As your work with Fireworks CS3 progresses, you'll find that slices and hot spots will become a very important component of your Web design work. Using the Properties Inspector you can make slices interactive by assigning behaviors using the Behaviors panel, or the Behaviors handle right here on the slice. You can also set links for those slices as well as alternate text, as well as targets for those links. The targets include None, Blank, Self, Parent, and Top using the Optimize panel under Window, Optimize, right here. You can also set how you want those slices to be exported, including what kind of file and the compression settings. You can even, using the Properties Inspector here, change the type of slice that you'll be creating, whether an image or an HTML slice. Fireworks exports a sliced Fireworks document as an HTML file and a series of graphic files. You can also define the properties for this exported HTML file using the HTML setup dialog box. You'll access this when you export your file. You'll get the export dialog and then right here, next to the HTML option is an options button. Click on that and that'll bring up the HTML setup dialog where you can set things such as the HTML style, extension, include comments, lower-case file names, CSS, table settings, as well as document-specific settings. I'll be covering many of these settings a little bit later. But let me start my discussion of how to prepare your slices for export with the URL here. The URL setting, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Notice that you can find this here in the Link box of the Properties Inspector. This is the address of a specific page or file on the Internet. When you assign a URL to a slice, users can navigate to the address by clicking on the area defined by the slice in their Web browser. That actually gets converted into a table in HTML, and that table area usually has a graphic on it, unless you change that here in the Properties Inspector from Image to HTML. Notice if you go to HTML you don't have the option of assigning a URL to that slice, only images. Next in importance, is probably entering alternate text for that slice. Alternate text, or Alt Text appears on the Image Placeholder while the image is downloading from the Web. It also substitutes for graphics that fail to download, as well as these are used by the search engine, Spiders, when they Spider your Website to determine what the image is about. So you'll want to use pretty descriptive, and full description Alt tags for your slices. Also, visually impaired visitors can use screen-reading applications, which read alternate text in a computer-generated voice as their pointer passes over the graphics underneath that slice. I should also probably mention something about the Target option down here. A target is an alternate Webpage frame or Web Browser window in which the linked document will open. You can specify a target for a selected slice here in the Properties Inspector. The options here are None, Blank, which is the next option, loads the linked documents in a new un-named browser window. Parent loads the linked document in the parent frame set or window of the frame that contains the link. Self right above that; I probably should move this up so you can see that a little bit better. Let's go ahead and move this up. There are the options: None, Blank, Self loads the linked document in the same frame or window as the link, this target is implied, so you usually don't need to specify it. And then, the last option there is Top. This loads the linked document in the full browser window, thereby removing all frames. Let me now move on to the next movie and demonstrate more of the Export settings for optimizing your slices, as well as the various settings under the File, Export dialog, and the HTML setup dialog.
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