How to Set Page Properties in Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver presents different options for defining head content. One of them involves embedding styles within a page, which is not recommended. Instead, create external style sheets — style sheets that are separate files that can be linked to (applied to) multiple pages within a website.

That said, there’s a time and place for defining page-wide styling that only applies to a single page. When would you do that?

You might resort to defining styles for a single page when you’re in a big hurry to prototype a page for your team or a client, and you’ll go back later and apply styles. Or, if you’re creating a single-page web site and there’s no need for an external style sheet that will apply to multiple pages.

Dreamweaver provides tools for doing that in the Page Properties dialog box.

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To open the Page Properties dialog box, click the Page Properties button on the Properties Inspector or choose Modify→Page Properties. The Appearance (CSS), Appearance (HTML), Links (CSS), and Headings (CSS) tabs generate head code that defines how different elements on the page appear. The options are intuitive.

On the Appearance tab, for example, you can define text font, size, and color as well as background color (or image) for a page. The figure shows background color being defined. Other tabs of the Page Properties dialog box provide similarly intuitive options for defining features, such as how links display and how headings look.

In its attempt to make web design easy, and to shield designers from what’s “under the hood,” Dreamweaver offers options that generate CSS style sheet code “unconsciously.”

For example, when you use the features in the Page Properties dialog box, you might not realize that as you define properties like a page background or font style, you’re really generating CSS code — but you are. Because of this relationship between CSS and HTML, this “on the fly” approach to generating CSS might prove useful.

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