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The methods that you'll use to create Absolute Links are rather limited. Since you can't really browse your hard drive for external websites, you're going to have to know the exact link. That can be tough at times, especially for longer generated links, so copying and pasting can be a real lifesaver, let's checkout building Absolute Links. So, again I'm working in the index file this time from the 08_04 folder and what I want to do is I'm going to scroll down into my article on Victor Stuesse winning the Lacie Award.
So, in this article it talks about some of his volunteer work, including volunteer work at the Metropolitan Museum. Now when I first looked at this article, I didn't actually have the link to the Metropolitan Museum memorized inside my head. I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. So I need to go find the link for that and then come back into Dreamweaver and resolve that. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to go out to a browser and I'm just going to do a quick search for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, there we go.
So, there is the link to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and if I click on that, that of course is going to take me to the Metropolitan's Homepage. Now all I have to do is go right up here to the Address Bar and simply highlight the entire link and copy that and that's really the easiest way to find Absolute Links, especially when they're really, really long generated strings that you might get from a blog posting or Google Map or something like that. So, I'm going to move back into Dreamweaver. I'm going to go ahead and highlight Metropolitan Museum and then in the Link dialog box in the Properties Inspector, I'm just going to paste it.
Now you'll notice that the protocol came along with it http:// that is very, very important. Now the forward slash here that goes in the default directory isn't necessary, I can go ahead and get rid of that if I want, but I do need that protocol, Absolute Links will not work without them. So, I'm going to hit Return to go ahead and commit to that link. I'm going to save my file and I'm just going to preview this in our browser, just to verify that the link is going to work, so I'm going to scroll down. find the link and click on it. Now you'll notice that when I clicked on that, what happened was, it actually replaced the page that I had and that might not be the behavior that you want.
Sometimes that's going to be the appropriate behavior, but other times you might want this link to open up in a new tab or even a new Window. So, what I'm going to do is go back into Dreamweaver and I'm going to set a separate property for this particular link. So, just to the right of that you're going to see a pull down menu for Target, I'm going to grab that pull down menu and we have a couple of options here, blank, new, parent, self and top. Now most of these refer to frames and we really don't use frames that much anymore, but _blank is the one that you want. So I'm going to go ahead and select _blank. Once again, I'm going to save this file and I'm going to go back and preview it in my browser again.
Now this time when I scroll down and I click on the link. Notice that Firefox, the browser I'm using here will now open this in a separate tab. So now the individual is free to go ahead and browse the Metropolitan's website, but when they're done, they can just click right back on the Roux Academy tab; they don't have to hit their Back button or type in the Roux Academy URL, to come back to the page. So Absolute Links, they're just as easy to create as any the other link inside of Dreamweaver, you just have to remember the protocol, don't forget the HTTP or HTTPS or whatever the protocol might be on the front of that.
Leaving it off can create a broken link and that would really frustrate your users. Now also remember that using _blank for Target allows people to browse in a New Tab or a New Window without leaving your site and that could be both a good and a bad thing. So think very carefully about usability before committing any link to a New Window.
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