About formatting text

About formatting text

Formatting text in Dreamweaver is similar to using a standard word processor. You can set default formatting styles (Paragraph, Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on) for a block of text, change the font, size, color, and alignment of selected text, or apply text styles such as bold, italic, code (monospace), and underline.

By default, Dreamweaver formats text using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS gives web designers and developers greater control over web page design, while providing improved features for accessibility and reduced file size. As you format and align text using Dreamweaver formatting commands, CSS rules are embedded in the current document. This lets you more easily reuse existing styles, as well as name the styles you create. CSS is becoming the preferred method by which to format text and lay out web pages.

If you prefer, you can use HTML markup tags to format and align text in your web pages. If you need to use HTML tags instead of CSS, you must change the Dreamweaver default text formatting preferences. (For more information, see Specifying HTML instead of CSS.)

Using CSS is a way to control the style of a web page without compromising its structure. By separating visual design elements (fonts, colors, margins, and so on) from the structural logic of a web page, CSS gives web designers visual and typographic control without sacrificing the integrity of the content. In addition, defining typographic design and page layout from within a single, distinct block of code--without having to resort to image maps, font tags, tables, and spacer GIFs--allows for faster downloads, streamlined site maintenance, and a central point from which to control design attributes across multiple web pages.

CSS defines the formatting for all text in a particular class or redefines the formatting for a particular HTML tag (such as h1, h2, p, or li).

You can store styles created with CSS directly in the document (the default when you format text using the Property inspector), or for more power and flexibility, you can store styles in an external style sheet. If you attach an external style sheet to several web pages, all the pages automatically reflect any changes you make to the style sheet. To access all CSS rules for a page, use the CSS Styles panel (Window > CSS Styles).

For more information about using the text Property inspector to apply HTML or CSS, see Setting text property options in Using Dreamweaver Help. For more information about using the CSS Styles panel to apply styles, see Using the CSS Styles panel in Using Dreamweaver Help.

Related topics

  • Inserting text
  • Formatting text

Getting Started with Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver Basics
Working with Dreamweaver Sites
Laying Out Pages
Adding Content to Pages
Inserting and Formatting Text
Adding Audio, Video, and Interactive Elements
Working with Page Code
Preparing to Build Dynamic Sites
Making Pages Dynamic
Developing Applications Rapidly