Panels and panel groups

show more Panels and panel groups provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Garrick Chow as part of the Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training show less
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Panels and panel groups

Now let's take a look at these panel groups that appear by default here on the right hand side of your screen. If you want to follow along with me in this movie, be sure to go to the Window menu, to Workspace Layout. And on a Mac choose Default, and if you're on Windows choose Designer. Okay, so what are we looking at over here? Well, in {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} all of these tabbed areas in here are called panels. Each panel serves a different purpose, and you'll bring them up as you need them. To keep things organized, the panels are collected into panel groups. Each of the bars with the little triangles next to them is its own panel group. You can see their contents by twirling down those triangles to open up that particular panel group. Click on the triangle again, twirls the panel group back up, and collapses it again. You can expand them manually, just like so. So, you can see that if I have the Files panel group open, I have access to the Files, Assets and Snippets panels. I can access each one just by clicking on its tab, just like I did. The same goes for the other panel groups. If I open up Application for instance. I can go to Databases, Binding, Server Behaviors, and Components. Some of these panels you'll be using a lot, and some you'll hardly ever use.

Each panel group has its own little panel menu that contains couple of options for things you can do in that particular panel group. The panel menu is a little different for each group. For instance, in the Files panel, we have things like File, Edit, Servers, Expand Files Panel, Refresh, and so on. But, if I go to, say, the Tag Inspector panel, we have a totally different set of panel options here. We'll talk more about these panel menus in just a little bit. Another nice thing about the panel groups is that you can sort of tear them out of this area here, and make each group its own flooding panel. The trick here is to make sure you grab this little gripper area, right next to the triangle.

It looks like a series of tiny little dots. Notice the hand tool that appears. If you're doing this on {italic}Windows,{plain} you'll see a four directional arrow appear. But once you're there, and click, you can drag out. And that panel group becomes its own floating panel. And that gripper area is the only place where you can drag the panel groups out on their own. And this could really help to customize your workspace. I can drag out the panel groups that I need, just like files, or maybe say, CSS. Drag that out, expand it. And then just close the ones that I don't need, like so. I can even group my free floating panel groups together. Again, the trick is to just use the grabber, and then drag it over another panel group.

You see that little bar that appears. That blue bar. And when I release, now these panels are grouped together. And I can still collapse them, and expand them as I need to. And again, if you mess everything up, just remember you can always go to the Window menu to Workspace Layout, and just choose your Default layout again to get back to where you started. Now, in the {italic}Windows{plain} version of {italic}Dreamweaver,{plain} there are some things you can do with panels that you can't do on the Mac. Let's take a look. So in {italic}Windows,{plain} you can again, grab that little gripper area, and there's that four directional arrow I was telling you about. You can drag that out to its own area. And in {italic}Windows{plain} you can also dock your panels to the left side of your screen as well, like so. So we have panels on the left, and on the right.

Now I wouldn't recommend doing this at the screen resolution I'm using, because you end up with very little room for your actual document window. But if you have a nice large monitor, you might find this sort of layout useful. And if you want a drag it out again, you can just do so like that. If you prefer to have your panels on just one side of the screen, notice here if I drag this Files panel to the right, that black rectangle appears right there. And when I release, now I have my panels grouped in two columns. And I can just drag them back and forth that way. Another reason you might drag a group out on its own is so that you can simply close it. That gives you access to the close button, both on the Mac side, and the {italic}Windows{plain} side. And that just closes the panel. So, rather than just having it collapsed on the side of your screen, you can drag out the groups that you don't need, and just click that close button to completely close them.

And you can always bring them back from the Window menu if you did it by accident. You can also close docked panel groups, simply by clicking their panel menus, and just choosing Close panel group. And that gets rid of that particular panel group. Let me out everything back to the default designer's workspace for a moment here. Now you might be wondering whether you can drag the panels themselves out of their groups, and collect them into a customized group. And you were able to do this before in {italic}Dreamweaver 8,{plain} the previous version of {italic}Dreamweaver.{plain} But it was kind of involved. You had to go to the Panel menu here, and choose Group Files with, and choose New panel Group. That would bring out the panel by itself. So notice this Files is by itself now. Assets and Snippets are still in a panel group together. But a feature that has been re-introduced into {italic}Dreamweaver CS3{plain} is the ability to just grab the tabs.

Choose the tab. For instance, for Assets, and just drag that right out. That's something that was convoluted in the previous version of {italic}Dreamweaver,{plain} but now, it's much easier to do. Just grab the tab, and drag it right out. And you can still group them together, if you want to, just by dragging over here. Now they're grouped together. But notice that they're grouped separately, like so. If I really wanted Assets to be in the files panel, and grouped together, I don't want this black bar, I want this rectangle. Now they're grouped together. So, lots of ways you can customize your panels. Let's set that back again. Now, one other thing you can do on the {italic}Windows{plain} side of things with your panel groups is this little skinny button right here. If you click on that, notice all the panels get shoved off to the side of my screen, which is great if you need more room to work with your page. You might prefer to work like this, and then just click that button again when you want to bring back your panels when you need them. You can also drag this button to the left or right, to see more of your panels, or just to collapse your panels a little bit more. And it works the same for the Properties inspector down here. I can drag that up to give the Properties inspector more room, or drag it back down, or just click it to temporarily hide it. Or click it again to bring it back. But as I mentioned earlier, you probably want to keep your Properties inspector open at all times. If you prefer to have more space to work with your document, you might want to learn the keyboard command for showing and hiding panels, which is F4. Notice that hides all the panel groups.

But that also includes the Properties panel, which you'll most likely need. So you want to click Ctrl + F3, or just go up to the Windows menu on the PC to bring that back. Or if you want everything to come back, just press F4 again, and everything will come right back. Let's switch back to the Mac. And the keyboard commands here are the same. F4 to hide all your panel groups, or Command + F3 to hide and show the Properties inspector. So that's a good deal of information on customizing your panels and panel groups. Now if you're just starting out with {italic}Dreamweaver,{plain} don't worry about customizing your groups right away. Wait until you spend a good amount of time with the program to see which panels you use the most. And then if not makes sense to you, go ahead and a group those things together, as you see fit.

And in the very next movie, I'll show you how to make sure that your preferred way of grouping panels together will stay that way even if somebody shares your copy of {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} with you.

Panels and panel groups
Video duration: 6m 58s 10h 21m Beginner


Panels and panel groups provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Garrick Chow as part of the Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

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