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“Ooooooo, Dreamweaver. I believe you can get me through the night.” Remember that song by Gary Wright? Okay, some of you weren't born yet. The song brought up memories of seventh-grade dances for me. I'm glad that Dreamweaver, the software, came along and replaced that vision in my head. Dreamweaver, the software, has helped me through a number of nights developing websites and web applications!

I started using Dreamweaver when it first came out. Web page–editing tools were frustrating in that pre-Dreamweaver age. Many web developers were annoyed that some tools would rewrite or even delete some of the code they had just lovingly crafted. I remember one instance where I jumped up and down, stomping in my office, for almost five minutes after one tool deleted several hundred lines of JavaScript I had just written. So, many developers at that time preferred to use a simple text editor and write HTML and JavaScript by hand. I think Macromedia web developers must have been frustrated at that time, too, because they created a tool, Dreamweaver, that had all the features a web developer could want.

And Dreamweaver has continued to be the industry standard for web development tools.

What Is Dreamweaver 8?

Dreamweaver 8 is the newest version of Macromedia Dreamweaver, an award-winning HTML editor and web application–development tool. Some people do not exploit the more powerful features of Dreamweaver because they don't know about them. You will not be one of those people with this book in your hand!

Whether you use Mac OS X or Windows, you'll get the same robust set of features from Dreamweaver 8. The interfaces for the two operating systems look slightly different but you can produce the same beautiful, functional websites with either version.

Dreamweaver is excellent at quickly creating attractive web pages that include styled text, images, forms, frames, tables, and more. But Dreamweaver really shines when you need to make your web page do something. Dreamweaver excels at Dynamic HTML (DHTML), the web functionality that enables the user to interact with your web page. Don't know how to script? No problem! Dreamweaver includes behaviors, scripted functionality that you simply click to add to a certain object.

Dreamweaver 8 also excels at enabling you to create and apply standard Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to format how your web pages display in the browser. Dreamweaver 8 gives you the capability to use CSS to style your web pages. You can also use Dreamweaver tools to design your page layout using CSS.

Who Should Use Dreamweaver 8?

Whether you are creating your very first web page or have decided to try web-editing software after coding by hand for years, you are going to love Macromedia Dreamweaver 8. Dreamweaver gives you the freedom to visually design the look of a web page and the power to make it act the way you want. Dreamweaver gives you the flexibility to create your own personal web page or an entire corporate intranet site.

Who Should Use This Book?

This book is for anyone now using Dreamweaver, as well as anyone who is planning to. If you are new to web development, this book will get you up to speed creating web pages and websites. If you are already a web developer, you'll find tips, tricks, and instructions to get all you can out of Dreamweaver 8.

This book covers creating static web pages in Dreamweaver 8, including forms, images, tables, page layout, interacting with users, managing your websites and many other topics. After you have mastered the 24 hours of content covered in this book, you might want to explore the advanced capabilities of Dreamweaver 8 to create web pages that connect to databases. Even if your ultimate goal is to create dynamic web pages based on databases, you'll benefit from knowing how Dreamweaver creates and maintains static web page content.

How to Use This Book

Each hour of this book represents a lesson that should take you approximately an hour to learn. The book is designed to get you productively working in Dreamweaver 8 as quickly as possible. There are numerous figures to illustrate the lessons in the book.

Code lines, commands, statements, and any other code-related terms appear in a monospace typeface. Placeholders (which stand for what you should actually type) appear in italic monospace.

Each lesson begins with a list of topics and an overview. The lesson ends with a summary, questions and answers, a quiz, and some exercises you can try on your own.

Within the lessons you'll find the following elements that provide additional information:

By the Way

By the Way notes give extra information on the current topic.

Did you Know?

Did You Know? tips offer advice or describe an additional way of accomplishing something.

Watch Out!

Watch Out! cautions signal you to be careful of potential problems and give you information on how to avoid or fix them.

As you read this book and work through the examples, remember: Have fun!

Betsy Bruce

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