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Using the Widget Browser

From: Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using the Widget Browser

Although not technically a part of Dreamweaver, Adobe's Widget Browser gives you a quick and easy option for integrating Ajax widgets into your sites. The Widget Browser is a standalone AIR application that allows you to browse Adobe's Widget Exchange and creates a collection of widgets that feature advanced user interface controls like sliding panels or accordion widgets or more complex components like slideshows or lightboxes. To access the Widget Browser, you can go to the application toolbar, find the Widget menu, and choose Widget Browser.

Using the Widget Browser

Although not technically a part of Dreamweaver, Adobe's Widget Browser gives you a quick and easy option for integrating Ajax widgets into your sites. The Widget Browser is a standalone AIR application that allows you to browse Adobe's Widget Exchange and creates a collection of widgets that feature advanced user interface controls like sliding panels or accordion widgets or more complex components like slideshows or lightboxes. To access the Widget Browser, you can go to the application toolbar, find the Widget menu, and choose Widget Browser.

Now, if you've never launched the Widget Browser before, you're going to be prompted by Dreamweaver to download it. So, clicking OK is going to take you out to Adobe's web site. You can click right here on the Widget Browser page to get the Widget Browser. Now, you're going to be prompted to sign in with your Adobe ID. If you don't have one, they're really easy to get and they're free. So just sign up and you'll be able to download Adobe's Widget Browser. Now after downloading the WebWidgets install file, all you need to do to install it is just double-click on it.

So, here I have it right on my Desktop, WebWidgets AIR file. I'm just going to double-click that and go through the installation process. So I'm just going to install this. I'm not going to add a shortcut icon to my desktop, but I do want to start it after I install it. So I'm going to go ahead and click Continue. It should install rather quickly. Once the Widget Browser is installed, you can use it to browse through Adobe's Exchange to see the available widgets. Now as of this recording, everything is still in beta. So, as you can see, there aren't a lot of widgets displayed here.

This should change dramatically once the Widget Browser is released to the public. Adobe will continue to release widgets. The Browser allows users to package and share their own widgets as well. So as the community gets more involved, the number of available widgets will only continue to grow. Let's take a moment and explore how to use the Exchange and how to get a widget on to your site. So, I kind of like this Spry Image Slide Show. If there is a widget that you want to add to your collection of widgets, you simply click on it. You're going to be prompted by the Widget Browser to go ahead and sign in.

So I'm going to go ahead and sign in to my Adobe account. After you signed in, you're going to get a more detailed view of the widget than you were taking a look at. You can see ratings. You can see descriptions. You can see the type of license agreement. If this is something that you want to add to your collection, you simply click Add to My Widgets. As soon as you do that, you'll go through a little screen where you agree to any license agreements. As soon as the widget is added, you can browse directly to your widgets. Now, you can also view your widgets by going up here to the menu and clicking on My Widgets.

Now currently, I only have the one. Now what's really interesting about this is that if you click one of these widgets, after you've added them to your My Widgets section, you can see a preview of this slideshow in action. You can see people can interact with the thumbnails. They can play the slideshow. You can even take a closer look at the formatting for this. Now, in addition to being able to preview the widget, you can go right down here to the lower left-hand corner and click Configure. This is going to take you into a very detailed interface where you can control every aspect of the widget.

You can name the widget, you can change the duration of slides, in this case, you can modify titles. You can set physical size for the frames. Pretty much any option you can think of is directly controllable through this interface. So this is an incredibly powerful way to customize these widgets without having to write any code yourself. Now if you change these, you can save them as a preset. You'll notice that when I go back to the overview, I've already saved a preset for my Explore California Tours. I've changed the title of this. I've changed the size of it, changed a little bit of the color on it.

That's the preset that I think is going to work well within my site. So, I have the option here of saving these widget files out as external HTML and CSS and JavaScript files, but there is a better way to get these widgets into your files by using Dreamweaver. So I'm going to go ahead and close my Widget Browser and go back to Dreamweaver. Now back in Dreamweaver, I've opened up the gallery.htm. I'm going to scroll down and click just below the paragraph where I want my photo gallery to go. Now, there are a couple of different ways to get your widgets on to the page.

You can go up to the menu and choose Insert > Widget or you can use the Insert panel. You can go to your Common objects. There is our new Insert Widget icon right there. So if I click that, I get a menu that says okay, which of the widgets that you have installed you want to use? Well, I only have one currently. So I'm going to click the Spry Image Slide Show with Filmstrip. Then any presets that I've chosen, I can go ahead and select. I'm going to select the Explore Tours preset that I created earlier. I'm going to click OK.

As soon as I do that, it's going to place the Spry Image Slide Show right on the page. You'll notice that all these thumbnails have nothing to do with our photo gallery. We also have this little weird star out in the side. What's going on there? Well, if I switch over to Code View, I can see that the slideshow is really just an unordered list. So one of the things that's really nice about these new spry widgets is they're very unobtrusive. They're just singular elements on the page without a lot of complex structure. So really, in order to make the slideshow on my own, all I have to do is click on each of the image thumbnails and swap them out for an image in my site.

So I'm going to close the Tag Inspector here just so I have little bit more room. I'm going to open up my _images and I'm going to open my gallery folder. So in the gallery folder, I'm just going to one at a time select one of these thumbnails. Using my source, I'm going to point that to one of my thumbnails. To control which larger image displays with this, I'm going to use the link Point to File to point to the larger file. So I'm just going to do that with each one of these guys. I'm just going to point to a thumbnail. Then using a link, I'm going to point to the larger image.

Now you're not limited by just the thumbnails on the page. You can add more if you'd like. So if you've got more images than the thumbnail, you can just keep adding as much as you want. This particular slideshow, for example, allows for you to have more thumbnails than can fit within the pane. Then it allows you to scroll through them if you've got more. Let me just go ahead and grab one more for this example. There we go. Now, you may have noticed that when we previewed our slideshow earlier, titles were coming up with the photo.

So, lot of times in order to understand how this is going to work, you do have to do a little bit of exploration. There weren't any instructions on the Widget Browser as to what we had to change. It took a little poking around to find out that if I go into Code View, I can see that each one of these links has a title attribute. The title attribute is the caption that displays. So I can simply highlight that. Then type in the caption that I want for that particular thumbnail. So usually just examining the structure of the page will give you a good idea as to what you have to do in order to customize the widget to your own devices.

Just a couple more of these guys and we should be ready to go. Now, just like when we use our other Spry widgets on the page, as soon as I save this, Dreamweaver is going to add a lot of external files. Notice all the graphics it's adding. It's adding a lot of includes, a lot of JavaScript files. When I click OK, I can see that I have a brand-new directory in my site. It's this Spry-UI-1.7. That contains all of the CSS and all of the JavaScript in order to make the slideshow work.

So if I'm going to upload that to my remote server, I need to make sure that that folder gets uploaded as well. I'm going to go ahead and preview this in my browser. So I'm just going to do a Save All. Then preview this in my browser. As soon as I do, there is my slideshow with the thumbnails that I have loaded up. As you can see, the Widget Browser makes it simple to add Ajax-driven controls into your sites. One of the really cool things about the Widget Browser is that it's going to be a community-based tool.

As part of the Adobe community, you can browse widgets, rate them, and even package your own and add them to the Exchange. So, be sure to check the Exchange often and participate in building a widget-based community.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89117 viewers

James Williamson

Expand all | Collapse all
  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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