Dreamweaver CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Modifying Smart Objects


Dreamweaver CS6 Essential Training

with James Williamson

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Video: Modifying Smart Objects

The most powerful feature of Photoshop Smart Object Integration is the ease and efficiency with which you can make full site image updates. As you'll see, if you edit the original image in Photoshop Dreamweaver will indicate that the current image doesn't contain the most recent version. In addition to keeping tabs on the status of your Smart objects, Dreamweaver will also give you the opportunity to edit your Smart Object in Photoshop, resave the web version and update it in Dreamweaver all in one round-trip workflow. Now we are going to explore this round-trip functionality first and then discover how Dreamweaver monitors Photoshop smart object once they've been updated.
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  1. 1m 4s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      1m 4s
  2. 5m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 17s
    3. Learning web design
      2m 23s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Looking at the Welcome screen
      5m 9s
    2. Exploring Windows and Mac interface differences
      5m 6s
    3. Arranging panels
      8m 44s
    4. Managing workspaces
      10m 14s
    5. Exploring the Application toolbar
      6m 21s
    6. Exploring the Document toolbar
      8m 47s
    7. Working with the Property inspector
      9m 30s
    8. Using the Insert panel
      6m 30s
  4. 53m 4s
    1. Understanding basic site structure
      3m 46s
    2. Exploring file naming conventions
      2m 10s
    3. Defining a new site
      5m 24s
    4. Managing files and folders
      7m 57s
    5. Adding remote servers
      7m 4s
    6. Uploading files
      12m 46s
    7. Previewing in browsers
      9m 11s
    8. Managing multiple sites
      4m 46s
  5. 36m 42s
    1. Creating new documents
      6m 49s
    2. Setting up new document preferences
      5m 31s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      6m 49s
    4. Working with starter pages
      4m 32s
    5. Managing starter pages
      13m 1s
  6. 37m 24s
    1. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      8m 44s
    2. Importing Word documents
      4m 6s
    3. Adding structure to text
      7m 35s
    4. Creating lists
      4m 35s
    5. Creating definition lists
      4m 0s
    6. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      8m 24s
  7. 44m 41s
    1. Exploring the Code toolbar
      5m 41s
    2. Setting code preferences
      7m 19s
    3. Using code hints
      8m 8s
    4. Wrapping tags
      5m 7s
    5. Adding comments
      6m 29s
    6. Using snippets
      7m 32s
    7. Formatting source code
      4m 25s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Setting CSS preferences
      9m 32s
    2. An overview of the CSS Styles panel
      9m 23s
    3. Creating a new CSS rule
      6m 42s
    4. Using the CSS Rule Definition dialog
      7m 25s
    5. Organizing styles
      7m 22s
    6. Modifying style properties
      6m 17s
    7. Controlling CSS through the Property inspector
      6m 38s
    8. Attaching external style sheets
      5m 54s
    9. Using CSS visual aids
      7m 3s
    10. Using CSS Inspect
      6m 48s
    11. Using the Code Navigator
      6m 40s
  9. 1h 11m
    1. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      7m 30s
    2. Setting external image editing preferences
      4m 27s
    3. Placing images on the page
      10m 12s
    4. Exploring Photoshop integration
      7m 17s
    5. Modifying Smart Objects
      9m 42s
    6. Modifying image properties
      8m 4s
    7. Styling images with CSS
      6m 45s
    8. Using background graphics
      7m 28s
    9. Positioning background graphics
      10m 10s
  10. 36m 24s
    1. Link basics
      3m 17s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 20s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      9m 17s
    4. Using absolute links
      3m 43s
    5. Using named anchors
      6m 41s
    6. Creating an email link
      5m 25s
    7. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      5m 41s
  11. 44m 30s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      5m 20s
    2. Importing tabular data
      6m 46s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      6m 11s
    4. Exploring basic table styling
      9m 42s
    5. Styling alternate rows
      8m 57s
    6. Creating custom table borders
      7m 34s
  12. 59m 15s
    1. Understanding how forms work
      2m 45s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 44s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      5m 16s
    4. Setting form properties
      2m 39s
    5. Using the fieldset and legend tags
      2m 52s
    6. Inserting text fields
      6m 56s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      7m 54s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      4m 14s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      3m 52s
    10. Inserting submit buttons
      2m 25s
    11. Exploring basic form styling
      8m 2s
    12. Exploring form element styling
      8m 36s
  13. 33m 25s
    1. Adding CSS3 transitions
      8m 29s
    2. Spry overview
      2m 44s
    3. Using Spry widgets
      3m 57s
    4. Adding Spry effects
      8m 1s
    5. Using the Widget Browser
      7m 4s
    6. Extending Dreamweaver
      3m 10s
  14. 1m 2s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course Dreamweaver CS6 Essential Training
9h 24m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover how to build web sites, prototypes, and more in this course on Adobe Dreamweaver CS6. Author James Williamson shows designers how to take control of their site by properly naming and structuring files and folders; how to create new documents and web pages from scratch or with starter pages; and how to add content such as text, images, tables, and links. James also provides a background on the languages that power projects built in Dreamweaver—HTML and CSS—and introduces the programming features in the application, for developers who want to dig right into the code. The last chapter shows how to finesse your project with interactive content such as CSS3 transitions and Spry widgets.

Topics include:
  • Choosing and customizing a workspace
  • Defining a new site
  • Uploading files to your site
  • Creating new documents and web pages
  • Formatting source code
  • Working with CSS
  • Placing images and background graphics
  • Creating links
  • Styling a basic table
  • Creating a web form with buttons, check boxes, and list menus
  • Adding Spry effects
James Williamson

Modifying Smart Objects

The most powerful feature of Photoshop Smart Object Integration is the ease and efficiency with which you can make full site image updates. As you'll see, if you edit the original image in Photoshop Dreamweaver will indicate that the current image doesn't contain the most recent version. In addition to keeping tabs on the status of your Smart objects, Dreamweaver will also give you the opportunity to edit your Smart Object in Photoshop, resave the web version and update it in Dreamweaver all in one round-trip workflow. Now we are going to explore this round-trip functionality first and then discover how Dreamweaver monitors Photoshop smart object once they've been updated.

And to do this on and be working with the spotlight.htm file in the 07_04 folder and I just want to mention something here, you can see, right now I have Live view turn on I am going to turn that off. We will go back to sort of this non-rendered version. You can see I have a smart object icon up here and it's got the two green arrows. If you're opening this file up from 07_ 05 if you have access to the Exercise Files I am going to bet that you'll see that same icon. I am going to bet that you are seeing a little warning symbol there with a red arrow on the bottom of that.

Now the reason for this is that Dreamweaver is really, really picky about where that source file is sitting. So it's going to store this connection data between the image in a Photoshop file, it stores the information in a little XML note file that it attaches to the image. And essentially what happens is if you start to move the directory structure around that path is severed and Dreamweaver has a hard time maintaining that. So the process of creating these Exercise Files in terms like duplicating the folders and compressing it up and zipping up and placing it up online or burning it to a disc and having you as the subscriber, open that file backup again or open that directory structure back up again and redefine that site.

Sometimes there is a little bit loss in the translation there and there's just nothing that can be done to make sure that those paths don't break in some way. So as much care as I took in structuring these exercise just a journey that these files and folders undertake from this machine to your machine puts that in jeopardy. So I will say if you want you could just keep the previous exercise 07_04 open. Because we are really just picking it up from where we left off from the last exercise. And I would also say that within your own sites this really won't be that much of a problem because your site structure is unlikely to undergo any weird transformations or movement from one location to another.

You are likely to keep all of your assets and exact same folder or not. Continually move them around the way I have to when I do this files. So if that's happening, I apologize, just go back to 07_04 the file you are just working, you want to work on that one again or if you want to you can reestablish the link between the two of them by clicking on the image and taking this original pointer file and pointing it to the Photoshop file itself. That will reexport that to JPEG, but it'll reestablish that relationship for you. Okay, well enough set up let's go ahead and play around a little bit with the round-trip editing feature from Dreamweaver to Photoshop so I am going to select the image on the page and then in the Properties Inspector I am going to click the little Edit Photoshop icon, when I do that it's going to launch Photoshop and it's going to open the image directly within Photoshop itself.

Now here I am free to make any edits to it I want. I can increase the contrast, I could maybe do a color overlay all sorts of things. Well, I notice if I look over in the Layers panel that I do have a Layer grouping over here called Type and I am going to turn that layer grouping on. And that turns on some stylized text that we have just below the image. I like the way that looks so I am just going to go ahead and save this. And then when I save this you know in a typical workflow where you're going back into Dreamweaver, you would need to go ahead and now do another save for the web, browse out of the images directory, find the old image, overwrite that old image and then flip back to Dreamweaver.

But when we are taking advantage of the Smart object workflow, we don't have to do that, all I have to do is jump back into Dreamweaver and when I jump back into Dreamweaver, I see again this sort of green arrow on top, red arrow on the bottom and what that's telling me is it's telling me that even though the image on the page is fine, the original file that is linked to has been changed. So I have the option of going over to the image, right clicking the image and telling it to update from the original. And as soon as I choose that, it's going to go out grab the newest version of this and place this on the page.

Now what it did basically was go out to the Photoshop file and reoptimize that file and overwrite the JPEG without us ever having to tell it to do that, it just automatically did that. So now if turn Live view on again, I can see within the Layout, now I have that text on the page which is really, really nice. Now although we sort of initiated that Photoshop smart object workflow by originally taking a Photoshop file and inserting it on the page, you can go about it a different way. If I switch live view back off again I am going to scroll down and find this first image right here which is feature one.

Now you can see this as a JPEG that's already been exported out from the Photoshop file and then placed on the page in a very similar fashion to what we're doing a little bit earlier, there's no link to original file at all. However if I look over in the Assets panel, I can see that there is indeed a feature1.psd over there, so I do have the source file for this. If that's the case and I want to establish this as link I can select the artwork and then I can take the original file and I can just point right over here to feature1, let go and it's going to establish that link.

Now the first thing it's going to do because it wants to make sure it has the most recent version is, it's going to go through that image optimization workflow again. So again, I can sort of preview what the quality is going to be, I can crank the quality up or down to where I needed. I can click OK. When I click OK, I'm prompted where do you want this, well I am going to place it in 07_05_images. It's going to overwrite the old one that was on the page and there's my new smart object. So again you don't have to start it from placing a Photoshop image on the page, you can also go ahead and take an existing image and link it back to an original image if you want to.

You will go through the Optimization process again and you start a smart object workflow. Now I want to point something else out about this too, because there's another benefit to using smart objects that you have to be careful about. One of the benefits to using a smart object is now any time on whatever page, I was to use this image it would link back automatically to feature1.psd, that's actually good thing. Let's say we had a banner ad for example that we've used on 20 pages. So if I changed the original banner ad, having to comeback in to Dreamweaver file and replace 20 of those doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun.

Well, if I have linked that back to the original Photoshop file I can just tell to update from the original and it's going to update. But there are some downsides to this as well, let me show you one of those. If I come in to this file and then decide that the file needs to be a little bit larger or a little bit smaller in this case I am going to make it a little bit smaller. If I hold the Shift key down and I grab one of these handles and I just resize this, the image is going to resize and I get a little warning that hey this doesn't match the dimension of the original Photoshop file, what do you want to do about this? Now in the past, in Dreamweaver, what this has done is it's merely changed the width and height attribute of the image tag itself.

And this basically leaves it up to the browser to do the image resizing, that's a pretty bad practice because it impacts the performance of your website, especially on mobile devices. So they have changed it in Dreamweaver CS6, and they have given us a couple of options. So down here on the Properties Inspector, I can see that the width and height are now bolded, indicating that they're not the width and height of the original image. I have two choices out beside it, I can reset it to the original size which would be basically say, okay thanks but no thanks. And I could commit the image size itself.

I actually do you have a third option which is to leave it just the way it is and leave it up to the browser or to the device to resize the image. But I commit the image size, what this is doing is, it's going back out of the Photoshop file, re-optimizing that JPEG and placing that into the images directory at a different size, so it's changing the size. Now it didn't actually change the size of the Photoshop file, it just basically optimized it at a scaled-down version. So this is what I got from the image. Now sometimes, this can damage image quality, sometimes you don't notice it as much, but you do have to remember the fact that now the optimize JPEG is a smaller size.

That means if I was using this image anywhere else throughout my site, the image is resized on every single page. So that's something I need to be aware of. Now at any point with this workflow, one of the nice things about linking back to an original Photoshop file is that even after committing this change you will notice down here in the Properties, I'm not being prompted anymore to resize the image or even being warned that I have changed the size because for Dreamweaver, for all intents and purposes that's the size of image because we reoptimized it. Well, because we're linking back to original Photoshop file and because the original Photoshop file hasn't been resized, if I go back to my image and I right-click it, I do have the option to reset the size to the original.

So that's another nice thing about the smart object workflow and I just commit to that again it reoptimizes the image, exports it back out and overwrites that. And it does it all within two clicks. It's a really, really powerful workflow. You know from a strictly timesaving standpoint, the Dreamweaver Photoshop Smart object integration does make for a very compelling workflow. When you add in the functionality of creating graphics on-the-fly upon insertion, for many users this workflow will quickly become the standard in the way that they really like to work. You are going to need to keep in mind however that one size does not fit all.

And you need to really carefully consider whether you won't adopt this workflow for all the images on your site, for some of them or do it at all. In the end it simply one of the many options that you have available when creating and editing images within your site.

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