Dreamweaver 3 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

Dreamweaver 3 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

by J. Tarin Towers

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Overview

Dreamweaver 3 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide by J. Tarin Towers

Macromedia's Dreamweaver is a sophisticated and powerful tool that allows new and power users alike to build Web sites without spending a lot of time writing code. However, many people don't know how to use its complex features to their advantage. In this latest revision of Peachpit's popular Dreamweaver for Windows and Macintosh Visual QuickStart Guide, author J. Tarin Towers unveils Dreamweaver 3's core features step by step—including using Dreamweaver for site management, building great pages with rollovers, frames, forms, and tables, and finally getting your work online. New program features, such as Jump Menus, HTML Styles, and the Quick Tag Editor are covered in depth, and the book is loaded with tips and accompanying graphics. This edition has four additional chapters—20 in total—and more coverage of Mac issues in its cross-platform approach. If you're a Dreamweaver user, you'll want to have this handy and affordable reference tool at your side.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780201702408
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 04/25/2000
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide Series
Edition description: 3RD
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.96(w) x 8.95(h) x 1.05(d)

About the Author


J. Tarin Towers has contributed as a writer and technical editor to more than a dozen books about computers and the Internet. As an editorial consultant, she has worked with such companies as Netscape Communications, Microsoft, Informix Software, and infoseek. She is also a published poet and essayist.

Read an Excerpt


Chapter 1: Dreamweaver Terminology

The various components that comprise Dreamweaver are called windows, palettes, and inspectors. Although all of these items are available from the Window menu (Figure 1.2), they are not all called windows.

A window, in Dreamweaver, is a stand-alone screen element that will show up on the Windows status bar (the Mac doesn't display windows separately in the Applications menu). The Document window is one example of a window, and the Site window is another.

You can have multiple document windows open; the filename for each will appear at the bottom of the Window menu (Figure 1.3).

The miniature, floating windows that are used to adjust particular sets of properties are called either inspectors or palettes. These are similar to the palettes and inspectors you may have used in other multimedia creation programs, such as Photoshop, PageMaker, or Director.

In general, an inspector changes appearance based on the current selection, whereas a palette controls elements, such as styles or library items, that are available to the entire current site.

You can control your workspace by moving any of these windows, or by closing them to get rid of them altogether.

Tips

  • To view or hide any window, palette, or inspector, select its name from the Window menu. Keyboard shortcuts for each palette are listed in the Window menu.
  • Read the sidebar Stacking Palettes, later in this chapter, to find out how to save screen space.
To close any window:

Just click on the X in the upper-right corner (Windows). On a Mac, click on the close box in the upper-left corner.

Tips

  • Dreamweaver will remember where your windows are when you exit the program. When you start Dreamweaver again, your window preferences will remain the way they were when you last exited (Figure 1.4).
  • To move the floating windows back to their original, default positions, select Window > Arrange Floating Palettes from the Document window menu bar (Figure 1.5).
  • You can hide all of the floating windows, select Window > Hide Floating Palettes from the Document window menu bar, or press F4 (Figure 1.6).
To change floating window preferences: 1. From the Document window menu bar, select Edit > Preferences. The Preferences dialog box will appear.

2. In the Category box at the left of the window, click on Floating Palettes. The Floating Palettes panel of the dialog box will come to the front (Figure 1.7).

3. This panel of the dialog box includes a 4. When you're done, click on OK to close the Preferences dialog box and return to the Dreamweaver window.

The Document Window

The Document window (shown in detail on the next page in Figure 1.11) is the main center of activity in Dreamweaver. Since Dreamweaver is a WYSIWYG HTML tool, the Document window approximates what you'll see in a Web browser window. The title bar displays the filename and the title of the current Web page. All Dreamweaver menu commands are available from the Document window menu bar. The body of the HTML document is displayed in the main viewing area of the Document window. The status bar indicates three things about the current document: The tag selector displays all the HTML tags that apply to the current selection. The window size indicator displays the current size of the Document window. The numbers will change if you resize the document window; you can select a preset window size by clicking the down arrow in this area to display a pop-up window (Figure 1.8).

The download stats area displays the total size, in K (kilobytes), of the current page, and the amount of time it would take to download over a 28.8 Kbps modem. The Launcher bar, also in the status bar, includes the same buttons as the Launcher, which is discussed later in this chapter in the section called The Launcher.

To hide the status bar: 1 From the Document window menu bar, select View > Status bar. The status bar will disappear (Figure 1.9)...

Table of Contents

Introductionxiii
Chapter 1Getting Started1
Dreamweaver Terminology2
The Document Window5
Customizing the Document Window7
Invisible Elements9
The HTML Inspector10
Selecting Objects12
The Properties Inspector14
The Launcher16
The Objects Palette20
Dreamweaver Objects21
About History23
Chapter 2Basic Web Pages25
Opening and Creating HTML Files27
Saving Your Work29
Saving a Copy of a File30
Page Properties31
Colors and Web Pages32
Modifying the Page Background36
Setting the Text Colors38
Previewing in a Browser39
Printing from the Browser Window40
Chapter 3Setting Up a Local Site41
The Site window43
Setting Up a Local Site44
Editing and Deleting Local Sites47
Site window Tips & Shortcuts48
Chapter 4Editing HTML51
Using the HTML Inspector56
Using the Quick Tag Editor58
Selecting Parent and Child Tags63
Inserting Comments65
Setting HTML Preferences66
Cleaning Up HTML69
Chapter 5Working with Text75
Placing Text76
Changing Font Size77
Using Text Styles81
Physical Text Styles83
Logical Text Styles84
Changing Font Face85
Special Characters in HTML90
Find and Replace92
Checking Your Spelling95
Chapter 6Paragraphs and Layout97
Paragraphs versus Line Breaks98
Paragraph Properties100
Break Properties101
Headings102
Preformatted Text103
Formatting Lists105
Text Alignment109
Indenting Text110
The Nonbreaking Space112
Horizontal Rules113
Chapter 7Creating HTML Styles115
Applying HTML Styles117
Removing Styles119
Creating New Styles120
Editing Styles124
Using the Styles File125
Chapter 8Working with Images127
Placing an Image128
Selecting an Image129
The Properties Inspector130
Image Formats131
Image Properties132
Appearance Properties133
Layout Properties135
Page Loading Properties137
Image Rollovers139
Chapter 9Working with Links and URLs143
Relative Links145
Making Links147
Using Named Anchors153
Aiming Targets156
Using Navigation Bars157
Managing Links161
Changing Link Colors167
Smart Linking Strategies168
Chapter 10Working with Tables169
Setting Up Tables170
Adding Content to a Table172
Changing Table Size and Layout175
Adjusting the Table Size181
Converting Percentages and Pixels184
Creating a Table within a Table185
Working with Table Borders186
Adjusting Table Spacing187
Adjusting Content Spacing189
Coloring Tables190
Inserting Tabular Data193
Exporting Tables195
Sorting Table Contents196
Chapter 11Using Frames197
Frames and Navigation198
Setting Up a Frames Page199
Creating Frames by Dragging200
Quick and Dirty Frames201
The Frames Inspector203
Modifying the Frame Page Layout204
Deleting a Frame205
Nested Framesets206
Setting Column and Row Sizes208
Setting Content Pages210
Creating Content within a Frame211
Saving Your Work212
Saving the Frameset Page213
Frameset Options214
Setting Margins217
Targeting Links218
Creating No-Frames Content223
Inline Frames225
Chapter 12Filling Out Forms227
Formatting Forms229
Adding Form Objects230
Names and Values231
Jump Menus242
Making It Go249
Chapter 13Stylin' with Style Sheets251
In This Chapter252
How Style Sheets Work253
Kinds of Style Sheets254
Creating a Style256
Defining New Selectors259
Linked and Imported Style Sheets263
Editing Style Sheets266
Applying Style Classes268
About Conflicting Styles269
Style Definitions270
Type Attributes272
Background Attributes275
Block Attributes277
Box Attributes279
Border Attributes281
List Attributes282
Extensions283
Chapter 14Layers and Positioning285
CSS Positioning286
X, Y and Z Coordinates286
Absolute vs. Relative Positioning287
Positioning Properties288
Other CSS Attributes Related to Positioning290
About the Layers Inspector291
About the Grid291
About the Rulers291
Creating Layers292
Selecting Layers294
Deleting a Layer295
Renaming a Layer295
Choosing Tags296
Moving Layers297
Resizing Layers298
Nesting and Overlapping Layers300
Changing Layer Visibility302
Stacking Order304
Content and Layers306
Layers and Styles307
The Clipping Area308
Content Overflow310
Setting a Background311
Layer Preferences312
Netscape's Layer Tags314
Additional Netscape Layer Properties315
Converting Layers to Tables (and Vice Versa)317
Using a Tracing Image320
Chapter 15Behavior Modification323
JavaScript Concepts324
Adding Behaviors326
Common Objects330
Event Handlers332
Common Actions334
Set Text of Status Bar335
Go to URL336
Popup Message337
Open Browser Window338
Check Plugin340
Check Browser342
Swap Image344
Play Sound348
Control Shockwave or Flash349
Show-Hide Layers351
Validate Form353
Set Text355
Change Property359
Drag Layer362
Adding New Scripts and Behaviors365
Chapter 16Drawing Timelines369
What Timelines Can Do370
The Timelines Inspector371
Dissecting the Timelines Inspector372
Adding a Layer to a Timeline374
Timeline Actions375
About Keyframes377
Showing and Hiding Layers379
Changing the Z-index380
Changing the Timing381
Changing Layer Dimensions382
Adding an Image to a Timeline383
Adding a Behavior to a Timeline385
Making Timelines Go386
Loop and Rewind389
Adding and Removing Frames392
Using Multiple Timelines393
Deleting Objects395
Changing Objects396
Deleting a Timeline397
Bringing It All Together398
Chapter 17Automating Dreamweaver401
About Libraries402
What Library Items Do404
Creating a Library Item405
Adding an Existing Library Item to a Page406
Editing Library Items407
Renaming a Library Item409
Deleting a Library Item410
Re-creating a Library Item411
Updating Your Site412
Using Server-Side Includes414
Inserting SSIs416
Changing SSI Viewing Options417
Dream Templates418
Template Tools419
Creating Templates420
Setting Template Page Properties421
Using Styles and JavaScript in Templates422
Setting Editable Regions423
Creating Pages Based on a Template424
Detaching a Page from a Template425
Attaching an Existing Page to a Template426
Using Editable Regions427
Highlights for Templates428
Renaming and Deleting Templates429
Exporting as XML432
The History Palette436
Repeating and Undoing Actions438
Copying and Pasting Steps442
Saving Steps as Commands444
Setting the Number of Stored Steps447
Clearing the History List448
Chapter 18Customizing Dreamweaver449
Custom Objects451
Editing Dreamweaver Menus455
About the Menus.xml File458
About Menu Items460
Rearranging Menu Items462
Deleting a menu item463
Adding a Separator463
Changing Keyboard Shortcuts464
Customizing Dialog Boxes467
Chapter 19Plug-ins and Active Content469
Using Sound Files471
Sound File Parameters474
Netscape Plug-ins476
Shockwave and Flash478
Java Applets481
ActiveX483
Extra Parameters486
Chapter 20Managing Your Web sites487
Connecting to a Remote Site491
Getting and Putting492
Synchronizing493
Refreshing and Switching Views494
Checking In and Checking Out496
Using Site Maps501
Site Map Icons and Tips503
Drawing Links in the Site Map504
Setting Up Design Notes505
Using Design Notes506
Site FTP Preferences509
Index511

Introduction

Welcome to the Dreamweaver 3 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide! Dreamweaver is exciting software: it's simple to use and it's one of the very best WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing tools to ever come down the pike.

Dreamweaver isn't just another visual HTML tool. It does do what all the best editors do: creates tables, edits frames, and switches easily from page view to HTML view.

But Dreamweaver goes way beyond the other editors to allow you to create Dynamic HTML (DHTML) gadgets and pages. Dreamweaver fully supports Cascading Style Sheets (CSS-1) as well as layers and JavaScript behaviors. It even includes its own DHTML animation tool: Timelines. And a fully-fledged FTP client, complete with visual site maps, is built right in.

What's New?

Dreamweaver 3 introduces several new features that simplify page production. And this book includes four new chapters to keep up. The last chapter in the Dreamweaver 2 book was about setting up and managing Web sites using the Site window. I've moved coverage of how to set up a local site to the new Chapter 3. Chapter 20 includes new sitemanagement features, such as design notes and the streamlined site updating features.

Dreamweaver's new features include the following:

Quick Tag Editor (Chapter 4): If you'd like to be able to add, edit, or remove tags while staying in the Document window, the Quick Tag editor will be your new friend. Chapter 4 is new, too, and it's all about HTML.

Clean Up Word HTML (Chapter 4): They figured out that Word always makes the same mistakes when it saves files as HTML, and they figured out how to fix them, too.

Special Characters (Chapter 6):Dreamweaver now includes direct support for special characters (such as c) in the Objects palette and the Insert menu.

HTML Styles (Chapter 7): Because CSS hasn't yet taken off the way experts predicted, formatting text with font tags is still what most webmasters prefer. With HTML styles, you can save sets of text properties as reusable, named styles in the HTML styles inspector.

Navigation Bars (Chapter 9): Dreamweaver now offers a dialog-box level method for inserting button rollovers that can have up to four different visible states.

E-mail Links (Chapter 9): A new Insert menu object is a dialog box for inserting e-mail links. New menu items for Insert > Link and Remove > Link appear there, too.


Who Should Use This Book?

No matter what your level of Web experience, you can use Dreamweaver and this book. I'm assuming you've used some sort of page-creation tool before, even if it's just a text editor. You should use this book if you're:

  • An absolute beginner who wants an editor that writes great HTML.

  • A graphic designer who's used to using document editors like Director, PageMaker, or Photoshop, but who isn't as proficient with HTML.

  • An HTML expert who likes to hand code but wants automation of simple tasks.

  • Frightened of Dynamic HTML.

  • Someone who needs to learn Dreamweaver quickly.



Browsers Beware

I use sidebars to point out `extra" information about specific features, including HTML tricks that aren't directly supported by Dreamweaver.

This sidebar is about browser wars. I've made every effort to be fair to both the powerhouse browsers, Netscape Navigator (which I usually call Navigator, or just NN) and Microsoft Internet Explorer (called MSIE, IE, or sometimes Explorer). I also point out important differences between them, which are most apparent when talking about 4.0 browsers.

Browsers are like sausage: No one should have to know how they're made. I was, however, employed for Netscape at one point; for Microsoft, I wrote reviews of bars and cocktail lounges. (Full disclosures are in vogue right now)

When I wrote the first edition of this book, the browser wars made it seem likely that the year 2000 would bring, if not the apocalypse, then version 6.0 of something. Navigator is still on edition 4.7, and Explorer 5.0 added Netscape-level security, more user customization, and not much else.

Interestingly enough, the first version of Dreamweaver was lauded for the ease it granted Cascading Style Sheets and layers. Ironically, computer prices dropped so much that more people than ever started using 4.0 browsers-and these 4.0-only features were abandoned by a lot of designers for their clunkiness, their browser incompatibility, and their backwards noncompatibility

Dreamweaver does make it easy to write 4.0 pages and save them as 4.0 code. But on a small farm in the middle of nowhere, my grandpa is surfing the Web using Windows 3.1 and a ball of twine.

Import/Export Table Data (Chapter 10): Import database or spreadsheet information into a table in Dreamweaver, or export table data from Dreamweaver into a data file.

Jump Menus (Chapter 12): Use a simple dialog box to insert JavaScript-driven navigation menus, with or without "Go" buttons.

New Behaviors (Chapter 15): Set new content for a layer or a frame when a user performs an event.

History Palette (Chapter 17): Dreamweaver now tracks your actions in the Document window, and not just for multiple Undos. In the History palette, you can redo any action, even on a different object than your initial selection. And you can save an action or set of actions as an entry in the Commands menu.

Objects Support (Chapter 18): Adding custom objects to the Insert menu and the Objects palette is easier than ever.

Customizable Menus (Chapter 18): By editing a single XML file, you can change the content of the menus on any palette or menu bar in Dreamweaver.

Customizable Dialog Boxes (Chapter 18): You can change the appearance of most of Dreamweaver's dialog boxes.

Design Notes (Chapter 20): Design notes are files that let you save comments, dates, and other, perhaps proprietary data about pages and media objects on your local site or in your workgroup's file server.

Synchronize Files (Chapter 20): It's even easier now to select and Get or Put the more recent files on a local or remote site.

Improved Site Updating (Chapters 3, 9, 17, and 20): Loads of features, either new or streamlined, make it easier to keep your site-and its links and objects-up-to-date.

QuickStart Conventions

If you've read a previous Visual QuickStart Guide, you know that this book is made up of two main components: numbered lists that take you step by step through the things you want learn, and illustrations that show you what the heck I'm talking about.

I explain what needs to be explained, but I don't pontificate about the acceleration of information technology or wax dramatic about proprietary tags.

Tips

  • In every chapter, you'll find tips like these that point out something extra handy.

  • Code in the book is setoff in code font.

  • Sometimes you can find extra tidbits of info in the figure captions, too.


But Wait, There's More on the Web Site!

The companion Web site for this book contains lots and lots of links to developers' pages, handy shareware tools, and example sites, and because the page is on the Web, you don't have to type in a bunch of URLs. You'll also find online appendixes covering the image map editor, HTML preferences, and browser compatibility. I also include my own sample pages, along with some DHTML I made just for this book. (You can only see the DHTML stuff if you're using a 4.0 or later browser, but the site is open to everyone, and I made it all using Dreamweaver, naturally.)

Visit

http://www.peachpit.com/vqs/dreamweaver

and let me know what you think of the book and the Web site by e-mailing dreamweaver@tarin.com.

What's in this Book

Here's a quick rundown of what I cover in this book.

Dreamweaver Basics

In the first four chapters I introduce you to HTML and the Dreamweaver interface. If you never want to look at any HTML when you use Dreamweaver, you don't have to; on the other hand, if you want to learn HTML, there's no better way than by creating a page and looking at the code you just made. The new Chapter 3 walks you through setting up a local site, so that all of Dreamweaver's site management, linking, and updating tools will work for you. The new History palette lets you repeat or undo almost anything. Chapter 18 introduces you to customizing Dreamweaver by editing object files, menus, and other interface elements.

Web Page Basics

Chapters 5-7 talk about text and all the things you can do with it, and Chapter 9 describes linking in more detail than you thought possible. Chapter 8 gets you on your way with images-and Appendix A, on the Web site for this book, describes how to make client-side image maps with the image map editor.

Tables, Frames, and Forms

Chapters 10-12 are what most folks consider the "intermediate" range in HTML-10 is tables, 11 is frames, and 12 is forms, all of which are much easier to construct in Dreamweaver than by hand.

Dynamic HTML

Then we get to the Dynamic part of the book. The components of DHTML are covered in Chapters 13-16. Chapter 13 covers Cascading Style Sheets. In Chapter 14, you'll learn about layers and all that goes with them, including absolute positioning. Chapter 15 covers behaviors, a Chinese food menu way of putting together JavaScript actions-just choose one from column A and one from column B. And Chapter 16 discusses Timelines, Dreamweaver's DHTML animation tool.

Site Management

Chapter 17 discusses three ways of automating common tasks in Dreamweaver: libraries, templates, and history. Libraries are a sitemanagement tool, whereas you use custom objects to modify Dreamweaver's Insert functions. The template feature in Dreamweaver allows you to create versatile templates with read-only design features, and you can update the design of pages based on these templates just by updating the template file. In the new Chapter 4, you'll even learn how to edit it in its own window; or, using the Quick Tag editor, how to edit it without even looking at the code, per se.

In Chapter 19, you'll learn everything you need to know about putting plug-ins and other multimedia content on your site. Appendix B on the companion Web site describes how to make your Web pages work and look the way you want them to in all kinds of browsers. And Chapter 20 is all about site management with Dreamweaver's Site window, a full-fledged FTP client.


HTML is HTML

Like the song, HTML remains the same, whether you construct it on a Mac or PC. Even better, Dreamweaver's Roundtrip HTML feature ensures that HTML you create outside the program will retain its formatting-although obvious errors, like unclosed tags, will be fixed.

The PC version of Dreamweaver comes with HomeSite, and the Mac version comes with BBEdit. You can set up either program to work with any HTML editor you like, however. See Appendix D, on the companion Web site for this book, to find out how to set up these editors and how Dreamweaver will treat your HTML.

Special to Mac Users

I wrote this book on a PC, but this time around, I had a Mac on the same desk. And this time around, Dreamweaver wrote the program with a code base entirely specific to each platform. Much of the program is written in cross-platform languages like JavaScript, XML, and HTML, and the Mac version of Dreamweaver 3 was written for the Mac, not written for Windows and ported over.

The main difference between the Mac and Windows flavors in previous versions of Dreamweaver was that the Mac, having only one menu bar, featured a Sites menu in the Document window. Now Windows features the same menu. The differences are negligible, as you can see in Figures 1 and 2.

There are some basic platform differences that will cause the screen shots to look slightly different. Windows windows (ha ha) have a menu bar affixed to each and every window, whereas the Mac menu bar is always at the top of the screen, and it changes based on the program you choose from the Application menu (the one in the upper left of the Mac screen, next to the clock).

Windows windows close by clicking on the close box on the upper right, whereas close boxes on the Mac are on the upper left. Occasionally, buttons will have different names. For instance, in some dialog boxes, the button says Browse in Windows and Choose on the Mac. They're always close enough.

Keyboard conventions

When I refer to key commands, I put the Windows command first and the Mac command in parentheses, like this: Press Ctrl+L (Command+L)

I use this format for some other differences, too, like system fonts:

The source code uses the Courier New (Courier) font face.

Mouse conventions

Some Mac mice have more than one button; some don't. For that matter, some folks don't really use mice at all, they have those touchpad and stylus thingies. That said, I do refer to right-clicking a lot. On a Windows machine, when you click the right rather than the left mouse button, a contextual pop-up menu appears (Figure 3).

Pop-up menus, or context menus, are available in some Mac systems. To make a pop-up menu appear on a Mac, or in system 8x, try Ctrl+clicking. Your mileage may vary depending on your system configuration. Options available from pop-up menus are always available as menu bar options, too, so you'll never miss functionality in Dreamweaver even if you can't right-click.

And now... on to the hook!

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