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In this course, author James Fritz shows how to create HTML-based websites with Muse—a toolset familiar to anyone who has used Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator. The course covers the design process from start to finish, from setting up web pages and populating them with graphics and text, to creating dynamic menus and adding special features such as widgets, slideshows, animations, embedded video, social media integration, and more. James also explains how to create an alternate layout for display on mobile devices, publish and update your site, and view analytics on web traffic.
When you place a graphic into Muse or import via a background fill, that graphic will end up being linked to where it originally came from, on your hard drive or maybe a server. In order to manage these links Muse has a panel called Assets that lets you monitor their status and make other modifications if necessary. Now you may be asking yourself, why should I bother linking; it would be a lot easier just to copy and paste my images directly into Muse? Well, one reason is when you link your files by placing, it makes the Muse file smaller.
Think about it this way, if you were to copy and paste a 3 MB image into Muse, those 3 MB would have to become embedded in the Muse file. As you added more and more images, the Muse file might become too large to manage. Instead when you link to the images, your Muse file will remain small. Another reason is that it makes it easier to make changes. If you have your company's logo on your web page and your company's logo changes, you can make a change to that file externally and the image would update automatically in Muse. If it was embedded in the file, you'd have to recopy and paste it again.
If you're familiar with Adobe InDesign, this is a very similar workflow. In order to manage all of these images that are linked externally, we're going to use the Assets panel. You can get to the Assets panel by going to Window > Assets, or pressing Command+Shift+D on the Mac or Ctrl+Shift+D on the PC. To make this easier to work with, let's collapse the other panels and resize this window to make it easier to see. The Assets panel contains all of the external assets that your entire web site is connected to.
At the top we're sorting by Name, Status and Page Location. If there's a black arrow next to an image, it means it's being used on more than one page. If I open up the arrow I'll see which pages located on. If I want to go to that image, I can just select the image, right-click and say Go To Asset. It will open up that page and then zoom in to that particular image. The Yield symbol will tell us the status of our images. You can see that the top image, ArrowmenuDown.gif, has a small image there; that means this is an embedded graphic.
We'll learn more about Embedded Graphics in a later movie. The rest of the images right now seem to be fine, there is no warnings at all. But let's explore what type of warnings we can get. On this page I'm going to make a little bit of room just by deleting this frame, and what we're going to do is go to File > Place, and on our Desktop I have got a file called bird-watching-big. I got this by going to my Exercise File > Assets folder and copying it over to the Desktop. I want to make modifications to the copy so I don't hurt the original.
With this selected I'm just going to place this in my file. Now right now everything is fine and linked to this file on my Desktop, but what would happen if that file would move? I'm going to go to the Finder or the Explorer on the PC and browse to my Desktop, and I'm going to rename this file. Now that I've renamed the file Muse doesn't know where it is. If I go back into Muse and I look in the Assets folder, you'll see that there's a Stop sign next to that particular asset; that's because Muse can't find it.
When you renamed it doesn't know where it is, maybe it's been deleted, moved to another folder; it doesn't know. To fix this we have to tell Muse where this picture is. So what I'm going to do is select this link in the Assets panel, right-click and choose Relink. Now I'm going to browse to the Desktop and choose that image and press Select. Now it's relinked and everything is fine. Another scenario is when the image is edited externally. I'm going to go to Photoshop and I'm going to open up that image. While I'm in here I'm going to grab the Clone tool and just make a small change.
After making this change I'm going to save the file, when I get back to Muse we'll see a Yield symbol next to this link; this is telling me that the file has changed externally. What I need to do is select this link, right-click and choose Update Asset. When I do this the change that I made will be updated instantly and we can now see that the bird is no longer there. Another way to make a change to the file is to edit original directly from Muse. If you right-click on the image in the Assets panel and choose Edit Original, the file will open up in the native application on your operating system.
However, if this isn't the application you want to open in, you can also choose Reveal in Finder on the Mac or Reveal in Explorer on the PC and then open the file in Photoshop for further editing. A few other changes we can do in the Links panel is editing a title or alternate text. We'll be covering this in a later movie. We can also copy the full path, which is the location of where the image lives on your hard drive, if you need to email it to someone else. When you work with linked assets it is crucial that you keep your files organized. I recommend that you make a folder called Assets and place it next to your Muse file.
When you're ready to bring an image into Muse, first place it in that folder, then you can go to File > Place to import it. This way all of your files will always be organized.
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