Join James Williamson for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing workspaces , part of Dreamweaver CS6 Essential Training.
It's very common to switch back and forth between tasks in Dreamweaver. On one occasion you might be working heavily in code while other days you might be working with dynamic data or building a CSS layout. Often this requires using panels and toolbar layouts that differ from each other significantly. Rather than having to constantly open and close panels and rearrange them we can use workspaces to quickly switch between interface setups, and even create our own when the presets don't suit our needs.
So I'm starting out with the Designer Workspace, and again, your workspaces, if you are looking for a very quick and easy way to access them, you can go right up the Application toolbar which on the PC is found docked with the Menu, and on the Mac it's just below the Menu. But if I grab that pull-down menu, you will notice Dreamweaver has a lot of presets. Most of the time you can find what you are looking for just by going up to the Presets. If I click App Developer for example, you are going to see it switches to almost mimic an eclipse-like Workspace. We have our Styles over here, Databases, Server Behaviors and our Files panel, and then of course the coding environment is front and center.
If I go to the Classic Workspace for example, this looks very similar to Designer, but our Insert panel is now moved up top, and that's one of the very interesting things about the Insert panel. We'll take a closer look at that in another movie, but it's one of the only panels that can exist both horizontally and vertically. You will notice if I go to say the Designer Layout, the Insert panel is found right here docked with the rest of our panels, and to switch between different types of objects, I simply click on the pull-down menu.
But, if I undock this panel and move it up towards the top of my Workspace, it will dock up here as a horizontal panel grouping. That's actually how I prefer it. Just because I am used to working with it that way and it's very easy just to click on the tabs up here to switch to the object types that I need. Now you may not feel that way, you may love having it over in the Panel dock and that's the great thing about choosing these workspaces. You are free to do with them whatever you want. The other thing is Dreamweaver has a memory. It remembers what you have done to the Workspace.
You will notice I am still in the Designer Workspace, but the Insert panel is now in sort of a horizontal layout, which its not, when you first switched the Designer Workspace. Well if I switch to say this Mobile Applications Workspace and then I switch back to the Designer Workspace, you can see it remembers that I would prefer to have the Insert Bar up top. So that's very handy. Of course, it can also get you in trouble, so if you've moved panels out and you move them around and you close panels that you in fact need and you switch to the Designer Workspace, you are like, oh man, I thought the Browser Lab panel was here.
Well never fear, you can go right up top and just tell it to reset the Workspace, and then it will reset it back to its original. I want to show you how to manage workspaces by building a Workspace, and we are going to build my favorite Workspace. I am not telling you that this is the most efficient panel layout far from it. This just works for me, the majority of the time. The more you work with Dreamweaver, the more you will know which panels you are going to be using on a frequent basis and which ones you don't use at all. And I recommend after a while just starting to build your own Workspace inside Dreamweaver, so you kind of have it customize to the way that you like to work.
So the first thing I am going to do is I am going to come over to my Document window, and here you have a choice to either view it in Code View which is just total code, Split Screen View which is code on the left-hand side and the page is designed on the right-hand side, and then Design view. The Workspace will remember which one of those that you've chosen when you created the Workspace. So I am going to switch it over to Design view and just leave it there. Now I do like have my Insert panel up top, so I am actually going to switch over to the Classic view so that it shows up, up top, and you will notice again the view here changed to this Split Screen view and that's because workspaces remember that.
Again, I am just going to consciously click on Design so that Design is the default view of this. I am going to go down and expand my Properties panel by clicking on the Tab for that. Now over on the right-hand side in the dock, I am going to rearrange the dock a little bit and I'd like a very minimal dock, I only want a few panels over there that I know I am going to be using say 80 to 90% of the time. Other panels that I'll need, I'll just open those up whenever I need them. So I am going to take the Adobe BrowserLab panel and I am going to close that group. I am going to take the CSS Styles Panel and I am going to leave them open.
I really like that and I need that panel group. The Database, Bindings, Server Behaviors, I am not going to be using them that often, so I am going to close that Tab group as well. And then File, Assets, and Snippets, I use those a good bit so I am going to leave those up. So I really just kind of stick with that particular layout. Mostly I am going to open the CSS Styles panel and sort of rearrange that divider, so that I can see equal amount of my files, and an equal amount of my CSS Styles. I would say all the panels in Dreamweaver, those are the two that are used the most frequently, so I want them sort of front and center when I am creating my Workspace.
You may not see this Toolbar right here, you may see that Toolbar above if you are on a Mac, for example, you may see it above the Document Toolbar instead of docked with it. This is the Style Rendering Toolbar. I can undock it here on the PC, but on the Mac if you have it visible, you can't undock it. That is a Toolbar that you can choose to either have up or not, it's totally up to you. If you right-click the Document toolbar, you can see there it is, Style Rendering or you can open it up by going up to View>Toolbars>Style Rendering.
So either way. I'm just going to leave it out and leave it docked. If I don't need it, it's very easy to simply right-click and get rid of it. What the Style Rendering toolbar allows you to do is toggle your visual styles on and off or switch between different styles such as Print Style sheets or Handheld Style sheets and things like that. The Properties Inspector down here on the bottom, I use that a good bit, so I am going to keep that open. But there is another series of panels that I use a good bit as well that are not open right now. So I am going to go up to Window, I am going to go down to Results and I am going to open up this Search panel grouping.
Now it doesn't matter really which one I choose between this grouping. Opening one is going to open the rest of them because they are all part of a pretty large group. Now when you first see this, there is a reason that people don't make this part of the Workspace. Look how much room it takes up; not only that, it's sitting below the Properties Inspector, so what I end up with is almost no room to look at my code or my design. But that's okay, because remember, you can customize these. The way that our panel grouping starts out, is not the way that it has to finish.
So what I am going to do is grab my Properties Inspector by the tab, move it down and over the tabs for the search panel grouping and when I let go, it just becomes part of that. Now you can also reorganize these tabs. I prefer to have the Properties Inspector as the first tab because it's the panel out of this grouping that I am going to use the most. So I am just going to move this over, and be careful, you want to move it in a straight line. If you move it up or down, it will tend to undock it. But I am just going to move that over there, left-hand side, and now I have all these panels that I can flip back and forth between like validating my current code, checking links on my page or my site and my Properties Inspector, all there sort of grouped together.
So that way I don't have to go out and open those up again. There is also this little thing where when you do certain actions inside Dreamweaver like Find and Replace for example, where it'll open up this grouping automatically. So rather than have it sort of overwhelming interface or pop-up unexpectedly, I just have it sitting down there in the bottom, and if any of those functions ever run, then I'm not really interrupted when that panel grouping shows up. This is kind of how I like to work inside Dreamweaver. It's a minimal set up. I am either working totally in code just sort of coding things or working over here in my Styles panel, in my Files panel.
The other panels I'll open them up when I need them, but for the most part this is kind of how I work inside Dreamweaver. So I want to save this. I don't want to have to go back and re-build this every single time I open Dreamweaver. Remember, Dreamweaver does have a memory. Right now, we've been actually working on the Classic Workspace or whatever Workspace you currently had open when we started this process. So if I do switch a Workspace right now, let's say I go over to the Designer again, when I go back to Classic, it's going to remember that. But it's memory is limited.
If I close Dreamweaver and open it up again it doesn't remember that. Classic would just go back to its normal state, and if for some whatever reason, I chose Reset 'Classic' which I'm not going to do, but if I did, all my hard-work would be gone. It makes sense to go ahead and save this Workspace layout. If you get Dreamweaver's interface to a level of where you like it, and if you like the panel groupings, just save it, that way you can come back to this anytime you want. So I am going to go grab this pull-down menu, I am going to go right down to where it says New Workspace and I just like calling this one The James.
So I click OK, and now in the Workspace Switcher there is The James. If I grab that pull-down menu, you will notice that any of your custom workspaces are going to show up at the very top of the workspaces, which is nice. So it just makes sure that you've the ones that you've created yourself are right up top. And now it doesn't matter, if I choose a different Workspace, or if I go into Classic and choose to reset the Classic Workspace, it doesn't matter. I can come up here choose The James any time I want and I get the Workspace that is best suited to me.
The great thing again about workspaces, you can switch from task-to-task in Dreamweaver without spending a whole lot of time rearranging panels as long as you build workspaces out that meets specific requirements inside Dreamweaver, then switching tasks is very, very simple. Now my advice to you: be observant as you start using Dreamweaver, watch how frequently you find yourself opening and closing specific panels. If you find yourself constantly going back and arranging the same panels over-and-over, based on tasks that you are performing, we will just consider building a Workspace around them.
You'll find, it's the small things like utilizing workspaces that dramatically speed up your workflow in Dreamweaver.
- Choosing and customizing a workspace
- Defining a new site
- Uploading files to your site
- Creating new documents and web pages
- Formatting source code
- Working with CSS
- Placing images and background graphics
- Creating links
- Styling a basic table
- Creating a web form with buttons, check boxes, and list menus
- Adding Spry effects