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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
We're not big fans of Dreamweaver (Dw), even though we use it 365 days a year.

We've been designing websites for seventeen years. Our first client was NBC News. That means we have seen many web design tools come and go. We did not feel as if we had really arrived in the web design world until Adobe acquired GoLive (GL) and incorporated it into its first Creative Suite offering in September 2003. The only way we managed to master GoLive was by carefully studying Classroom in a Book. It was not only educational but the lessons were inspirational. We hung onto GoLive for as long as possible after Adobe discontinued it in favor of the Dreamweaver they acquired from Macromedia. With time GL could no longer create the pages a modern-day web designer needs. We struggled through making the jump to Dreamweaver CS4 by watching many videos but the intricacies of the app were not sinking in. We studied Dw CS4 Classroom in a Book (CIB). It all started to fall in place. We have a long history with CIB and though we were grateful the Dw CS4 volume kick-started our daily reliance on that app, but the book lacked the inspirational lessons that we've come to expect from the CIB series. If you've been around website creation, maintenance, and management for as long as we have, Dw is not that tough to get started on, for simple tasks. If you are new to the world of website development Dw, can be a daunting, steep mountain to climb because you are tossed, head first, into the foreign land of internet technology.

We go back to Adobe's PageMill. It was very designer friendly. PageMill was something of a PageMaker, the publishing app of the day, but for the web. Adobe has yet to make Dw into an app for designers. Some will argue that Adobe has Muse for that, but the code, which Muse generates, is lousy. On the other side of the world from Muse is Adobe's Brackets, a strictly code-base app. This leaves Dw in the middle of the two offering clunky tools for Design View and great ones for Code View.

For CS5 the team at Adobe Press recruited Jim Maivald to completely rewrite their CIB on Dreamweaver. It was the most inspiring book about Dw we've ever seen. So, Jim set the bar pretty high for the Dw CS6 edition.

In comparing the two editions, side-by-side, it's clear in just the first two chapters that the latest edition has nice improvements in both content and layout. The first chapter gets the reader comfortable with the workspace. This is important. If you have been working in apps like Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, you need to rethink how much of the Dw workspace operates.

In the second chapter, there's no effort to hide the reader from the HTML coding. If anything, the chapter is a primer on HTML5 which has been expanded in this edition to include some of the other technologies the reader may encounter.

Through much of Dw's history it has been oriented to CSS, cascading style sheets. The third chapter has been dramatically expanded to help the reader gain a great understanding of CSS3. Both chapters two and three are extremely easy to follow if someone is completely new to this. If all of this is foreign, we suggest the reader allocates as much as 2.5 hours for them and maybe take a break to be sure it's all sinking in. Let us also caution that these chapters are attempting to help you understand the technology behind what Dw does when it generates code from what you do in Design View. You may work with Dw and rarely, if ever, use Code View. So, don't complete chapter three and think, "This isn't for me."

This edition has been admirably reorganized as to next introduce you to the elements of designed and planning web pages and sites. Don't let this concern you if you feel you are not inclined toward creating freehand layouts with pencil and paper or creating comps at a drafting table. The focus is all in the planning. By the time you complete this chapter, you will have created a page in Dw. This is an empowering experience. At this point in your CIB lessons, you may have only invested three to three and a half hours. If a book and it's lessons can take you from knowing next to nothing about Dw to creating your first page, in such a short period of time, for only $32, we think that's impressive. Even if the concepts are a little difficult to grasp and it takes you more like four hours, you should feel very good about your progress.

Though chapter 3 introduces the CSS concepts, it's not until the fifth chapter that you get to be hands on. This chapter has also been expanded since the previous edition and the additional learning experiences make it all well worth it.

Some web professionals scoff at templates and all the related child pages. We disagree. The sixth chapter in itself proves how valuable and time efficient they can be to a complete website. Additionally, templates make a great deal of sense to anyone coming into Dw from InDesign (ID) which creates a similar hierarchy of master pages. If anyone discourages you from templates, explore the sixth chapter for a little over an hour and decide for yourself.

Another aspect of ID which is available in Dw is table creation. This is often done poorly on many websites which tends to mar the overall look of a page. This CIB not only takes the reader through how to technically achieve tables but does so in a visually pleasing manner.

A hallmark of the CIB series is to offer projects which are visually inspiring. When it comes to Dw, most authors stumble with that point. This edition of Dw CIB easily clears the high bar other CIB manuscripts have set. This chapter is all about working with images. It incorporates working with Bridge (Br), Fireworks (Fw), and Photoshop (Ps). There are a variety of excellent tools for web graphics in Illustrator (Ai). In the next edition of Dw CIB we hope the author looks to Ai for inclusion in this otherwise well done chapter which makes no assumptions about the reader's knowledge of graphics for the web.

Creating cool navigation for websites is no small task. Figuring it out in Dw isn't easy. The ninth chapter uses plenty of graphics and much needed callouts to make it a smooth task.

The tenth chapter on adding interactivity to a website using Spry causes some web professionals to doubt if these are best practices. Nevertheless, it's an existing feature set of Dw so we understand the need to teach it in CIB

The previous edition's chapter on Flash has been completely replaced with one on working with web animation and video. The chapter is short but the content is excellent and the lessons easy to understand.

Creating forms for the web is not very exciting and the process can be complex. Chapter twelve can be no more exciting than the tasks at hand. At times, the lesson becomes a bit tedious, but we do not fault the book. The author is simply trying to be sure the reader fully understands all aspects of web forms.

Working with online data is another chapter which takes a not very exciting project and does its best to make it as visually appealing as possible. This is something which can confuse some readers since it isn't all that easy to work with a non-existent server. Yet, the lessons provide all the instruction needed to understand the concepts.

Most of us build static web pages. They have their content and not much changes unless we add new text, graphics, or animation. Working with PHP for dynamic pages is no small task. We have a dynamic data project in house and going through this updated chapter was personally quite helpful for us.

Managing a website in Dw is a daunting task. The screens and tools need a complete revisiting from Adobe. This final chapter manages to not only teach the reader how to do it but also allows the reader to make this a desktop reference until they master publishing to the web with Dw.

Overall, this book is a solid 5 stars. We congratulate Jim and the whole CIB team, which made it possible. This is the best single learning resource for Dw that we know. It takes some very complex concepts and makes them extremely easy to understand and execute.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
While this book might be ok for someone just getting into Dreamweaver, it's very disappointing for me. I have been waiting for Dreamweaver CS6 and some of it's great new features. One of those features is the new Fluid Grid Layout feature which allows you to design for different screen sizes and mobile devices. Maybe I missed something but this book does not even mention it! It's nowhere in the table of contents and when I do a search of the contents it still does not come up. Shame on Peach Pit for leaving something so important as this out! I'll be very cautious if I even buy a book from them again.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2012
I am a beginner and am using this resource as my only aid to learn the program and I am finding it easy to follow and very educational. The additional rsources on the DVD-Rom are great.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2013
I used dreamweaver once or twice about 10 years ago... so I consider myself a beginner to the application. I did have a little HTML and CSS understanding before starting with this book but from what I saw in the book, it didn't really make that big of a difference. Hopefully the insight I bring as a beginner will help other beginners.

The book uses a fictional company that you are designing a site for. You do not need to have a server to run the site (but it helps). All of the image files and media you need to fill in the blanks are available on the CD that comes with the physical copy (I am not sure how or if this media is available to the e-text versions - something to look into before you buy).

The book takes you from the beginning planning of the site all the way to putting finishing touches and publishing it. If there is a chapter that you want to skip, you can. Each chapter assumes you have completed the previous steps exactly the way it was described up to that point... but never fear, you don't have to agonize over the minor missteps you may have made along the way - simply go to the folder for the specific chapter you are starting, and you will find all files and folders with content exactly the way it should be up to that chapter in the book (this is also explained in the text).

There were some very minor differences between the illustrations in the book and what I actually saw on my screen (most likely due to updates in the software since the book was published). It may also be worth noting that this book is for CS6 and not for the creative cloud version of dreamweaver (they are quite a bit different). This book was assigned for a web design class I took online. I believe I only asked the instructor one or two questions at most. The rest of the time I was completely independent.

An argument has been made that this book is incomplete because it doesn't include instruction on a very big feature (fluid design). While I cannot refute the value of including this information, I did not feel it was egregious enough to ding it a star. This book should be marketed as being for beginners. So, if you are a beginner, have at it! If you are not a beginner, this book won't really teach you that much and you're best surfing youtube for your answers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2013
Adobe Classroom in a Book series are the best books to learn their software. I have been using Adobe software since the beginning, have looked at lots of other manuals and the CIB books are the best. I also like the Visual Quickstart Guides. When I upgraded from CS2 to CS6, I bought almost all the CIB books for it. There is such a huge difference between CS2 to CS6 that I needed them. The InDesign book was perfect in getting me up to speed. However, I didn't like this Dreamweaver book. Even after reading it, I still took a $100 ed2go class to learn Dreamweaver (which I found more helpful than the book). The book starts with building a site right off the bat but doesn't explain to the reader what he is doing and why so I felt lost. The author did not start at the beginning to give me an understanding of the environment and how Dreamweaver operates before jumping into tutorials. I was very frustrated with this book. I had more questions than answers. At least with the ed2go class, I had a teacher to answer my questions. I did not find the other Dreamweaver books out there to be any better. Adobe now has training and downloadable tutorials for free. I have found these to be the most helpful. Save your money and learn at Adobe instead.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2013
I have a digital version of the book as well as a hard copy. The book has nice step-by-step instructions with visuals. But overall I was very disappointed that the book does not even mention the new Fluid Grid Layouts in CS6; and media queries & responsive design are not covered as stated in the misleading product description. A search for the words "responsive design" or "media queries" or "fluid grid layout" in the digital version returns no relevant results, and those terms to do not appear in the index or table of contents. There is nothing at all on mobile layouts that I can find. It appears that some content about HTML5 elements & CSS3 has been added, and the book does discuss fall back code best practices. But overall, this book does not effectively cover the latest features that have been added to Dreamweaver in CS6, and does not cover adaptive/responsive layouts for various screen sizes. It still mostly relies on fixed pixel widths and AP Divs in terms of what it actually instructs readers to do.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
I needed this textbook as a recommendation for a Dreamweaver class. The CD that comes along with it is actually necessary to get anything out of the book. The whole textbook basically just teaches you how to put together the sample website in the book. Each chapter adds a new piece of the website. I don't have a disc drive in my computer, so I can't even use the CD unless I sit at school for hours doing my homework. Not only that, but it is not a very good reference book (if you need to know how to perform a specifc action, it is very difficult to reference and then apply to your own practical needs).

I can see how this would help some people learn Dreamweaver CS6, but this is just not my learning style. I am looking for a good reference book that I can keep and look back on to help me with HTML, CSS, and DW CS6. (Good thing I just rented this!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
I have used several of Adobe's Classroom in a Book series of instructional textbooks with great results. Until this book, that is. It is horribly written with errors in nearly every chapter and complete omissions of vital steps in lessons that do more to confuse than teach Dreamweaver CS6. This book is so unbelievably bad, if you are new to Dreamweaver I strongly suggest you look elsewhere and not waste your money.

It does not even deserve the single star rating I had to give it for my review to be posted.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2012
I have been nicely surprised by the ease in which I am learning DW CS6! This Dreamweaver book is EXCELLENT! It walks you through each learning 'module' completely! The book itself is very clean without missing pages or heavy highlighted markings! I have really enjoyed my purchase from Amazon! I will be buying all of my books here!-JoJoSQA
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2013
Thought this would be superior study aid since published by Adobe. The problem is they attempted to combine two books into one- one to teach dreamweaver and one to teach HTML5. The result was that neither subject was covered very well. Very much enjoyed "HTML5 and CSS3 Visual Quickstart Guide 7th edition" published by Peachpit.
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