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Based on the method used for creating new documents, Dreamweaver often makes a lot of the key decisions for you as it creates a new page. Whenever starting a new project or when page requirements in your site changes, it's a good idea to take a few moments to set up your New Document Preferences, so that Dreamweaver will create new pages to the proper specification. So to find our New Document Preferences, we're going to open up Dreamweaver's Preferences. Now on the PC, you can find this under Edit > Preferences and on the Mac, you'll go to Dreamweaver > Preferences.
From the categories on the left -hand side, just go to our New Document Preferences. Now there aren't very many options here, but the options that we have are extremely important. One of the first options we see is Default document. If you happen to work on a different type of site, such as a dynamic site, for example, you can choose PHP or ColdFusion. We're going to stick with HTML, because we're going to be creating static HTML documents for our Explore California site. The next choice is Default extension. You'll notice that, currently, it set to .html.
Now there is nothing wrong with .html versus .htm, but I really prefer to do .htm for my sites. So I'm going to go ahead and remove the L, and just leave it as .htm. We can also choose a Default Document Type. So if you've decided that you are going to work with HTML 4.0 Transitional or HTML 5, you could choose one of those and the proper Document Type Declaration will be added. For Explore California, we're going to used XHTML 1.0 Transitional, which is pretty much the most common Document Type Declaration used.
Now we also have some choices below that that probably won't be used quite as much. For example, our Default encoding is Unicode (UTF-8), and really, the only time you're going to need to change that is if you're working in a foreign language site, such as Kanji, or Cantonese, or something that requires a different encoding. Now the only other option that you're probably going to want to set is right down here. We have little check box that says, Show New Document dialog box on Ctrl+N. So, Ctrl+N or Command+N is the keyboard shortcut to create a New Page.
If you leave that checked, every time you hit the keyboard shortcut, you're going to get the New Document dialog box, which gives you all of those choices and options for creating a New Document. If you'd rather just go ahead and quickly create a New Document based on the Preferences that you've set here, you could uncheck that check box. So now with that deselected, if I click OK, now if I choose Ctrl+N or Command+N, I get a brand new document based off of those specifications. That's a very quick and easy way to get a new document, if you don't need to go through all of those options that the New Document dialog box provides us.
So setting these Preferences at the start of our project will really speed up new document creation by having Dreamweaver create new documents that fit your specifications without requiring your input. When you switch projects or change standards, it's equally as easy to make a few minor preference changes to ensure that Dreamweaver is creating documents the way you need it to.
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