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Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 : Using Library Items and Server-side Includes (part 4) - Editing a Library Item

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11/29/2013 1:52:09 AM

3. Editing a Library Item

Rarely do you create a Library item that is perfect from the beginning and never needs to be changed. Whether because of site redesign or the addition of new sections to a site, you'll find yourself going back to Library items and modifying them, sometimes repeatedly. You can use the full power of Dreamweaver's design capabilities to alter your Library items, within the restraints of Library items in general. In other words, you can modify an image, reformat a body of text, or add new material to a boilerplate paragraph, and the resulting changes are reflected across your Web site. However, you cannot add anything not contained in the HTML <body> tags to a Library item.

To modify Library items, Dreamweaver uses a special editing window identifiable by the double-angle-brackets surrounding the phrase Library Item in the title bar. You access this editing window through the Library category or the Properties panel. Follow these steps to modify an existing Library item:

  1. In the Library category of the Assets panel, select the item you want to modify from the list of available entries.

  2. Click the Open Library Item button. The Library editing window opens with the selected entry displayed, as shown in Figure 4.

    Figure 4. Use the Library editing window to modify existing Library items.
  3. Make any necessary modifications to the Library entry.

  4. When you are finished with your changes, choose File => Save, or press Ctrl+S (Command+S).

  5. Dreamweaver notes that your Library item has been modified and then asks if you would like to update all the Web pages in your site that contain the item. Click Yes to update all the Library items, including the one just modified, or click No to postpone the update. (See the next section, "Updating Your Web Sites with Libraries," for a more in-depth explanation of the updating process.)

  6. Close the editing window by clicking the Close button or choosing File => Close.

After you've completed the editing operation and closed the editing window, you can open any Web page containing the modified Library item to view the changes.

If your Library item is styled with an external style sheet and you'd like to see how it renders while editing, use Dreamweaver's Design Time Style Sheet feature. From the CSS Styles panel Option menu, select Design Time; when the Design Time Style Sheet dialog opens, select the style sheet from the Show Only at Design Time area.


Dreamweaver now allows you to use native Dreamweaver behaviors inside Library items. That means you can place a navigation bar, a link for a pop-up window, or any other Dreamweaver behavior inside your Library item. When the Library item is added to the page, the accompanying JavaScript is also added.

You cannot use some features to the fullest extent when editing Library items. These include custom JavaScript and styles. Each of these modifications requires a function or link to be placed in the <head> tags of a page — a task that the Dreamweaver Library function cannot handle for styles and custom JavaScript.

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