About linking and navigation
- Dreamweaver User Guide
- Dreamweaver and Creative Cloud
- Dreamweaver workspaces and views
- Set up sites
- About Dreamweaver sites
- Set up a local version of your site
- Connect to a publishing server
- Set up a testing server
- Import and export Dreamweaver site settings
- Bring existing websites from a remote server to your local site root
- Accessibility features in Dreamweaver
- Advanced settings
- Set site preferences for transferring files
- Specify proxy server settings in Dreamweaver
- Synchronize Dreamweaver settings with Creative Cloud
- Using Git in Dreamweaver
- Manage files
- Create and open files
- Manage files and folders
- Getting and putting files to and from your server
- Check in and check out files
- Synchronize files
- Compare files for differences
- Cloak files and folders in your Dreamweaver site
- Enable Design Notes for Dreamweaver sites
- Preventing potential Gatekeeper exploit
- Layout and design
- Understand Cascading Style Sheets
- Laying out pages using CSS Designer
- Using CSS preprocessors in Dreamweaver
- How to set CSS Style preferences in Dreamweaver
- Move CSS rules in Dreamweaver
- Convert inline CSS to a CSS rule in Dreamweaver
- Work with div tags
- Apply gradients to background
- Create and edit CSS3 transition effects in Dreamweaver
- Format code
- Page content and assets
- Set page properties
- Set CSS heading properties and CSS link properties
- Work with text
- Find and replace text, tags, and attributes
- DOM panel
- Edit in Live View
- Encoding documents in Dreamweaver
- Select and view elements in the Document window
- Set text properties in the Property inspector
- Spell check a web page
- Using horizontal rules in Dreamweaver
- Add and modify font combinations in Dreamweaver
- Work with assets
- Insert and update dates in Dreamweaver
- Create and manage favorite assets in Dreamweaver
- Insert and edit images in Dreamweaver
- Add media objects
- Adding videos in Dreamweaver
- Insert HTML5 video
- Insert SWF files
- Add audio effects
- Insert HTML5 audio in Dreamweaver
- Work with library items
- Using Arabic and Hebrew text in Dreamweaver
- Linking and navigation
- jQuery widgets and effects
- Coding websites
- About coding in Dreamweaver
- Coding environment in Dreamweaver
- Set coding preferences
- Customize code coloring
- Write and edit code
- Code hinting and code completion
- Collapse and expand code
- Reuse code with snippets
- Lint code
- Optimize code
- Edit code in Design view
- Work with head content for pages
- Insert server-side includes in Dreamweaver
- Using tag libraries in Dreamweaver
- Importing custom tags into Dreamweaver
- About XML and XSLT
- Perform server-side XSL transformations in Dreamweaver
- Performing client-side XSL transformations in Dreamweaver
- Add character entities for XSLT in Dreamweaver
- Format code
- Cross-product workflows
- Installing and using extensions to Dreamweaver
- In-App updates in Dreamweaver
- Insert Microsoft Office documents in Dreamweaver (Windows only)
- Working with Fireworks and Dreamweaver
- Edit content in Dreamweaver sites using Contribute
- Dreamweaver-Business Catalyst integration
- Create personalized email campaigns
- About Dreamweaver templates
- Recognizing templates and template-based documents
- Create a Dreamweaver template
- Create editable regions in templates
- Create repeating regions and tables in Dreamweaver
- Use optional regions in templates
- Define editable tag attributes in Dreamweaver
- How to create nested templates in Dreamweaver
- Edit, update, and delete templates
- Export and import xml content in Dreamweaver
- Apply or remove a template from an existing document
- Edit content in Dreamweaver templates
- Syntax rules for template tags in Dreamweaver
- Set highlighting preferences for template regions
- Benefits of using templates in Dreamweaver
- Mobile and multiscreen
- Dynamic sites, pages and web forms
- Understand web applications
- Set up your computer for application development
- Troubleshoot database connections
- Removing connection scripts in Dreamweaver
- Design dynamic pages
- Dynamic content sources overview
- Define sources of dynamic content
- Add dynamic content to pages
- Changing dynamic content in Dreamweaver
- Display database records
- Provide and troubleshoot live data in Dreamweaver
- Add custom server behaviors in Dreamweaver
- Building forms using Dreamweaver
- Use forms to collect information from users
- Create and enable ColdFusion forms in Dreamweaver
- Create web forms
- Enhanced HTML5 support for form elements
- Develop a form using Dreamweaver
- Building applications visually
- Build master and detail pages in Dreamweaver
- Build search and results pages
- Build a record insert page
- Build an update record page in Dreamweaver
- Building record delete pages in Dreamweaver
- Use ASP commands to modify database in Dreamweaver
- Build a registration page
- Build a login page
- Build a page that only authorized users can access
- Securing folders in Coldfusion using Dreamweaver
- Using ColdFusion components in Dreamweaver
- Test, preview, and publish websites
Learn about linking and navigation in Dreamweaver and absolute, document-relative, and site root-relative paths.
After you’ve set up a Dreamweaver site to store your website documents and have created HTML pages, you’ll want to create connections from your documents to other documents.
Dreamweaver provides several ways to create links to documents, images, multimedia files, or downloadable software. You can establish links to any text or image anywhere within a document, including text or images in a heading, list, table, absolutely-positioned element (AP element), or frame.
There are several different ways of creating and managing links. Some web designers prefer to create links to nonexistent pages or files as they work, while others prefer to create all the files and pages first and then add the links. Another way to manage links is to create placeholder pages, in which you add and test links before completing all your site pages.
Absolute, document-relative, and site root-relative paths
Understanding the file path between the document you’re linking from and the document or asset you’re linking to is essential to creating links.
Each web page has a unique address, called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). However, when you create a local link (a link from one document to another on the same site), you generally don’t specify the entire URL of the document you’re linking to; instead, you specify a relative path from the current document or from the site’s root folder.
There are three types of link paths:
Absolute paths (such as http://www.adobe.com/support/dreamweaver/contents.html).
Document-relative paths (such as dreamweaver/contents.html).
Site root–relative paths (such as /support/dreamweaver/contents.html).
Using Dreamweaver, you can easily select the type of document path to create for your links.
It is best to use the type of linking you prefer and are most comfortable with—either site root- or document-relative. Browsing to links, as opposed to typing in the paths, ensures that you always enter the right path.
Absolute paths provide the complete URL of the linked document, including the protocol to use (usually http:// for web pages), for example, http://www.adobe.com/support/dreamweaver/contents.html. For an image asset, the complete URL might be something like http://www.adobe.com/support/dreamweaver/images/image1.jpg.
You must use an absolute path to link to a document or asset on another server. You can also use absolute paths for local links (to documents in the same site), but that approach is discouraged—if you move the site to another domain, all of your local absolute-path links will break. Using relative paths for local links also provides greater flexibility if you need to move files within your site.
When inserting images (not links), you can use an absolute path to an image on a remote server (that is, an image that is not available on the local hard drive).
Document-relative paths are usually best for local links in most websites. They’re particularly useful when the current document and the linked document or asset are in the same folder and are likely to remain together. You can also use a document-relative path to link to a document or asset in another folder by specifying the path through the folder hierarchy from the current document to the linked document.
The basic idea of document-relative paths is to omit the part of the absolute path that is the same for both the current document and the linked document or asset, providing only the portion of the path that differs.
For example, suppose you have a site with the following structure:
To link from contents.html to hours.html (both in the same folder), use the relative path hours.html.
To link from contents.html to tips.html (in the resources subfolder), use the relative path resources/tips.html. At each slash (/), you move down one level in the folder hierarchy.
To link from contents.html to index.html (in the parent folder, one level above contents.html), use the relative path ../index.html. Two dots and a slash (../) moves you up one level in the folder hierarchy.
To link from contents.html to catalog.html (in a different subfolder of the parent folder), use the relative path ../products/catalog.html. Here, ../ moves you up to the parent folder, and products/ moves you down to the products subfolder.
When you move files as a group—for example, when you move an entire folder, so that all the files inside that folder retain the same relative paths to each other—you don’t need to update document-relative links between those files. However, when you move an individual file that contains document-relative links, or an individual file targeted by a document-relative link, you do need to update those links. (If you move or rename files using the Files panel, Dreamweaver updates all relevant links automatically.)
Site root–relative paths
Site root–relative paths describe the path from the site’s root folder to a document. You may want to use these paths if you are working on a large website that uses several servers, or one server that hosts several sites. However, if you are not familiar with this type of path, you may want to stick to document-relative paths.
A site root–relative path begins with a leading forward slash, which stands for the root folder of the site. For example, /support/tips.html is a site root–relative path to a file (tips.html) in the support subfolder of the site’s root folder.
A site root–relative path is often the best way to specify links if you frequently move HTML files from one folder to another in your website. When you move a document that contains site root–relative links, you don’t need to change the links since the links are relative to the site root, and not to the document itself; for example, if your HTML files use site root–relative links for dependent files (such as images), then if you move an HTML file, its dependent-file links are still valid.
However, when you move or rename the documents targeted by site root–relative links, you must update those links, even if the documents’ paths relative to each other haven’t changed. For example, if you move a folder, you must update all site root–relative links to files in that folder. (If you move or rename files using the Files panel, Dreamweaver updates all relevant links automatically.)