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Template & Library Overview

  • We will take a look at 2 of my favorite Dreamweaver features, templates & library items and talk about when to use them
  • View information about templates and library items in the templates-library-items.jpg file in the images folder for this chapter
  • Templates mean different things to different people so let’s define what a Dreamweaver template is
  • A Dreamweaver template is an entire web page that has regions that are unlocked for editing
    • This is a Dreamweaver only feature, Dreamweaver creates Template & Library folders in your site for storage
    • These folders must be at the root level of your site and do not have to be on the web server, they are just used within Dreamweaver
    • You cannot have any other files in these folders
  • When you go to make changes to these items and save, Dreamweaver prompts you to confirm you want to update the pages that use those items
  • If files are open that use those items when you update, be sure to save
  • Always plan to do a save all after updating library or template items
  • So what is a Template
    • An entire web page – draw out a page
    • Stored in Templates folder at the site root level that Dreamweaver creates
    • It is given a .dwt extension
    • Do not put any other file sin this folder or they will not work correctly
    • Can use anything on a template you would put on a web page
    • Locked until unlocked
    • Can use file->save as template to create
    • Use file->new->page from template or use assets panel
  • Library items
    • A reusable element on a web page
    • Examples, header, navigation, footer, copyright area, etc
    • Stored in Library folder DW creates
    • Given an .lbi extension
    • Can use on a template page
    • If you create a library item from something that uses css, you wont see the css apply until you put it on the page that contains the css
    • Be sure you pay attention to all the code you are adding to the library item
    • Whatever code you have selected becomes a part of the library item
    • Discuss including parent tags such as a div tags or not?
  • Easy to accidentally move a file into these folders in the files panel so be careful of that

Template & Library Overview

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Dreamweaver Templates and Library Items 0:12
    • Dreamweaver Template Explanation
    • Library Item Explanation
    • Overview of Templates and Library Items
  • Summary 6:07

Transcription: Template & Library Overview

Welcome back to

We are now going to take a look at Dreamweaver templates and library items and what that specifically means.0004

Dreamweaver templates and library items are a feature specifically within the program, so when you use these, it doesn't really matter if those items are up on your Web server.0012

This all happens locally on your machine, and it is specifically within the Dreamweaver program, so Dreamweaver keeps track of everything for you.0025

But let's do a brief overview of Dreamweaver templates and library items before we get started using them.0036

I tend to find the word "templates" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so let's define what we mean by a Dreamweaver template, specifically.0044

Now, a Dreamweaver template is an entire page of content; so the idea is: this entire page would become a template.0055

There a few other features with regards to Dreamweaver templates that we should cover.0066

First of all, as I said, they are an entire page of content.0072

So, the entire page is going to look just like an HTML page--but it acts a little bit different.0077

A template gets a .dwt file extension, so it does not have a .htm or .html file extension.0085

The other issue that is a little bit different from your HTML pages is: Dreamweaver creates a special folder called the Templates folder in your site files.0094

And yes, this does have a capital T.0106

Dreamweaver is going to create that folder; Dreamweaver is going to keep track of what is in that folder.0111

Now, I have had instances where people have accidentally moved other files into that Templates folder, and that can cause some problems.0117

So, if you ever have trouble with your templates, open up the Templates folder and just make sure there are no other files in there.0127

That is about the only thing I have had issues with, with regards to Dreamweaver templates.0135

The Templates folder should only contain .dwt files themselves--that is it: no .html, no images, no nothing.0142

So, let's take a look at a library item.0153

This seems to be the foreign concept for most people: what is a library item?0158

Well, let's figure that out.0164

A library item is a page element; so it's just a piece of a page--it's not the entire page, like a template.0167

A library item gets an .lbi file extension; so it's a little bit different: a template is a .dwt; a library item is a .lbi.0176

And, just like a template, Dreamweaver creates this new Library folder in your site files.0188

You don't want to move that folder; it is always going to be sitting right within your main website file folder.0196

The library folder should also contain only .lbi's; just like a template, if you end up getting other files in there, you may have some problems.0204

Library items can be used on any page, including a template page; so a .dwt page can contain library items.0215

What would constitute a library item in our page example?--well, a couple of good pieces would be the navigation area or even a footer area like this.0228

Those are a couple of the most common; there is really no reason why a header can't also be a part of a library item.0240

So, it is really up to you: if you find reusable pieces of page content (in other words, you have page content you want to use across a lot of different files), you can use a library item.0248

The benefit of a library item is: you can use it on your .dwt files.0264

So, if you have 5 Dreamweaver templates, instead of putting 5 separate pieces of that code across the different templates, you make it a library item; and you take that one library item and put it on all of the templates.0271

That way, you just keep track of it in one spot.0286

Let's do a quick overview of templates and library items.0290

A Dreamweaver template is an entire page; it gets a .dwt file extension, and it's stored in the Templates folder in your main root folder of your website.0297

The only thing that goes in that folder is .dwt files.0310

Library items, on the other hand, are page elements; they are pieces of a page, not the entire page.0315

They get an .lbi file extension, unlike the .dwt file extension.0323

Dreamweaver creates that Library folder for you; and it doesn't exist--Dreamweaver will create it--just like Dreamweaver creates the Templates folder.0330

So, you can see, there are some similarities between the two.0341

Only .lbi files in here; only .dwt files in here.0345

And library items can be used on any page in your website, whether it's a basic page, a template page, or a page created from a template: any of those pages within your website can contain library items.0351

That is an overview of Dreamweaver templates and library items, before we get started working with them.0367

And you can see, there is a big difference between the two.0374

That is Dreamweaver templates and library items.0378