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Chapter 18. Automating Dreamweaver

Chapter 18. Automating Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver helps you save time by creating elements that you can reuse and update easily across an entire site. Library items are reusable chunks of code, and templates are page designs.

The Dreamweaver library is a storehouse of frequently used items (Figure 18.1) that are linked to the site cache. If you're familiar with server-side includes, library items work the same way: the HTML for the item is inserted into the page, along with a reference to the library item's URL. If you change a library item, you can then update the pages that use it. You can also insert actual server-side include tokens in Dreamweaver and view them inline.

Figure 18.1. This page footer, including text, links, and the image and horizontal rule, is perfect fodder for a Dreamweaver library item. You can insert it onto any new or existing Web page in a matter of seconds. If one of the links changes or the information changes, you can automatically update all pages that use this footer.

Dreamweaver also lets you update pages by building templates (Figure 18.2); you can base pages on a template file that you can then update. And speaking of templates, you can export editable regions of templates as XML and import XML into templates.

Figure 18.2. Dreamweaver templates allow you to create a basic shell page on which some areas are editable and some are read-only. The editable regions appear in highlighted boxes with tabs that show the name of the region.

One more way you can automate Dreamweaver is with the History panel (Figure 18.3), which lets you repeat actions you've performed during a session. You can even save sets of actions as macros to reuse later.



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