Join James Williamson for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up a custom workspace, part of Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training.
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Throughout this title, I use a custom workspace that I find makes me faster and more efficient when working in Dreamweaver, although it's certainly not required to complete this title. If you've never used Dreamweaver before, knowing how to set up your own custom workspaces is extremely helpful. So I'm going to take just a moment to show you how to set up my custom workspace. So I usually start off with the Classic view. In the upper right-hand corner of the interface, you are going to find the workspace switcher. You can switch between any of the preset workspaces and of course, you can build your own. I recommend starting off with the Classic because my favorite layout is to have the Insert toolbar right up here at your top instead of docked to the right hand side as a panel.
You can also start by either using a Split Screen view for your default screen or a Design view. I typically start in the Design view so that I can toggle back and forth between Code or Split view when necessary. So I'm going to set that to Design view, and there is just one more change that I make to the default workspace. At the bottom of the interface, you're going to find your Properties Inspector. It takes up a good amount of screen real estate down at the bottom of the panel, but if you run certain commands like searches or browser compatibility checks, you're going to have an entirely new set of panels that show up below it, taking up even more space.
So I tend to like to dock those together so that I have one long panel grouping along the bottom. So I'm going to go up to Window > Results and just choose Search. They are all in one large panel grouping and there as you can see it sort of pushes the Properties Inspector up. So I'm going to take the Properties Inspector and just drag its tab down over that existing panel group. You can redock or undock panels as often as you'd like. I like the Properties Inspector to be all the way over the left as well, so I can grab that and slide it to the left along this group until it is the first panel within the group.
So you're also free to go ahead and rearrange any of these groups that you'd like. You can do this with any of the panel groupings that you see. You can add panels, take panels away, float panels. It's really is a customizable workspace and you can do anything you'd like with it. Well, after you've done all these modification, you're probably going to want to save this, so that you don't have to continue to open and close panels to get the same look and feel. So I'm going to go up to my workspace and instead of choosing Classic or another one, I'm going to choose New Workspace. I will name mine The James, go ahead and click OK and now the workspace switcher gives me that is an option along with all of my prepackaged workspaces as well.
So to switch between workspaces, I simply grab the pulldown menu and I can choose between mine and any presets at any point. So that's all there is to setting up custom workspaces. The more you work with Dreamweaver, the more you'll get a feel for the panels that you use on a day-to-day basis and some of the panels that maybe you don't use quite as frequently. That way you can set up the interface to make sure it's the most efficient for the way that you like to work.
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