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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.
Dreamweaver and Flash share one of the closest integration workflows among creative software. Once the Flash SWF file has been inserted into your web page, Dreamweaver creates a link to the original FLA file. If you need to edit a file, just use the Properties inspector to open the original Flash file. While editing in Flash, you'll see an Editing from Dreamweaver icon. Clicking on that will save the file, republish your movie, and return to Dreamweaver with the updated SWF file. Let's take a look at that workflow. Now the exercise that we are going to be working with here requires us to have Flash CS4 installed. So if you don't have that installed, you can go to Adobe.com and download a 30-day trial. So, here we have the conditions.htm file open from the 15_03 lifestyle folder.
I'm going to go and select the Flash item on the page. Now, I want to show you something that we didn't talk about earlier. You notice that there is a little visibility icon here, and if I click on that, that's going to show the alternate content. This is what would appear on the page if somebody didn't have the Flash Player. So if you want, you can always highlight that and you can type in something like "Upgrade your Flash Player," and that's a little hipper. Now let's turn it back on. So you can do that at any time and just update whatever somebody would see if they didn't have the Flash Player.
Go and select the Flash file and then right over here, you'll see an Edit and Flash button, click on that. You see the file opening and we are adding it directly from Dreamweaver. You can see that in the upper left hand corner here where it says, "Editing From Dreamweaver," and we have our Done button next to it. When we roll over these, we are getting a background color behind them, but the background color is kind of a blue, so everything is sort of blending into it. So we are going to edit this button. Go and double click it, it will take us on the Symbol Editing mode and then down here below here on the time line, click on the Over frame. You want to go ahead and select the shape, and then over here on the right hand side, this is where we'll set our Fill Color. So click on that and choose any color that you like.
You want to choose something that's going to be light enough, so that all the text and images can contrast on it. I'm going to click on the Color Picker and I'm going to go and pick up again sort of a khaki color, maybe the orangish or yellow, a light orange, a light yellow sort of a khaki and here we go. Click OK and then I will click on back on Scene 1 to leave Symbol Editing mode. Okay, I'm done editing my file. Now, instead of having to save it and republish it and go back into the Dreamweaver and reinsert it, all I have to do is click Done. As soon as I click Done, it saves the file; it exports out the Flash movie in the exact location on my hard drive where I need it, and then it will move me back in the Dreamweaver.
If it doesn't automatically move you back in the Dreamweaver, simply switch over, select the Flash movie and click Play. Now as you move over the interactive elements, you'll see that your change has indeed been updated into your Flash file. Now, if you're a Flash designer or developer and you need to update your files frequently, this integrated workflow is going to save you a ton of time. Switching back and forth between Flash and Dreamweaver becomes an orderly process and one that creates a seamless blending between the two environments.
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