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Lesson 4. Preparing a New Site > Inserting Placeholder Text

Inserting Placeholder Text

During the design phase of a Web project, it is often helpful to work with placeholder, rather than actual content. The goal during design is not to worry about the message of the content, but rather to figure how you want to format the text and other assets once you import and begin working on them.

One technique designers use for placeholder text is the fake Latin Lorem Ipsum text. This text is nonsense, and yet it looks enough like regular English to be a serviceable stand-in for real content. Dreamweaver lacks a tool that enables you to pour in a specified amount of Lorem Ipsum text; however, an extension for Dreamweaver exists that lets you add this functionality into Dreamweaver. When run, from within Dreamweaver, this extension prompts you for the number of characters or paragraphs you need, and it dumps in the requested amount of Lorem Ipsum text into the active insertion point.

Before you can use this extension, you have to download and install it, using the Macromedia Extension Manager, a program that installs automatically with any Studio MX 2004 product. Most extensions are available at Macromedia's Web site. While many of them are freeware, some require payment to download.

In this task, you will learn to search for, download, install, and use the Lorem Ipsum extension.

With jadevalley_template.html open, choose Insert > Get More Objects.

This takes you to the Dreamweaver Exchange page at Macromedia.com.

Click Search Exchanges at the top right corner of the page. When the search page loads, type Lorem in the Search box and click the Search button.

Since the extension Lorem Ipsum was not displayed on the Dreamweaver Exchange page, you need to search for it.

Click the Download icon next to the Lorem Ipsum Generator extension.

When you click the Download icon, the Macromedia Web site will prompt you to either sign in or create a profile prior to downloading the extension. Follow the onscreen directions to sign in or register.

Save the extension on your Desktop.

Open the extension on the Desktop. Click Accept in the Extension Disclaimer.

By clicking the Accept button, the Extension Manager automatically installs the extension into Dreamweaver. When it is done, a dialog appears confirming the success of the installation.

The Macromedia Extension Manager indicates that the Lorem Ipsum Generator extension has been successfully installed and that you need to restart Dreamweaver before it takes effect. It also tells you how to access the new extension you just installed: Insert > Technocurve > Lorem Ipsum.

Save your file if prompted, close, and restart Dreamweaver MX 2004.

This time the new feature will appear in the Insert menu.

In the Files panel, double-click jadevalley_template.html to open it.

You will again use jadevalley_template.html to insert the Latin text to mock up the page.

In the Document window, delete the text “Main page content goes here.” The insertion point should be at the very top of the content area of the page. Choose Insert > Technocurve > Lorem Ipsum.

You can also select the Lorem Ipsum option from the Common category in the Insert bar.

This command brings up the Lorem Ipsum dialog.

In the Lorem Ipsum dialog, choose 3 from the Paragraph quantity drop-down menu.

Three paragraphs of Latin characters give you enough text to mock up this page.

Click OK to insert the Latin text.

This command inserts three paragraphs of dummy text for the page mock-up.

Save your file.

Now that the Lorem Ipsum extension has been successfully added to Dreamweaver, you can use this extension to quickly mock up a page while you are waiting for page content.

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