Expanding Dreamweaver usability with Windows/Mac OS/Linux

Over the years I’ve found it necessary to copy text from a variety of sources such as the web, PDF files, MS Word files, Corel WordPerfect and others into Dreamweaver’s design view (or even into email). Its not always a smooth process and sometimes the copied text needs to have formatting and/or pictures removed from the copied content.

To avoid editing pasted text which can be a tedious process I use Windows Notepad to “cleanse” the text and make sure there isn’t any extraneous formatting (or pictures) left. Notepad is light on computer memory, fast to open and cleanses the copied text into plain ANSI text – that means no bold, italics, colors, formatting or anything like that, just plain text. Just copy your text and paste it into Notepad, and copy it out of the Notepad window and paste into Dreamweaver. Mac OS and Linux have their own versions of Notepad as well so it doesn’t matter if you have Dreamweaver on your MAc or Linux computer.

Other Time-Savers
I also use other time-savers when copy and pasting text like using other creative places to “cleanse” text even more quickly and keyboard shortcuts used often when moving all of this text about. The shortcuts below are for Windows and Mac OS and Linux also have keyboard shortcuts that do the same thing.

CTRL+C = copy
CTRL+X = cut (copies and removes the text)
CTRL+V = paste
CTRL+A = highlight all text
CTRL+F = find/search

Other creative places I use to “cleanse” text include the browser’s address bar, the Search Engine search box on my Firefox toolbar and my Google toolbar’s search box. If you use these make sure all of the text you pasting is on one line, no line breaks or you’ll lose soem of the text. In that case use Notepad or your favrotie ANSI text editor instead.

NOTE: This article was typed in Windows Notepad for kicks.

Dreamweaver: Find Replace in Open Documents

Here’s a cool trick I picked up in Dreamweaver (DW8 but probably works in many versions). Often I need to copy-n-paste the same code into many pages, but not all of the pages in a site (e.g. only the pages about a certain place or subject). Instead of opening all of those pages and pasting the needed code try using Dreamweaver’s Find/Replace function and have it perform the replacement only on the documents you have open.

  1. Get the code you need
  2. Close all pages in Dreamweaver you do not need to edit, and open only the pages you need to paste your code into
  3. Press CTRL+F (Command+F1 on Mac OS) and in the Find and Replace dialogue box, in the Find in dropdown box (screenshot below) select Open Documents
  4. Now enter the code you need in the Find and Replace boxes then click the Replace All button (see notes below). Optionally you can click Replace instead to watch the replacement happen page-by-page until you feel safe enough to click the Replace All button.

Find Replace - Select Open documents

NOTES – Things to keep in mind:

– Its a good idea to save the changes you make only to one page first, then upload it to make sure it looks the way you want. If it doesn’t then you still have all of the pages open and you can undo or make the changes anew. If it looks okay then you can do a Save All.

– If you are not editing too many documents and you use the Replace All button, you can use the undo feature to undo your changes if a) you don’t mind doing it for each page you’ve just changed and b) your settings allow that many levels of undo

– Dreamweaver is very good at doing what you ask, so as with any program make sure you ask it to do exactly what you want. Make sure the Find box contains code that is unique enough to only make changes where you want them.

Dreamweaver 8 ‘Bug’: This search result cannot be displayed because

After installing Internet Explorer 7 a couple of days ago, I began losing FTP and passwords in my site definitions, so I went to Adobe’s knowledgebase and followed the instructions in the Dreamweaver 8 for Windows loses FTP login settings issue.

Then tonight I was doing a Find on a page and began repeatedly getting this error:

This search result cannot be displayed because this portion of the document has changed or been removed since the search was performed.

The first thing I did was change the text I was searching, then I went into a completely different site to do a Find, but always the same error. In a huge rush I went back to Adobe’s knowledgebase again and couldn’t find a resolution. Google was helpful with 1 result – yes that’s right only one! Luckily a fellow by the name of Jason Nussbaum has a blog addressing this issue more in detail than I will go into here.

For me the fix was to empty the text in the Find box, then uncheck the Match whole word checkbox. Voila! Read more on Jason’s blog here.