Use HTML Formatting

Learn how to use HTML formatting in Dreamweaver to format paragraphs, change the color of text, align and indent text, and apply font styles.

While CSS is the preferred method for formatting text, Dreamweaver still lets you format text with HTML.

Format paragraphs

Use the Format pop‑up menu in the HTML Property inspector or the Edit > Paragraph Format submenu to apply the standard paragraph and heading tags.

  1. Place the insertion point in the paragraph, or select some of the text in the paragraph.
  2. Using the Edit > Paragraph Format submenu or the Format pop‑up menu in the Property inspector, select an option:

    • Select a paragraph format (for example, Heading 1, Heading 2, Preformatted Text, and so on). The HTML tag associated with the selected style (for example, h1 for Heading 1, h2 for Heading 2, pre for Preformatted text, and so on) is applied to the entire paragraph.

    • Select None to remove a paragraph format.

      When you apply a heading tag to a paragraph, Dreamweaver automatically adds the next line of text as a standard paragraph. To change this setting, select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Dreamweaver > Preferences (Macintosh); then in the General category, under Editing Options, make sure Switch To Plain Paragraph After Heading is not selected.

Change the color of text

You can change the default color of all the text in a page, or you can change the color of selected text in the page.

Define default text colors for a page

Select File > Page Properties > Appearance (HTML) and then select colors for the Text Color, Link Color, Visited Links, and Active Links options.


The active link color is the color that a link changes to while it’s being clicked. Some web browsers may not use the color you specify.

Align text

You align text with HTML using the Format > Align submenu. You can center any element on a page using the Format > Align > Center command.

Align text on a page

  1. Select the text you want to align or simply insert the pointer at the beginning of the text.
  2. Select Format > Align and select an alignment command.

Center page elements

  1. Select the element (image, plug‑in, table, or other page element) you want to center.
  2. Select Format > Align > Center.

    You can align and center complete blocks of text; you cannot align or center part of a heading or part of a paragraph.

Indent text

Using the Indent command applies the blockquote HTML tag to a paragraph of text, indenting text on both sides of the page.

  1. Place the insertion point in the paragraph you want to indent.
  2. Select Format > Indent or Outdent, or select List > Indent or Outdent from the context menu.

    You can apply multiple indents to a paragraph. Each time you select this command, the text indents further from both sides of the document.

Apply font styles

You can use HTML to apply text formatting to one letter, or to entire paragraphs and blocks of text in a site. Use the Format menu to set or change font characteristics for selected text. You can set the font type, style (such as bold or italic), and size.

  1. Select the text. If no text is selected, the option applies to subsequent text you type.
  2. Select from the following options:
    • To change the font, select a font combination from the Format > Font submenu. Select Default to remove previously applied fonts. Default applies the default font for the selected text (either the browser default font or the font assigned to that tag in the CSS style sheet).

    • To change the font style, select a font style (Bold, Italic, Underline, and so on) from the Format > Style submenu.


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