Basing your new object on one of the existing objects in the Dreamweaver4/C onfiguration/Objects folder is your most convenient option. Within that folder are subfolders corresponding to the seven default categories of the Objects panel ( Characters , Common, Forms, Frames, Head, Invisibles, and Special) plus a Tools folder for the Draw Layout Table and Draw Layout Cell tools that are always visible in the Objects panel
Search for "Creating a simple object" under Help Using Dreamweaver (F1) for an example of adding a simple object to the Objects panel. Example 19-3 shows the Button.htm file from the Configuration/Objects/Forms directory.
Example 19-3. A sample object definition file
An image ( .gif ) file is associated with each HTML file. This .gif file contains the graphic icon to appear in the Objects panel and can be created in Fireworks, for example. Icons should be no larger than 18 x 18 pixels (oversized icons are cropped). The .gif file must have the same name as the .htm file, except for the extension. For example, the image associated with the Button.htm file is named Button.gif .
With your .gif and .htm files saved in the desired subfolder of the Configuration/Objects folder, restart Dreamweaver. Your custom object button should appear in the Objects panel under the category corresponding to the folder in which it is stored. Clicking your custom icon should insert the custom object into your page. The Objects panel can be configured to show icons, text, or both using the preferences under Edit Preferences General Objects Panel.
Downloadable extensions that insert an object, such as the Atomz Search extension described in Chapter 22, typically add new categories and icons to the Objects panel. Extensions may also add new entries to the Insert menu or Command menu to insert an object or access the extension's features. After installation, the Extension Manager tells you if you must restart Dreamweaver to access the new features provided by an extension. Some extensions can be reloaded by Ctrl-clicking (Windows) or Opt-clicking (Macintosh) the category selector in the Objects panel and choosing Reload Extensions.
19.3.1 Adding Characters to the Objects Panel
The icons in the Objects panel's Characters category insert special characters, such as a copyright symbol, as described in Section 2.6.1 of Chapter 2. Section 184.108.40.206 demonstrates how to add a custom character, such as þ (a small Icelandic thorn character), to the Objects panel's Character category.
220.127.116.11 Procedure 7
When you restart Dreamweaver, your new icon will appear in the Objects panel's Character category. Use only valid named entities or character entity codes, approved by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Invalid entities will appear incorrectly, or not at all, when viewed in a web browser. Not all web browsers and operating systems display entities in the same way. See Appendix B for details.
The next chapter covers customizing Dreamweaver's dialog boxes and default document template.