Saturday, December 25, 2010

Learn Dreamweaver CS3 - Setting new document preferences

Click the Preferences button at the bottom left of the New Document dialog box. Alternatively, choose Preferences from the Edit menu (Dreamweaver menu on a Mac), and select the New Document category. Either presents you with the New Document Preferences dialog box.

The dialog box lets you set the following global preferences:

  • Default document lets you choose the type of document that will be created when you use the keyboard shortcut for a new document (Ctrl+N/Cmd+N). For this to work, you must deselect the option at the bottom labeled Show New Document dialog box on Control+N/Cmd+N. Otherwise, the dialog box will appear.
  • Default extension affects only (X)HTML files. Change the value only if you want to use .htm to maintain unity with the naming convention of older sites.
  • Default Document Type (DTD) sets the default DOCTYPE declaration for all new web pages. You cannot set one value for, say, .html and another for .php pages.
  • Default encoding lets you choose the character set to be used in all web pages. The Dreamweaver CS3 default is Unicode (UTF-8). (In the Mac version, this is listed as Unicode 4.0 UTF-8.) This is different from previous versions. The checkbox below this option tells Dreamweaver to use the same character set to display existing pages that don’t specify a particular encoding. It doesn’t insert any extra coding in such pages.
  • Unicode Normalization Form is required only when using UTF-8 for encoding. It should normally be set to C (Canonical Decomposition, followed by Canonical Composition), and the Include Unicode Signature (BOM) checkbox should be deselected. If you use any other encoding, set Unicode Normalization Form to None.
Choosing the default document type Many people misunderstand the purpose of the DTD (the DOCTYPE declaration before the opening <html> tag). It simply tells the browser how you have coded your page and is intended to speed up the correct rendering of your design. It’s not a badge of honor or magic spell that somehow renders your web pages future-proof. The default setting in Dreamweaver CS3 is XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and this is the appropriate choice for most people when creating a new web page as long as you understand the stricter rules imposed by XHTML.

by David Power

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