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In this chapter, we'll introduce you to the application interface. Then you'll learn how to use the program's three fundamental elements (windows, panels, and inspectors) and how to manage your desktop so you can view and easily find the tools you need. Finally, we'll touch on the topic of customizing the most commonly used Dreamweaver settings.
On a Mac, double-click on the Dreamweaver icon to open the program.
On the Mac, select the Dreamweaver program icon in the Finder and select File|Make Alias (or press Cmd+A) to make an alias you can then drag onto your desktop.
Here are the main components of the status bar:
This book is intended to serve as an easy and practical visual guide to getting started with Dreamweaver 4. Through illustrative and abundant screen shots, Dreamweaver 4 Visual Insight leads both Windows and Macintosh users through a tour of the most important tools and functions they need to know. Extensive projects walk readers step by step through the process of creating their own Web sites using Dreamweaver 4. The book focuses on the basics that users need to know in order to get up and running with the program-but in the case of Dreamweaver, some of the "basics" are actually pretty advanced and very cool, too.
Part II, Projects, encompasses Chapters 11 through 15. It includes hands-on projects that illustrate real-world uses for the tools described in Part I. You can follow along as the authors create a real Web site. (You can visit the finished product at www.womanlore.com.) By performing the steps as outlined, you will be able to understand firsthand the steps and concepts required to create a particular effect or look.
If you're new to Dreamweaver, it makes sense to start at the beginning and read straight through to the end. However, if you are already familiar with earlier versions of the program and just want to learn about new features or check out particular techniques, feel free to skip around. You might want to read a chapter in Part I and then read its corresponding chapter in Part II before delving further into Part I.
One of the best things about Dreamweaver is its support for the Macintosh. Both Windows and Mac versions of the software were released at the same time; the Mac version is developed on the Mac platform, not ported over from the PC. In fact, one of the authors, Scott Wills, a professional designer, created this book's color section and many of the graphics shown in the examples using Dreamweaver for the Mac. The other author, Greg Holden, did the rest of the work using the Windows version. Where applicable, we've tried to indicate Macintosh equivalents for keyboard shortcuts as well as images that were captured using the Mac version of the program.
You can download a fully functional 30-day trial version of the Dreamweaver program at www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/trial/.
To activate one of Dreamweaver's panels or inspectors, look to the program's menu bar. Choose Modify|Selection Properties to display the all-important Property Inspector, or turn to the Window menu if you need to display (or hide) the Site Window or any of the program's panels.