Automate tasks

Use the History panel in Dreamweaver to replay and automate steps. Create, use, and save commands from the history steps.


The History panel is deprecated in Dreamweaver CC 2017 and later. 

Task automation

The History panel records the steps you take when you complete a task. Automate a frequently performed task by replaying those steps from the History panel or creating a new command that performs the steps automatically.

Certain mouse movements, such as selecting by clicking in the Document window, can’t be played back or saved. When you make such a movement, a black line appears in the History panel (the line does not become obvious until you perform another action). To avoid this, use the arrow keys instead of the mouse to move the insertion point within the Document window

Some other steps also aren’t repeatable, such as dragging a page element to somewhere else on the page. When you perform such a step, an icon with a small red X appears in the History panel.

Saved commands are retained permanently (unless you delete them), while recorded commands are discarded when you exit from Adobe Dreamweaver, and copied sequences of steps are discarded when you copy something else

Use the History panel

The History panel (Window > History) shows a list of the steps you’ve performed in the active document since you created or opened that document (but not steps you’ve performed in other frames, in other Document windows, or in the Site panel). Use the History panel to undo multiple steps at once and to automate tasks.

History panel

A. Slider (thumb) B. Steps C. Replay button D. Copy Steps button E. Save As Command button 

The slider, or thumb, in the History panel initially points to the last step that you performed.


You can’t rearrange the order of steps in the History panel. Don’t think of the History panel as an arbitrary collection of commands; think of it as a way to view the steps you’ve performed, in the order in which you performed them.

Undo the last step

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Select Edit > Undo.

    • Drag the History panel slider up one step in the list.


    To scroll automatically to a particular step, you must click to the left of the step; clicking the step itself selects the step. Selecting a step is different from going back to that step in your undo history.

Undo multiple steps at once

  1. Drag the slider to point to any step, or click to the left of a step along the path of the slider.

    The slider scrolls automatically to that step, undoing steps as it scrolls.


    As with undoing a single step, if you undo a series of steps and then do something new in the document, you can no longer redo the undone steps; they disappear from the History panel.

Set the number of steps that the History panel retains and shows

The default number of steps is sufficient for most users’ needs. The higher the number, the more memory the History panel requires, which can affect performance and slow your computer significantly.

  1. Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Dreamweaver > Preferences (Macintosh).
  2. Select General from the Category list on the left.
  3. Enter a number for Maximum Number Of History Steps.

    When the History panel reaches this maximum number of steps, the earliest steps are discarded.

Erase the history list for the current document:

  1. In the History panel’s context menu, select Clear History.

    This command also clears all undo information for the current document; after choosing Clear History, you can’t undo the steps that are cleared. Clear History does not undo steps; it merely removes the record of those steps from memory.

Repeat steps

Use the History panel to repeat the last step you performed, repeat a series of adjacent steps, or repeat a series of nonadjacent steps. Replay the steps directly from the History panel.

Repeat one step

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Select Edit > Redo.

    • In the History panel, select a step and click the Replay button. The step is replayed and a copy of it appears in the History panel.

Repeat a series of steps

  1. Select steps in the History panel:
    • To select adjacent steps, drag from one step to another (don’t drag the slider; just drag from the text label of one step to the text label of another step), or select the first step, and then Shift-click the last step.

    • To select nonadjacent steps, select a step, and then Control‑click (Windows) or Command-click (Macintosh) to select or deselect other steps.

      The steps played are the selected (highlighted) steps, not necessarily the step the slider currently points to.


    Although you can select a series of steps that includes a black line indicating a step that can’t be recorded, that step is skipped when you replay the steps.  

  2. Click Replay.

    The steps are replayed in order, and a new step, Replay Steps, appears in the History panel.

Make or extend a selection

  1. Hold down the Shift key while pressing an arrow key.

    If a black mouse-movement indicator line appears while you’re performing a task you want to repeat later, you can undo back to before that step and try another approach, perhaps using the arrow keys.

Apply steps in the History panel to objects

You can apply a set of steps from the History panel to any object in the Document window.

If you select multiple objects and then apply steps to them from the History panel, the objects are treated as a single selection and Dreamweaver attempts to apply the steps to that combined selection; however, you can apply a set of steps only to a single object at a time.

To apply the steps to each object in a set of objects, you must make the last step in the series select the next object in the set. The second procedure demonstrates this principle in a specific scenario: setting the vertical and horizontal spacing of a series of images.

Apply steps to one other object

  1. Select the object.
  2. Select the relevant steps in the History panel, and click Replay.

Apply steps to multiple objects

  1. Start with a document in which each line consists of a small image (such as a graphical bullet or an icon) followed by text.

    The goal is to set the images off from the text and from the other images above and below them.

    Each line consists of a small image

  2. Open the Property inspector (Window > Properties), if it isn’t already open.
  3. Select the first image.
  4. In the Property inspector, enter numbers in the V Space and H Space boxes to set the image’s spacing.
  5. Click the image again to make the Document window active without moving the insertion point.
  6. Press the Left Arrow key to move the insertion point to the left of the image.
  7. Press the Down Arrow key to move the insertion point down one line, leaving it just to the left of the second image in the series.
  8. Press Shift+Right Arrow to select the second image.

    Do not select the image by clicking it, or you won’t be able to replay all the steps.

  9. In the History panel, select the steps that correspond to changing the image’s spacing and selecting the next image. Click Replay to replay those steps.
    Click Replay to replay steps

    The current image’s spacing changes, and the next image is selected.

    Current image's spacing changes

  10. Continue to click Replay until all the images are spaced correctly.

Copy and paste steps between documents

Each open document has its own history of steps. You can copy steps from one document and paste them into another.

Closing a document clears its history. If you know you will want to use steps from a document later, copy or save the steps before you close the document.

  1. In the document containing the steps you want to reuse, select the steps in the History panel.
  2. Click Copy Steps in the History panel  .

    The Copy Steps button in the History panel is different from the Copy command in the Edit menu. You can’t use Edit > Copy to copy steps, although you do use Edit > Paste to paste them.

    Be careful when you copy steps that include a Copy or a Paste command:

    • Don’t use Copy Steps if one of the steps is a Copy command; you may not be able to paste such steps the way you want.

    • If your steps include a Paste command, you can’t paste those steps, unless the steps also include a Copy command before the Paste command.

  3. Open the other document.
  4. Place the insertion point where you want it, or select an object to apply the steps to.
  5. Select Edit > Paste.

    The steps are played back as they’re pasted into the document’s History panel. The History panel shows them as only one step, called Paste Steps.

    If you pasted steps into a text editor or into Code view or the Code inspector, they appear as JavaScript code. This can be useful for learning to write your own scripts.

Create and use commands from history steps

Save a set of history steps as a named command, which then becomes available in the Commands menu. Create and save a new command if you might use a set of steps again, especially the next time you start Dreamweaver.

Create a command

  1. Select a step or set of steps in the History panel.
  2. Click the Save As Command button, or select Save As Command from the History panel’s context menu.
  3. Enter a name for the command and click OK.

    The command appears in the Commands menu.


    The command is saved as a JavaScript file (or sometimes an HTML file) in your Dreamweaver/Configuration/Commands folder. If you are using Dreamweaver on a multiuser operating system, the file is saved in the specific user’s Commands folder.

Use a saved command

  1. Select an object to apply the command to, or place the insertion point where you want to apply the command.
  2. Select the command from the Commands menu.

Edit a command name

  1. Select Commands > Edit Command List.
  2. Select a command to rename, enter a new name for it, and then click Close.

Delete a name from the Commands menu

  1. Select Commands > Edit Command List.
  2. Select a command.
  3. Click Delete, and then click Close.

Record and save commands

Record a temporary command for short-term use, or record and save a command to use later. Dreamweaver retains only one recorded command at a time; as soon as you start recording a new command, the old command is lost, unless you save it before recording the new command.

Temporarily record a series of steps

  1. Select Commands > Start Recording, or press Control+Shift+X (Windows) or Command+Shift+X (Macintosh).

    The pointer changes to indicate that you’re recording a command.

  2. When you finish recording, select Commands > Stop Recording, or press Control+Shift+X (Windows) or Command+Shift+X (Macintosh).

Play back a recorded command

  1. Select Commands > Play Recorded Command.

Save a recorded command

  1. Select Commands > Play Recorded Command.
  2. Select the Run Command step that appears in the History panel’s step list, and then click the Save As Command button.
  3. Enter a name for the command, and click OK.

    The command appears in the Commands menu.

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