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Chapter 4. Editing Code > More Code-Editing Tools

More Code-Editing Tools

We've already looked at how code selection works in Dreamweaver in its different views: Code view, Split view, Design view, and the Code inspector. We've also taken a tour of the Quick Tag editor, which lets you edit code in Design view.

Dreamweaver includes many other specialized tools for editing your code. These include:

  • Context-sensitive code-editing tools, including the Insert bar and the Edit Tag dialog box

  • Hand-coding autocomplete features, including tag completion and the hints menu

  • Three code-management panels: the Tag Inspector panel, the Snippets panel, and the Tag Chooser dialog box

Using context-sensitive code-editing tools

Dreamweaver tries to guess what you're up to and give you a helping hand. While you're typing code, it closes tags, pops up hint menus, and provides a context menu every time you right-click (Ctrl+click) on a tag in Code view (Figure 4.43) or the Tag selector (Figure 4.39). These features may be helpful or annoying—when the latter is true in my opinion, I'll tell you what to turn off.

Figure 4.43. Right-click (Ctrl+click) on a tag in Code or Split view to view this context menu.


Coding with the Insert bar

Of course, every button you click on the Insert bar inserts code on your page, but two sets of options, those on the HTML tab that offer menus for Tables (Figure 4.44) and Frames (Figure 4.45), become functional only when you open Code view (but not the Code inspector, unfortunately). For these and the other tabs (such as Text; Figure 4.46), you can:

  • Select a menu option (or click a button on the Text category) to insert both the opening and closing tags for your selection.

    or

  • Select some text in the Document window (either in Code or Split view, and then click on a button (or select a menu option under Frames or Tables) to wrap the opening and closing tag around your selection. For the options on the Text category of the Insert bar, you can wrap tags around a selection in Design view as well.

Figure 4.44. These tags on the Table tab of the Insert toolbar become visible when you click within Code view or Split view. Click a button to insert the tag; select some text or code first to wrap the tag around the text. See Chapter 12 for more about tables.


Figure 4.45. These tags on the Frames tab of the Insert toolbar become visible when you open the tab in Code view. Click a button to insert the tag; select some text or code first to wrap the tag around the text. See Chapter 13 for more about frames.


Figure 4.46. These buttons on the Text tab of the Insert toolbar are always visible. Unlike the Property inspector, these buttons don't indicate what formatting is already applied to the text. See Chapter 8 for text formatting and Chapter 9 for paragraphs, lists and other text blocks.


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