Product Type: Macromedia webdesign software
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Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0
Member Name: The Duke
Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0
Date: 23/01/01, updated on 23/01/01 (61 review reads)
Advantages: Powerful, well supported, lots of features
Disadvantages: Not cheap
Dreamweaver 3 is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) program designed to make creating your own web sites as quick and easy as possible.
It’s one of those programs that will always take advantage of your particular degree of knowledge, and as such, both home users and professionals will benefit from using it.
Upon launching the program for the first time, it may appear daunting – there are lots of windows with small icons and not very much in the way of explanation.
A piece of advice (and this goes for using any WYSIWYG HTML editor) for those of you who are dabbling in HTML is that while it’s not necessary to actually know any HTML to use these programs, it does pay to know a bit about what’s used on the internet. If you know a little about Flash, Shockwave, layers, CSS, ActiveX and applets, for example, then things should go a lot smoother for you!
There’s no point in me explaining every single detail of what Dreamweaver is capable of doing, or not, as the case may be, but as a person who regards himself to have an intermediate knowledge of HTML and what goes on over the World wide Web, I have to say that Dreamweaver has done everything that I’ve asked of it so far.
There are simple controls for inserting rollover images, navigation bars, Flash effects and all the other common web technologies. For the beginner, the help files are very useful, explaining how to do basic things in plain English, and it also has a good tutorial for the first time user.
For more advanced users, there are simple controls for inserting SSI, good tools for site management and mapping.
It contains all the other tools you would expect from such a program such as previewing in browsers, actual HTML editing at source level.
As well as that, Macromedia have provided lots of resources from their web site (go to www.macromedia.com for templates etc
.) where you can also download trial versions of their software for your evaluation. You can also pick up trial versions of their software from internet magazine cover mounted CD’s (.net is usually a good place) or, if you’re particularly lucky, one of them will carry an slightly older version (until recently I was using version 1.2 which came free from a .net cover CD).
With Dreamweaver being aimed at the professional, it does make sense that you will gain more by creating larger, more complicated sites than a simpler 6 page one about Moggy your cat, but I have found Dreamweaver to be one of the more user friendly programs on the market, and even though I am currently at the stage where I’m designing “6 pagers” I have no hesitation in recommending it to everyone. The only bad point I can see about Dreamweaver is the price. Unless you are Bill Gates himself, spending £270 on a piece of software to use at home is out of reach of most home users. For professionals though, this must be the tool of choice.