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Dreamweaver extensions

Lorem and More... (Adobe approved)

When building new websites, most designers use a piece of filler text that's been known to printers since the 16th century — Lorem ipsum — or perhaps some random corporate mumbo-jumbo. What I found inconvenient about existing Dreamweaver extensions was they alway use the same text, and it's not formatted in any way.

Lorem and more offers you the choice of traditional Lorem ipsum, a bit of genuine Cicero, random corporate nonsense, and for romantics — Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare. It also offers a choice of format — paragraphs, continuous text, ordered and unordered lists, and in the case of Shakespeare, formally laid out as a sonnnet. Thanks to Al Sparber of Project Seven for suggestions to improve this little bit of nonsense.

Version 1.2.2 has been updated to get round a bug in Dreamweaver 8, which prevented the OK and Cancel buttons from appearing on the dialog box when Lorem and More is accessed from the Insert menu.

Download Lorem and More (for Dreamweaver 4, MX, MX 2004, DW8, CS3 & CS4)

Smart Link (Adobe approved)

Smart Link converts an existing link so that the target page opens in a new browser window. It works in a similar way to the Dreamweaver Open Browser Window behavior, or using target="_blank", but gives you far more control over its look and position. Although it uses JavaScript, it is smart enough to work even if JavaScript is disabled (by opening the page in the same window) — keeping your site accessible to everyone, and far more user-friendly than a link that doesn't work at all. It also has the advantage of keeping your pages valid, unlike target="_blank" which has been deprecated by the W3C. For full details, read the Smart Link help file.

When used with an image, please note that in Dreamweaver MX 2004 and later, the (onClick) option in the Behaviors panel has been replaced by <A> onClick. This doesn't affect the code or the operation of SmartLink in any way.

Download Smart Link (for Dreamweaver 4, MX, MX 2004, DW8, CS3 & CS4)

Banish Tooltips

Want to get rid of annoying "tooltips" that destroy your design when someone mouses over an image? The answer is to put a blank title attribute in the img tag, like this:

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="Description of picture for non-visual browsers" title="" height=...

This Dreamweaver command does it all for you automatically. The existing alt text is left untouched, leaving it to do the job it was originally intended to. Existing title attributes are also left untouched, so there's no danger of removing tooltips from the images you still want them for.

As an added bonus, the command also checks the page to see if there are any spacer images — identified by "spacer.gif", "shim.gif", "filler.gif", "transparent.gif" or "clearpixel.gif". Some people put alt="spacer image" (or something similar) inside the image tag, in the mistaken belief this is necessary. It's not. In fact, it's extremely annoying to people using screen readers, who are forced to listen to "spacer image" repeated dozens of times. The command turns any alternative text for spacer images to alt="", and inserts it if the alt attribute is missing.

<img src="shim.gif" alt="" height=...

This will make your pages both valid and compliant with accessibility requirements.

Download Banish Tooltips command (for Dreamweaver 4, MX & MX 2004).

Fractions and Power Symbols

Inserts the correct HTML entities for common fractions (¼, ½, ¾), powers (squared and cubed — n², n³) and the degree symbol (°) into your web page. Access from the appropriate icons in the Characters Insert Bar (Dreamweaver MX) or Characters Category of the Objects Panel (DW4 and UltraDev4). Also available from the Fractions and Power Symbols sub-menu on the Insert Menu. Works in all HTML 4 compliant browsers (including N4.x).

Note: Because of changes to the layout of the Insert Bar in Dreamweaver MX 2004, this extension will create a new category called "Quarter".

Download Fractions and Power Symbols suite (for Dreamweaver 4 & MX).

Important note: These extensions have been tested thoroughly, and are offered in good faith. It is always wise to make a backup of any important documents before applying an extension you are not familiar with. If you have any suggestions for improvement, please use the feedback form on the Contact page.

If Dreamweaver displays JavaScript errors when using any of these extensions, you might have a corrupted cache file. Please follow the instructions in troubleshooting step 4 in this Adobe tech note.

If you find these extensions useful, why not also take a look at the books I have written?

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