Welcome to the new How To Gurus Blog

Where you can always find my latest Demos and YouTube Videos. You will find samples taken from my Training DVDs and also exclusive videos created specifically for my online audience.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Help, Dreamweaver preview is going to my live site instead of previewing locally."

That is not how Dreamweaver is supposed to act. You can check the preview setting by going to the Edit menu, Click on Preferences, then click on Preview in Browser in the left side Catagory list. You should see "iexplore F12" in the window. You can change this by clicking on the Edit button.

One thing though, if your site uses absolute links then those links will go to the live site. You need to use relative links for proper testing on your local machine. Here are examples:

absolute link: http://www.howtogurus.com/support.html

relative link: ../support.html or just support.html, depends on where the file is relative to the page linking to it.

Basically if your links have http://www.whatever.com (your web site address) included in them then those links will go to that live page. Also if your opening page automatically goes to your live site through a forwarding absolute link (like you have a splash page or something) then you will see the live site and not your testing site.

My guess is that you have absolute links on your testing site. But even with absolute links it should show the first page you open on your local machine since you are not going to that by an absolute link, but are opening it directly.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Updated software recommendation list

Every so often I update my recommended software list.

Here is my recommended list for best programs to use for professional graphics work:

Adobe Photoshop - working with photos and other raster graphics
Adobe Illustrator - working with vector graphics (logos and stuff like that)
Adobe InDesign - page layout program
Adobe Dreamweaver (used to be Macromedia Dreamweaver) - best web design program on the planet
Adobe Flash (used to be Macromedia Flash) - for web based animations
Adobe Premiere Pro - video editing. This is a Prosumer program, better than consumer, not as good as fully professional products like a stand alone Avid editing station. Good choice for TV and commercial work.
Adobe After Effects - for video effects and title sequences

Since Adobe purchased Macromedia about a year ago they have basically cornered the market on quality graphics programs.

The only non-Adobe recommendation I would make is if you are using a Mac computer and you are planning on working for a Magazine. They all use QuarkXPress for page layout, but if you are working freelance InDesign is about 100 times better than Quark and any magazine can use InDesign files. Many major publications are now switching away from Quark and going with InDesign.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dreamweaver Flash Buttons only allowing one link

Using Flash Buttons in Dreamweaver can be a little confusing. You would think that you are creating a Flash graphic and that you can change the link as you like on different pages, but this is not so.

Flash buttons have the link built in. If you use the same Flash button on a different page it will retain the same link. No way around this. If you want a button on a different page that goes to a different location you will need to create a new Flash button for that link.

So think of it this way, for each link to a specific page you need a separate Flash button. You can then use that Flash button on any page that you want to have that link. So, each new link gets its own Flash button.

Personally I never use Flash buttons, mostly because of this limitation. I create all of my buttons from scratch in Photoshop as images, I also create a second version to use as a rollover image. Then when I use those in my web pages I can put any link I want on them, since images don't store link info, the link info is specific to the image use on the one page.

But to be complete on this discussion, if you have a button that says one thing (like HOME) in your web site, that button should always go to that one page link, no matter what page it is used on. This is a usability issue, where people will expect a certain button to do the same thing each time they click on it no matter what page they find the button on. So in this respect the Flash buttons are behaving properly by only accepting one link.

Hope this helps,