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Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) Paperback – 23 Feb 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 850 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (23 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596006314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596006310
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 5.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,624,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

David McFarland is a Portland, Oregon based Web developer who's been designing and building Web sites since 1995. He is the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual. He is also a Macromedia-certified trainer, and a member of the faculty of the multimedia program at Portland State University

Product Description

Amazon Review

Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual is worth having on hand as you learn to use Macromedia's Dreamweaver MX 2004, the leading software tool for the creation of websites and other HTML interfaces. Dreamweaver is remarkably capable, able to deal intelligently with everything from fonts and images to JavaScript for client-side data validation and embedded Java applets. In most cases, Dreamweaver will save you time over hand-coding--and yield better-looking pages to boot. The program's learning curve, though, isn't trivial.

David McFarland wrote this book, but the influence of esteemed series editor David Pogue is obvious in the careful coverage of features and frequent touches of humour (books about applications can be dull; the books in Pogue's Missing Manual series consistently manage to avoid this problem while maintaining comprehensiveness). The two men treat Dreamweaver's numerous features (and the even more numerous ways of putting them to use) cleverly, with a combination of procedures and side information that clarifies many oddball situations as well as straightforward conditions. One thing: all the screen shots show the Mac OS implementation of Dreamweaver. The text alone addresses the (few) differences that appear in the Microsoft Windows version. --David Wall, Amazon.com

Topics covered: How to create HTML (XHTML and CSS, strictly speaking) documents using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004. In addition to the basic stuff (text, images, links and frames), the book shows you how to build forms for data submission and embed Flash movies and Java applets. There's also a lot of helpful emphasis on Dreamweaver's productivity features, including snippet libraries and file-transfer utilities. A special section shows you how to do some server-side work with databases --Simon Priestley, Amazon.com.

About the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is president of Sawyer McFarland Media, Inc., a Web development and training company in Portland, Oregon. He's been building websites since 1995, when he designed an online magazine for communication professionals. He's served as webmaster at the University of California at Berkeley and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center, and oversaw a complete CSS-driven redesign of Macworld.com. David is also a writer, trainer, and teaches in the Portland State University multimedia program. He wrote the bestselling Missing Manual titles on Adobe Dreamweaver, CSS, and JavaScript.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Andy on 21 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
A valuable publication that covers the subject in great detail - sometimes too much for the experienced user, but wonderful for the novice. Overall, the exercises supplied are very useful except that I found I was unable to use the exercise for dynamic web pages since it is designed for Microsoft's IIS or PWS - neither of which are viable with Windows XP Home edition. No CD supplied with this book but you can easily download the files for the exercises from the publisher's website. There are ample cross-references in the book making it a useful source in your library. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn how to use Dreamweaver MX 2004.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
107 of 107 people found the following review helpful
Great for DW newbies or switchers from other web programs 22 May 2004
By Alan E. Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been designing web sites for a number of years now and my program of choice was Adobe GoLive. However, I recently decided to switch to Dreamweaver MX 2004 because I wanted to take advantage of the program's advanced CSS and CSS-P capabilities. But I waited to make the switch until I knew this "Missing Manual" was available. I'd heard it was going to be released, and because I already own some other "Missing" titles, I instinctively knew this would be the book to get.
I wasn't disappointed. This book is EXCELLENT, both for newcomers to web design with Dreamweaver, but also for "switchers" like myself, who have experience with web design, but not with Dreamweaver. The book takes a step by step approach.
Some of Dreamweaver's features overlap with GoLive's, and some are common to all visual web editors; but that doesn't matter. You'll still enjoy reading this book, and you'll pick up lots of useful tips along the way.
The tutorials are PRICELESS. You simply download the files from the book's web site, and work through them, step by step, with the author holding your hand all the way. I really like the approach: learn the features, then learn to use them in a tutorial.
One very small caveat is that if you are looking for EXTENSIVE coverage on CSS layouts (without tables), you won't find it here. Yes, there is a chapter on how to lay out pages with nothing but CSS positioning, and there is a tutorial, which are a wonderful start to the subject. But you'll need something like "Eric Meyer on CSS" in order to take your CSS layout skills to the max.
This book easily deserves the 5 stars I gave it.
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Dreamweaver MX 2004 Manual Is Found Here 2 April 2004
By Meryl K. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The slogan of the Missing Manual series is "The book that should have been in the box" and Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual lives up to the series' reputation. Macromedia wouldn't want to ship this book with the software because it's a doorstop at 800 pages. Imagine what it would do to the packaging and the pricing of the already expensive software.
One itsy bitsy negative, but this book is not the only one avoiding it. Dreamweaver's help file doesn't cover it and neither does the forum on Macromedia's Web site. There is a feature called download stats listing the size of the file and the time it would take to download it. At what speed? 56k? T1? What? I would assume 56k, but assumptions are not reliable.
At 800 pages, you can expect all the features to be covered through step-by-step instructions, notes, and screen shots. The hard core stuff like building dynamic Web pages, working with databases, and using server programming within Dreamweaver are all there for those ready for a challenge.
McFarland goes the extra mile to note differences between computer systems (Mac vs. PCs) and browsers (compatibility). Looking at the table of contents is proof of the book's completeness and all I need to do is attest to its readability. First timers to creating a Web site or to Dreamweaver as well as owners of earlier versions will gain plenty of knowledge from this one.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The seeming impossible made easy. 1 April 2005
By J. Franck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Trying to figure out how to work my Captain Video decoder ring is as close to programming as I'd ever gotten. (Dates me, I know.) So I figured I was relegated to "The Cosmically Clueless Fool's Guide to Dreamweaver MX". Until I found out about this "Missing Manual" series. Since most software manuals seem to be written by idiot savants for whom English is only marginally considered to be a functional language, I was amazed when I started with this thing. It is totally engaging, terrifically well written, very easy to follow, as logical as Spock, and comprehensive without descending into the anesthetizing world of Geekdom. In a word, it is... fun! It seems that every nuance of DWMX is touched on with patience, a total concern for reader understanding, and quite frequently with humor. The tutorials are excellent - everything laid out carefully and clearly step-by-step. I cannot imagine a manual of such breadth being more user-friendly for the rank amateur as well as for the, well.... rank professional. A total delight! My advice to anyone contemplating Dreamweaver or this manual - don't be intimidated. This is a manual written and designed the way manuals should be. Kudos to Mr. McFarland and Pogue!
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Simply the Best 25 Mar. 2005
By David R. Harper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am almost done with David McFarland's book. I have read through it sequentially (and done each tutorial). It is easily one of the best software "how-to" manuals I've read. I've tried a few Dreamweaver sources (Lowery's Bible is also very good) and I do agree with another reviewer that Lynda.com has a great book and online movie tutorial, also. McFarland provides, for me, the ideal mix of discussion/reference and tutorial. For example, "forms" and "templates" are really boring if you just try to read about them - but his brief tutorials really work to get you through the basics. He gives broad coverage of Dreamweaver MX 2004; unlike some other books in this category that are really about Studio, this is limited to Dreamweaver with about one chapter on Flash integration.

The book is static HTML (more or less) until the last 150 pages or so, when he introduces dynamic databased connections - an area that I would NEVER understand with the Macromedia online help alone. I just finished the first couple of tutorials on dynamic database, and I am really impressed - I got through with no problems and a really good understanding. They have given the steps a real attention to detail here, little things, like noting a minor dialog glitch that might throw users off. Another great little innovation. At the end of each step, he explains what he's going to do next - a little thing that makes a big difference. Highly recommended!
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Review: Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual 9 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Dreamweaver MX 2004 book is, as its series title says, the "missing manual." The Missing Manual series is a highly respected and popular technological series, edited and managed by David Pogue, and published by Pogue Press in cooperation with O'Reilly & Associates, Incorporated. This book was written by David Sawyer McFarland.
The Dreamweaver MX 2004 book is targeted at beginners--or people with just a little experience--and even web design experts. "The Missing Manual" series of books has never failed to be good, even great, so I was looking forward to reviewing this book.
Out of the starting gate, organization is a key factor in the book's layout. A clear, easy-to-follow table of contents provides a quick reference to parts of the book the reader may or may not want to jump right into or skip completely, depending, of course, on the reader's experience level. This table of contents is followed by a short introduction chapter which tells what's new in Dreamweaver, describes differences, or parallels, between HTML and XHTML, and explains a little bit about cascading style sheets (CSS).
Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual continues this great organization by separating the book into six distinct sections: Part 1, Building a Web Page; Part 2, Building a Better Web Page; Part 3, Bringing Your Pages to Life; Part 4, Building a Web Site; Part 5, Dreamweaver Power, and finally, Part 6, Dynamic Dreamweaver. The progression from Part 1 to Part 4 is a great help to beginners, and the final two parts provide much assistance to beginners moving into the expert zone of webmastering.
What I found to be the best feature of the book was the supplemental material and resources offered by the author. They are available at the author's website in the form of downloadable files, tutorials, and several links to other websites for even more help and answers. However, the feature that is perhaps the most useful is the capability to link to a working example of the web pages you are supposed to build and actually see a live model in action as comparison.
The fonts used, Formata and Minion, and the layout of Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual were very easy to read and follow--easy on the eyes, at least to mine. There is one thing, though. In future editions, I would like to see spiral binding so that the book could lay open when using it at the computer, especially when referring back and forth from the book to my computer screen. I had to apply different methods of holding the book open, i.e., cordless phones, clipping heavy pens to the pages, etc., and this was just inconvenient.
Bottom line: Does the book live up to its title? Yes. Do I recommend Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual? Yes.
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