Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
If you are like me, when you work on a site, you're constantly creating new files and folders, renaming files, and moving files around within your directory structure. Now let's face it. No matter how well you plan your site, chances are you are going to modify the directory structure at one time or another. To make these kinds of changes to your site, I strongly recommend using the Files panel. The Files panel can be used to create new files and folders, rename files, move files and folders, copy and paste files. You name it. Now, the Files panel is part of almost every single workspace, but it's available in the Windows menu.
So you can just go to Window and choose Files, if for any reason it closes. You'll also notice that the hotkey for it is F8. Now for our Files panel for this lesson, what I'm going to do is I'm going to expand this out a little bit. You can grab the dividing line if you have a File open, but right there, I'm just going to expand this out a little bit more. You can see there's a lot more information out here on the side, but it also allows me to change these dividers, so that I can read the file name a little bit better, or maybe choose what type of file it is. So you've got the option to change these columns any way that you want. I'm just going to make my File panel a little bit beefier for what we're doing here.
Now, I recommend using the Files panel because not only is it the most efficient way to make these changes within your site, it's also the safest way to do it as well. Websites, by their very nature, rely on understanding where other files are. When you place an image on the page or a link to another file, Dreamweaver places code on your page that tells the browser where it can find that particular file to resolve the link or display the image. If you move a file and don't update the links to it, those links will no longer work, or in the case of an image, the image will no longer display.
That's especially problematic for larger sites, where dozens of pages might link to a single page. Making all those changes manually would take considerable time. But if you remember to use the Files panel to make these changes, Dreamweaver will automatically update all of the links on that page, as well as any pages in your site that link to it. Let's take a closer look at using the Files panel. So one of the cool things that the Files panel can do for us is create new pages and new folders directly from within the Files panel itself. Let me show you what I mean.
If I go up to the root folder, which is at the very top of your directory listing, and right-click, notice that my top two options are New File and New Folder. Let's say I create a new file. I get an untitled .html file down here. Now I'm just going to call it test. It's a totally empty file. If I double-click it, for example, you'll notice that it's a brand new document, nothing on the page, and if I go to Code View, it's based on the preferences that we have for our new documents, which I'll show you guys how to set those a little bit later on. Now in addition to creating files, you can manage them from here as well.
You don't really need this page, so I can go right back to my Files panel, right-click the brand new page that we created. I can choose Edit > Delete. Now that is going to physically delete it off of your computer, not just remove it from Dreamweaver. So any time that you do that, remember that you are dragging that to your Trash or your Recycle Bin. You are literally getting rid of that file. Now let's say you need to do some basic file management like renaming a file, for example. I'm going to go over to my Files panel, and I'm going to open up the tours directory. Inside that, I can see that this page, tourDetail_bigsur, is a little different than the other ones.
It's using camel case naming for tour detail. I want to avoid doing that. Just in case this is ever placed on a UNIX server, I don't really want to deal with any case sensitive links. So I'm going to click once on the file name and then once on it again. Now if you double-click too fast, it, of course, is going to open the file. So you just want to be very careful about doing that. I'm going to click right inside that and change that to tour_detail with lowercase D, and as soon as you hit Return, it's going to make that change. Watch what else it does. So I just want to hit Return, and now Dreamweaver is saying, "Hey, wait a second.
"There were other files linking to that page and they're going to be linking to the old name. "Do you want me to go ahead and update links on those pages, so that they reflect the name that you just gave it?" Well, yes, of course, I want to do that, so I'm going to click Update, and that's going to go ahead and update all those links automatically for me, and I didn't have to lift a finger. That was extremely handy. Now, I notice, looking at my directory structure here, there is one more thing I need to do. The gallery page and the join page are all part of the explorer's section and once you start getting two or three pages that relate to a section, it's not a bad idea to go ahead and create a directory to store those in, just like we've done with tours here.
So I'm going to go right back up to my Files panel, right-click the root directory, and I'm going to choose New Folder, and after New Folder, I'm going to go ahead and title this folder explorers. Notice I use the lowercase E, and I didn't put an underscore in front of it, indicating that it is a subdirectory of the site and not an asset subdirectory, as we have here. Okay, so here's my explorer folder. It's totally empty right now. I need to add some things to it. So I'm going to choose the gallery page, and I will hold my Ctrl key down. That would be the Command key on the Mac, and selected the join page as well, so that I'm selecting those non-contiguous pages.
I'm going to go ahead and grab those and move them into my brand-new explorers directory. Once again, when I do this, Dreamweaver is going to say, "Wait a second." When you move those, all the pages that link to that, and indeed the links on those pages, are no longer being resolved correctly, because now, they have to go inside a folder to find it, and now, any links from those pages have to go outside of the folder to find those. So Dreamweaver offers me the opportunity to go ahead and fix all of those problems site-wide right now. So I'm going to go ahead and do that and choose Update.
Now why would you choose Don't Update? Well, sometimes you might be moving a file or a folder around that uses a different type of link, for example, a site root-relative link, or maybe you're just moving assets, and you don't need Dreamweaver to update it for you. So sometimes that is a viable option, although in this case, we definitely want to choose Update. So I'm going to go and choose Update. Now it's going to go ahead and fix all that for me. Now I have a subdirectory, gallery and join are inside that, and now all the links to those files will work, and the links coming out of those files will work as well. So as you can see, the Files panel can save you a tremendous amount of time when managing your files and folders, as well as save you from making costly mistakes.
Of course, that's not all the Files panel can do. Later in this title, we'll discuss using the Files panel to upload files and manage site synchronization. For now, however, concentrate on making sure that you practice discipline when needing to make changes on your site. Make those changes from within Dreamweaver using the Files panel, and you'll be confident of making those changes correctly.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.