Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 Bible, by Joseph Lowery

by Peter

Adobe’s Dreamweaver is a wonderful tool for people involved in web design and building web pages and web sites. I have used it for a more than half a dozen years. Even though I also use other HTML and CSS editors, Dreamweaver is my favorite and the one I use the most. I like the WYSIWYG interface, and even though I always write code directly instead of letting Dreamweaver write it for me, I just like to see the page I am working on change while I write the code. Also I like the richness and complexity of Dreamweaver, and the suggestions and autocorrections it provides as I work.

But there are many ways to use Dreamweaver, and I suppose one way is not better than another. It’s mostly a matter of preferences. However, even though Dreamweaver has excellent built in documentation, finding the most suitable way to work and finding out how to do new things is often daunting, as it is such a huge and complex program. So a great reference book – not only about HTML and CSS, but also about the workings and the innermost secrets of Dreamweaver – is almost a necessity, especially in the beginning.

Dreamweaver CS6 BibleAdobe Dreamweaver CS6 Bible by Joseph Lowery is a book that really can help you find your way in Dreamweaver CS6. Like the program, it is big. My version has almost 1200 densely printed pages. But it is very well organized – with a well thought-out structure of parts and chapters that have names that are clear and very indicative of their contents. For instance, there is a part about «including multimedia elements», and there you find a chapter about «adding video to your web page». Also, there is a detailed chapter content listing and a very detailed index at the end. If you are like me, and don’t read technical books from A to Z, you know how important it is to find things fast and easily as you can in this book.

I like the Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 Bible and find it very helpful in taming Dreamweaver even after all these years. It has lots of excellent features – it is full of highlighted texts that contain cautions, tips, and notes: These are small pieces of wisdom based on the author’s knowledge of and experience with the program which are very valuable and useful. They will tell you about bugs in the program, things to avoid, smart and fast ways to get things done, and so on. Good stuff!

This book covers all the updates in the newest version of Dreamweaver, including multi-screen, responsive web design for desktop, tablets, and phones; plug-in free video and audio playback; new web font support; and native mobile application development for Apple iOS, Google Android, Palm, Symbian, BlackBerry, and other platforms. It features all the basic information for new users as well as detailed coverage of more advanced topics, and is impressively comprehensive.

What I personally don’t like so much with the book is that it focuses so strongly on doing things by using the menus in Dreamweaver. That’s fine for people who are new to HTML and CSS, but for others showing a little more code – at least the results – would have been appreciated. My feeling is that if you don’t see the code and learn it, you will be too dependent on the menus and perhaps not progress and improve your efficiency in an optimal fashion.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS6On another level, I am also a bit surprised about the author focusing so much on use of absolute divs in layouts – this is simply bad coding. Most web designers use floated divs as a rule, and absolutely positioned divs only in special cases for lots of well-known reasons. And especially today, when we are moving more and more toward responsive web designs that can be displayed in smartphones, tablets, ultra-books, laptops and devices with retina displays, flexible designs rather than absolute positioning rule more than ever.

Overall the Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 Bible is a very useful, very well-organized and well written resource for people working with Dreamweaver. It is a complete reference for Dreamweaver CS6 and it helps you unlock the numerous great features of Dreamweaver and turn it into the great tool it really is. A great book for a great and very useful piece of software for people designing and writing HTML and CSS. If you have the program, get the book. If you don’t, get the book and the program!

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