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Applying Standard Formatting

The following information assumes you are working with your document in Design View.

Paragraphs and Line Breaks

When you press the Enter key, Dreamweaver automatically starts a new paragraph, or, if you're in the middle of a numbered or bulleted list, a new list item. Press Shift-Enter if you want to create an ordinary line break.

Headings

Headings provide visual and semantic cues to the user about how information on your page is organized. The top heading of your document should be formatted h1. No other element on your page should be formatted using h1.

Subsequent headings can be in a parallel series or nested -- i.e., subsections of material under an h2 heading could be further organized under h3 headings, and so on. In order to pass accessibility requirements, headings have to be properly "nested," without skips. For example, you can not follow an h3 with an h5 without an h4 in between.

You can set the heading format by selecting the text, right-clicking, selecting Paragraph format. Headings can also be set using the Text Properties panel.

Bold and Italics

You can format text as bold or italic by selecting it with your mouse, then clicking the B or I icon in the Text Properties panel.

Underlining

Please do not use underlining for emphasis -- it hinders usability because users expect underlined text to function as a link.

APA, MLA and the Chicago Manual have accommodated this change by modifying their citation format: in online documents they recommend the use of italics where underlining formerly was used.

Simple Lists

To create a numbered or bulleted list, press the Enter key to begin a new line, and click either the numbered list or bulleted list button in the Text Properties panel. To begin a new list item, press the Enter key on your keyboard. To get out of the list format, click the list button again.

TIP: You can convert a series of paragraphs into a list simply by selected them and clicking one of the list buttons.

Don't like bullets? Select the entire list , right-click and select Set Class > nobulletlist.

Definition Lists

When you have a series of annotated items (links to bibliographical resources, for example), you may want to use a definition list format, like this one:

 
Literature Resource Center
Provides one search access to Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, the Dictionary of Literary Biography, and Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.
MLA International Bibliography
Indexes 4000 journals and series in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore, 1963-

To create a definition list --

  1. Type or copy your text into the page, then place your cursor somewhere near the beginning of the first item. Right-click, select List > Definition List. Dreamweaver will indent the text block to position the beginning of the list.
  2. To separate out the annotation, place your cursor at its beginning and press the Enter key. Press the Enter key at the end of the annotation to create another term-annotation pair.

Indenting

You can use the indent button to can embed a list in another list. Selecting the list items you want to embed in the preceding list item, and click the right indent button in the Text Properties panel. You can un-embed the list by selecting it and clicking the left outdent button.

Do not use the indent button to indent paragraphs, as Dreamweaver will apply inappropriate <blockquote> tags to achieve this, which violates accessibility requirements.

 

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Last Updated: 30-Jun-2010