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This Web site layout program gets more complicated for newbies, while making advanced features easier to wrangle for those in the know.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Adobe
As always, Dreamweaver lets you view page layout and underlying code at the same time, while letting you hide or display the various panels of tools. The interface of this former Macromedia property looks a tad different as it adopts the Adobe CS3 style.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
Thanks to universal binary support offered by Creative Suite 3, Dreamweaver serves users of both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
Dreamweaver may be overkill for creating a simple HTML site like this one. You'd be wise to do some patient reading or take a class to before diving into complex, dynamic Web design. Adobe's video tutorials are clear, but they assume prior coding knowledge. However, those who dabble in DHTML and include CSS, AJAX, and Javascript in their Web designs might like some of Dreamweaver's WSIWYG shortcuts.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
Dreamweaver's integration with Adobe Bridge helps to manage images and other components of a Web site. Bridge.jpg
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
We experienced delays running Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Firefox, Microsoft Word 2003 and Windows Media Player (to play a CS3 tutorial video) at the same time on a 300GHz, Windows XP SP2 computer with 1GB of RAM. At one point, we waited more than 30 seconds to open Fireworks while the other applications were already running. If you plan to multitask with Adobe Creative Suite 3, make sure you have a beefy system first.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
Dreamweaver's Spry Framework, written largely in HTML, is supposed to make it relatively easy to work with Javascript and Cascading Style Sheets.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
Just as Dreamweaver prompts you to copy images on a Web page to the proper folder, it reminds you to insert and upload dynamic CSS and Javascript elements.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
Playing with the Spry menu, we accidentally inserted an Accordion Panel. When we tried later to delete part of it, Dreamweaver walked us through finding related JavaScript so we could get rid of it and prevent Web page errors.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
As in the past, you can export a Fireworks PNG layout as HTML, as CSS layers or as a Dreamweaver library.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
An HTML file brought into Dreamweaver includes the underlying code including hotspots and other interactivity, so you can clean up and add to the code.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
We tried to copy and paste layers from a Fireworks PNG file, but found out quickly that we were going about it the wrong away. While Adobe has added integration throughout its Creative Suite 3, not everything is an easy, drag-and-drop function. Again, do your research before diving in.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
When we tried to copy layers of a PSD image from Fireworks and paste them into Dreamweaver, there was no option for accepting and rejecting layers, which you can do when moving a PSD directly from Photoshop. Creative Suite 3 improvements may feel intuitive for those who are already familiar with the applications. However, overall, we wish that the suite were more intuitive for those new to it.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Elsa Wenzel/CNET Networks
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