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Select and view elements in the Document window

  1. Dreamweaver User Guide
  2. Introduction
    1. Responsive web design basics
    2. What's new in Dreamweaver
    3. Web development using Dreamweaver - An Overview
    4. Dreamweaver / Common Questions
    5. Keyboard shortcuts
    6. Dreamweaver system requirements
    7. Feature summary
  3. Dreamweaver and Creative Cloud
    1. Synchronize Dreamweaver settings with Creative Cloud
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Dreamweaver
    3. Using Photoshop files in Dreamweaver
    4. Work with Adobe Animate and Dreamweaver
    5. Extract web-optimized SVG files from Libraries
  4. Dreamweaver workspaces and views
    1. The Dreamweaver workspace
    2. Optimize Dreamweaver workspace for visual development
    3. Search files based on filename or content | Mac OS
  5. Set up sites
    1. About Dreamweaver sites
    2. Set up a local version of your site
    3. Connect to a publishing server
    4. Set up a testing server
    5. Import and export Dreamweaver site settings
    6. Bring existing websites from a remote server to your local site root
    7. Accessibility features in Dreamweaver
    8. Advanced settings
    9. Set site preferences for transferring files
    10. Specify proxy server settings in Dreamweaver
    11. Synchronize Dreamweaver settings with Creative Cloud
    12. Using Git in Dreamweaver
  6. Manage files
    1. Create and open files
    2. Manage files and folders
    3. Getting and putting files to and from your server
    4. Check in and check out files
    5. Synchronize files
    6. Compare files for differences
    7. Cloak files and folders in your Dreamweaver site
    8. Enable Design Notes for Dreamweaver sites
    9. Preventing potential Gatekeeper exploit
  7. Layout and design
    1. Use visual aids for layout
    2. About using CSS to lay out your page
    3. Design responsive websites using Bootstrap
    4. Creating and using media queries in Dreamweaver
    5. Present content with tables
    6. Colors
    7. Responsive design using fluid grid layouts
    8. Extract in Dreamweaver
  8. CSS
    1. Understand Cascading Style Sheets
    2. Laying out pages using CSS Designer
    3. Using CSS preprocessors in Dreamweaver
    4. How to set CSS Style preferences in Dreamweaver
    5. Move CSS rules in Dreamweaver
    6. Convert inline CSS to a CSS rule in Dreamweaver
    7. Work with div tags
    8. Apply gradients to background
    9. Create and edit CSS3 transition effects in Dreamweaver
    10. Format code
  9. Page content and assets
    1. Set page properties
    2. Set CSS heading properties and CSS link properties
    3. Work with text
    4. Find and replace text, tags, and attributes
    5. DOM panel
    6. Edit in Live View
    7. Encoding documents in Dreamweaver
    8. Select and view elements in the Document window
    9. Set text properties in the Property inspector
    10. Spell check a web page
    11. Using horizontal rules in Dreamweaver
    12. Add and modify font combinations in Dreamweaver
    13. Work with assets
    14. Insert and update dates in Dreamweaver
    15. Create and manage favorite assets in Dreamweaver
    16. Insert and edit images in Dreamweaver
    17. Add media objects
    18. Adding videos in Dreamweaver
    19. Insert HTML5 video
    20. Insert SWF files
    21. Add audio effects
    22. Insert HTML5 audio in Dreamweaver
    23. Work with library items
    24. Using Arabic and Hebrew text in Dreamweaver
  10. Linking and navigation
    1. About linking and navigation
    2. Linking
    3. Image maps
    4. Troubleshoot links
  11. jQuery widgets and effects
    1. Use jQuery UI and mobile widgets in Dreamweaver
    2. Use jQuery effects in Dreamweaver
  12. Coding websites
    1. About coding in Dreamweaver
    2. Coding environment in Dreamweaver
    3. Set coding preferences
    4. Customize code coloring
    5. Write and edit code
    6. Code hinting and code completion
    7. Collapse and expand code
    8. Reuse code with snippets
    9. Lint code
    10. Optimize code
    11. Edit code in Design view
    12. Work with head content for pages
    13. Insert server-side includes in Dreamweaver
    14. Using tag libraries in Dreamweaver
    15. Importing custom tags into Dreamweaver
    16. Use JavaScript behaviors (general instructions)
    17. Apply built-in JavaScript behaviors
    18. About XML and XSLT
    19. Perform server-side XSL transformations in Dreamweaver
    20. Performing client-side XSL transformations in Dreamweaver
    21. Add character entities for XSLT in Dreamweaver
    22. Format code
  13. Cross-product workflows
    1. Installing and using extensions to Dreamweaver
    2. In-App updates in Dreamweaver
    3. Insert Microsoft Office documents in Dreamweaver (Windows only)
    4. Working with Fireworks and Dreamweaver
    5. Edit content in Dreamweaver sites using Contribute
    6. Dreamweaver-Business Catalyst integration
    7. Create personalized email campaigns
  14. Templates
    1. About Dreamweaver templates
    2. Recognizing templates and template-based documents
    3. Create a Dreamweaver template
    4. Create editable regions in templates
    5. Create repeating regions and tables in Dreamweaver
    6. Use optional regions in templates
    7. Define editable tag attributes in Dreamweaver
    8. How to create nested templates in Dreamweaver
    9. Edit, update, and delete templates
    10. Export and import xml content in Dreamweaver
    11. Apply or remove a template from an existing document
    12. Edit content in Dreamweaver templates
    13. Syntax rules for template tags in Dreamweaver
    14. Set highlighting preferences for template regions
    15. Benefits of using templates in Dreamweaver
  15. Mobile and multiscreen
    1. Create media queries
    2. Changing page orientation for mobile devices
    3. Create web apps for mobile devices using Dreamweaver
  16. Dynamic sites, pages and web forms
    1. Understand web applications
    2. Set up your computer for application development
    3. Troubleshoot database connections
    4. Removing connection scripts in Dreamweaver
    5. Design dynamic pages
    6. Dynamic content sources overview
    7. Define sources of dynamic content
    8. Add dynamic content to pages
    9. Changing dynamic content in Dreamweaver
    10. Display database records
    11. Provide and troubleshoot live data in Dreamweaver
    12. Add custom server behaviors in Dreamweaver
    13. Building forms using Dreamweaver
    14. Use forms to collect information from users
    15. Create and enable ColdFusion forms in Dreamweaver
    16. Create web forms
    17. Enhanced HTML5 support for form elements
    18. Develop a form using Dreamweaver
  17. Building applications visually
    1. Build master and detail pages in Dreamweaver
    2. Build search and results pages
    3. Build a record insert page
    4. Build an update record page in Dreamweaver
    5. Building record delete pages in Dreamweaver
    6. Use ASP commands to modify database in Dreamweaver
    7. Build a registration page
    8. Build a login page
    9. Build a page that only authorized users can access
    10. Securing folders in Coldfusion using Dreamweaver
    11. Using ColdFusion components in Dreamweaver
  18. Test, preview, and publish websites
    1. Preview pages
    2. Preview Dreamweaver web pages on multiple devices
    3. Test your Dreamweaver site
  19. Troubleshooting
    1. Fixed issues
    2. Known issues



Select and view elements in Dreamweaver, show or hide marker icons for invisible elements, and set invisible elements preferences.

To select an element in the Design view of the Document window, click the element. If an element is invisible, you must make it visible before you can select it.

Some HTML code do not have a visible representation in a browser. For example, comment tags don’t appear in browsers. However, it can be useful while you’re creating a page to be able to select, edit, move, and delete invisible elements.

Dreamweaver enables you to specify whether to display icons marking the location of invisible elements in the Design view of the Document window. To indicate which element markers appear, you can set options in Invisible Elements preferences. For example, you can specify that named anchors be visible, but not line breaks.

You can create certain invisible elements (such as comments and named anchors) and modify these elements using Preferences > Invisible Elements dialog box.

Select elements

  • To select a visible element in the Document window, click the element or drag across the element.

  • To select an invisible element, from the Design View, select View > Design View Options > Visual Aids > Invisible Elements (if that menu item isn’t already selected) and then click the element’s marker in the Document window.

    Some objects appear on the page in a place other than where their code is inserted. For example, in Design view an absolutely-positioned element (AP element) can be anywhere on the page, but in Code view the code defining the AP element is in a fixed location. When invisible elements are showing, Dreamweaver displays markers in the Document window to show the location of the code for such elements. Selecting a marker selects the entire element; for example, selecting the marker for an AP element selects the entire AP element.

  • To select a complete tag (including its contents, if any), click a tag in the tag selector at the lower left of the Document window. (The tag selector appears in both Design view and Code view.) The tag selector always shows the tags that contain the current selection or insertion point. The leftmost tag is the outermost tag containing the current selection or insertion point. The next tag is contained in that outermost tag, and so on; the rightmost tag is the innermost one that contains the current selection or insertion point.

View HTML Code

  1. To view the HTML code associated with the selected text or object, do one of the following:

    • In the Document toolbar, click Code.

    • Select View > Code.

    • Select View > Split > Code-Live or Code-Design or Code-Code option.

    • Select Window > Code Inspector.

      When you select something in either code editor (Code view or the Code inspector), it’s generally also selected in the Document window. You may need to synchronize the two views before the selection appears.

Show or hide marker icons for invisible elements

  1. Select View > Design View Options > Visual Aids > Invisible Elements.


    Showing invisible elements may slightly change the layout of a page, moving other elements by a few pixels, so for precision layout, hide the invisible elements.

Set invisible elements preferences

Use Invisible Elements preferences to specify which kinds of elements will be visible when you select View > Visual Aids > Invisible Elements.

  1. Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Dreamweaver > Preferences (Macintosh), then click Invisible Elements.
  2. Select which elements should be made visible and click OK.

    A check mark next to the name of the element in the dialog box means the element is visible when View > Visual Aids > Invisible Elements is selected.

    Named Anchors

    Displays an icon that marks the location of each named anchor (a name = "") in the document.


    Displays an icon that marks the location of JavaScript or VBScript code in the body of the document. Select the icon to edit the script in the Property inspector or to link to an external script file.


    Displays an icon that marks the location of HTML comments. Select the icon to see the comment in the Property inspector.

    Line Breaks

    Displays an icon that marks the location of each line break (BR). This option is deselected by default.

    Client-Side Image Maps

    Displays an icon marking the location of each client-side image map in the document.

    Embedded Styles

    Displays an icon showing the location of CSS styles embedded in the body section of the document. If CSS styles are placed in the head section of a document, they do not appear in the Document window.

    Hidden Form Fields

    Displays an icon that marks the location of form fields that have the type attribute set to "hidden".

    Form Delimiter

    Displays a border around a form so you can see where to insert form elements. The border shows the extent of the form tag, so any form elements inside that border are properly enclosed in form tags.

    Anchor Points For AP elements

    Displays an icon that marks the location of code defining an AP element. The AP element itself can be anywhere on the page. (AP elements are not invisible elements; only the code defining the AP element is invisible.) Select the icon to select the AP element; you can then see the contents of the AP element even if the AP element is marked as hidden.

    Anchor Points For Aligned Elements

    Displays an icon showing the location of HTML code for elements that accept the align attribute. These include images, tables, ActiveX objects, plug‑ins, and applets. In some cases, the code for the element may be separated from the visible object.

    Visual Server Markup Tags

    Displays the location of server markup tags (such as Active Server Pages tags and ColdFusion tags) whose content cannot be displayed in the Document window. These tags typically generate HTML tags when processed by a server. For example, a <CFGRAPH> tag generates an HTML table when processed by a ColdFusion server. Dreamweaver reperesents the tag with a ColdFusion invisible element since Dreamweaver cannot determine the final, dynamic output of the page.

    Nonvisual Server Markup Tags

    Displays the location of server markup tags (such as Active Server Pages tags and ColdFusion tags) whose content cannot be displayed in the Document window. These tags are typically set-up, processing, or logic tags (for example, <CFSET>, <CFWDDX>, and <CFXML>) that do not generate HTML tags.

    CSS Display: None

    Displays an icon showing the location of content that’s hidden by the display:none property in the linked or embedded stylesheet.

    Show Dynamic Text As

    Displays any dynamic text on your page in the format of {Recordset:Field} by default. If the length of these values is long enough to distort your page’s formatting, you can change the display to {} instead.

    Server-Side Includes

    Displays the actual contents of each server-side include file.


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