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How Dreamweaver Thinks

Dreamweaver was built on the premise that it would write code for you, but if you wanted to edit your code by hand, the program would not change it. This made Dreamweaver very different from the other WYSIWYG applications of the day. This means that, while working in Dreamweaver, you can develop a file in one of two ways: in a visual interface (Design view), or a coding interface (Code view). If you choose to work entirely in Design view, Dreamweaver creates all of your code for you and is completely in charge of creating valid, workable documents for browser display. If you choose to do any of your own coding—either coding pages from scratch or editing the code that Dreamweaver has created—you can also choose how Dreamweaver will treat your code. You can set Dreamweaver to fix invalid code automatically, to highlight invalid code but not touch it, or to leave you alone and let you code in peace. (This is in contrast to many other WYSIWYG editors that automatically “correct” what they perceive as invalid code, causing much gnashing of teeth among savvy HTML coders.)

Note

WYSIWYG means “What You See Is What You Get.” Technically, Dreamweaver has never called itself a WYSIWYG editor as other editors like Page Mill, FrontPage, and GoLive have. (The acronym WYSIWYG doesn’t appear once in the Dreamweaver documentation.) By providing a visual design interface, however, which attempts to render HTML code similarly to how a browser renders, Dreamweaver invites comparison to the WYSIWYG editors.



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