Using the Files Panel
After you've defined your site, the site title you specified appears in the Site drop-down menu at the top of the Files panel (shown in Figure 3.3). As you create web pages and save them to your site, they appear in the Files panel. You use the Files panel to open web pages to edit in Dreamweaver. Right now you might not have any web pages in your site, but eventually you'll want to use the Files panel to create folders to organize the many web pages you've created.
Figure 3.3 The Files panel enables you to change sites and open web pages.
The Site drop-down menu is where you access the websites you have defined. If you work on multiple projects, you have multiple sites to choose from. For instance, you might have your own personal website defined, plus a site for your child's school or a site for a client whose website you are creating.
There is no special procedure for importing an existing website into Dreamweaver. If a copy of the existing website exists in a folder on your hard drive, simply define a site in Dreamweaver which points to that folder. That is all you need to do. All the files are available to edit in Dreamweaver, and you can easily modify web pages and then save them. Open a web page by double-clicking the filename listed in the Files panel.
So far you've used the collapsed version of the Files panel, but the next section introduces the expanded version of the Files panel.
Expanding the Files Panel
There is a larger version of the Files panel, available to use when you need to work with files in your site and need access to more site-oriented commands. To open the expanded Files panel, perform the following actions:
- Click the Expand/Collapse button in the Files panel, shown earlier in Figure 3.3.
The Expanded Files panel, shown in Figure 3.4, is a larger representation of the Files panel and has two panes: Local Files (on the right, by default) and Remote Site (on the left), which you set up in Hour 23, "Uploading, Sharing, and Managing Web Projects." Because you have not yet defined a remote site, you should not have any files in the Remote Site pane at this point.
Figure 3.4 The Expanded Files panel has two panes: Local Files and Remote Site.
When you click the Files Expand/Collapse button on the Macintosh, the Expanded Files panel opens in a new window. On Windows, it expands to fill the majority of the screen.
- Click the Expand/Collapse button again to return to the smaller version of the Files panel.
Creating New Files in the Files Panel
You can create new files and new folders right in the Dreamweaver Files panel. Right-click in the Files panel to open the Files panel menu. This context menu, shown in Figure 3.5, has two commands of interest at the top: New File and New Folder. You use those commands to create files and olders (also called directories) in the Files panel.
Figure 3.5 The Files panel context menu contains commands to create new folders and files in a website.
Now try adding a new file to your site with these steps:
- Right-click on the root folder and select the New File command.
- A new untitled web page is created in the website. Name the web page index.html, which is one of the popular default page names for many servers.
Using the default page name enables users to find your page more easily by just entering a basic web page address without the specific page appended. Another common default page name is default.htm. Both the .htm and the .html file extensions are acceptable. The .htm file extension became popular because the older versions of Microsoft Windows could handle only three-character file extensions; this is no longer a limitation in newer versions of Windows.