Setting General preferences

Setting General preferences

This dialog box allows you to specify preferences for the general appearance of Dreamweaver. The General preferences are divided into two subcategories: Document Options and Editing Options.

To specify general preferences:

  1. Specify the following options:

    Open documents in tabs opens all documents in a single window with tabs that allow you to switch between documents (Macintosh only).

    Show Start Page displays the Dreamweaver Start page when you start Dreamweaver or when you don’t have any documents open.

    Reopen Documents on Startup opens any documents that were open when you closed Dreamweaver. If this option is not selected, Dreamweaver displays the Start Page or a blank screen when you start (depending on your Show Start Page setting).

    Warn When Opening Read-Only Files alerts you when you open a read-only (locked) file. You are given the option to unlock/check out the file, view the file, or cancel.

    Update Links When Moving Files determines what Dreamweaver does when you move, rename, or delete a document within your site. You can set this preference to always update links automatically, never update links, or prompt you to perform an update. (See Managing links.)

    Change Workspace (Windows only) enables you to select a Designer layout--an integrated workspace with panels on the right--or a Coder layout--an integrated workspace with panels on the left. In the Designer layout documents appear in Design view by default, while in the Coder layout documents appear in Code view by default. After you select a new workspace, exit Dreamweaver and restart it to see the changes. For more information, see The workspace layout.

    Show Dialog When Inserting Objects determines whether Dreamweaver prompts you to enter additional information when inserting images, tables, Shockwave movies, and certain other objects using the Insert bar or the Insert menu. If this option is off, the dialog box does not appear and you must use the Property inspector to specify the source file for images, the number of rows in a table, and so on. For rollover images and Fireworks HTML, a dialog box always appears when you insert the object, regardless of this option setting. (To temporarily override this setting, Control-click (Windows) or Command-click (Macintosh) when creating and inserting objects.)

    Enable Double-Byte Inline Input enables you to enter double-byte text directly into the Document window if you are using a development environment or language kit that facilitates double-byte text (such as Japanese characters).When this option is deselected, a text input window appears for entering and converting double-byte text; the text appears in the Document window after it is accepted. (See Setting Fonts preferences for Dreamweaver display.)

    Switch to Plain Paragraph After Heading specifies that pressing Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh) at the end of a heading paragraph in Design view creates a new paragraph tagged with a p tag. (A heading paragraph is one that’s tagged with a heading tag such as h1 or h2.) When the option is disabled, pressing Enter or Return at the end of a heading paragraph creates a new paragraph tagged with the same heading tag (allowing you to type multiple headings in a row and then go back and fill in details).

    Allow Multiple Consecutive Spaces specifies that typing two or more spaces in Design view creates nonbreaking spaces that appear in a browser as multiple spaces. (For example, you can type two spaces between sentences, as you would on a typewriter.) This option is designed mostly for people who are used to typing in word processors. When the option is disabled, multiple spaces are treated as a single space (because browsers treat multiple spaces as single spaces).

    Use <strong> and <em> in place of <b> and <i> specifies that Dreamweaver should apply the strong tag whenever you perform an action that would normally apply the b tag, and should apply the em tag whenever you perform an action that would normally apply the i tag. Such actions include clicking the Bold or Italic buttons in the text Property inspector in HTML mode and choosing Text > Style > Bold or Text > Style > Italic. To use the b and i tags in your documents, deselect this option.

    Use CSS Instead of HTML Tags specifies that Dreamweaver uses CSS styles instead of HTML tags when you format text with the Property inspector. By default, Dreamweaver formats text using CSS. Each time a font, size, or color is defined for a text selection, Dreamweaver creates a new document-specific style that is then available from the Property inspector’s Style pop-up menu. The only exceptions are for bold and italic, where Dreamweaver uses HTML tags instead of CSS.

    Even if the document links to an external style sheet, new style declarations are still written to the head of the document, not in the CSS file.

    This general behavior may differ in the following situations:

    • If the document already formats everything using font tags, Dreamweaver assumes it should use font tags and modifies the body tag using HTML code.
    • If the document’s body tag uses HTML to set the page’s appearance, but the page doesn’t exclusively use font tags, Dreamweaver still uses CSS to format text.

    If you deselect this option, Dreamweaver uses HTML tags such as font tags to format text and HTML code in the body tag to set the page’s appearance.

    Warn when placing editable regions within <p> or <h1><h6> tags specifies whether Dreamweaver displays a warning message whenever you save a Dreamweaver template that has an editable region within a paragraph or heading tag. The message tells you that users will not be able to create more paragraphs in the region. It is turned on by default.

    Maximum Number of History Steps determines the number of steps the History panel retains and shows. (The default value should be sufficient for most users.) If you exceed the given number of steps in the History panel, the oldest steps are discarded. (See Automating tasks.)

    Spelling Dictionary lists the available spelling dictionaries. If a dictionary contains multiple dialects or spelling conventions (such as American English and British English), the dialects are listed separately in the Dictionary pop-up menu.

  2. Click OK to save your preferences.

Related topics

  • Setting General preferences for Dreamweaver

Getting Started with Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver Basics
Exploring the Workspace
Setting Up a Dreamweaver Site
Working with Dreamweaver Sites
Laying Out Pages
Adding Content to Pages
Working with Page Code
Preparing to Build Dynamic Sites
Making Pages Dynamic
Developing Applications Rapidly