In this book, one of the world’s leading Dreamweaver trainers walks you step-by-step from the program’s basics to full-fledged dynamic site development.
Betsy Bruce, herself a working web applications developer, travels the country teaching web development and Dreamweaver to everyone from college students and school district staffers to large corporate design departments. Along the way, she’s gradually refined her approach, reflecting feedback and new ideas from her students, and making Dreamweaver increasingly intuitive. (It doesn’t hurt that Bruce is also an expert on instructional design and course building with Dreamweaver; in fact, she’s also the author of Getting Started with Online Training, a leading eBbook on the subject.)
In Sams Teach Yourself Dreamweaver MX in 24 Hours, Bruce distills her approach to Dreamweaver into 24 hands-on lessons. Bruce brings all her teaching chops to the Sams Teach Yourself format, complementing each chapter’s coverage with solid end-of-lesson summaries, Q&As, quizzes and exercises to make sure you fully understand what’s been taught.
You’ll start with a thorough grounding in the fundamentals. In “Hour 1,” you’ll review the updated Dreamweaver MX interface, choosing between versions targeted at web designers and programmers. If you’ve used Dreamweaver before, it’ll take you a bit of time to regain your bearings, but when you do, you’ll really appreciate the improved organization (and reduced clutter) in this new version of Dreamweaver.
Once you’ve toured Dreamweaver MX, you’ll get your feet wet by creating a simple, text-only web page. Then, in “Hour 3,” you’ll step back, learning how to plan and organize your site; define your site with the Site Definition wizard; and modify your web site definition later, to reflect changes such as new staging/testing server locations.
Next, Bruce shows you how to manage every form of link, from hyperlinks to Mailto: links. If you’re a beginner, she helps you understand basic concepts like relative and absolute paths; if you’ve built web pages before, you’ll quickly learn how to use Dreamweaver’s tools for creating links within pages, throughout your site, and to external sites and resources.
You’ll then learn how to make the most of images in your document (including easy and powerful Dreamweaver rollovers with the RolloverImage object).
For those who like their HTML raw, Bruce shows how to view and tweak your HTML with the Quick Tag Editor and Code Inspector. Even longtime Notepad users have to admire Dreamweaver’s powerful code-editing tools, which can highlight invalid HTML code, indent related blocks of code, even color-code your HTML by syntax to help you rapidly make sense of complex pages.
In the second “week” of Bruce’s Dreamweaver course, you’ll focus on layout, design, and Dynamic HTML, starting with tables, long the staple of web designers desperately searching for control over the appearance of their pages.
You’ll learn how to display data with tables, but also how to create slick designs built atop table-based grids. Next, you’ll move on to dynamic HTML and Dreamweaver layers; formatting your pages with cascading style sheets; and working with frames and framesets (no longer quite the universal no-no they once were, though you still need to be careful about using them.)
The book also includes several lessons on how to make Dreamweaver web site development more efficient: how to manage your assets, reuse items with the library; create and apply templates; use server-side includes; and much more.
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.