Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
One of the constant challenges in working with sites built around clean HTML and CSS is precisely what to control with CSS and what to control through your HTML. Working with images is a particularly gray area since there are many properties that you can control either through CSS or directly through the image properties themselves. In this movie, we're going to discuss the image properties you can change using Dreamweaver's Properties Inspector and the benefits of controlling these properties through the image tag or through CSS.
So I have the index.htm file open from the 07_06 directory and I'm going to scroll down and find the image we placed on the page earlier, which is the image of Professor Stuesse here and I'm going to select that. And when I click on this, the Properties Inspector changes to reflect the properties of the image itself. Now again, for those of you that may be have been using some of the previous versions of Dreamweaver, you're going to notice that some of the image properties themselves have been removed. The reason for that is that in HTML5, a lot of the presentational attributes of the image tag have been removed in favor of doing those through CSS.
The next thing I have to the right of that is the source for this file. If I ever want to change this image, one of the easiest ways to do that is I could open up my images directory, I could come right back over here and I could just point to a new image, let go, and it's going to bring that image in instead. Now I want to undo that because, well, that is the picture of Professor Stuesse, so I don't really need any of those. But it's nice to know that if something changes or somebody decides maybe you've got like five images that you want to try in a spot and see how they look, instead of having to delete them and insert four more, you can just grab the Point to File icon and go right over here and point to whichever one you want to see.
Now below that we have a link. So if I want to make this image a clickable link, I can point to the file that I want to link to or I can type that in. We're going to talk about creating links a little bit later on in the title. We also have some alt text. So if you forget for whatever reason, or just decline to enter alt text when you first place the image on the page, you can certainly come back at any time and type that information in. Now before we move on to these options over here on the right-hand side, I want to move down for a moment and talk about these options. We have the option of making this an image map. Now image maps aren't used that widely online anymore, but back in the day, image maps were actually quite common.
They allow you to make certain areas of the image a clickable hotspot so that an image can have multiple links on it. Again, that's usually done a different way now, but that capability certainly still exists within HTML, and Dreamweaver allows to do that by just drawing them right on the image. It's pretty cool. I also have the ability to set a target for this image. So if this image is a link, I can set the browser to target a blank new window if I'd like. I also have the option of pointing to the original of this file. We did that in the last movie where we pointed to a Photoshop file, so I do have the option of going in and establishing that smart object workflow if I want to.
Okay, but not everything needs to be a smart object, and indeed, a lot of the options that we have available to us with smart objects are still available to us with images that aren't smart objects. For example, this little row of icons right here would allow me to edit this particular file in Photoshop. So I could click on that, it's going to launch Photoshop and open up the image. Here I can start making changes to it, so for example, I could come into my adjustment layers and I could go ahead and apply an adjustment curve to that. So there are a lot of things that I could do here to make changes to this image and then save it out and overwrite the original.
I'm going to go ahead and close this without making any changes, jump back into Dreamweaver. I also have the ability to re-optimize this image, so if it was saved with the image optimization that was a little too high or even if it was too low, I can come back in here and click on this again. Now the danger in this is that if you don't have a source file defined for it, you're re-optimizing the JPEG, and it doesn't really matter if I up to the Quality here, you can't increase the quality of a JPEG image past its original quality. So really, you don't gain any benefit from this unless you're just decreasing the quality a little bit to save a little bit of size.
We also have options like cropping the image, Brightness and Contrast, and sharpening it, and I want to show these off really quickly. A lot of times, you can definitely go back into Photoshop or Fireworks, make your edit and then come back into Dreamweaver. But sometimes, for really small things, it's easy enough just to do it here. So for example, if I click Sharpen, it's going to bring up a dialog box that tells me hey! What you're about to do is going to permanently change this image. You're going to permanently change the image file over in the images directory. Are you sure you want to do that? If I click OK, it brings up the Sharpen dialog box, and I can either type numbers in or I can grab the slider.
Now this gives you a value of 0 which is no sharpening, all the way to 10 which is maybe a little too much sharpening. So it's not really that precise. You just have a range of sharpening values that you can do. If I push this up to 1 and turn the Preview on and off again, I can see that it's doing a rather decent job of sharpening that image. So I actually kind of like that, I'm just going to go ahead and click OK. Now what it's going to do is it's going to go back out to my image, and again, it's going to re-optimize it. And after a while, if you do this enough, you can actually begin to see right here around him for example, that you're going to start seeing a loss of image quality.
So you want to be really careful about making too many edits to a JPEG. It's always better to go back to the original source file if you have it. The other thing that we can do is we can change things like Width and Height; you can enter in these values or you can drag the handles out. Honestly, I kind of wish those handles would go away because a lot of people do this and say, oh! That looks great! It doesn't look great. But again, we're given the option here to basically reset it to the size or commit. Now if you say Commit, it's going to bring again this dialog box up and it's going to say, are you absolutely sure you want to do this? And it's going to permanently alter the selected image. Are you sure? And again, if you click OK, it permanently changes it, although you can undo to a certain point.
Once you save the file out and close it though, it's done. So keep that in mind. And remember, of course down here, if we resize this, you do always have the option of declining the resizing as well. My advice, if you want to resize the image, find your source file, open it up in the program you created it in, either Fireworks or Photoshop, and re-export it out at a different size. Don't use the handles here in Dreamweaver; they typically aren't going to give you the best results. Now the last thing we're going to do to our image is apply a class to it. So when you have the image selected, if you want to apply a class attribute to the image tag, you can do that very quickly by just using the dropdown menu here.
Now this is going to pull all of the classes that are currently in our external CSS file, so if you don't have any, you're going to basically be able to come down here and say, hey! I want to apply multiple classes which will allow you to type-in. You can even type it in single class this way, renaming the existing classes, attach a style sheet to the page if you want to. There are a lot of options here. What I'm going to do is scroll up and just choose this articleImg class. Now that's not going to do anything for us at the moment because we're going to style our image in our next movie. But what you'll notice is if I look down here at the image tag, it did apply the class articleImg to that.
So if the selector were already written, we would see the styling take place. So I'm going to go ahead and save my file and commit to any of the changes in the image property that I've made. Now as you can see, there are a few properties that you can change once an image has been placed on the page. However, you do want to be careful when resizing or editing the image from the Properties Inspector as we were doing in this exercise. Keep in mind, image quality may degrade, so you want to test thoroughly before committing to any of those changes, because once you commit to them, they're done. Also, you're going to want to control most of the presentational properties of images with CSS, which is exactly what we're going to cover in our next movie.
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.