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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 create a collection of widgets that feature advanced user interface controls like sliding panels or Accordion widgets, or more complex components like slideshows and light boxes. To access the Widget Browser, you have a couple of different locations, but the easiest place is right up in the Application Toolbar. You can see there is this little Widget icon right there.
If I click on that for the Extend Dreamweaver widget area, right there is the Widget Browser. Now as soon as you click that for the first time, Dreamweaver is going to prompt you to go ahead and install this. So I am going to go ahead and accept the End User License Agreement. Now you once you agreed to the End User License Agreement, I have a couple of places that I can go, the Adobe Exchange or My Widgets. Now notice that one of the things I have to do is I have to be signed in to the Adobe Exchange in order to preview and see my widgets. So all I have to do is click here to sign in or I can sign in over here. Now to do that, you are going to need an Adobe ID, so if you don't have one of those, you are going to need to go get one, and I am just going to go ahead and sign in really quickly.
And once I have signed in, I can go ahead and start browsing for widgets. There are some really cool widgets here and you'll notice that they have different ratings, they have descriptions, you can see the number of downloads they have had in their lifetime. And these give you some really advanced functionality that you can begin to add to your site. So I can just sort of browse through all the widgets that I have available. Now what I am looking to do is place an embedded Google map on my page. I really want to be able to do that. And what you know it by coincidence, right here we have a Google Map widget. So if I go ahead and click on that, you will notice that it's going to download this widget for me.
But I can look at the details of the widget, read the description, see the ratings, that sort of thing, and I can also preview it. So I can preview how this widget works and what it's going to look like. Well, I really like this. As soon as I have decided to choose this particular widget, I can go ahead and hit the Plus symbol down here to go ahead and add that to my personal widgets. Now the widget has been added and if you want to keep browsing for widgets, you can do that, or you can go to your specific widgets. So I am going to go ahead and click on Go to My Widgets. Now of course, I only have one widget, Google Maps, but if I downloaded multiple widgets, I would see them all right here.
Now the trick to using widgets is to go ahead and configure them before you start working with them inside Dreamweaver. So if I click this Google Maps widget, you will notice that I have some default Presets. Here is New York and that's where the Roux Academy is, so that's at least a start. Paris France, and notice that every time I click, I have different options of the map that are turned on or off like biking trails, the satellite view or a hybrid view, that sort of thing. Well, I am looking at My Presets and I don't see any right now because we haven't configured any. Every widget of course is unique and different, but essentially, you start off by configuring the widget itself.
So I am going to click Configure and now I can choose exactly how I want this Google map to place on the page. So I am just going to go through all these options and configure my widgets. So the first thing I am going to do is set a Width for this. I am going to go ahead and set a Width of 381 pixels, not percentages; we're not percentage, and 330 pixels in terms of Height. So you can see it's resizing in real time. The next thing I want to do is enter a Latitude and a Longitude. Now you are going to have to stay with me on this one.
I am going to enter a Latitude of 40.75399 and I can hit Tab to move down to the next one. And then I am going to do a Longitude of -73.99891. And of course, I didn't just guess those numbers. I found where the address for Roux Academy would land me on the map, copied and pasted the longitude and latitude from there. Now for the zoom level, how close or how far I want to be, I am going to go ahead and put a Zoom of 15. That's going to zoom me up a little bit closer.
And for Maps, of course, I can choose a Roadmap, or I can do Satellite, I can do a Hybrid. I can also include Traffic and Bicycling if I want to do that. I do have some controls I can post here, some Navigation Control. I am going to allow that. That's going to allow people to navigate through the map, zoom in, zoom out, move around, use street view, that sort of thing. I am also going to allow them to scale zoom in and zoom out. And for Marker, I do want to show the Marker. For the Icon, I am going to use the Default icon, and of course, you can turn that Marker on and off. But here's one little frustrating things.
You have to enter the Latitude and Longitude again. If you don't really want to do that , you can go and copy these, so I could go copy them and then come back down to Marker and paste them, or I can simply type them in again. So in this case, -73.99891; who doesn't like typing in latitude and longitude coordinates. And hey! There's my marker. Now I also can go ahead and choose the Tooltip for that marker, and in this case, the Tooltip I want to do for this is Roux Academy. There we go! I can choose any marker that I want, I can use the Default or the Flag.
I like the Default. Now at this point, I can go ahead and save this preset if I want. I am going to highlight to the name of this one and I am just going to call it Roux Academy. And if I wanted to, I could use a Description which is School location. Okay, all I have to do is save the preset and now it's ready for use in Dreamweaver. So I could either close or minimize my Widget Browser; it doesn't really matter. I don't need it open in order to integrate it into any Dreamweaver files. So this is kind of the integration between the Widget Browser and Dreamweaver. I am going to go ahead and close this.
And then it's insanely easy to use now, that you've gone through and configured all of this. I am going to scroll down into my Roux Academy and I can see that I have got the address right here. I am going to click inside this address, click on the section element that holds it and then hit my Right Arrow. This is going to place the map just to the right of it. Now because of the CSS formatting I have applied here, it's actually going to appear on the left. It's kind of a Bizarro backwards world, but you'll have to just bear with me. All right! So I want to go ahead and place this widget that we just configured on to my page. In order to do that, all I have to do is go up to my Insert Panel, go to my Common objects, and there's Widgets.
So I click on this and it's going to go out to the Widget Browser and it's going to find all of my widgets. Now I only have one, but if I had multiples like slideshows and things like that, I can then choose from whichever one I want. The next thing it's going to ask is which Preset do you want to use. Well, I am going to use the one I just saved which is Roux Academy. I am going to go ahead and click OK and there's my map. I can do a Save All, preview that in my browser, and yeah, that just happened. How easy was that! Single click of a button and I have got a really complex integration of Google Maps right into my page simply by using and configuring widgets within the Widget Browser.
So I think you can see the Widget Browser makes it really simple to add these really complex Ajax-driven controls into your sites. Now one of the really cool things about the Widget Browser is that it's a community-based tool. As part of Adobe's community, you can browse widgets, rate them, you can even create and package your own and send them up to the Exchange. So be sure to check the Exchange often and participate in building a widget-based community.
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