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Code once and reuse in Dreamweaver CS5?

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a static site I'm updating in Dreamweaver CS5, it's all in HTML.

The main menu is coded with a Table element, displayed on over a hundred pages.

I need to add another button to the menu, so I'm considering doing a Find and Replace in one shot.

1) Is that the safest or fastest approach?

2) Anything i can do now to setup the site so I don't have to go through this again? Perhaps a Dreamweaver template or something?
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Question by:sandshakimi
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by:Jason C. Levine
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>> 1) Is that the safest or fastest approach?

Assuming your table code is the same on all pages, yes it is safe and reasonable fast.

>> 2) Anything i can do now to setup the site so I don't have to go through this again? Perhaps a Dreamweaver template or something?

If any element is the same on multiple pages, you should consider calling it as an include instead of straight code on all pages.  That way, the element can be updated at a single source and replicated to all target pages.  If you are using PHP or ASP for the site, then this is as simple as:

<?php include('/path/to/htmlsnippet'); ?>

If you are not using server-side scripting on your site, you would want to convert the table to a Dreamweaver Library Item and use that instead of full-blown templates.  

Templates don't work well once you have an existing site as you would have to add the template markup to all of your existing pages.  You can do it, but it is hard.
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by:IceCode
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good answer, just one thing to add...  If you do a "replace all" throughout your site in Dreamweaver, there will be no going back.  I mean no "undo".  Good luck.
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Jason C. Levine earned 250 total points
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>> If you do a "replace all" throughout your site in Dreamweaver, there will be no going back.  I mean no "undo".

Actually, there is a way to allow for it but you have to have all pages open in DW first and depending on your system speed, that can be a problem.  If you have enough horsepower, here is how to do it:

1) Open a page and the switch to code view.  We want all subsequent pages to open in code view so having a "starter" page is necessary

2) Do a Find for whatever code you will be replacing.  Do not do a replace, just Find All

3) In the results panel, highlight all results, right click, and select Open Files

4) Assuming you have enough power, all files will open in code view in the editor.

5) Now do the Find and Replace.  Because the files are open you will have the ability to Undo
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