Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
Illustration by John Hersey

Reviewing the Dreamweaver workspace


From:

Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4

with Paul Trani

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Video: Reviewing the Dreamweaver workspace

Now I'm going to start out in Dreamweaver by creating an HTML page and then really just getting familiar with the Dreamweaver workspace. So, as you can see from the Welcome Screen I can create many different types of documents, and most importantly I can create an HTML document. So, I'm going to go ahead and select HTML and what happens is it shows me this untitled HTML page and it shows to me in Split View. So here by default Dreamweaver is going to give you the Split View and what it's doing is it's showing you the Code View as well as the Design View at the same time.
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Watch the Online Video Course Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
2h 41m Beginner Sep 16, 2009

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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4 shows the basics of doing just that—building a first web site. Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani walks through the important steps of creating a web site from concept to publishing, using Dreamweaver CS4. He teaches how to create basic web pages, add text and image content, use Cascading Style Sheets for design and layout, create a photo gallery, and even check the final site for browser compatibility. He also demonstrates how to create a contact form to encourage viewer feedback on the site. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Dreamweaver workspace for first-time users
  • Linking to external web pages and sites
  • Improving the presentation of text and images on the site
  • Building a layout using Cascading Style Sheets
  • Making navigation reusable across multiple pages
  • Displaying content using the Accordion widget
  • Creating a contact form and sending data from it
  • Making the final site search engine-friendly
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
Paul Trani

Reviewing the Dreamweaver workspace

Now I'm going to start out in Dreamweaver by creating an HTML page and then really just getting familiar with the Dreamweaver workspace. So, as you can see from the Welcome Screen I can create many different types of documents, and most importantly I can create an HTML document. So, I'm going to go ahead and select HTML and what happens is it shows me this untitled HTML page and it shows to me in Split View. So here by default Dreamweaver is going to give you the Split View and what it's doing is it's showing you the Code View as well as the Design View at the same time.

So I can select Code to see all of the code if there was more or I can select Design. I can work in either one of those views. I personally like Split View and I'll show exactly why, because even if I'm working in Design view, if I type something in, 'My first web page,' it will appear also in my Code view. So it really gives me an understanding of what's going on behind the scenes and conversely I can go ahead and change that line, give that an exclamation point and it changes in my Design View as well.

So you can work in either space but I encourage you to use the Split View because it's going to be most helpful in sort of seeing what's going on under the hood. So same thing for instance the title. I can change this page to Jane Doe Photographer and Travel Writer like that, and as I hit Enter, you can see that it puts that as the title right in here in my Code view. So, that's how Dreamweaver is set up between say Code view and Design view or Split view.

Okay. And that's how you are going to able to see an HTML page. So, let me click the Design View and let's take a look at some of these other panels, because what we also have going on here are various panels, usually on the right side in the lower portion of the screen and I can take any of these panels and pull them out and display them separately if I want to. And I can just take that same panel and nest it back in. So this is pretty flexible and it's like other Adobe programs. It works the same way. If I wanted to expand out the Database panel, I can just click in that gray bar area and it will expand that out.

Say for instance if this panel kind of scares me a little bit because it is all about databases, maybe I can pull that out and even close it. So it's looking more friendly but really what I want to do is I want to change my view to something more appropriate. Since I'm a designer, I might want to go to my Application Bar and select Designer, to show what a designer's workspace would look like and this is exactly what it would look like. I can also go to Coder. You can see what a coder would want to display and the panels they would want to use.

As you can see there are lots of different options that I can go ahead and choose. And again I can go back to Classic and I can modify this more according to kind of how I'm going to work. Really what I want to do is I want to focus on three panels. I want to have my CSS Styles panel because I'm going to use that a lot. I'm also going to have my Files panel just below that and then below the page I'm going to have this Properties panel. So, this is a really good and clean setup. Also notice at the top, this is why it's called classic.

I have lots of different options for adding content to HTML page, all grouped and again this is how it shows up in CS3, so it might be a little more familiar if you are using Dreamweaver CS3. But really it's no different from any other CS4 program. The panels work the same. The big thing to understand is using the layouts, the different views. And I'm going to encourage you to always use the Split View, so you can not only see what you are designing but see the code that's going on sort of under the hood, if you will.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4 .


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Q: After creating the website as instructed in the tutorial, and uploading the site to the internet, the website does not seem to work for every browser. How can one make sure that the website will work for all browsers?
A: An important step when creating a website is to check for browser compatibility. To do so in Dreamweaver, go to Window > Results > Browser Compatibility. Click the Play icon in the left corner then go to Settings and target the browsers you¹re after. Then hit the Play button to run it and check the page that’s open. If there’s an issue, best-case scenario, it should show you what the issue is and link out to a solution. Worst case is that it’s a pretty unique issue, in which case further troubleshooting would be needed.

Q: The background image is tiling, instead of being one large image. How is this corrected in Dreamweaver?
A: This can be corrected by using a larger image, something around 1024x768 that will fill up most of the monitor space. The issue is that the background image is just too small. Note that tiling of the background image can be turned off in the CSS Panel, but that would only result in a single small image. So it’s better to just use a larger image for the background.
Q: When trying to import SWF content, I get a message: “This file is outside the root folder of site ‘xxxxx’ and may not be accessible when you publish the site.” What is causing this?
A: Make sure your SWF file (and all files you put on a page) are located in your local site. Basically make sure you set up a local site in the site panel. It will ask where to put your local site on your computer. Just make sure you SWF is in that folder and you won’t get that error.
 
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