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Creating new pages from a template

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating new pages from a template

Our template is finished and we are now ready to start the process of creating pages based off of it. Depending upon which stage of your site design you begin creating your templates, you could be starting from scratch or you could already have existing pages in your site that you want to fit into your template structure. But first, we'll examine the process of creating new pages from our templates before we take a look at applying templates to already existing pages. So here I am in the 13_05 folder and you'll notice I don't have any pages open.

Creating new pages from a template

Our template is finished and we are now ready to start the process of creating pages based off of it. Depending upon which stage of your site design you begin creating your templates, you could be starting from scratch or you could already have existing pages in your site that you want to fit into your template structure. But first, we'll examine the process of creating new pages from our templates before we take a look at applying templates to already existing pages. So here I am in the 13_05 folder and you'll notice I don't have any pages open.

When I need to create a new page based off of a template, I have a couple of options in Dreamweaver but I just want to show you one of the most powerful ones. I'm going to go to File and choose New and now notice the New Document dialog box comes up and one of my options over her on the left-hand side is a New Page from Template. I am going to go ahead and click on that and I get to see any of the templates that are currently inside my Explore California site. Notice that I have only one at this point, main_template, and when I select that I get a neat little thumbnail right over here.

That's why I like this method so much. If you have multiple templates you get to see a preview of which one you're choosing plus you get to read the description for it. So this is something where you have a lot of options and it's a very visual process so you can tell exactly which template you're going to be using. There's another option that I want to point here that is an incredibly important one. Notice we have a little checkbox right here and it says Update page when template changes. If you want to make sure that updating your template is also updating all of the pages based off of it, you need to ensure that that is checked.

If that's not selected you're basically just creating a standalone page and using the template as a means of jumpstarting that page. You won't have that parent to child relationship between the template and the page you're building and for the purpose of site maintenance that can be really important. So I'm going to go ahead and choose Create and now I have a brand-new page based off of my template. Now I know we're not working our template anymore because we have this little Untitled-12 up here and also I notice that I have this sort of cream-colored outline all the way around my page.

Mousing around page elements either shows a little "no you can't" symbol for areas that are locked, or when I get over an editable region I can enable those and change them. Now these are our highlight colors. This sort of cream colored means locked and this blue color right here it means editable. If you want to change those again you can and really quickly I'll show you where you could find those. I'm going to go up to my Preferences. So that's Edit > Preferences on the PC, it's Dreamweaver > Preferences on the Mac and you want to go to the Highlighting category.

When you go to the Highlighting category, notice that you have highlighting colors for locked regions, editable regions, nested editable. So there are all sorts of different color combinations up here. Now personally I like using red for locked regions because you know it just means stop. But you can keep the defaults if you'd like you want. I'm going to click OK. Notice that now the entire page has that sort of locked area around it. Okay now let's start adding some unique content for our new page. I'm going to change regionID to Tours.

We're obviously creating a page within a Tour section. As a matter of fact it's not a bad idea to go ahead and save this. So I'm going to go up to File and choose Save and inside the 13_05 folder I'm going to save this right in the root directory to tours.htm. So now we have our tours page and we could begin placing content on the page itself. Now if we look over in the _assets folder, we're going to find a page called tour_content.htm. We're just going to make this process a little quicker by opening this page up and then copying and pasting some content.

Now, the first thing I want to do is highlight my body copy which is right there and you could either cut or copy this depending up on how you want to do it. I'm just going to copy it. That way if I make a mistake I can come back and change it later and then I'm just going to highlight the body copy and choose paste. Now the page heading, I'm going to highlight that and I'm going to type in 'something for everyone.' Then if I go back to the tour content, if I click inside this area, Backpack Cal, I notice that there is a div tag with an ID of tourDescriptions all the way over to the left-hand side.

I'm going to click that and again go up to Edit and choose Copy. When I go back to tours, we're going to take advantage of something that we did when we created our editable regions. Remember, for our mainContent editable region the entire div mainArticle is part of that. That means that I can select this div tag now, hit my Right Arrow key, and that places me outside of the mainArticle div tag but still inside the editable region. So when I go up to Edit and choose Paste, now that div tag has been placed just below the mainArticle and those two div tags are now stacked right on top of each other.

That's extremely handy for the structure of our site and its one of the reasons that we took such care in creating that editable region for our mainContent. So now there are all of our tour descriptions and they look great. Wonderful. One last thing to grab from the tour_ content region. I'm going to scroll all the way down and you can see at the bottom there we have our Trivia. So I'm going to highlight that paragraph, copy it, so Command or Ctrl+C, go back to tours, scroll down and find your Trivia body and then paste it.

And then I'm going to save the page again. Excellent. Our tours page is almost finished and you can see how quick that was. Now you're probably thinking well yeah, but we were copying and pasting but more than likely you're going to be getting content from outside sources, whether its copywriters or clients or other team members, and you're probably going to be getting them in text files, Word documents or other HTML pages. So copying and pasting into template pages is actually a very common workflow. Okay, I can go close the tour_content now and as I mentioned we're almost done with tours but we are not quite done with it.

Remember our optional regions? Remember our editable attributes? So we need breadcrumbs to show up, because tours has a whole subsection of tours and we need to know where we are within that structure and we also would love for the tours submenu to show up, since we're in the tours page. We also need to indicate that the tours page is the current page and we need to indicate to our body tag that we do have breadcrumbs. So that's a lot of changes to make. How do we make all those changes? There is nothing on the page right now that says we want this to display or that display or assign this attribute.

Okay so anytime you have optional regions or editable attributes, you can access those through something called Template Properties. so I'm going to go up to Modify and choose Template Properties. Here we get a full listing of all of our editable attributes and optional regions. So, the first thing I'm going to do is set my bodyClass. So I'm going to highlight bodyClass and I'm going to make sure it says hasCrumbs. It does so we're in good shape there. Next, I need my breadcrumbs to display, so I'm going to highlight breadcrumb. I'm going to tell it to Show.

Next, I'm going to go all the way down and find my toursLink. Now remember tours is our current page so I want to select that and then I want to replace the word baseLink with current, all lower case. Now be sure not to replace tours and likewise make sure you still have that space between the two of them. It should read tours current. Finally I'm going to go down and find my toursSubNav, which is right there. Notice that it says false currently.

I'm going to tell it to Show toursSubNav. As soon as I do that, my page changes. If I scroll up, I can see the breadcrumb. The Tours is now displaying as the current page based on the CSS and the sub- navigation shows up as well. So you can see all that hard work we did earlier really paid off by allowing us to build an incredibly flexible page. We're almost done. We just need to go up and modify our breadcrumb. So I'm going to highlight the breadcrumb and I'm going to replace that with All Tours.

I'll highlight the link and I'm going to change the link to tours.htm. Yes, it is the current page that we're on but later on as we build those sub-pages those breadcrumbs will get longer and longer and we'll be glad that we have that link on the page. So now I'm going to go ahead and save the page. So there we go, our first page built from our template is finished. We could now use our template to rapidly build the rest of our site. Adjusting the template properties, allows us to change current links and the page layout based on the breadcrumbs.

Using our template, we could build that page after page after page for a site in probably about half the time that it would normally take us. Now, this is a good time to point out that you should not underestimate the importance of CSS to the templating process either. By having our CSS already written, we speed up the development time even more by simply adding the structure to the page. Our CSS and our templates take care of the rest.

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This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89638 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 49s
  2. 7m 50s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      3m 16s
    2. Learning web design
      2m 22s
    3. Current web standards
      2m 12s
  3. 43m 9s
    1. The Welcome screen
      4m 5s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 23s
    3. The Application toolbar
      4m 7s
    4. The Document toolbar
      4m 40s
    5. Arranging panels
      8m 19s
    6. Managing workspaces
      7m 32s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      5m 54s
    8. The Insert panel
      6m 9s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Basic site structure
      3m 11s
    2. File naming conventions
      1m 49s
    3. Defining a new site
      4m 35s
    4. Managing sites
      4m 51s
    5. Managing files and folders
      6m 36s
    6. Working with browsers
      4m 43s
  5. 27m 21s
    1. Creating new documents
      5m 16s
    2. New document preferences
      3m 6s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      4m 56s
    4. Working with starter pages
      3m 46s
    5. Managing starter pages
      10m 17s
  6. 30m 2s
    1. Basic tag structure
      2m 15s
    2. Adding structure to text
      8m 20s
    3. Creating lists
      9m 59s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      5m 59s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 29s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding style sheets
      2m 16s
    2. The anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 48s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      6m 36s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      10m 2s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      5m 14s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      7m 21s
    7. Using CSS Enable
      6m 45s
    8. Understanding element selectors
      8m 11s
    9. Understanding class selectors
      8m 49s
    10. Understanding ID selectors
      5m 59s
    11. Understanding descendant selectors
      6m 51s
    12. Attaching external style sheets
      7m 44s
  8. 1h 47m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      7m 11s
    2. Declaring font families
      9m 39s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      9m 9s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      8m 0s
    5. Controlling line height
      8m 29s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      12m 3s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      5m 39s
    8. Aligning text
      8m 26s
    9. Transforming text
      5m 36s
    10. Writing global styles
      15m 42s
    11. Writing targeted styles
      17m 37s
  9. 1h 32m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 3s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      12m 51s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      4m 20s
    4. Setting external image editing preferences
      3m 52s
    5. Placing images on the page
      7m 37s
    6. Photoshop integration
      5m 54s
    7. Modifying Smart Objects
      5m 51s
    8. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      8m 8s
    9. Modifying image properties
      11m 14s
    10. Styling images with CSS
      7m 11s
    11. Using background graphics
      9m 3s
    12. Positioning background graphics
      11m 6s
  10. 55m 16s
    1. Link basics
      3m 37s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 14s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      11m 1s
    4. Absolute links
      5m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      11m 19s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 44s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 24s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      13m 49s
  11. 1h 34m
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 56s
    2. The Box Model
      13m 21s
    3. Understanding floats
      6m 53s
    4. Clearing and containing floats
      8m 56s
    5. Using relative positioning
      4m 8s
    6. Using absolute positioning
      7m 18s
    7. Creating structure with div tags
      12m 7s
    8. Styling basic structure
      10m 34s
    9. Creating a two-column layout
      10m 37s
    10. Using Live View and CSS Inspect
      7m 51s
    11. Using Browser Lab
      9m 39s
  12. 56m 22s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      7m 41s
    2. Importing tabular data
      5m 13s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      9m 56s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      4m 0s
    5. Basic table styling
      8m 45s
    6. Styling table headers
      7m 52s
    7. Styling column groups
      4m 22s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 1s
    9. Styling table captions
      3m 32s
  13. 1h 43m
    1. How forms work
      3m 0s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 2s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      7m 33s
    4. Setting form properties
      4m 6s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      4m 32s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 58s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      5m 26s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      7m 50s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      6m 22s
    10. Inserting text areas
      4m 12s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      3m 37s
    12. Basic form styling
      12m 0s
    13. Form element styling
      8m 52s
    14. Styling form layout
      11m 49s
    15. Adding form interactivity
      2m 47s
    16. Using Spry validation widgets
      12m 49s
  14. 1h 23m
    1. Planning for templates
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a new template
      10m 37s
    3. Using editable attributes
      13m 43s
    4. Creating optional regions
      6m 23s
    5. Creating new pages from a template
      9m 17s
    6. Applying templates to existing pages
      6m 9s
    7. Working with nested templates
      7m 56s
    8. Working with repeating regions
      12m 58s
    9. Modifying templates
      5m 41s
  15. 40m 14s
    1. Behaviors overview
      3m 47s
    2. Hiding and showing elements
      9m 18s
    3. Spry overview
      4m 4s
    4. Using Spry widgets
      11m 36s
    5. Adding Spry effects
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Widget Browser
      8m 23s
  16. 28m 18s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      5m 4s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      6m 27s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      6m 6s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 10s
    5. Adding Flash video
      4m 31s
  17. 45m 28s
    1. Running site-wide reports
      6m 33s
    2. Checking for broken links
      5m 41s
    3. Checking for browser compatibility
      8m 3s
    4. Adding remote servers
      8m 0s
    5. Uploading files
      7m 20s
    6. Managing remote sites
      9m 51s
  18. 34s
    1. Goodbye
      34s

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