External Hyperlinks in Adobe CS5 Dreamweaver - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You can link your Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Dreamweaver pages anywhere, in your site or external to your site. Dreamweaver also has tools to verify and correct external broken links.

When directing people to a contact page posted on another site, you have a link that looks like this: http://www.aquent.com/contact. By typing the http:// and the address of the external link (sometimes referred to as an absolute URL) in the Property inspector, you’re essentially directing the browser to a site on the Internet that’s away from your site.

You must include the http:// prefix in front of a web address. Omitting this prefix results in a Page Not Found error in your browser because it may interpret www.aquent.com, for example, as a local filename rather than as an outside web address.

Linking to E-Mail

Linking to an e-mail address opens on the viewer’s computer a new mail message that’s already addressed to the e-mail address you specify in the link (as long as the viewer has set up an e-mail program on her machine, of course).

Linking to an e-mail address is easy and extremely helpful if you want to give users an easy way to contact someone through your website.

  1. Select the element that will be the link to an e-mail.

    The element can be either text or an image.

  2. In the Property inspector, locate the Link text box, type mailto:<address>, and then press Enter or Return.

    For example, type mailto:info@agitraining.com and press the Enter or Return key. The mailto: directive tells the browser that the link is to an e-mail address so that the default e-mail application on the user’s computer opens with a new, preaddressed message.

Linking to a PDF File

To link to a PDF file instead of a web page, you link to the name and location of the PDF file. If you link to a PDF file and the Acrobat PDF plug-in is loaded in the viewer’s browser, the PDF is opened in the browser window.

If the viewer doesn’t have the Acrobat plug-in (free from http://www.adobe.com), the browser prompts the viewer to save the file to his computer. You can then view this file later on using Adobe’s Acrobat Reader or another compatible program, if available.

Resolving Link Errors

Page names can change, and pages can be deleted (intentionally or not), so you should periodically check for broken links. You can ensure that links are working correctly in several ways. To check local links most efficiently and quickly, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Site→Check Links Sitewide.

    The Results panel appears, with the Link Checker tab active. Any broken links appear, including page, scripts, and images.

    Check to make sure that no links are broken.
    Check to make sure that no links are broken.
  2. Use the Show drop-down list in the top-left corner to sort the link results by broken link, external link, or orphaned file.

    To focus only on broken links, leave Broken Links selected. If you have broken links, you can fix them in the Results panel. The page that has the broken link is listed in the Files column on the left. The broken link appears under the Broken Link column on the right.

  3. Click the name of the broken link and correct the filename, if it’s a problem, or click the Browse folder icon to locate the correct location or file.

  4. Click OK (Windows) or Choose (Mac).

    The broken link is repaired.