Dreamweaver Tips

If you use Dreamweaver to create an internet or intranet site, be sure to define a "site" within Dreamweaver and put all of your site files, text and graphics, within the site folder. That way you can take advantage of all of Dreamweaver’s site management features, such as its ability to update links when you move or rename a file.

Sometimes people skip this step and simply create pages individually and then them onto their server. The pages may look the same, but the user will have much more work.

Defining a site is easy:

  1. Choose "New" from the "Site" menu.
  2. Give the site a name and define the site folder.

Sometimes you are given code to paste into a web page to make an item appear on the page, for example a FaceBook "Like" icon. The problem is you don’t know where the code should go. Here is an easy solution:

  1. In "Design" view, type a few words at the location where you want the item displayed.
  2. Highlight the words you typed.
  3. Switch to "Code" view. The words you highlighted in "Design" view will be highlighted here as well.
  4. Delete the highlighted text and replace it with the code you were given.
  5. The item referenced by the code should now appear where the deleted words had been. You should still check any instructions that came with the code you were provided to make sure you have taken care of any technical requirements.

Google periodically refines its ranking methods to improve results and thwart "tricks" used to boost position. Two February 2011 New York Times articles explain.

The first, "The Dirty Little Secrets of Search," describes how J.C. Penney got caught using questionable tactics to leap to the top of search results in dozens of retail categories. After Google took what it describes as "strong corrective action," Penney dropped from 1st to 68th and 71st in two categories mentioned in the article.

The other, "Seeking to Weed Out Drivel, Google Adjusts Search Engine," talks about changes made to demote sites described as "content farms." Apparently the sites generate articles written around common search terms in the hope they will be a magnet for search engines.

Often web authors are asked to include pictures of book covers, catalogue pages, or publication mastheads on their pages. If the original page was created on a computer, there are two easy ways to create GIF or JPEG graphics directly from the original without scanning.

One is to open the document on your computer and take a "picture" of it using a screen capture utility. Alternatively, if the program used to create the publication allows one to save a page as an EPS file, as both InDesign and QuarkXPress do, you can do so and then convert the EPS file to a bitmap graphic by opening it in Photoshop. Usually this latter approach produces better results, although it involves more steps and requires greater system resources.

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Updated October 23, 2011.