Using Adobe Dreamweaver’s Files panel

Most of your work in Adobe Dreamweaver is done in one or other of two views: files and document. The Files panel gives you an overview of the entire site and work with the entire site structure. It shows listings of the files in your local root folder and on your server. When you open any document, by contrast, you work on one HTML page at a time, adding and modifying content as necessary.

Most of your work in Adobe Dreamweaver is done in one or other of two views: files and document. The Files panel gives you an overview of the entire site and work with the entire site structure. It shows listings of the files in your local root folder and on your server. When you open any document, by contrast, you work on one HTML page at a time, adding and modifying content as necessary.

When you click OK after creating a new site, Dreamweaver will open the Files panel automatically and the site you have just created will be the active site. You can also enter site Files view at any time by choosing Window – Files. You can activate a particular site by choosing its name from the site pop-up menu. You can also choose Site – Manage Site and then select the desired site name and click Done.

There are two listings in the Files panel: on your right, the files in your local root folder are displayed; on your left are shown the files on your server. The toolbar above the file listing contains tools for uploading and downloading files to and from your server. Moving your mouse over an icon displays a tooltip explaining its function. The Connect button is used to establish a connection to the remote server. The Put button uploads the selected file(s) to the server. The Get button downloads files from the server.

Before putting any content into your web pages, the firs step is usually to create all of the HTML files your site will need together with any necessary subdirectories. To create a new file or folder in a particular folder, right click the name of the folder (or of one of the documents inside it) and choose New File or New Folder from the context menu. You can also highlight the relevant folder (or a document inside it) then choose New File or New Folder from the File menu. When creating documents, be sure to enter the necessary file extension: you may type either “.html” or “.htm”. Naturally, folder names do not need an extension.

One of the chief advantages of creating all the files needed for a web site in Files panel view before beginning to edit any documents is that links between pages can then be created by browsing for the linked page which otherwise would not yet exist. Dreamweaver also has a useful Point to File facility whereby a link can be created by dragging from the link object to the linked file.

Next to each folder which contains items, Dreamweaver displays a plus sign (+) is shown. To display the contents of a folder, simply click once on the plus sign. When the contents of a folder are displayed, the plus sign changes to a minus. To hide the contents of a folder, click the minus sign.

Working with Files panel view is very similar to working in Windows Explorer or the Macintosh Finder. To delete a file or folder, click once on the item to highlight it then press Delete or Backspace. You can also right-click on the file or folder and choose Edit-Delete from the context menu. It is also important to remember that the site listing is a live indication of a section of your hard disk. When you delete a file or folder, you are deleting an item from your hard disk in real time.

To highlight a non-contiguous range of items, click on the first item then, with the Control (Command) key held down, click on each of the items you wish to add to the selection. The items being selected can be in separate folders and you may collapse and expand folders during the operation without destroying the selection.

To change the name of a file or folder in Files panel view, click on the item with the right mouse then choose Edit – Rename from the context menu. As with Windows Explorer and the Mac Finder, you can also click twice on the current name of the item, taking care that the two clicks are on slightly different parts of the name. The name will then be highlighted, ready to be edited.

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