How to Define Links with the Dreamweaver Properties Inspector

Links are an essential element of web pages. You have a few methods for defining links and link attributes in Dreamweaver CS6, depending on what type of link you’re creating, how you want the link to look, and where the link is linking to:

  • Link text box: Define links from selected text or images to targets outside your site by typing a URL (starting with http://) in the Link field of the Properties Inspector.

    Type the full URL; don’t skip to the www. part.

  • Browse for File icon: If the link is to a file within your defined Dreamweaver site, on your computer, click the Browse for File icon and then navigate to a file within your Dreamweaver site.

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  • Point to File tool: You can also define links to a file within your site using the Point to File tool, which looks like a clock or a small crosshair, located to the right of the Link text field.

    To use the tool, click and drag the clock to the file in the Files panel to make a link. A line drags from the box to the file you point to. This is a quick and easy way to make a link, saving you time when linking to files within your site.

Link targets

The default is for pages to load into the same window as the page you’re already viewing, replacing the current page with the new page to be viewed. For some links, though, you don’t want the new page to replace the one that the visitor is viewing.

For example, when you link to another site, you probably want that to open in a new window so that the visitor can easily return to your site.

In that case, you want to choose _blank from the Target drop-down list to the right of the link box. This opens the new page in another window. When the user is done viewing the linked page, she closes that window, and the original page is still there in its window. Use this technique sparingly, though, because visitors can become annoyed if your site launches a lot of windows.

These techniques for defining text links also work for assigning links to selected images using the Properties Inspector.

Link titles

Link titles can also be defined in the Properties Inspector. A link title is popup text that displays when someone hovers over a link.

Link titles can be helpful — they provide additional link information. However, they can also be distracting, cluttering up the page with obvious or redundant information.

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To define a link title in Dreamweaver CS6, enter link Title text in the Title box in the Properties Inspector.

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