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In Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson explores the tools and techniques of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe's web design and development software. This course covers both the ins and outs of Dreamweaver, as well as recommended best practices for crafting new web sites and files, the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and how to ensure clean and accessible code. The course also includes how to use tools in Dreamweaver to create and style web pages, manage multiple sites, and add user interactivity with widgets and scripting. Exercise files are included with the course.
If there is one constant in this world, it's that things change. It's not uncommon to need to add or modify the information of a site as you work on it. It's also not uncommon to have your Files panel crowded with older sites that are archived or no longer current projects. To deal with these types of situations, you'll need to understand a little about site management in Dreamweaver. Managing your sites in Dreamweaver is extremely easy, and all the information is right there at your finger tips. We are going to examine a few ways to access the Site Management dialog box, take a look at its capabilities and then talk about what we can do when we edit our sites.
To access Site Management, one of the easiest ways is to use the menu. So if I go up to the menu and I got to Site, we'll notice that we have the option to Manage Our Sites. We can also find that in the Application toolbar. So if I go right over to the Application toolbar, grab the pulldown menu, you'll also see Managing Sites there. The Files panel gives us another option. So if we go to our Files panel, grab the pulldown menu, you'll notice that down there, at the very bottom, we have a link for Managing Our Sites. So whichever way you want to access that is fine. It will open up the exact same dialog box. Now when you open up the Manage Sites dialog box, you are going to see a listing of all the sites you have currently defined within Dreamweaver.
At this junction, I don't have a single site, but it's not uncommon to see an entire list of sites there, depending upon exactly what you are working on. Now, we have a lot of options for these sites. Notice that we can create a New site. We can Edit an existing one. We can Duplicate it. We can Remove it entirely. So if its old site, you can archive it, if you are not working on it anymore, you can remove it from your definitions. Then you have these two very interesting options here: Export and Import. If you are moving from one machine to another, this is a really nice way of working. You can Export out your Site definition and then import that site definition.
As long as your root directory remains in the same place, Dreamweaver is going to pull in all that information and keep everything constant. Now, let's say you want to edit a site. I am going to select my Export California site and click the Edit button. Now, this is going to bring the Site Setup dialog box back up again. So this is exact same dialog box that we saw when we defined this site. Now, let's say, at this point, we want to change some information or add some information to it because when we define the site, we really only gave it a name and pointed it to the local root folder. So I am going to click on the Advanced Settings category over here on the left-hand side.
There are a couple of things that we can do here. The first thing, for example, is to define where the Default Images folder is. You want to do that because if Dreamweaver ever has to create some graphics for you based on some widgets that you placed on the page, for example, or some of the other objects that you can place on a page, Dreamweaver now knows where to place those images. So I am just going to click my Browse icon. It will go right into my root directory, and I could find the _images directory. I am going to double-click that, and I'll hit the Select button. Again, on the Mac, that button will say Choose. I can also choose whether I want to make my Links Document or Site Root relative.
We'll talk more about that in the chapter on Links. But right now, I am just going to leave it as document relative. We can also set a Web URL. For our Web site, I am going to type in www.explorecalifornia.org. It's going to be the URL of our Web site when we are finished with it and ready to upload it online. If you don't have that information yet, it's okay to leave that blank. That's just going to help us resolve the absolute links that we might add to our site later on. Now, let's talk briefly about some of the other categories in the Advanced Settings here on the left-hand side.
We have Cloaking, and you can use Cloaking to hide certain file types when you upload your sites, so that your Photoshop files, for example, or your Word documents don't get uploaded to the Web server. We have Design Notes that allows to work in a collaborative environment with other team members. We can pass notes back and forth to each other through our pages. And Below File View Columns, we have Contribute, Templates and Spry. Now, these are fairly proprietary. Contribute, for example, is companion product to Dreamweaver and allows you to edit your site through the Contribute client. This would allow you to manage those settings. It is really only applicable if you are using that product.
In fact, you can go right over to your Files panel, find the name of your site and simply double-click it. That's a very quick and easy way to access the Site Setup dialog box. I think, like me, that's probably what you'll do most frequently. I am just going to hit Cancel because we are not going to make any additional edits. Now, chances are you will need to do a lot of work managing your sites, but knowing that Dreamweaver makes any changes you need to make to your site definitions quick and easy allows you not too worry about updating your site and concentrate, instead, on creating your content.
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