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Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual

Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual

by David Sawyer McFarland, David Pogue (Editor)

As the Web's popularity continues to soar, so does that of Macromedia Dreamweaver, one of the most elegant and powerful web-page creation programs you can buy. Dreamweaver deploys a rich, well-designed, WYSIWYG environment for building cross-platform, cross-browser web sites; but unlike most visual editors, it doesn't clutter up the underlying HTML code by


As the Web's popularity continues to soar, so does that of Macromedia Dreamweaver, one of the most elegant and powerful web-page creation programs you can buy. Dreamweaver deploys a rich, well-designed, WYSIWYG environment for building cross-platform, cross-browser web sites; but unlike most visual editors, it doesn't clutter up the underlying HTML code by inserting unnecessary tags that make large web sites difficult to manage. Dreamweaver is a favorite of multimedia designers, thanks to its smooth integration with other Macromedia applications like Flash and Shockwave.Dreamweaver 4 extends Macromedia's lead in the web-design market. The new, more sophisticated Version 4 incorporates the latest developments in browser technologies—and the best way to get the full advantage of these improved features is with Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual, the ideal companion to this complex software. Under the guidance of Missing Manual series editor David Pogue, author Dave McFarland brings Dreamweaver 4 to life with clarity, authority, and good humor.After orienting you with an anatomical tour of a web page, the book walks you through the entire process of creating and designing a complete web site. Along the way, a unique "live examples" approach lets you see and test, on the actual Internet, real web pages that follow the development progress of the book's chapters. Armed with this book, both first-time and experienced web designers can easily use Dreamweaver to bring stunning, interactive web sites to life.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
At first, we wondered what to expect from Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual. Unlike, say, Windows Me, Dreamweaver comes with a halfway decent manual. Would this book really be sufficiently superior to be worth purchasing?

Yes. It is. Dave McFarland -- who's president of a leading Bay Area web design firm, and former webmaster for UC Berkeley -- gives you not just day-to-day "step-by-steps," but also the power tips and workarounds the "real" manual misses.

Take a topic as basic as importing HTML into Dreamweaver. Everyone knows that Word 97 and 2000 produce enormous amounts of unnecessary HTML (and even XML) code. Experienced Dreamweaver users know the "Clean Up Word HTML" feature is impressive but far from perfect -- especially when the Word file uses Cascading Style Sheets. But only McFarland shows you how to leverage Word's CSS support to streamline your workflow instead of annihilating it.

McFarland brings the same added value to Dreamweaver's sophisticated site management and library features as he does to the basics. You can even follow along with a real start-to-finish web project -- comparing your results to a live site on the Web. This book's worth every penny -- and then some.(Bill Camarda)

--Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jersey-based marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000.

Provides step-by-step instructions for using Dreamweaver 4 to create web sites. The guide explains how to add and format text, link pages together, insert tables and cells, apply cascading style sheets, use forms to collect information, and move the site onto a web server. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
Missing Manual Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
7.04(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.11(d)

Read an Excerpt

Welcome to Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is a program for producing and managing Web sites. It lets you build Web pages and Web sites quickly and maintain them with ease. Its graphical user interface lets Web designers create pages in an intuitive, visual manner. In addition, Dreamweaver lets you manage complex Web sites and add interactive behavior, advanced Web technologies like Cascading Style Sheets, and Dynamic HTML. And you don't need to build your sites from scratch with Dreamweaver, either. Dreamweaver happily opens Web pages and Web sites that were created in another program without destroying any of your carefully handcrafted code. Dreamweaver's Round-Trip HTML feature works to ensure that HTML written by hand within Dreamweaver (or any text editing program) stays the way you want it. Some of Dreamweaver's key benefits include:

Visual page building.

If you've spent any time using a text editor to punch out the HTML code for your Web pages, you know the tedium involved in adding even a simple item like a photograph to a Web page.

Dreamweaver, on the other hand, takes a visual approach to building Web pages. If you put an image on your page, Dreamweaver shows you the picture on the screen. As in a word processor, which displays documents on screen as they should look when printed, Dreamweaver provides a very close approximation of what your Web page will look like in a Web browser.

Complex interactivity, simply.

You've probably seen Web pages where a graphic (on a navigation bar, for example) lights up or changes appearance when you move your mouse over it. Dynamic effects like this-mouse rollovers, alert boxes, and pull-down navigation menus-usually require programming in JavaScript, a programming language that most Web browsers understand. While JavaScript can do amazing things that are not possible with HTML alone, it's a programming language that requires time and practice to learn.

Dreamweaver relieves you of having to learn JavaScript for these purposes; the program makes it easy to add complex interactivity with just the click of the mouse. Chapter 11 explains how you can use these Behaviors (ready-made JavaScript programs in Dreamweaver) to bring your pages to life. Roundtrip HTML. Every now and then, even in Dreamweaver, you may sometimes want to put aside the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) view and look at the underlying HTML code of a page. You may feel more comfortable creating some of your HTML by hand, for example, or you may want to tweak the HTML that Dreamweaver produces.

Macromedia realized that many professional Web developers still do a lot of work "down in the trenches;" typing HTML commands by hand. In Dreamweaver, you can edit the raw HTML to your heart's content. Switching back and forth between the visual mode-called the Design view-and the Code view is seamless and, best of all, nondestructive. Unlike many visual Web page programs, where making a change in the WYSIWYG mode stomps all over the underlying HTML code, Dreamweaver respects hand-typed code and doesn't try to rewrite it (unless you ask it to). See Chapter 9 to learn more about how Dreamweaver handles HTML.

Site management tools.

Rarely will you build just a single Web page. More often, you'll be creating and editing pages that work together to form part of a Web site. Or you may be building an entire Web site from scratch.

Either way, Dreamweaver's site management tools make your job of dealing with site development easier. From managing links, images, pages, and other media to working with a team of people and moving your site onto a Web server, Dreamweaver automates many of the routine tasks every Webmaster faces. Part IV of this book looks at how Dreamweaver can help you build and maintain Web sites.

Have it your way.

As if Dreamweaver didn't have enough going for it, the engineers at Macromedia have created a software product that is completely customizable, or as they call it, extensible. Anyone can add to or change the menus, commands, objects, and windows in the program. Suppose, for example, that you hardly ever use any of the commands in the Edit menu. By editing one text file in the Dreamweaver Configuration folder, you can get rid of any unwanted menu items-or even add new commands of your creation. This incredible flexibility lets you customize the program to fit your work methods, even add features that Macromedia's programmers never imagined. Best of all, the Macromedia Exchange Web site includes hundreds of free extensions to download and add to Dreamweaver. See Chapter 19 for details.

Meet the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is the president of Sawyer McFarland Media Inc., a web development and training company located in Portland, Oregon. In addition, he teaches JavaScript programming, Flash, and web design at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Electronic Art, the Academy of Art College, and Ex'Pression College for Digital Arts. He was formerly the webmaster at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center. David is also the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual.

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