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Day 1. Getting Started > The Other Windows and Panels

The Other Windows and Panels

The other panels used in the Dreamweaver MX environment are important, but have a very limited range of relevance. As you work through the book, their functions will be discussed where appropriate. To get an idea when you'll be seeing these panels, here is a short list of the other panels you'll be using. These are located in the panel groups on the right side of your screen, or under the Windows menu.

Data bindings— Defines and edits connections to live data sources. This will be used extensively in Weeks 2 and 3 when we start to build dynamic Web sites.

Server behaviors— Also necessary for dynamic sites, Server Behaviors control how information is processed by the remote Web server.

Databases— Databases provide the information used inside a dynamic site. The Databases panel is used to define and view databases connected to the current site.

Components— Used to add JavaBeans or Web services to the application. This panel mainly of use to advanced developers.

Site— The site files window contains the tools you need to keep track of your Web site's files and synchronize them with remote servers.

Site Map— Although part of the Site window, the Site Map is an entirely separate tool. One of the hardest parts about maintaining a site is keeping track of how the pages connect and the paths that the users can take to reach different pieces of information. Dreamweaver MX can generate a map of your Web site for easy reference.

Assets— Site Assets are all the images, colors, and other objects in use on your site. You do not need to manually create the Assets panel—Dreamweaver MX will update it for you. The Assets panel is an excellent way to keep track of everything on your site.

Behaviors— The Behaviors panel is used to add JavaScript actions to objects on a Web page. The behaviors are generated automatically, without any need for knowledge of the JavaScript language.

Code Inspector— Want direct access to the HTML and JavaScript? This is the option you need. This is largely redundant considering the HTML view mode of the design window.

CSS StylesCascading style sheets (CSS) are the w3C standard for controlling the look and feel of your Web site down to the pixel size of the font being used. This panel contains all the defined styles and allows you to edit and apply them.

Frames— If you're creating a Web site that uses frames, you'll probably want an easy way to control them. The Frames panel lets you select and modify individual frame attributes.

History— If you've ever used Photoshop, you'll recognize the History panel immediately. The History contains a list of all the changes that you've made to the Web document. You can immediately back up to any state that the document has been in since it was last saved. The history can hold between 2 and 99,999 steps, with the default being 50. You can reset this value in the General section of the Dreamweaver MX preferences.

HTML Styles— Unfortunately, CSS Styles only work in browsers that support them (4.0 or greater). Luckily, Dreamweaver MX gives you a similar functionality to CSS by using HTML styles. HTML styles are simply standard HTML tags (<font>,<b>), but can be applied all at once to a selection of HTML.

Layers— Layers are a very powerful tool, but because they can exist on top of one another and be entirely invisible, it's often difficult to find the layer you want to edit. The Layer panel shows you a list of all the defined layers in a single location.

Reference— The Reference panel is an extremely detailed reference for cascading style sheets, HTML, and JavaScript. If you're interested in the technology behind the code you create, everything you need to know is right here.

Sitespring Tasks— Dreamweaver MX integrates with Macromedia Sitespring collaboration server software to provide a seamless Web production environment. The Sitespring Tasks panel is used for managing connections to the server.

Snippets— The Snippet panel holds small code fragments that you can use with your site.

Timelines— Through the use of JavaScript and layers, portions of a Web page can be animated over time. The Timeline panel enables you to visually set the position of layers against time.

Tag Inspector— Displays a hierarchical view of the current Web page. HTML tags can be collapsed or expanded to show detail. Much more useful than the Code Inspector.

Answers— Provides quick access to the Dreamweaver MX help system, online Macromedia resources, and tutorials.



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