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Chapter 20. Customizing Dreamweaver > Dreamweaver Extensions

20.2. Dreamweaver Extensions

While keyboard shortcuts provide an easy way to access frequently used commands, they're not much help if the command you want doesn't exist. Suppose, for example, that you use the Validate Form behavior to make sure visitors to your site fill out your forms properly (see page 313). However, you wish that in addition to just checking for an email address or number, it could check for phone numbers, Zip codes, and social security numbers. What's a Web designer to do? You could dash off a quick email to wish-dreamweaver@macromedia.com, asking the bustling team of programmers to add the command to the next version. But you'd have to wait (and there's no guarantee that Macromedia will do it).

The legions of hard-core Dreamweaver fans have taken this feature-wish-list issue into their own hands. As it turns out, amateur (and pro) programmers can enhance Dreamweaver relatively easily by writing new feature modules using the basic languages of the Web: HTML, JavaScript, and XML. (In fact, HTML forms, JavaScript programs, and XML documents constitute much of the program. The objects in the Insert bar, for example, are actually HTML pages stored within Dreamweaver's Configuration folder, and all of Dreamweaver's menus have actually been written as an XML file.)


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