Top critical review
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A muddled approach to introducing Dreamweaver to a newcomer
on 9 November 2010
There is a lot of useful information in this book but it is an odd way of introducing a newcomer to Dreamweaver. Instead of taking an existing template and using that as a starting point it goes through using Dreamweaver as an HTML and CSS scripting tool. Given that one of the key advantages of Dreamweaver is the fact that you don't actually need knowledge of HTML or CSS to author websites this is a slightly peculiar focus for an introductory guide.
In its favour it is very useful as an introduction to the Dreamweaver interface and where to locate all the main features and functionality. I am used to a different web authoring program, with which I have been creating websites for years, and although I am familiar with all the basics of web design I had no idea where to find all the features in Dreamweaver. This book was useful for that conversion process, and the use of colour in the book really brings the pages to life and makes it much easier to absorb than software books printed in greyscale.
A major downside is that there is no CD or web files from which to work through examples, so you have to make it up as you go along. There is, for example, no example site to help you to learn your way around the features of Dreamweaver, and the book doesn't talk you through creating an example site. This was a really negative point from my point of view, as I am used to the Adobe Classroom in a Book and other series which either include a CD-Rom or a link to a web page where you can download all the examples in the book to work along to.
Another downside it tries to cram an entire guide to Dreamweaver, HTML and CSS into 191 page book, which is far too short to cover the subject matter. This means that the lessons on how to use the top level features of the application are often lost in discussions about scripting - which probably isn't where most new users want to start. There are no guidelines on where to find, use and modify pre-formed templates which would have been very useful for learning how to use key Dreamweaver features. As the book doesn't teach you to build an example site, this is a problem.
There is an odd mixture of really basic information (for example, the difference between a JPEG and a GIF) and more esoteric instructions like how to use HTML tags or write CSS style sheets.
Overall, this is less of an introduction to Dreamweaver and more of an introduction to web design features using Dreamweaver's interface as a framework for the discussion. I found it somewhat frustrating.
- About Dreamweaver
- Setting up a site
- Editing HTML
- Working with images
- Using CSS
- Formatting with CSS
- Using hyperlinks
- Using tables
- Advanced features