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Chapter 5. Defining Preferences > Working with Tag Libraries

Working with Tag Libraries

Another powerful customization feature built into Dreamweaver is that of libraries. Tag libraries serve as the foundation for code hints, the Tag Chooser, and the Quick Tag Editor. Towards the end of Chapter 3, we looked at various coding options including code hints. You saw that code hints appear as you author your HTML (or whatever language you use) in Code view. When you typed the < symbol and pressed the Spacebar between attributes, the code hints menu appeared, allowing you to choose from a variety of tags and attributes supported by specific tags. This organization of tags, attributes, and attribute values is stored in a tag library located in Dreamweaver's Configuration folder. Although the storage mechanism is irrelevant at this point, what is important is the fact that Dreamweaver allows you to access these tag libraries using a unique and easy-to-use dialog.

The question comes up, “Why would I want to modify a tag library?” For the most part, if you're working with HTML, you wouldn't. Dreamweaver's organization of tags, attributes, and attribute values are such that they conform to HTML, XHTML, Accessibility, and W3C specifications exactly. You would, however, want to create your own custom tags if you were working with a tag-based technology such as ASP.NET that supports the development of third-party tags (also known as user controls). If you're not familiar with user controls, don't worry, we'll briefly cover them in the ASP.NET chapter in Part V, “Dynamic Web Page Development.” In the meantime, let's review the power and flexibility offered by the Tag Library Editor so that you can begin to familiarize yourself with the customization of tags, attributes, and values that appear in the code hints menu. You can open the Tag Library Editor by choosing the Tag Libraries option from the Edit menu (see Figure 5.28).


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