Top New Features Covered On Our Dreamweaver Classes

Top new features covered on our Dreamweaver classes

1. Photoshop Smart Objects

The Photoshop integration which started in Dreamweaver CS3 has been enhanced in CS4 to offer via the use of Adobes Smart Objects technology. A Photoshop file can be imported directly into Dreamweaver and will automatically come in as a smart object.

Photoshop images are can be inserted using the same techniques as inserting any other image file: Insert Image; dragging from the Files panel; dragging from the Assets panel; or using the Insert toolbar. A Photoshop-style Optimise window automatically appears and you can choose the settings appropriate for that particular image usually GIF, JPEG or PNG.

Once the image has been imported, an icon is displayed in the upper left of the image indicating that it is a smart object. Also, in the Property Inspector, the location of the original PSD file is shown in a box marked Original.

The fact that the image is a smart object means that if we resize it in Dreamweaver, it will automatically be re-optimised and a new version of the image will be generated with the a new width and height. (In previous versions, resizing an image would mean that the browser was responsible for resizing leading to poor image quality.

2. Related Files

HTML is a notoriously sparse environment which relies on files created with other technologies to add functionality to web pages. Typical examples of related files are server-side includes, CSS, JavaScript and XML. Dreamweaver now includes a feature called Related Files which enables you to edit the content of such files, without having to open them separately, and to instantly see the effect of your changes on the main file.

Whenever you open a file which contains linked files, Dreamweaver displays each of the linked files in the Related Files Bar. To access a related file just click on its name. If you make any changes to a related file and asterisk appears next to its name in the Related Files Bar to remind you to save your changes. When you do, the impact of the changes is immediately visible in the main file.

3. Creating CSS styles in the Property Inspector

The Property Inspector can be used to change the attributes of any element you select on an HTML page. In previous versions of Dreamweaver, changing the attributes of highlighted text would cause the program to create CSS classes with names like Style1, Style2, etc. in the head area of the current page. This random creation of styles was often responsible for getting new web developers into bad habits.

In Dreamweaver CS4, the Property Inspector contains buttons which allow you to switch between HTML and CSS options. When working in the CSS options, you can now target a specific CSS rule before choosing an attribute or, if necessary, create a new rule.

The author is a trainer and developer with dreamweaver training, an independent computer training company offering dreamweaver courses in London and throughout the UK.

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