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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.
Like most new features, Dreamweaver gives you a multitude of ways that you can use to create new pages. Some are quicker than others, and some give you more options to choose from when creating a new page. In this chapter, we will explore Dreamweaver's new document creation capabilities so that you can make sure that pages you're creating are conforming to the standards required for your site. The first thing we will do is we will go over all the different methods in Dreamweaver that you can use to create a new page. The first method is one of the easiest, going right to the Welcome screen if it's up and then just Clicking Create New HTML. You do that, boom. Instantly you have a new page. I could also go over to the Files panel, Right-Click the Root folder and choose New File. That gives me a brand new untitled page that I'm free to name or title anyway that I want. And if we were to Double-Click that we would see that again, now we have again just a couple of untitled pages.
Now I'm going to close those, and take a look at another method of creating a new page. I can go right up the file, and choose New. Now when I do that, I get quite a few more options than the previous two methods. So the other two just went ahead and created the new page for me, based on my New Document Preferences and we will talk about those in just a moment but when I choose File, New, the New Document dialog box comes up and this can look a little overwhelming the first time that you see it. On the left hand side, we have some options, of creating just a Blank Page, creating a Blank Template, creating a page from any existing templates that we might have, using some of the Sample pages that Dreamweaver provides for us. Or other, which is just other file types like C# or ActionScript, if you're doing a lot of Flash stuff.
So let's get back up to Blank Page because even that has a lot of options available to us. Our second column is Page Type. Notice here we can choose HTML, XSLTs, if we are creating a blank cascading style sheet file, we can choose that from here. So any one of those choices is going to create the file type that you're looking for. We will stick with HTML for right now. In the third column, we have a option for choosing Layouts. Now these are all CSS starter pages and we will certainly going to explore them in more detail later on in this title, but for right now, if you just need a sample layout to start off with, something, for example, like this with two columns and a right side bar, then you could choose some of these options and go ahead and create the page. When you do that, it's going to ask you, where to put the CSS and that's one of the options over here on the right hand side.
Now let's go back to not using a Starter Page for a moment because I do want to explore some of these document options over here on the right hand side. The first thing is the Document Type, what type are we using? Is it HTML? Is it XHTML? Or using Transitional or Strict. We can make that choice here, and Dreamweaver would go ahead and create the Document Type declaration for us. What if we have a CSS file to attach, that's a site wide CSS file. Well, we could Click right there on the Attach Style Sheet icon, browse out, find our cascading style sheet file, and go ahead and attach it. So there are a lot of things that we can do in one location. We also have, in this dialog box, at the very lower left hand corner, a Preferences button. If we Click that our New Document Preferences would come up. We are going to take a closer look at those in a moment. So I'm going to leave those alone for right now and just choose Create.
So there we go. Now we have another page but notice when I go into Code View, here's the document type declaration and that of course was chosen based on what I selected in the dialog box. There is one more way to create new pages, I can just simply do Ctrl+N which is the keyboard shortcut, Command+N on the Mac, and here I get my New Document dialog box. That's an option that you can set as to whether that hotkey triggers this dialog box or it just creates a page based on your standards and you can change that in your Preferences. Now that we understand all the different methods of creating new files in Dreamweaver, that's going to allow us to explore the choices being presented to us in a little bit more detail.
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