The Restrictions and Capabilities of Dreamweaver

Submitted by: Mark Kostner

The most popular web authoring tool for assembling websites is Dreamweaver. A normal site will have various different types of media on it. It is important to understand what Dreamweaver can and can’t do in terms of editing your website. You should always remember that it’s primary purpose is to generate and edit code.

Dreamweaver can do a number of things when it comes to graphics. It is possible to resize and reposition your images on your webpage. However if you are trying to edit the graphic further than resizing then you’ll require a copy of Photoshop or GIMP. Dreamweaver does allow you to to put borders round images or make them hyperlinks. Animated GIFs can also be manipulated in this way but Dreamweaver cannot edit the animation frames. Rollover graphics on the other hand are


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a different matter. Dreamweaver provides a handy wizard for making images change when you move the mouse over them. Dreamweaver does this by adding Javascript to your code. All these techniques have an associated Dreamweaver tutorial online if you wish to pursue them further.

Flash animations can also be positioned and resized using Dreamweaver. You should be cautious when resizing them though as expanding them can effect how the animation plays out. For creating and editing animations Dreamweaver is not appropriate. A copy of Adobe Flash would be needed for those means. It is also not possible to edit video or audio clips in Dreamweaver however you can use it to embed relevant players for your clips. When it comes to audio editing you can download a copy of Audacity for free on the web. With video editing you may struggle to find a worthwhile free editor and it might be worth considering purchasing a copy of Final Cut. All the aforementioned techniques have a relevant Dreamweaver tutorial.

Dreamweaver can also be used to generate some simple PHP code. For example, you can add buttons and text fields to your webpage to create forms. Then in turn you can use one of it’s wizards to connect to your database. This is pretty basic PHP though, if you’re looking to do something more complex like setting up a subscription plan or ecommerce on your website you’ll need to code this yourself as Dreamweaver does not provide wizards for it. Anything concerning money should be researched carefully and gone about with caution. If you mislead a customer in any way you could end up breaking the law.

The main advantage of Dreamweaver is that it lets you to preview your site while you code and also lets you directly adjust the design without adjusting the code. The tools are there to format text, create shapes and adjust images to build up a site how you want it to display. External files including images, animations and embedded players can be repositioned and such but for sophisticated editing you will require different software. If you find yourself doing something complicated and can’t work out which feature to use you’d be good to find a Dreamweaver tutorial on the web.


About the Author: Mark Kostner has been building websites for over 5 years and runs, an online web dreamweaver design course teaching everday people how to build a website

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