Introduction to Dreamweaver CS3

Dreamweaver CS3 is the first version of Dreamweaver released by Adobe - Adobe recently bought the original makers of Dreamweaver: Macromedia.

So what does that really mean for us lowly Web-nerds?

In a nutshell:

  • Dreamweaver now works better with Photoshop.
  • Dreamweaver looks more like Photoshop.

... So if you know Dreamweaver or Photoshop, learning the other should be a little easier. On top of that, it should be easier to use either program since the user interfaces are now similar.

Any new features/capabilities?

Beyond enhancing/polishing the features that have been around for a while, Dreamweaver CS3 includes a few new things that are kinda interesting:

  • Spry framework for Ajax
  • Adobe Photoshop® and Fireworks® integration
  • Browser Compatibility Check
  • CSS layouts
  • CSS management

... And that's just sample.

Is Dreamweaver CS3 a worthy upgrade?

I would have to say yes.

I've been using Dreamweaver since it was in early beta (this is before version 1) and haven't looked back since. Along the way though, some upgrades were more worthy of others. But this time, Adobe did a good job fixing a few things that bothered me about previous versions of Dreamweaver.

... I won't get into details right now, but I can tell you that Dreamweaver CS3 is polished. I will be covering more about CS3's new wingwangs in videos and tutorials over the next little while.

For now though, you can read an overview about Dreamweaver CS3, taken from the horses mouth:

Dreamweaver CS3 Overview

Create rich web content

Create rich, dynamic interfaces that tightly weave static structures together with responsive interactivity. Use the new Spry framework for Ajax to develop energetic web experiences that will leave your competition standing still. In other words, think deep, dream big, and then execute flawlessly with the most exciting web design and development tool we've ever devised.

CSS management

Easily move CSS code from inline to head, from head to external sheet, from document to document, or between external sheets. Cleaning up existing CSS in older pages has never been easier.

CSS layouts

Easily incorporate CSS into your project with the new CSS layouts. Extensive comments in each template explain the layout, so beginning and intermediate designers can learn quickly. Each template can be customized for your project.

Maximize efficiency

Accelerate your workflow with Dreamweaver CS3, a faster, smoother version of the preferred web design and development tool. Drop in FLV files, add images from Adobe Photoshop, and test your content for mobile devices. Create visually or code directly, work on your choice of Macintosh or Windows, and enjoy the benefits of intelligent integration with other Adobe tools.

Apply best practices

Dreamweaver CS3 makes it easy to apply best practices and accepted standards to ensure your websites and applications play well with others. Build CSS-based websites from the ground up with new CSS layouts, the unified CSS panel, and CSS visualization and management tools. Ensure more reliable and consistent performance with the new Browser Compatibility Check. Instantly preview your content for PCs, mobile devices, and print, and find fast solutions to browser-specific CSS issues with the new CSS Advisor website.

Web designers

Discover an exceptional web design workflow with Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 software. Design and maintain websites from start to finish with your choice of either a powerful visual design interface or an efficient coding environment. Streamline design with helpful CSS features; preview your pages for PCs, mobile devices, and print; and easily test pages for browser compatibility. Enjoy tight integration with Adobe Photoshop CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Fireworks CS3, and other Adobe tools.

Web developers

Develop more reliable, consistent web applications based on universally accepted development standards with Adobe Dreamweaver CS3. Take advantage of support for leading web development technologies, including PHP, Adobe ColdFusion, and Ajax, for both internal and external projects. Ensure consistency with helpful CSS features and automated cross-browser compatibility testing.

Industry-leading tool

Take advantage of all the flexibility and power of a world-class web design tool. Manipulate pixel-perfect designs in Design view, craft complex code in Code view, or do a little of each. Work the way you work best.

Integrated workflows

Design, develop, and maintain content within Dreamweaver CS3 while taking advantage of intelligent integration with other Adobe tools, including Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Fireworks CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Contribute CS3, and new Adobe Device Central CS3 for creating mobile device content.

Complete CSS support

Discover the advantage of visual CSS tools that make it easy to view, edit, and move styles within and between files, as well as see how your changes will affect the design. Accelerate your workflow with new CSS layouts, and test your design with the new Browser Compatibility Check.

Integrated coding environment

Organize and accelerate your coding with code collapse, color coding, line numbering, and a coding toolbar with comment/uncomment and code snippets. Apply code hints for HTML and server languages.

Support for leading technologies

Take advantage of support for leading web development technologies, including HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, Ajax, PHP, Adobe ColdFusion, ASP, ASP.NET, and JSP.

Effortless XML

Quickly integrate XML content using either XSL or the Spry framework for Ajax. Point to an XML file or XML feed URL, and Dreamweaver CS3 will display its contents, enabling you to drag and drop appropriate fields onto your page.

Adobe Flash Video support

Easily add Flash Video to your web pages in just five clicks, with no knowledge of Flash required. Customize the video environment to match your website.

Learning resources

Learn as you go with comprehensive in-product tutorials, reference content, and instructional templates that make it easy to expand your skill set and adopt the latest technologies.

Extended Dreamweaver community

Enjoy all the benefits of the extensive Dreamweaver community, including the online Adobe Design Center and Adobe Developer Center, training and seminars, developer certification programs, user forums, and more than 1,000 downloadable extensions available in the Dreamweaver Exchange.

Cross-platform support

Pick your platform: Dreamweaver CS3 is available for Intel or PowerPC based Macintosh computers, as well as for Windows XP and Windows Vista systems. Design in your preferred platform and then deliver across platforms with more reliable, consistent, and high-performance results.

Browser Compatibility Check

Save time and ensure a more consistent experience across browsers and operating systems with the new Browser Compatibility Check. Generate reports that identify CSS-related issues in a variety of browsers, without needing to launch the browsers.

Spry data

Integrate data into web pages using XML from an RSS feed or a database. Integrated data can be easily sorted and filtered.

Spry widgets

Easily add common interface components such as lists, tables, tabs, form validation, and repeatable regions to web pages with widgets from the Spry framework for Ajax.

Spry effects

Easily add visual transitions to page elements to make them grow, shrink, fade, highlight, and more with the Spry effects for Ajax.

Quickly and easily design, develop, and maintain websites and web applications - from start to finish - with Adobe Dreamweaver software. Built for both designers and developers, Dreamweaver offers the choice of working in an intuitive visual layout interface or a streamlined coding environment.

Intelligent integration with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Flash Professional, and Adobe Contribute software ensures efficient workflow across your favorite tools.

Dreamweaver CS3 Video Tutorials

The following set of videos are from my new course: 'Beginners Dreamweaver CS3'. Targeting total beginners, I assume that you need to be taught the basics of not only Dreamweaver CS3, but basic web design concepts as well.

By the end of the course, you will feel comfortable using Dreamweaver CS3 to build modern websites.


Just post them on the web design forum.

Much more to come ...

Stefan Mischook

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