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Real World Adobe GoLive Tips

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Shave hours off your site creation and management duties with these industrial-strength production tips. You can count on them to simplify your essential day-in, day-out tasks because they come straight from the two Web design and publishing pros who wrote Real World Adobe GoLive 5, where you'll find many more tips and real-world insights.
This article is from Real World Adobe GoLive 5, by Jeff Carlson and Glenn Fleishman.
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TOOLTIPS

To make it easier to figure out the purpose of the sometimes-obscure icons that GoLive uses in its Toolbar and palettes, turn on ToolTips. Doing so causes the name of the item to pop up when you hover over it for more than a few seconds. On the Macintosh, select Show Hot Help from the Help menu; under Windows, the ToolTips appear automatically.

CELL BLOCKS

Unlike some programs (like Microsoft Excel), you can't just click and drag to select multiple cells within a table. You must first select one cell, then Shift-click others (see Figure 1). You don't have to worry about hitting the exact border--go ahead, click right in the middle of additional cells. You can select cells that are directly adjacent or that are in some far off corner of the table (this is referred to as "noncontiguous selection").

To select all the cells in a table, first select a single cell, then press Command-A (Mac) or Control-A (Windows); or, Control-click (Mac) or right-click (Windows) and choose Select All from the contextual menu.

If you select the table as a whole (by clicking on the top or left outside border) and press Command-A or Control-A, you select the entire document.

WE KNOW YOU LOVE GOLIVE, BUT...

Because GoLive prefills the Page Title field, many people completely forget to change the title, or may not have realized they could or should. If you search on just the title of a page containing the word "golive" on AltaVista (by entering "title:golive" without quotes), you can see how many colleagues never made this change. A recent search brought up nearly 50,000 pages.

DRAGGING QUICKTIME IMAGES

Select a QuickTime movie file from the Site window, scan through the frames to find a desired image, then drag it into an open document. A temporary GIF file is created with a generic numeric name and placed in the folder that's been designated as the Import Image folder within the GoLive application folder.

To make things go more smoothly, choose a location within your site as the Import Image folder (via Preferences's General panel under Image, where you can also choose an import file format). This saves you the trouble of dragging the image file into the site from an outside folder, as well as lets GoLive automatically update links to it.

MULTIPLE DEFAULT BROWSERS

If, like most of us, you're a bipolar Web designer who needs to check code in both Navigator and Internet Explorer, you can rest at ease and check multiple browsers as your default. When the Browser Switch button is clicked, your page opens in both Navigator and Explorer (each program can only have one version open at a time).

DELETING FILE FORMATS

GoLive doesn't allow a ready means by which you can delete an item from its file mapping list. The Delete button remains inactive as long as an entry hasn't been edited. If you do want to delete an entry, select it from the list, make a modification in the popup menu or in either the Mime Type or Kind text field, and the Delete button becomes active for you to click.

MAXIMUM WIDTH

If you're designing for both Mac and Windows, which most designers must, consider using 520 pixels as your default window rather than 580. For reasons we've never determined, a Macintosh and Windows box both displaying a resolution of 800 by 600 pixels don't have the same horizontal screen territory available. On a Mac, a site designed for 580 pixels wide and displayed at 800 by 600 forces a user to scroll left and right, which--unless a specific effect is intended--we find just annoying.

I CAN PREVIEW CLEARLY NOW

If you aren't seeing the Layout Preview tab, it's probably because the module isn't loaded. Go to the Modules pane in Preferences and make sure that the Preview Module is checked, then quit and start the program.

WHEN ADDING "COLOR" IS HELPFUL

A common user frustration with GoLive is dragging a color swatch from the Color Palette and dropping it on the page without any text selected (or missing the selected text due to poor reflexes, cats jumping onto the computer, etc.). However, inserting the word "Color" in a selected color can actually come in handy. If you don't currently have active text, but want to establish a page's colors, drag swatches to wherever you like. Then, simply double-click the word "Color" and paste or type the intended text. This avoids having to select text ranges, jump to the Color Palette, then jump back to the page with a color in tow

MERGE LAYERS IN PHOTOSHOP FOR IMPORT

It's a rare day when we don't have Photoshop and GoLive open simultaneously, so it's great to drag from one to the other to create test images. Be aware, though, that when you drag from Photoshop, only the active layer of a multi-layered image is imported into GoLive (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

If you drag the image as it's selected in Photoshop into GoLive, you'll get only the Shadow layer (denoted as active by the paint brush) appearing in your page

If you need the composite image, be sure to merge the layers before dragging; you can always select Undo in Photoshop to get your layers back, or, since you were no doubt smart enough to save your file before merging, select Revert to go to the last saved version. Any transparent pixels in Photoshop are changed to white during import, and only the size of the active image (not the entire canvas) is copied into the GoLive document.

RESIZE WHILE DESIGNING

We don't want to make a blanket statement that resizing in GoLive is a bad tool. Like the feature for importing images using drag and drop, resizing images is good for mocking up pages during development; it allows you to experiment with different image sizes and placement on the page without having to create multiple resized versions. Just remember to create a final image that matches the final specifications you choose.

SPECIFYING COLUMN WIDTHS

It's a good idea to include table and cell widths to help speed up the display of your Web pages, but you don't have to get carried away. A table column always stretches to fit the width of the widest cell, pulling the other cells in the column with it. So don't feel obliged to set the width for every cell in your table. Specifying the width of just one cell in a column saves you a little time, and streamlines your code. When you click another cell in that column, GoLive displays the correct value in the Width field.

USE TAB TO MOVE BETWEEN CELLS

Tables can be particularly mouse-intensive items in GoLive. Give your wrists a break by using the Tab key to move among cells, left to right, then down to the next row. Pressing Shift-Tab reverses the direction.

CREATE STRUCTURAL TEMPLATES

If you've created a design that relies on the same underlying table structure, or frequently-used structures like navigation bars, speed up your work by using the Custom tab of the Palette. Create a blank table with the dimensions you need (including any static elements such as logos, etc.), then drag it to the Custom tab. When you create a new GoLive document, simply drag that table template to your page to start building its contents.

RENAMING FRAMES

If you rename a frame, you run the risk of breaking the links to it. GoLive's ability to manage links automatically throughout a site is great, but unfortunately the feature doesn't extend to target names as far as we can tell. The good news is that you can easily use the search and replace tool to find the old frame name and replace it with the new name across all the files within your site.

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