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Lesson 1. Dreamweaver MX Basics > Working with Panels

Working with Panels

As you saw when you first opened Dreamweaver at the beginning of this lesson, most of the panels you will use while creating Web pages are docked—combined in tabbed windows—within panel groups. Docking maximizes your screen area while giving you quick access to the panels you need. Each panel group can be expanded to display all the panels it contains, or reduced to show simply the name of the group. Once you become familiar with the Dreamweaver panels and tools, you can customize the interface in order to make the program work with your specific needs by rearranging panels and reordering panel groups.

1.
Click the arrow on the Design panel group to make it expand. If the Design panel group is not visible, choose Window > HTML Styles.

If the Design panel group is visible but reduced, choosing Window > HTML Styles is another way to expand the group, because the Design panel group contains the HTML Styles panel. You will work with the HTML Styles panel later in this lesson to set text styles.

2.
Click the context menu located on the upper right of the Design panel group and choose Group HTML Styles With from the drop-down menu. Choose New Panel Group from the bottom of the menu.

The HTML Styles panel is now in a separate panel group that is called HTML Styles. You will no longer see a tab in this panel group because it contains only one panel.

You can rearrange panels as needed in Dreamweaver by choosing a different panel group for a panel to be placed in or by defining new panel groups as you just did. You cannot undock a panel by dragging its tab out of a set of docked panels. You must use the context menu to create a new panel group if you need to use a panel separately from other panels.

NOTE

You can rename panel groups by clicking the context menu and choosing Rename Panel Group. The Rename Panel Group dialog box will appear; here you can define a new panel group name.

3.
In the HTML Styles panel group, click the context menu and choose Group HTML Styles With from the drop-down menu. Choose the Design panel group from the list.

Notice that the HTML Styles panel is placed back into the Design panel group on the right side. Whenever you group a panel with a panel group that already exists, the panel that you are placing into the group will appear to the right of the existing panel tabs. If you want to change the order of panel tabs within a panel group, you will need to create new panel groups for the other panels and then group those panels with the desired panel group again until you achieve the desired order.

NOTE

The lessons in this book assume that you are using the default configuration of panels in Dreamweaver MX, with no changes to the order or names of panels and panel groups except for what you have done in this exercise.

4.
Rest the pointer over the dots to the left of the Design panel group arrow. When the pointer turns into a hand (Macintosh) or a crosshair with arrows (Windows), click and drag the Design panel group out of the window and release it.

You have now separated the entire Design panel group from the window of panel groups.

5.
Rest the pointer over the dots to the left of the Design panel group arrow. When the pointer turns into a hand (Macintosh) or a crosshair with arrows (Windows), click and drag the Design panel group back to the top of the panel groups window and release it when you see the gray line above the Code panel group.

The Design panel group is now back in the same window as the other panel groups. You can rearrange the order of panel groups by using the dots to move any of the groups above or below the other groups. When you drag a panel group back into the window, you will see the thick gray line appear between the existing panel groups. That gray line indicates where the panel group you are moving will be placed. Depending on the preferences set for appearance on your computer, this line may be a different color.

At times you may be unable to find a particular panel. Changes in screen resolution can be one cause of this problem. If you are missing a panel and can't bring it up by choosing it from the Window menu, you might need to choose Window > Arrange Panels to snap panels to the sides of your screen.


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