Keeping in Touch with Design Notes

Design Notes are ideal for communicating with other developers who are working on your Web site, but aren't within shouting distance. This Dreamweaver feature works like the comment tag (HTML code that enables you to embed text in a page that won't display in a browser) but with a lot more privacy. Many developers use comment tags to share information with each other. But anyone who views the source of your documents can see a comment tag, so it's not a very secure way to share information. When you use Design Notes, only those with password access to your site ever see the notes.

If you want to hide sensitive information, such as pricing structures or creative strategies, yet still be able to share it with other members of your development team, use Design Notes. Information saved as a Design Note in Dreamweaver can travel with any HTML file or image, even if the file transfers from one Web site to another or from Fireworks to Dreamweaver.

To activate the Design Notes feature, follow these steps:

1. Choose Site --> Manage Sites.

The Manage Sites dialog box opens.

2. Select the site you want to work on and then click the Edit button.

The Site Definition dialog box opens.

3. Select the Advanced tab.

4. In the Category list at the left, choose Design Notes.

The Design Notes page appears.

5. Select the Maintain Design Notes option.

With this option selected, whenever you copy, move, rename, or delete a file, the associated Design Notes file is also copied, moved, renamed, or deleted with it.

6. If you want your Design Notes to be sent with your files when they are uploaded to your server, select the Upload Design Notes for Sharing option.

If you're making notes only to yourself and don't want them to be associated with the page when you upload them to the server, deselect this option and Design Notes is maintained locally but not uploaded with your files.

7. Click OK in the Site Definition dialog box; then click the Done button in the Manage Sites dialog box.

The Manage Sites dialog box closes.

To add Design Notes to a document, follow these steps:

1. Open the file you want to add a Design Note to and choose File --> Design Notes.

The Design Notes dialog box opens.

2. Choose the status of the document from the Status drop-down list box.

Your options are Draft, Revision 1, Revision 2, Revision 3, Alpha, Beta, Final, and Needs Attention. You can choose any status, and you should set a policy with your design team about what each status means and how you use these options to manage your development.

3. Type your comments in the Notes text box.

4. Click the Insert Date icon (icon of a calendar page just above the Notes text box) if you want to insert the current local date.

The current date is inserted automatically.

You can also select the Show When File Is Open check box. If this is selected, the Design Notes displays whenever the file is opened so that it can't be missed.

5. Click the All Info tab in the Design Notes dialog box.

On the All Info tab, you can add other information that may be useful to developers of your site. For example, you can name a key designer (in the Name field) and define the value as the name of that person or the priority of the project (in the Value field). You also may define a field for a client or type of file that you commonly use.

6. Click the plus (+) button to add a new information item; click the minus (–) button to remove a selected item.

7. Click OK to save the notes.

The notes you entered are saved to a subfolder named notes in the same location as the current file. The filename is the document's filename, plus the extension .mno. For example, if the filename is art.htm, the associated Design Notes file is named art.htm.mno. Design Notes are indicated in Site View by a small yellow icon that looks like a cartoon bubble.

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