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April
2001

Adobe Systems Inc., proud parent of many useful graphics tools, including Photoshop, and Illustrator, has been moving into the electronic media field for some time now. Adobe has brought us methods to view formatted documents as they were intended to be seen with Acrobat and has been providing web page authoring software with the no-longer-published PageMill and the awesome GoLive. Like several of Adobe’s products (i.e. PageMaker), GoLive started life at another company as GoLive Cyber Studio. Adobe realized that it was a far superior program to their offerings and bought it. Adobe has since made several revisions to the software, making it more unified with their other programs and adding a host of new features. This month, I will focus on the features and power of Adobe GoLive 5.
Adobe GoLive is one of several programs that allow building web pages graphically. Back in the stone age of the World Wide Web, creators had to build pages by writing the HTML code directly…much like programmers do. This put off many designers and graphic artists who had become very used to building graphics according to the desktop publishing model using PageMaker or QuarkXpress. Now, there are many graphical web page editors from which to choose. GoLive goes beyond simple web page creation, it will help design and manage your entire web site and integrates well with your other graphics software.
When you create a new site in GoLive, the program generates a Site file. This is the “control center” of your new site. You can view all of the files and directories within the site, move them around and add links. The Site window (Fig. 1) is divided into two tabbed panes: the left one contains tabs for the files, external links, designs, fonts and colors; the right side contains tabs for FTP (‘file transfer protocol’ which allows you to upload your site to a web server), errors and ‘extras.’ Extras can be chunks of HTML code (called Components) you can drop into a site, Site Designs, Stationeries and Site Trash (deleted files from your site). You will want to have the Site window open most of the time you are working on a site.

Fig. 1

Building the individual pages of a site is quite simple. The page window also has several tabs: Layout, Frame Layout, Source, Preview and Frame Preview. You work mainly in the Layout view, typing in text or dragging elements from floating palettes or the Site window. Making a link is as easy as highlighting the appropriate text, clicking the Link button and then dragging to the target file or typing in the target URL. The Inspector palette (Fig. 2) has the link information and is context sensitive depending on what you have selected on the Page window or Site window. Adobe has a nice system for making links called ‘point-and-shoot.’ There is a little spiral button near URL fields that you can click and drag to the specified target.

Fig. 2

GoLive supports making button rollovers, tables, forms, Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript. The user will need to know something about these to get started, but the manual is clear and well-written and a good place to start. GoLive 5 adds several new features, such as previewing Flash animations, integrated QuickTime editor with QuickTime Streaming support and workgroup collaboration with WebDAV. A great new feature is Smart Objects. Photoshop, Illustrator and LiveMotion (Adobe’s version of Macromedia’s Flash) files can be imported natively. Photoshop’s “Save for Web” dialog box comes up and prompts you to save the file, then whenever the source file is changed, the Smart Object is updated automatically. Layered Photoshop files can be imported with GoLive interpreting the layers into user-defined web formats or as individual QuickTime sprites.
Adobe GoLive is a great tool for making web sites. From the simplest personal page to the most complex e-business site, GoLive has the muscle for the job.
Paul Vaughn is a freelance graphic artist and web designer. Mr. Vaughn’s web site, created in GoLive is at http://pv.home.texas.net, and he can be contacted at paulv@mac.com.
 

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