Associate Design Notes with Dreamweaver files and documents
Create and enable Design Notes in Dreamweaver to keep track of extra file information associated with your documents.

About Design Notes

Design Notes are notes that you create for a file. Design Notes are associated with the file they describe, but stored in a separate file. You can see which files have Design Notes attached in the expanded Files panel: A Design Notes icon appears in the Notes column.

You can use Design Notes to keep track of extra file information associated with your documents, such as image source-filenames and comments on file status. For example, if you copy a document from one site to another, you can add Design Notes for that document, with the comment that the original document is in the other site folder.

You can also use Design Notes to keep track of sensitive information that you can’t put inside a document for security reasons, such as notes on how a particular price or configuration was chosen, or what marketing factors influenced a design decision.

If you open a file in Adobe® Fireworks® or Flash, and export it to another format, Fireworks and Flash automatically save the name of the original source file in a Design Notes file. For example, if you open myhouse.png in Fireworks and export it to myhouse.gif, Fireworks creates a Design Notes file called myhouse.gif.mno. This Design Notes file contains the name of the original file, as an absolute file: URL. So, the Design Notes for myhouse.gif might contain the following line:


A similar Flash Design Note might contain the following line:



To share Design Notes, users should define the same site-root path (for example, sites/assets/orig).

When you import the graphic into Dreamweaver, the Design Notes file is automatically copied into your site along with the graphic. When you select the image in Dreamweaver and choose to edit it using Fireworks, Fireworks opens the original file for editing.

Enable and disable Design Notes for a site

Design Notes are notes associated with a file, but stored in a separate file. Use Design Notes to keep track of extra file information associated with your documents, such as image source-filenames and comments on file status.

You enable and disable Design Notes for a site in the Design Notes category of the Site Definition dialog box. When you enable Design Notes, you can also choose to share them with others, if you want.

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. In the Manage Sites dialog box, select a site, then click Edit.
  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, expand Advanced Settings and select the Design Notes category.
  4. Select Maintain Design Notes to enable Design Notes (deselect to disable them).
  5. If you want to delete all local Design Notes files for your site, click Clean Up, and then click Yes. (If you want to delete remote Design Notes files, you’ll need to delete them manually).


    The Clean Up Design Notes command only deletes MNO (Design Notes) files. It does not delete the _notes folder or the dwsync.xml file inside the _notes folder. Dreamweaver uses the dwsync.xml file to maintain information about site synchronization.

  6. Select Enable Upload Design Notes For Sharing to upload Design Notes associated with your site with the rest of your documents and click OK.
    • If you select this option, you can share Design Notes with the rest of your team. When you put or get a file, Dreamweaver automatically puts or gets the associated Design Notes file.

    • If you do not select this option, Dreamweaver maintains Design Notes locally but does not upload them with your files. If you work alone on your site, deselecting this option improves performance. Design Notes will not be transferred to the remote site when you check in or put your files and you can still add and modify the Design Notes for your site locally.

Associate Design Notes with files

You can create a Design Notes file for each document or template in your site. You can also create Design Notes for applets, ActiveX controls, images, Flash content, Shockwave objects, and image fields in your documents.


If you add Design Notes to a template file, documents you create with the template do not inherit the Design Notes.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Open the file in the Document window and select File > Design Notes.

    • In the Files panel, right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) the file, and select Design Notes.


    If the file resides in a remote site, you must first check out or get the file, and then select it in the local folder.

  2. In the Basic Info tab, select a status for the document from the Status menu.
  3. Click the date icon (above the Notes box) to insert the current local date in your notes.
  4. Type comments in the Notes box.
  5. Select Show When File Is Opened to make the Design Notes file appear every time the file is opened.
  6. In the All Info tab, click the Plus (+) button to add a new key-value pair; select a pair and click the Minus (–) button to remove it.

    For example, you might name a key Author (in the Name box) and define the value as Heidi (in the Value box).

  7. Click OK to save the notes.

    Dreamweaver saves your notes to a folder called _notes, in the same location as the current file. The filename is the document’s filename, plus the extension .mno. For example, if the filename is index.html, the associated Design Notes file is named index.html.mno.

Work with Design Notes

After you associate a Design Note with a file, you can open the Design Note, change its status, or delete it.

Open Design Notes associated with a file

  1. Do one of the following to open the Design Notes:
    • Open the file in the Document window, then select File > Design Notes.

    • In the Files panel, right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) the file, then select Design Notes.

    • In the Notes column of the Files panel, double-click the yellow Design Notes icon.


    To show the yellow Design Notes icons, select Site > Manage Sites > [your site name] > Edit > Advanced Settings > File View Columns. Select Notes in the list panel and choose the Show option. When you click the Expand button on the Files toolbar to show both the local and remote site, you have a Notes column in your local site that shows a yellow note icon for any file with a Design Note.

Assign a custom Design Notes status

  1. Open Design Notes for a file or object (see the previous procedure).
  2. Click the All Info tab.
  3. Click the Plus (+) button.
  4. In the Name field, enter the word status.
  5. In the Value field, enter the status.

    If a status value already existed, it’s replaced with the new one.

  6. Click the Basic Info tab and note that the new status value appears in the Status pop‑up menu.


    You can have only one custom value in the status menu at a time. If you follow this procedure again, Dreamweaver replaces the status value you entered the first time with the new status value you enter.

Delete unassociated Design Notes from your site

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. Select the site and click Edit.
  3. In the Site Definition dialog box, select Design Notes from the category list on the left.
  4. Click the Clean Up button.

    Dreamweaver prompts you to verify that it should delete any Design Notes that are no longer associated with a file in your site.

    If you use Dreamweaver to delete a file that has an associated Design Notes file, Dreamweaver deletes the Design Notes file too; so usually orphan Design Notes files occur only if you delete or rename a file outside of Dreamweaver.


    If you deselect the Maintain Design Notes option before you click Clean Up, Dreamweaver deletes all Design Notes files for your site.