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The Insert panel

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: The Insert panel

One of the things that Dreamweaver is known for is its ability to handle many of the complex tasks of creating Web pages visually, with Dreamweaver automatically generating the code behind the scenes. Even when working with objects that are relatively simple to code, such as tables, Dreamweaver speeds up the process of generating the code into a single click. The secret behind much of this success is the Insert panel. And in this movie, I want to take a moment to explore the Insert panel in a little bit more detail. Now, in my current Workspace, you are going to find the Insert panel at the very top, docked as this horizontal bar.

The Insert panel

One of the things that Dreamweaver is known for is its ability to handle many of the complex tasks of creating Web pages visually, with Dreamweaver automatically generating the code behind the scenes. Even when working with objects that are relatively simple to code, such as tables, Dreamweaver speeds up the process of generating the code into a single click. The secret behind much of this success is the Insert panel. And in this movie, I want to take a moment to explore the Insert panel in a little bit more detail. Now, in my current Workspace, you are going to find the Insert panel at the very top, docked as this horizontal bar.

And you may experience it in different ways. It doesn't have to stay this way. It can undock and float as a vertical panel. It can dock inside the panel dock. Or as we had it, it can dock as a horizontal panel. Now, I like the horizontal panel approach better myself, because I am able to see more of these icons at the same time. Now, your icons can either display in color, as they are dong here, or if I right-click the panel, I can turn off that and make them appear in black and white. Notice that it also affects some of the other icons in your interface as well.

So if you like that sort of color approach to let you know exactly what those icons are, or if you like sort of the subdued black and white version, you can go that way. I kind of tend towards color myself, because when you are working with Spry sets, for example, the blues represent widgets and the green represents things like your Form elements. So it's kind of nice sometimes to have that color-coding. Now, you will notice that the Insert panel is broken up into these different groups. So you have Common objects. We have Layout objects, Form objects, Data, Spry.

We have a whole list of objects here that we can switch back and forth. Now, depending upon what type of page you are working on, let's say you are working on a Dynamic Page, you are working with PHP or ColdFusion, you are going to see additional groups show up. We do have a data grouping, but you are going to see, if you are working on ColdFusion, for example, you are going to see a ColdFusion tab show up that gives you access to a lot of ColdFusion objects. Now, to insert any of these objects on the page, you simply click on a certain location and, say, insert a Table, or a Div Tag, or an Image. So it can really speed up a lot of the common day-to-day processes that you are going to be doing when building Web pages.

Well, the Insert panel can do a lot of things for you, some things that aren't even visual, that you have to hand- code, for example. Let me show you. If I go right over here to our Head objects, I can grab that pulldown menu. And I can see that I have Meta tags, Keywords, Descriptions, all sorts of things. So I am going to go in and choose Keywords. And maybe for my Explore California Web site, for example, I want to type in tours, California, explore, snowboarding, hiking. The list could go on and on.

I think you get the idea. You could just go in and type in any of the Keywords that represent your site. I am going to go ahead and click OK. And now if I switch over to Code View, you can see, in the head of my document, I now have a nice Meta tag here, giving all the Keywords for my site. So I can use the Insert panel to do a lot of those common tasks that don't require me to go into Code and do, which I really, really like. Now, you may notice this little grouping on the end called Favorites. Now, if you click on that tab, initially, Favorites is going to be empty. Well, Favorites is really a place for you to access the objects that you use over and over and over again.

So you probably really won't know your Favorites until you start using Dreamweaver for a little while. But once you do, and you notice that you commonly have to keep clicking back and forth between these tabs, you can just locate them all in Favorites and save yourself a little bit of time. Let me show you what I mean. If we right-click the Insert panel, you notice we have the option to Customize our Favorites. And when we do that, we are going to get a menu that comes up showing all of these different objects, and then what we are going to add to our Favorites. So if we are going to do things like Named Anchors a lot, for example, I can select that, click this arrow.

It will move it over into our Favorites. Insert Div Tags. I do that a lot, so I am going to go ahead add that. Maybe inserting Images, inserting a Table. Notice that there is no set order that you have to go in. You can do these in any way that you want. What's really nice about this is you are going to see some options that you don't normally see up in the menu. Inserting FlashPaper, although, I doubt a lot of people are doing that anymore, it's still there. We can go down through this entire listing. And if you finish one grouping, you can actually add a separator. So maybe after that, I want to do some Flash objects.

So maybe I am going to insert Flash Video and just a SWF file, and insert another separator. Now, remember earlier I told you that working on different types of pages would cause those panels to come up. Well, if you scroll down through here, you can find some of those. So for example, there are my Form objects. Now, this is CFML, which has to do with ColdFusion pages. I could add those to my Favorites if I wanted to and they would be up, even if I wasn't working on a ColdFusion page. So I could just keep going through these and find XSLT, Data. There is some really cool stuff in here.

So make sure you go through and say, "You know what, I do a lot of Spry work, so maybe Spry Data Set, Spry Regions, maybe some of the Spry Validation objects." And as I go through my HTML, maybe Table Tags, Table Rows, Table Header Cells. Those allow you to build individual items within your table. Okay. So we have got quite a list here for our Favorites. I am going to go ahead and click OK. You will notice that now I get an entirely new section here that combines a lot of these groups together.

It gives me quick access for my Spry Sets, my Flash Objects, and Common objects like Tables and Div Tags that I am going to be inserting day-to-day. So if you like working visually or if you are just looking for a really quick way to generate standards-compliant, clean HTML for complex objects, the Insert panel is your likely panel of choice. For new Web designers, the Insert panel is a great way to learn how specific objects are structured by examining the code that they create. By creating a Favorites section, you could easily customize the Insert panel to organize the objects that you use the most and create an efficient way for you to work within Dreamweaver.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89061 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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