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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.
Email links allow users to click on a link and automatically generate an e-mail to the specified address. Dreamweaver makes creating e-mail links incredibly simple. Just like most options in Dreamweaver, there are multiple ways to do it. Before we delve into the specifics of creating e-mail links in Dreamweaver, I want to talk to you for just a moment about the pros and cons of using the techniques I'm about to show you. The default method of creating e-mail links in Dreamweaver is dead simple and makes giving your users the ability to contact you even easier.
Dreamweaver will insert a link, including the text of your choice, surrounded by an anchor that links to the defined e-mail. A simple click from the user, and they are composing an e-mail to the address of your choice. Now the downside to inserting e-mail links this way is that spambots find and catalog your e-mail address even easier. Your spam filter will receive a workout from that day forward. Now to combat this, several techniques have evolved, and frankly, are continuing to evolve, that hide your e- mail address from spambots.
So we're going to do a really quick e-mail link here. I'm going to find the sentence: If you feel like sending a quick e-mail, you can fire one off by clicking here. I'm going to go ahead and highlight the word, here. Now inserting an e-mail link is indeed very, very simple. We're just going to go up to our Insert panel, find the Common objects. The second option right there is an Email Link. So when I click this, a dialog box with two options is going to come up, Text and Email. Now, I've already the typed the Text on the page, when I highlighted it. That's why, here already filled in. The last e-mail address that you've added to your page is going to show up there as well.
Now, for most of you, that is probably going to be blank. That is fine. So just go ahead and click inside the Email area, and type in email@example.com. There we go. Really, any e-mail address you want to use, if you want to test this out on your own, you go right ahead. You can type in any e-mail link there that you want. No problem. Go ahead and click OK. Dreamweaver goes ahead and adds the link for us. Now, take a look at what it's added down here in our Properties Inspector.
So the link is resolved by using mailto, all one word, colon, and then e-mail address. So if you ever want to resolve one of those manually, just highlight some text, click inside the Link dialog box. Then all you have to do is type in mailto:, and then the e-mail address, very easy. Now, you can do some manual tweaking of e-mail addresses as well. Let me show you what I'm talking about. The next sentence says, Also, if you would like a catalog of our most popular tours, e-mail us here. Well, what if we don't really have a separate e-mail for that, but we just want people to send that, and perhaps we have some sort of filter set up that says okay.
If that e-mail contains a request for a counter, put it in this inbox, so we know where to find it? Well, you can often do that by forcing a subject line. So rather than making somebody type in a subject line, when they click this link, their e-mail will already have the subject line filled in. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to highlight e-mail us here. Then using the pulldown menu for Link, I'm going to go ahead and choose mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. That's just going to save me a good bit of typing. Although, if you feel like typing that in, be my guest, go right ahead, just type in mailto:support@ explorecalifornia.org or whatever e-mail address you're going to be using.
Now at the very end of this, right after the org, I'm going to type in a question mark. This is one of the reasons why we never use punctuation for the names of objects, because punctuation can sometimes mean something. In this case, it's a separator between our e-mail address and the subject line that we're about to type. Right after that, with no spaces, type in subject= and then whatever you want. In this case, I'm going to type in Catalog Request. Now here, you can add spaces, capitalization. None of that matters, because this is just going to be a string that's passed into that, so ?subject=Catalog Request.
I'm going to hit Return. Now if you'd like, go ahead and preview that in your browser. Click the link and in your Email Client, you should notice the subject line already pre-filled in. That's going to make your users a little bit happier, because if they're requesting a catalog, they're not going to have to fill out a subject line all by themselves. It'll there for them, so they won't have to wonder, "Hey! What should I put?" For you, that allows you to create rules within your Email Client that basically says if you receive an e-mail with the subject line, put it in the subdirectory, so that I know exactly what they're asking me for.
So that's pretty cool, right? Now, e-mail links are a good way to help clients or users get in touch with you, but exposing your e-mail link on the page is a risk that you need to consider before adding them using the default Dreamweaver method. Keep in mind that you can customize your e-mail links as well for added functionality.
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