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By far one of the easiest things to do in Dreamweaver is create links. That's a good thing too, because you'll be doing so much of it. Now, I can think of at least seven ways of creating links in Dreamweaver right off the top of my head, and I may have forgotten a couple, but honestly though, no matter how many different techniques there are, you'll probably, well, like most designers, just use a few favorite core techniques when creating links on your pages. In this movie we're going to explore a few of those core techniques and talk about some of their pros and cons.
So I am working in the index.htm file that I've opened up from the 08_03 folder. And I'm in Design View, but I don't have Live View turned on. I am just going to scroll down into the Fall registration is now open article, and I want you find a specific line of text here. We have this line right here that says Be sure to visit our if you have questions about, well, wait a second that doesn't read right. Be sure to visit our blank if, okay, so obviously we're missing a word here. And what we want to have here is a link to our frequently asked questions page.
In order to show off our first technique we have a situation where I don't already have text on the page that I want to convert to a link, I want to insert a link from scratch. Now, there are a couple of different ways to do this, I could go up, for example, to my menu and choose Insert> Hyperlink, or I can come over to my Insert Toolbar and in the Common objects I can just go ahead and insert a Hyperlink. Now, both of those options are going to give you the exact same dialog box, so it doesn't really matter which of the two of them that you use.
So what I am gong to do is I am going to go down into this text, Be sure to visit our, and right after the word our, I'm going to hit space to give myself a little bit of white space and then I am going to go up and insert a Hyperlink. Now, this technique is often overlooked when people talk about creating links and that's because it's not the quickest method. However, this method will give you some options that all the other methods that I am going to show you don't have, so let's talk about what this can do for us. The first thing that it can do for us is it allows us to enter the text on the page at the same time we are creating a link.
So if you're in the process of typing content and you know that what you're about to type is going to be a link, you can just go up and hit the Insert Hyperlink, have this dialog box come up and then type and create the like all at the same time. Now, for the text we are going to type in FAQ for FAQ. As far as the link goes, this allows us to browse to the page, so we don't have to memorize exactly which page we want to link to. We can click the Browse button and browse out. Now, I am going to go in the 08_03 and I am going to scroll down a little bit and I am going to go into the admissions directory and find the faq.htm file, I am going to highlight that and click OK, and it's going to resolve that for me.
Now, I don't know if you notice this or not, but when we were browsing for this, when I highlighted the faq, notice that it gives me the option to choose Document or Site Root Relative links, which is really cool. Again, if I wanted to change it to a Site Root Relative link, I could use this technique to do that. Now, the next thing that we can choose is a Target, we are going to talk more about that later, but Targets basically allow you to open up a link into a new tab or into a new window, and here's another option that I absolutely love about this particular technique, we are able to go ahead and Title our link right here.
So I could say Visit our Frequently Asked Questions. And if somebody hovers over that link, or if somebody is using assistive technology, they'll get that information. We could also enter in accessibility features like Access keys and Tab Indexes if we want to, so there are a lot of options here with this particular technique. I am going to go ahead and click OK and you see there is the link on the page. I need to add a little bit of a space after it, so I am going to go ahead and do that. And if I click inside this, you can see if I click on the HTML Properties, there is our link right there, admissions/faq.htm, and we were able to enter that and the text all at the same time. All right! So I am going to go ahead and save the page and I am going to move on to our next technique.
Now, there is line of text right below that that says Visit our Admissions Page for more information. I am going to make that entire line a link. So I am going to go ahead and highlight that. Now, in this instance we already have the text on the page, we don't need to insert the text and the link at the same time. So what I am going to do is I am going to use the Properties Inspector, and this is one of my favorite methods, because it's so quick and easy to do this. What I am going to do is I am going to go to the Properties Inspector and I am going to click right here inside the Link dialog box. Now all I have to do is type in the path to the link.
So I am just going to type in admissions/admissions.htm. When I hit Enter or Return, it goes ahead and creates the link for me automatically, so that was very, very quick. I can also go ahead and apply a class here as well. So I am going to grab the Class pull-down menu and I am going to scroll down and find the more class, apply that, and it will go ahead and style our link on a separate line and align it to the right-hand side, which is how I have decided that the read more type links are going to be styled in our Roux Academy site. All right! So once again, I am going to go ahead and save this.
Now, that was quick, but the downside of that particular technique is that I have to know and have it memorized in terms of the path, how that link is going to be resolved to the page that I need to link to. Now, in simple sites that's pretty easy to do and you'll be able to type that fairly simply, but as your sites get more complex and as your directory structures get more complex, you're probably going to want to lean on some other techniques that allow you to sort of browse out and find the files that you are looking for. All right! So what I want to do now is I am going to scroll up to the student profile pod, and you can see that whereas the other pods have these sort of more info links, this one doesn't, it does have the text more info, but it doesn't have a link.
So I am going to go ahead and double-click to get into that particular area. And then I am just going to highlight the more info text, so I just want to highlight that. Whereas before we used the Link dialog box here in the Properties Inspector to type in a link, this time we are going to use one of these two icons over here on the right-hand side of it. The first icon allows me to click the folder and browse for the link. You'll notice this gives us the same dialog box that we got a little bit earlier when we inserted the Hyperlink using the Insert Panel. So again, here we have the option of resolving that link with a Document or a Site Root Relative, or even linking to a Data source if we are going to generate links from a database.
I am going to go ahead and cancel that, because I want to show you another option right here, which is the Point to File icon, and this is probably my favorite in terms of getting it done quickly. This is really, really fast. All you have to do to use the Point to File icon is make sure that your Files Panel is visible and I can just grab this Point to File icon, hold my mouse down, and drag to the file that I want to link to. In this case I am going to link to spotlight, but if you ever have to link inside of a subdirectory, all you have to do is hover over the subdirectory, it will open up and it will allow you access to the files inside of it.
So I just want to point to spotlight, I'll hover over that and I can actually see it resolve the link right there in the Link dialog box. When I release my mouse, the link is made, and once again, I am going to go ahead and give it a class of more and save our file. So the Point to File icon is pretty much everybody's favorite, because you just drag to the page you want to link to, make the link, and off you go. It's going to resolve it based upon the preferences that you set when you defined your site, and in this case, that is a document relative path. Now, I want to show off one more technique before we move on.
I am going to scroll up to the very top of the document and I notice that my menu up here is looking okay except for Admissions, which is not styled the same as these other items, and of course the reason for that is that it doesn't have a link attached to it. So I'm going to click inside my list item here, and probably the best way for you to highlight this text is just double-click it. Doing that will highlight the text inside of the list item, but it won't actually select the list item tag itself, which is perfect. Now, because we've already resolved some links within our document, Dreamweaver sort of has a memory of those links, it remembers them.
So if I go down to, once again, the Properties Inspector and if I see the Link dialog box, I notice that that is actually a pull-down menu, and if I click that, I can see all the links that I've resolved so far; there's spotlight, there's admissions, and there's faq.htm. Since this is going to admissions, all I have to do is click that from the pull-down menu, the link is resolved, and I can just go ahead and save the file. And so now, if I preview this on my browser, I can see if I scroll down, for example, I can hover over Student Spotlight, click on more info, go to the Spotlight page, if I scroll down into our article, I can click on the FAQ, I go to the Frequently Asked Questions.
Now, it's easy to see why there are so many different ways to create links in Dreamweaver. Some of these techniques are designed to allow fast and accurate link creation when simple links are required, and other methods are designed to accept more input based on the current need of your current links. Now, you'll find yourself using multiple techniques based on your link requirements at that moment and also your personal preferences. Be sure to practice creating links with each of these techniques so that you'll know which method to use based on your current situation.
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