Setting options in the New Document Preferences dialog box

Setting options in the New Document Preferences dialog box

The purpose of this dialog box is to establish a default new document type and preferences.

To set new document preferences:

  1. Set the options you want to apply:
    • To set a default document to open, under the Default Document pop-up menu, select a document on which to base new pages that you create in the site.
    • If you select HTML as the default document, you can use the Default Extension text box to specify the file extension you prefer (.htm or .html) for new HTML pages created in Dreamweaver. For more information, see Setting the default file extension of new HTML documents.
    • To make new pages XHTML-compliant, select one of the XHTML document type definitions (DTD) from the Default Document Type (DTD) pop-up menu.

      For example, you can make an HTML document XHTML-compliant by selecting XHTML 1.0 Transitional or XHTML 1.0 Strict from the pop-up menu. For more information, see About the XHTML code generated by Dreamweaver.

    • To set an encoding for documents, use the Default Encoding pop-up menu.

      Default Encoding specifies the encoding to be used when a new page is created, as well as when a document is opened that does not specify any encoding. For more information, see Understanding document encoding.

      If you select Unicode (UTF-8) as the document encoding, entity encoding is not necessary because UTF-8 can safely represent all characters. If you select another document encoding, entity encoding may be necessary to represent certain characters. For more information on character entities, see

    • If you select Unicode (UTF-8) as a default encoding, select a Unicode Normalization Form.

      There are four Unicode Normalization Forms. The most important is Normalization Form C because it's the most common one used in the Character Model for the World Wide Web. Macromedia provides the other three Unicode Normalization Forms for completeness.

      In Unicode, there are some characters that are visually similar but can be stored within the document in different ways. For example, "?" (e-umlaut) can be represented as a single character, "e-umlaut," or as two characters, "regular Latin e" + "combining umlaut." A Unicode combining character is one that gets used with the previous character, so the umlaut would appear above the "Latin e." Both forms result in the same visual typography, but what is saved in the file is different for each form.

      Normalization is the process of making sure all characters that can be saved in different forms are all saved using the same form. That is, all "?" characters in a document are saved as single "e-umlaut" or as "e" + "combining umlaut," and not as both forms in one document.

      For more information on Unicode Normalization and the specific forms that can be used, see the Unicode website at

    • If you select Unicode (UTF-8) as a default encoding, you can include a Byte Order Mark (BOM) in the document by selecting the Include Unicode Signature (BOM) option.

      A BOM is 2 to 4 bytes at the beginning of a text file that identifies a file as Unicode, as well as the byte order of the following bytes. Because UTF-8 has no byte order, adding a UTF-8 BOM is optional. For UTF-16 and UTF-32, it is required.

    • Deselect the Show New Document Dialog Box on Control+N (Windows) ("on Command+N" for Macintosh) option to automatically create a new document of the default document type when you use the key command.
  2. Click OK.

Related topics

  • Setting a default new document type

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