Free! - Introducing Dreamweaver 8

This article is a sneak preview of the new Dreamweaver 8 e-book that will be released this month.


About the e-book

On 8/8/88, oops, 8/8/2005, Macromedia announced the coming of the next generation of their wonderful Studio and in particular, award winning HTML editor, Dreamweaver.  No longer stuck in alphabet soup, this series of 15 articles will detail and teach you how to use the new features of Dreamweaver 8.  There is a whole lot to talk about with this amazing new product and we will not only talk, but we’ll create a site utilizing the power of the program to its fullest extent.  From the Unified CSS panel to the integration of XML to the quick and easy Code Collapse, Dreamweaver 8 is chock full of goodies to make the designer’s life a whole lot easier and web sites a whole lot quicker to create.


But we’ll do a lot more than just talk.  Beginning with Part 3, we’ll create a web site that utilizes the new features and show you the nuts and bolts of how to use this new beast.  By the time we reach Part 15, you will be ready to throw out the old version forever.  So grab your copy of Dreamweaver 8 (trial available at if you don’t own it yet) and get ready to be amazed.

Introducing Dreamweaver 8

Welcome to September!  September signals the start of autumn and if you're a web designer or developer, you have heard that the next edition of Macromedia Dreamweaver is just around the corner.  The busy gurus at Macromedia have been working in earnest over the past two years since the release and subsequent update of Dreamweaver MX 2004 and have put together what looks like an important and exciting upgrade to THE professional web tool out there.  So sit back... relax with a cup of coffee... and get ready to learn about Dreamweaver 8!

Dreamweaver WHAT?  "Is that the same as Dreamweaver MX 2005" you ask?  "Or Dreamweaver MX  Generation Next?"  It is, but the powers that be have decided to simplify things for the masses out there that never quite understood what an "MX" was or could never quite get their mouth around "Dreamweaver MX 2004".  In going back to the version numbering system (for those not in the know, Dreamweaver MX were really 6 and Dreamweaver MX 2004 was really 7  ... please don't ask me what happened to Dreamweaver 5  ... apparently left on the cutting room floor.

So there you have it... we are officially in version 8 and we have Dreamweaver 8, Fireworks 8, Flash 8... and Macromedia Studio 8.  In the Studio, Contribute (8?) has replaced the position previously held by Freehand.  It was generally felt that Freehand, while an important tool, was more suited to being a standalone offering, while many users clamoured for Contribute to join the group since maintenance of a site is the completion of natural workflow and Contribute is the tool to get the job done.

The focus of this series of 15 articles will be Dreamweaver 8.  We'll talk about the changes, profile the new features, show you how to use them and give you some hands on experience with the newest version of your favourite editor and we'll try to do that in a workable manner that helps it all make sense as you get used to the differences and exclaim at the additions.  In this article and the next one, we'll talk in general terms.  What's new... what's better... and how to use this new and improved tool to make your life a little easier. We'll talk about the workspace changes, show you some not-obvious, but tremendously helpful features and take you into the wonderful world of Code Collapse.  From there we'll move into CSS and Design Features where the changes are major and you will find yourself surprised at how some of the CSS improvements have made it a breeze to work with this ever evolving top notch program.

What, you say?  How will I ever remember all that?  We thought of that and we're going to bring it all home with some hands-on exercises to get you working with the new features on your own.  I don't know about you, but if someone else drives my car, I never quite remember what roads I took to arrive at my destination.  I learn best when I do it myself, and in the assumption that maybe that is you also, we'll complete exercises in every article after this one and we'll put together a small project designed to help you use as many of the new features as possible in Dreamweaver 8.

After CSS, we'll move into Application.  Dreamweaver 8 now has support for PHP5 tags so that the ever-changing demands of the quickly evolving PHP community are aptly met.  There is also native support for Cold Fusion 7 in Dreamweaver 8 so the previous extensions to get this job done are a thing of the past. 

Our last focus in this series will be the fantastic new features for XML in Dreamweaver 8.  It is now possible to quickly create XML documents and XSL Style sheets for presentation of this data.  What the team has done in this area is nothing short of eye-popping and we will show you how to create an XML feed in short order.  We will take that a step further with a time saving extension created by George Petrov that will help you create an XML feed of your web site in 30 seconds or less.  Just wait... you're going to love this!

Nancy Gill

In early 1996, Nancy Gill picked up her first book on HTML and permanently said goodbye to the legal field. She has been busy ever since developing web sites for businesses, organizations and social groups in Central California and occasionally beyond. Nancy has served as a member of Team Macromedia since late 2001, first with UltraDev and then moving to Dreamweaver when the programs were consolidated in 2002. She also serves as Assistant Manager for the Central California Macromedia User's Group.
Nancy is the co-author of Dreamweaver MX: Instant Trouble-Shooter and technical editor for several Dreamweaver and Contribute related books, including the well-known Dreamweaver MX 2004: A Complete Reference. She also penned the first ever Contribute article for Macromedia's Own Devnet "Getting Up to Speed with Contribute in 10 Minutes".

Nancy has three children, two in college and one in high school. Offline, she enjoys various sporting activities, is a wild NFL football fan and sings in the church choir.

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