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Using Browser Lab


Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

with James Williamson

Video: Using Browser Lab

Adobe BrowserLab is one of the many services offered by Adobe that have been integrated with Dreamweaver CS5. Although it has been available through Adobe Labs for some time, you may not be familiar with BrowserLab or what it can do for you. If you have used BrowserLab before, you're going to be really pleased with the level of integration between Dreamweaver CS5 and BrowserLab. So, what is BrowserLab? BrowserLab is an online service by Adobe that allows you to preview any page you want in multiple browsers. It's a fantastic tool for making sure that your website is cross-browser compatible.
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  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 49s
  2. 7m 50s
    1. What is Dreamweaver?
      3m 16s
    2. Learning web design
      2m 22s
    3. Current web standards
      2m 12s
  3. 43m 9s
    1. The Welcome screen
      4m 5s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 23s
    3. The Application toolbar
      4m 7s
    4. The Document toolbar
      4m 40s
    5. Arranging panels
      8m 19s
    6. Managing workspaces
      7m 32s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      5m 54s
    8. The Insert panel
      6m 9s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Basic site structure
      3m 11s
    2. File naming conventions
      1m 49s
    3. Defining a new site
      4m 35s
    4. Managing sites
      4m 51s
    5. Managing files and folders
      6m 36s
    6. Working with browsers
      4m 43s
  5. 27m 21s
    1. Creating new documents
      5m 16s
    2. New document preferences
      3m 6s
    3. Setting accessibility preferences
      4m 56s
    4. Working with starter pages
      3m 46s
    5. Managing starter pages
      10m 17s
  6. 30m 2s
    1. Basic tag structure
      2m 15s
    2. Adding structure to text
      8m 20s
    3. Creating lists
      9m 59s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      5m 59s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 29s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding style sheets
      2m 16s
    2. The anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 48s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      6m 36s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      10m 2s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      5m 14s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      7m 21s
    7. Using CSS Enable
      6m 45s
    8. Understanding element selectors
      8m 11s
    9. Understanding class selectors
      8m 49s
    10. Understanding ID selectors
      5m 59s
    11. Understanding descendant selectors
      6m 51s
    12. Attaching external style sheets
      7m 44s
  8. 1h 47m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      7m 11s
    2. Declaring font families
      9m 39s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      9m 9s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      8m 0s
    5. Controlling line height
      8m 29s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      12m 3s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      5m 39s
    8. Aligning text
      8m 26s
    9. Transforming text
      5m 36s
    10. Writing global styles
      15m 42s
    11. Writing targeted styles
      17m 37s
  9. 1h 32m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 3s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      12m 51s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      4m 20s
    4. Setting external image editing preferences
      3m 52s
    5. Placing images on the page
      7m 37s
    6. Photoshop integration
      5m 54s
    7. Modifying Smart Objects
      5m 51s
    8. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      8m 8s
    9. Modifying image properties
      11m 14s
    10. Styling images with CSS
      7m 11s
    11. Using background graphics
      9m 3s
    12. Positioning background graphics
      11m 6s
  10. 55m 16s
    1. Link basics
      3m 37s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      2m 14s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      11m 1s
    4. Absolute links
      5m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      11m 19s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 44s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 24s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      13m 49s
  11. 1h 34m
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 56s
    2. The Box Model
      13m 21s
    3. Understanding floats
      6m 53s
    4. Clearing and containing floats
      8m 56s
    5. Using relative positioning
      4m 8s
    6. Using absolute positioning
      7m 18s
    7. Creating structure with div tags
      12m 7s
    8. Styling basic structure
      10m 34s
    9. Creating a two-column layout
      10m 37s
    10. Using Live View and CSS Inspect
      7m 51s
    11. Using Browser Lab
      9m 39s
  12. 56m 22s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      7m 41s
    2. Importing tabular data
      5m 13s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      9m 56s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      4m 0s
    5. Basic table styling
      8m 45s
    6. Styling table headers
      7m 52s
    7. Styling column groups
      4m 22s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      5m 1s
    9. Styling table captions
      3m 32s
  13. 1h 43m
    1. How forms work
      3m 0s
    2. Reviewing form design
      3m 2s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      7m 33s
    4. Setting form properties
      4m 6s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      4m 32s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 58s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      5m 26s
    8. Inserting checkboxes
      7m 50s
    9. Inserting radio button groups
      6m 22s
    10. Inserting text areas
      4m 12s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      3m 37s
    12. Basic form styling
      12m 0s
    13. Form element styling
      8m 52s
    14. Styling form layout
      11m 49s
    15. Adding form interactivity
      2m 47s
    16. Using Spry validation widgets
      12m 49s
  14. 1h 23m
    1. Planning for templates
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a new template
      10m 37s
    3. Using editable attributes
      13m 43s
    4. Creating optional regions
      6m 23s
    5. Creating new pages from a template
      9m 17s
    6. Applying templates to existing pages
      6m 9s
    7. Working with nested templates
      7m 56s
    8. Working with repeating regions
      12m 58s
    9. Modifying templates
      5m 41s
  15. 40m 14s
    1. Behaviors overview
      3m 47s
    2. Hiding and showing elements
      9m 18s
    3. Spry overview
      4m 4s
    4. Using Spry widgets
      11m 36s
    5. Adding Spry effects
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Widget Browser
      8m 23s
  16. 28m 18s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      5m 4s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      6m 27s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      6m 6s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 10s
    5. Adding Flash video
      4m 31s
  17. 45m 28s
    1. Running site-wide reports
      6m 33s
    2. Checking for broken links
      5m 41s
    3. Checking for browser compatibility
      8m 3s
    4. Adding remote servers
      8m 0s
    5. Uploading files
      7m 20s
    6. Managing remote sites
      9m 51s
  18. 34s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
15h 22m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Defining and structuring a new site
  • Creating new web documents from scratch or from templates
  • Adding and formatting text
  • Understanding style sheet basics
  • Placing and styling images
  • Creating links to internal pages and external web sites
  • Controlling page layout with CSS
  • Building and styling forms
  • Reusing web content with templates
  • Adding interactivity
  • Working with Flash and video
James Williamson

Using Browser Lab

Adobe BrowserLab is one of the many services offered by Adobe that have been integrated with Dreamweaver CS5. Although it has been available through Adobe Labs for some time, you may not be familiar with BrowserLab or what it can do for you. If you have used BrowserLab before, you're going to be really pleased with the level of integration between Dreamweaver CS5 and BrowserLab. So, what is BrowserLab? BrowserLab is an online service by Adobe that allows you to preview any page you want in multiple browsers. It's a fantastic tool for making sure that your website is cross-browser compatible.

Now obviously, you want to preview your pages in as many browsers as possible, but very few of us have a setup that allows us to preview our pages in multiple browsers across multiple platforms. That is exactly what BrowserLab allows us to do. Let's take a closer look at BrowserLab and how Adobe has integrated it with Dreamweaver CS5. So, here I have my tourDetail.htm page open, but you can really open any page you want to test BrowserLab. Adobe gives us a few different ways to access BrowserLab and I want to show you a couple of those.

Now, first off, we can go up to the menu and you can go to Window > Extensions > Adobe BrowserLab. That will open up the Adobe BrowserLab panel. There are a few other ways to access this that you might find a little quicker. Now, I am going to go ahead and close the panel and show you a couple of those. Now, first off if you notice in the application toolbar here in the upper-right hand corner, now if you are on a Mac the application toolbar will be docked close down here to the document toolbar, but you are looking for this CS Live panel.

Now if I click on that, one of the integrated services offered in the CS Live panel is Preview in Adobe BrowserLab. That again would open up the same panel that we just looked at. And yet another way to preview in Adobe BrowserLab and probably the easiest is over here in the document toolbar itself, where you're probably used to going ahead and previewing your pages in browsers using the icon. You can click on that and you have a list of all the browsers that you have loaded. But now in addition to those browsers, we also have Preview in Adobe BrowserLab.

Well, let's check it out and see what that does for us. So, I am going to click on Preview in Adobe BrowserLab and that's going to take us to the Adobe BrowserLab site. Now, the first time you access this, you are going to be get prompted to log in with your Adobe ID and your password. If you don't already have an Adobe ID you will be prompted to go ahead and get one. They're free and it only takes a minute to sign up. So, you are going to need to go ahead and do that to access Adobe BrowserLab. Once you sign in, Dreamweaver is going to upload your page to Adobe BrowserLab's staging server, which is then going to take screenshots in the browsers that you request.

So, which browsers did you request? Well, if you're using BrowserLab for the first time, you're using the default browser set, but you're free to go ahead and build your own to test in exactly the platforms you want to test in. if you look over here in the upper- left hand corner, I can see currently that I'm previewing how this page would look in Firefox 3.0 for Windows. If I grab the pulldown menu, I can see the other browsers that I tested in. Internet Explorer 7.0 for Windows, Firefox 3 for Mac OS X, and Safari 3 for Mac OS X. So, since I am on a PC, maybe I really want to see how this looks on Safari for the Mac.

So, I can go ahead and click on that and now I can preview my page as to how this page would look like on a Safari. And I get a nice screen cap of that to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be. But let's say I want to be a little bit more proactive or controlling of exactly which environments this has tested in. If I go right up at the top of the Adobe BrowserLab page, I can see there's a little navigation link here for browser sets. So I am going to go ahead and click on that. Right now all we are looking at is the default browser set, but you can see there is a list of available browsers. Now as this service matures, you are going to see more and more browsers show up there.

But let's say I wanted to test it in the most modern standards-compliant browsers. So, I want to build a new browser set to enable me to do that. So, I am going to say Add New Browser Set and I am just going to call this modern standard. And then I just checked the browsers that I want to add to this. So, maybe Chrome 3.0, maybe Firefox 3.0, maybe Firefox 3.0 for Windows as well, maybe Internet Explorer 8 and Safari 3 and Safari 4. So, you can add as many as you want.

You can take some out. You could build an Internet Explorer only browser set. It's totally up to you what you want to do with those. You can rename these browser sets and edit them at any time. Okay. So, now how do I preview with my new browser set? Well, I can go right back to my test page and because I have that connection between Dreamweaver and BrowserLab at the moment, I can go ahead and refresh that connection. So, I can go right over here to this Refresh button and click Refresh the screenshots. What it's going to do now is it's going to upload all those assets again and take screenshots based on my current browser set.

And after the page is done refreshing, I now have new screenshots available for me. I can go see what it looks like in Chrome 3.0 for Windows, Internet Explorer 8.0, I have got my whole list. Now, there are a couple of other things that we can do here within this environment to help us. Number one, you'll notice that we have a little dialog box over here on the right-hand corner called Delay. If you have some items, such as Ajax widgets or complicated CSS that might require a second or two for the page to load before you wanted to take the snapshot, you go ahead and put in the amount of Delay that you want.

So, if you put in two seconds of Delay, the BrowserLab will wait for two seconds and then take the screenshots to allow any of those elements to load. We also have some zooming features, we can go all the way up to 400%, all the way down to 75%. So you can zoom in and zoom out to check out and examine close areas of your page. One of my favorite features is the ability to have rulers and ruler guides so that you can see from one browser to another how an element is lining up with other elements that are staying in place. So, if I go over here to my View menu.

which is the upper left-hand corner, I can choose Show Rulers. At that point, maybe I want to make sure that this logo isn't going to be wandering from one browser to another. So, notice I can put the ruler guide right there at the very bottom of that by just simply be dragging it out from the rulers. So now, I could go through my browser menu and see exactly how that logo lines up in each one of those and I am feeling pretty good about that. Now, you could also change your view to a 2-up model where you will have one browser on one side and another browser on the other side, so maybe I could check Firefox in Windows versus Safari for the Mac and see how those two would compare.

And we can also do what's known as Onion Skin. Now, what Onion Skin is going to do is overlay those two browsers on top of each other. So, while the ruler guide looked okay, we can see that there are some slight differences in placement between Safari 4.0 for the Mac and Firefox 3.0 for Windows. We can also go down and say all right, well what about Firefox 3.0 for the Mac? And can see that while there are some slight differences there, they are a little bit closer. So, you could use that to monitor exactly how pixel-precise you are from one browser to another and maybe give yourself an idea of which elements need to be moved around or what is acceptable or what's not acceptable.

Notice also you can shade it from one side to the other. So, if you want to see more of Firefox for the Mac versus Firefox for Windows, you can go from one side to the other. So, you can get ideas in terms of who is shifting which way, or which elements aren't displaying properly based on the available browsers. There is also hot keys available too. So, if you want to change your views, you simply click on the hot keys button here to view those and they're pretty easy to memorize. The 2-up View is 2 for example. So, if I hit 2, after I close my hot keys, I have hit the little number 2, it's going to switch me to a 2-up View.

1 is going to give me a single view. So, my Up and my Down Arrows will move me through the browser set. Now one last thing that I want to talk about in terms of integration. If I switch back to Dreamweaver, any time that you are previewing this inside BrowserLab locally, there's a couple of things that you need to be aware of. First off, if you make a change to the page at all, if I just say took a letter away and put it back in there and then saved it, notice that instead of a green light, we're getting a yellow light. That's BrowserLab telling you wait a minute, you've made a change since the last time you have previewed.

So, if you want to view the page accurately now, you need to go ahead and preview it again. There is also one other thing that you really need to be aware of. Dreamweaver CS5 continues to have WebKit integration built into it. So, if we were to click on the Live View Preview button, the Design View window pane now shows us our page previewed using the WebKit rendering engine. Well, if you have Live View on, when you preview it in BrowserLab, BrowserLab is going to take a snapshot of the WebKit rendering. So it might not be as accurate as you would want it to be, based on your HTML being previewed in say Internet Explorer 6.0 or Safari 3.0.

You are really looking at it in terms of the WebKit rendering within Dreamweaver. So, before you preview, make sure Live View is turned off. Now, BrowserLab isn't going to tell you exactly what's wrong with your CSS, but it's worth noting that it provides you with a powerful tool for previewing your page in industry-standard browsers, even across platforms. As a designer this type of information is extremely valuable. It can save you considerable time during the development process and help you avoid costly errors. As you start working with Dreamweaver CS5, take some time to explore Adobe's integrated BrowserLab service.

I think you'll quickly find it an invaluable part of your design workflow.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: After creating a website following the instructions in the course, the header background graphic appears correctly in all browsers except Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7.  The graphic works properly in IE 8. What can be done to make the graphics appear in IE 6 and IE 7?
A: To make the header background graphic appear, wrap the header div tag in another div tag and give it an ID like “mainHeader.” The problem stems from a bug in Internet Explorer that prevents the browser from dealing with absolutely positioned elements that are right next to relatively positioned elements.  Following the steps above should solve the problem.
Q: In the tutorial, the author links the Tool Tip to the word "More" at the bottom of the thumbnail photo field. I can't figure out how to place the <a> "More" on the thumbnail photo field.
A: In the example, there is a paragraph that wraps an <img> tag and the word "More," which is surrounded by an anchor tag (<a>). The author uses CSS to make sure the parent div tag of the thumbs floats to the left, and is only wide enough for the image. This causes the link text to break down onto another line. Then, the instructor uses CSS to align the link text to the right of the <img>. The link itself is a void JavaScript function, ( javascript();). This gives you a "dummy" link without returning you to the top of the page as the "#" dummy link tends to do.
If you were manually typing the text in, you could select the image, hit the right arrow button, and begin typing. The text should then appear on screen.
Q: In this movie, you are making changes to the HTML in order to customize the text layout on your page (i.e. h1, h2, and h3 tags as well as strong and em tags). I'm wondering why you are not using CSS to do this (i.e. font-size, font-weight). Do you typically use one method, or is it customary to do use both in a layout, and if so, what guidelines would you suggest to determine which to use when?
A: We modify the page's structure through the use of h1, h2, and other heading tags. So when we are choosing heading levels, we're not concerning ourselves with typography; we're establishing page structure. A heading is chosen to denote the level of importance for the heading, not typography.
CSS should always be used for presentation, not HTML.
Q: In the “Understanding ID selectors” movie, the author states that only one ID tag can be used per page, but then he adds two ID tags. Can you please clarify this for me?
A: You can use as many IDs per page as you wish. They just must all use a unique name. Therefore if you assign an element the ID of "header" no other element on THAT page may use the same ID.
Q: I noticed that in this course, the instructor uses this code on his CSS external sheet: @charset "UTF-8"; I was under the impression that this code wasn't necessary. The site is unclear on the matter. Is it necessary? Is it a best practice? Is it an older form of CSS?
A: The characterset attribute is added automatically by Dreamweaver, and there’s no practical reason to remove it. While it's not needed (the HTML page should indicate which encoding to use for the page) it is helpful if the CSS file is ever imported or used on a page where the characterset isn't specified. Think of it as a safety net for characterset encoding. Not necessary, but not harmful either.
Q: I need to add captions below images that I insert in pages of text. I played all the lessons in Chapter 5 (Adding Text and Structure) but none dealt with captions. I hope the author has an answer or can refer me to a source.
A: In HTML 4 and XHTML 1 (which is what Dreamweaver CS5 uses by default), there wasn't really a way to add captions below your photos. Most web authors would "fake" captions by having paragraphs of text below their images and using CSS to position and style the captions in the desired manner. Many would use a class such as .imgCaption to control the styling. To do this you would essentially position the text underneath the image through CSS (often by grouping the image and the paragraph in a div tag) and italicizing the text.

However in HTML5, there are new elements that allow us to associate images and their captions, the figure and figcaption element. Our author James Williamson just finished a course on HTML5: Syntax, Structure, and Semantics which details how to use it.

HTML5 Doctor also has a nice article on the figure and figcaption elements at
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