of the Dreamweaver workspace. The only thing I've done here is just sort of opened up a new file, so if you don't have a file open you could just go right to the Welcome screen and click on Create New HTML File and you'll be seeing pretty much exactly what I see.
And I'm also looking at the Designer workspace, so if you see a different arrangement of panels than I do, in terms of what's open and what's out there, that's probably why. So, even though I am going to talk about them in more detail in the next movie, I want to talk about workspaces for just a moment. If you go up to the workspace switcher which is found in the Application toolbar. And once again in the Mac that will be just above the document, in the PC it's up here sort of docked with the menu. But you will notice that we have access to several default workspaces. Now later I'll show you how you can create your own, but these workspaces basically give you a default layout in terms of the interface and they help you manage your panels because they'll close certain panels that are not applicable for a specific workspace and then they'll open others.
So for example if I go to Coder, you'll notice that the panels have now moved over here to the left-hand side and there are far fewer panels open now than there were just a moment here ago. If I go back to say Designer, which is where we were, I see the exact same panel grouping that I had before. So workspaces are nice, they allow you to quickly and easily switch back and forth between the series of panel groupings, but the thing is, is if you are relying on workspaces to make sure you have the panels opened and arranged where you need them, you're probably going to run into a situation where you don't have a certain panel open that you need or maybe you have too many panels open.
So it's really helpful to know how to work with these panels how to move them around and arrange them the way that you want them. Now if you've used other Adobe software like Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign, you're probably already familiar with the way the panels work because it's pretty consistent across the Adobe interfaces. Essentially, if you want to close a panel, there are several different ways to do this. Let's take a look at the Adobe BrowserLab panel for example. This is a great panel, but maybe it's not something I am using currently. So I have a couple of options here. One, I can go to the Panel menu, every panel is going to have a menu in the upper right-hand corner just beside the tab here and notice that I can tell it to Close this or Close a Tab Group.
So if you have more than one panel in a group you can close all of them at once. Panels can also be undocked. So you'll notice by clicking on the tab I sort of expand that panel out. So double clicking on a tab and then clicking on a tab again, will collapse and expand that panel. But panels don't need to reside in the dock, they don't have to. If I grab the tab of the BrowserLab panel and drag it out and release it, you will notice that it floats this panel. So now I am free to move this panel to a different location. I can move it in the left-hand side, down towards the bottom, it doesn't really matter.
I can also come up and close the panel by clicking the upper-right hand corner where this little X is. Now on the Mac, you are going to see sort of a red circle and that does the same exact thing. So just close that. What happens if you have closed a panel that you need or you just don't see the panel that you want and you need to go get it? Well the place to find your panels is in the menu under Window. So if I go up to the menu and I select Window, I can see all the panels Dreamweaver has available for me. In fact BrowserLab panel is here, even though you don't see it right off the bat, there are some panels that are sort of hidden if you will within groups, they are just in submenus.
So if I go down to Extension, there is BrowserLab. If I click on that, it brings it right back. Now you may have noticed that it brings the panel back in the exact same location you had it before. So Dreamweaver sort of has an internal memory about your panel arrangements. If you close a panel and reopen it, wherever the panel was before, that's where Dreamweaver is going to place it. If you don't like the existing groupings, you can change them. For example, Business Catalyst is another service that you may or may not be using and BrowserLab is a service that you may or may not be using. But if you are using them and you're using both of them it would be kind of nice to have them together since they are both services that you might be using.
So I'm going to grab the tab of the Adobe BrowserLab panel. I am just going to drag this over on top of the Business Catalyst panel. Now at first nothing happens. So what I need to do is I need to get up right beside the tab of Business Catalyst. When I do that, I see a nice blue outline show up around the panel grouping and when I let go, the Adobe BrowserLab panel now docks with it and I have created a new tab grouping. So switching back and forth between those two panels is very simple. If I decided that I really don't need those panels until later, again I can grab that pulldown menu and I can just tell it to the tab grouping.
So if you end up with a workspace where there's a lot of panels and it's really cluttered, feel free to go ahead and close as many of those as you want and the next time you open Dreamweaver, it will remember that those panels were closed. Now sometimes you won't see the contents of a panel because it's collapsed. Remember, all you have to do to open one up, such as the Files panel down here at the bottom, is simply click the tab and it will expand that panel upwards again. Whenever panels are a part of a dock, as these panels are here on the right-hand side of my interface, they are all docked together and they just sort of cement one on top of another. Well if you need to see more of a given panel, you can just move your mouse between the two panels, you will see this little divider icon show up and then you can click and drag up or down to increase or decrease the amount of room that particular panel has taken up.
Some panels like the CSS panel actually have interior portions of the panel that can be arranged as well. Basically, if you ever see a line and you are curious as to whether you can expand or decrease the amount of space that it's taking up, just hover over it. You will get a nice tooltip and it will let you know that indeed you can. Now one more thing about panels before we move on, you're not limited to just a single dock. For example, take the CSS Styles and AP Elements panel. If I grab those and hold down the Alt key, which would be the Opt key on the Mac, if I click on the tab of the CSS Styles panel and drag that out and note that I'm dragging the entire grouping out and not just one panel at a time.
Now if I wanted to, again I could grab the little title bar of this grouping, I could move it over here on the left-hand side and you will notice when I get all the way against the edge of the screen, when I let go, it will create a brand-new dock on the left-hand side. So if you want your docks on the left hand side, on the right-hand side or if you have a big enough monitor and you want multiple docks, you're free to go ahead and create those as well. Now the panels themselves, if they're taking up too much room within a dock, you will notice that you have this little set of arrows in the upper left-hand corner. If you hover over that it will say Collapse to Icons.
So if I click on that, notice that the panels now collapsed down to a series of icons. If you click on one of those icons the panel will appear, allowing you to work in that panel and do what you want to do. Clicking on the icon again will just sort of slide that panel if you will back into the tray. This is a nice way of sort of keeping a dock active, but not having it take up a lot of screen real estate. In fact, you can see here that we see icons that have both an icon and the label of the panel on it. Well if you're comfortable with what these icons are, you can actually grab the dock itself and collapse it even further so that it's just icons.
So I could do that on either side, collapse it down to just icons and notice that we are seeing a lot more of the screen real estate now for our file and our preview and if we need to access a panel, we can simply click on that panel's icon and it will appear. So that's another very handy way of using that. Now another way to hide panels and docks is to use the F4 key. If I hit F4 it appears at first glance is that my panels have just gone away. But if you're really paying attention to the edges of your interface, you will see that you have sort of this thick gray bar over there on the edge.
If I hover over that gray bar, I can see that my panels show up allowing me to do what I need to do and as soon as I hover off of them, they go back to sort of that gray bar look and then hitting F4 again will toggle that. Now obviously we've made a lot of changes to our interface here and we have moved these panels around a lot. After a while sometimes it can get a little confusing and you can say, wow, I just want to go back and set this to the way the interface was when I started. A very quick and easy way to do that is to go up to your workspace switcher, grab the pulldown menu and tell it to reset the current workspace.
As soon as you do that it'll just go right back to the way it was, when you started out. So obviously the Dreamweaver workspace is incredibly flexible. You can modify it to suit your own personal workflow to make sure that you have just the panels that you need open at any given time and, as we are going to see in our next movie, we are able to use workspaces to save custom layouts to make switching between our interfaces quick and easy.
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