Links

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Linking is what makes the Web an interactive (user-controlled) medium. Links allow the user to initiate action. When a link is clicked by the user on a referring page, it is directed by the HTML code to go to the target page. Links also can be called buttons or navigation items. Links make up the component functions of the interface. Technically speaking, on the code side of the Dreamweaver page, links are created using the href tag.

Think of a href as short for a hyper reference. Where can you link to?

  • Web pages in your site
  • Other Web URLs (Web site addresses)
  • Images
  • Multimedia items (Flash, Video, Audio)
  • Downloadable programs
  • PDF files
  • Native documents on the server (MS Word or MS PowerPoint) All of the items that you are linking to must reside in a folder or folder structure that does not change. I provided you with this folder structure:
  • All .html pages are exported to the root folder: jdimarco (first initial, last name)
  • All images are exported to the images folder: jdimarco/ images (substitute your first initial and last name for mine)
  • Your home page or “first page” of the site is always named index.htm We can add a folder inside our Root Folder for downloads. Name it “Down- loads.” This is where you can put downloadable files including PDF and native Microsoft documents. Linking Concepts: Absolute vs.
  • Relative Links can be written and directed two ways:
  • Absolute Links are links that are outside the site. For example, if your portfolio site linked to your schools Web site, you would link absolutely — this means you use the entire URL address: http:// www.eastlakeschool.edu.
  • Relative Links are links that exist inside your sites directory (folder) structure. When you link relatively, you do not have to write out the entire path name. You can use just the page and any subdirectories in the coded link command. Placing an external link in a Web page in Dreamweaver is easy.

Go to WINDOW>Properties Inspector. The specific field for adding links is called LINK.
1.Add a layer or table and inside, type Go TO MACROMEDIA using Web text or place and select an image.
2.Type the link Web address or click the yellow folder to choose a Web page to link from in your site. Try this (http://www.macromedia.com).
3.Close the window and press F12 to preview in browser.
4.In the browser, click the item you added the link to and see if it goes to the Macromedia Web site. (You must be online for this to work.)

Graphic link (You can link from a graphic. Notice the circles. The graphic links to a student work illustration page named selfportrait.htm.) To link pages in your Web site you should follow the same steps but instead of typing a link location as in Step 2, click on the small folder next to the link button and navigate to your Web pages.

Then, link to the desired .htm file. Eventually, all navigation, buttons, and content downloads need to be linked from their page to a location somewhere. Linking insures a dynamic experience for the user. Broken links are not good. They can ruin the user experience, and most importantly they will act as roadblocks to your content.

You can change the color and size of your Web text using the properties inspector. Later we will examine style sheets to format text and page proper- ties. Text link (You can link from text. Notice the circles. The text links to a JavaScript that closes the browser window. The font is Arial.)

Alt Tags

Alt tags are text based labels that come up as you graphic or animation is loading. They are good to include as an etiquette item and to allow users with sight disabilities to be able to read the text only. Don’t go overboard with wild descriptions, one to two words should suffice. You plug in alt tags on the properties inspector after selecting an image.

Jump Menus

Jump menus are form based drop down menus that give you a list of linkable items that when selected “JUMP” to the URL. Jump menus are good prefab- Jump menu. You can link from a jump menu.

Use this behavior-based navigation item when you have a long list of linked items (US States, for example) and no space, or when using electronic forms that auto fill and log data. Programming the jump menu with links is easy. Add the name that will appear in the menu and then the link destination.) ricated tools that you can use in your portfolio.

You might list your artwork or other content in a quick list for the user to jump immediately to the work without moving through any page gateways or introduction animations. To create a Jump Menu, you must insert it from INSERT> FORM>JUMP MENU.

You will see a red dotted line around the menu in Dreamweaver. Don’t be alarmed, it’s just a form tag that needs to be in place for the Jump Menu to work. To edit the Jump Menu, you should double click on it to reveal its properties in the properties inspector.

The list values button provides menu name and the value is for the link that the menu name jumps to. Use relative paths for pages in your site and absolute HTTP:// addresses for Web pages and sites outside your site. E-mail links (You can link to an e-mail from the properties inspector. When clicked, the link launches the user’s e-mail client.)

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