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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.
It is very common to switch back and forth between tasks in Dreamweaver. On one occasion you might be working heavily in code, while other days you might be working with dynamic data, or building your CSS Layout. Often, this is going to require using panels and toolbar layouts that differ from each other significantly. Rather than having to constantly open and close panels and rearrange them, we can use workspaces to quickly switch between interface setups and even create your own when the presets don't suit our needs. So as you've probably seen in a couple of movies so far, we have these preset workspaces.
You can switch back and forth between them pretty easily, and if you've changed anything dramatically from one workspace to the next, let's say, I go in Designers, for example, and for whatever reason, undock my CSS Styles. Well, if I switch back to Designer, guess what? It's going to remember that it's right there, but anytime I want, I can go up to Designer, and I can go ahead and reset that. Then I'm just going to switch back on Design view here. One of the things that you may have noticed, when you're resetting your workspace, that there is the ability to create a new workspace, okay.
So if none of these workspaces are exactly what you need for your current task, you can go ahead and build your own. And what I want to do now is play around with the interface a little bit, and have that result in a brand-new workspace that I'm going to be using for the rest of the title. There's a certain way that I really like to use Dreamweaver, and I tend to go ahead and set that up whenever I open up a new copy of it, or wherever I am on somebody else's machine, so the ability to save a new workspace is really handy, because I only have to do that really once. All right.
I'm actually going to start with the Classic workspace, so a lot of times you can take one of the existing workspaces, and just kind of build off of that a little bit. You'll notice, in the Classic workspace, the Insert panel is no longer in the panel dock. It's docked right up here in its own little toolbar. I love that because even though it does take up a little bit more screen real estate that way, those icons are a lot easier to access, and I don't have to do a lot of scrolling. So I kind of like having them up there. Now the next thing that I like to do is to kind of play around a little bit with my panel dock.
For example, we have Databases, Bindings, and Server Behaviors. Well, if I'm not really using those all that much, don't really need them. So I can take this grouping and close it. One of the easiest ways to do that is if you go right over here to this little pulldown menu, I can choose Close Tab Group, and that's a very quick and easy way to close any groupings that you're not currently working with. Now, if you want to open up some panels that aren't currently open, remember we can go right up to Window. We can see all of the panels that are available to us, and we can choose which ones we want to open up.
Right now, I've got almost all of the panels that I want open, but there is one panel grouping that I really use a lot, and I want to go ahead and get that opened. If I go down through the Window menu, I can find one area called Results. This has Search, Reference, Browser Compatibility, FTP Log. So there are some really valuable panels in here for your day-to-day tasks within Dreamweaver. So I'm going to go ahead and open that up, and you're going to see why a lot of people don't keep it open all the time. It takes up a lot of room.
Look at this thing. It's down here at the bottom. Its default position is to dock at the very bottom of the screen. But here we have Search. We have our Reference guides, our Code Validation, Browser Compatibility checks, Link Checkers. There is a lot of really cool panels in here, and I like being able to access all of that power and have that open while I'm working. But, of course, the downside is, as we mentioned before, it takes up a lot of screen real estate, so what's the solution? The solution is we can create our own dock using the Properties Inspector.
Properties Inspector is probably the single most powerful panel in Dreamweaver. It allows you quick access to the HTML, and CSS-based properties of whatever it is you're currently working on. Chances are that's a panel that you're going to want to have opened all the time inside Dreamweaver. So notice that what I can do here is I can grab the tab of the Properties panel, and I can drag it down until I see a nice blue outline all the way around your panel grouping just underneath that. It may take a little work so, just kind of hover until you see that. Now, as soon as you see that blue outline, you just let to, and now the Properties Inspector becomes docked with all those other panels.
Notice that that's really not taking up any more screen real estate than what we had before. Now the downside is that the Properties Inspector is now all the way over on the right side, so you can see on these tabs, it takes a little bit longer to get to it. Well, that's okay too, because in any panel grouping, doesn't matter whether it is in the dock or when it's in the horizontal dock - it really doesn't matter - you can select the tab and simply drag it to the left, so that it shows up in the order that you want it. I just kind of like having the Properties Inspector being the first tab, so I'm going to grab that tab and drag it all the way over.
So we've done a good bit of modification here. The Insert toolbar is now at the very top of our window. The Properties Inspector is now docked with a lot of other properties that are going to give us quick and easy access to a lot of the functions we need to perform. And our dock is kind of cleaned up. We don't have a lot going on in there, except for our CSS grouping, and our Files panel grouping, which is going to make it a little bit cleaner, and a little bit easier to access some of those features without a lot of clutter. Okay, so I want to save this. I don't want to have to reset this every single time I come into Dreamweaver. Oh, and one more thing, your Design View, whether you're in Code View, Split View, which we're in now, our Design View, matters when you save a workspace.
I'm going to click on Design view because I kind of like that being my default view. If I want to go to Split View or Code View, it's pretty easy for me to do, but everytime I switch my workspace, I'd really like to see that Design view. So you want to make sure that that is set before you save a workspace as well. Okay. So now I'm ready to go ahead and save this workspace. So I'm going to go right up here to my workspace switcher, grab that pulldown menu, and I'm going to choose New Workspace. And I'm going to name this one the thing that I always name it. I'm going to call it The James, click OK, and now you can see the workspace up here is The James Workspace, because it is, after all, my favorite workspace in Dreamweaver.
Now, at this point, I can grab that workspace switcher, and I noticed something. Any custom workspaces that I've created show up at the very top of the list. That's really nice, because now I don't have to search through all the presets. I know that any of my workspaces are going to be at the very top. Notice again, I can continue to jump back and forth between Designer, Classic or my very own workspace. Now your workspaces have the same capabilities as the presets. So if for some reason you came in and decided to come in and kind of modify it a little bit or move some things around, at anytime you can come right back to your workspace switcher, and say Reset, and it will take you right back to the very saved version of that.
Now, you could also go into Manage Workspaces, and this would allow you to rename or delete any workspaces that you had created. I like what I have got, so I'm just going to go ahead and click OK there. Now remember, workspaces give us the ability to switch from task to task in Dreamweaver without spending a lot of time rearranging panels and resetting views. My advice to you would be to be very absorbent as you start using Dreamweaver. Watch out. Frequently, you'll find yourself opening and closing specific panels or accessing specific groups. If you find yourself constantly going back and arranging the same panels over and over based on common tasks, well, consider building a workspace around those panels.
You'll find that it is the small things, like utilizing workspaces, that will dramatically speed up your workflow in Dreamweaver.
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