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Product: Macromedia DreamWeaver 3.01 & FireWorks 3.0 STUDIO
Company: Macromedia Corp.
Website: http://www.macromedia.com
Estimated Street Price: $379.95
Review By: Julien JAY

Introduction

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: DreamWeaver Features
3: DreamWeaver Advanced Features
4: FireWorks
5: Conclusion

Macromedia, the worldwide multimedia software focused editor known for its amazing Director software that is used by a lot of software publishers to create multimedia and interactive software, has released a brand new version of its award-winning web editor software formerly named DreamWeaver 3.0. This new release comes exactly three years after the initial release of DreamWeaver 1 in 1997. In our Internet connected world designing good looking and professional websites is important, and DreamWeaver 3 is the Macromedia's answer to this need. This new software presented by Macromedia as the Adobe GoLive killer, is web-site building software that'll allow you to create, design, update, manage web pages and websites. It's a professional product intended to be used by professional users even if it's easy enough for home users. One thing is clear with this product: you'll forget all your previous HTML software creator and only use Dreamweaver as it's probably the most powerful editor we've seen yet. The pack we'll review is the Macromedia Studio pack that comes also with FireWorks 3, the Macromedia selection to design high impact graphics to be published on web sites in order to make them more 'stylish'.

New features list for DreamWeaver:

Develop

  • Quick Tag Editor lets you quickly modify, add, or remove the tag defined for the current selection without leaving the design view.
    HTML styles provides the ability to create paragraph and character styles using standard character markup (B, FONT, etc.).
  • Inline image maps allow you to add hotspots, change links and targets, and apply behaviours directly in the Document window.
  • Insert Fireworks HTML makes it easy way to import the HTML, JavaScript, images, image maps, and behaviours that result from a slicing operation in Fireworks.
  • Improved HTML Inspector includes an option to show line numbers in the margin and can be tabbed with other palettes.
  • New objects let you add dates, e-mail, navigation bar, jump menu objects, special characters, create framesets, and insert rich media content from Flash 4, Shockwave 7, and Generator.

Collaborate 

  • Clean up Word HTML takes HTML files created in Word 97, 98, and 2000 and formats the code the way you want it.
    Tabular data object lets you import formatted data from spreadsheets or databases into Dreamweaver HTML tables.
  • Check in & Check out where you need it, directly in the Document window. Synchronize files lets you synchronize the local and remote version of your site.
  • Design notes let you keep status and notes about each file and share these notes with other team members.
  • Native Macintosh codebase provides support for Navigation Services, rendering images through QuickTime, and a host of other performance enhancements.
  • Launch & edit any file in the Site window to open it in an external editor. You can define multiple editors for each file type and even differentiate between different kinds of graphic and text files.

 Customize

  • Roundtrip Server Markup includes expanding the third-party tag model to recognizes ASP, JSP, CFML, PHP, and more.
  • History Palette lets you visually undo any action, select and replay any number of steps, and save these steps to a command file to be used later..
  • Dreamweaver Javascript API gives JavaScript coders access to the structure of Dreamweaver documents at authoring time, making it possible to accomplish—and even automate—complex tasks such as sorting tables, applying styles, and removing tags.
  • Customizable menus & shortcuts are now defined in an XML file, menus.xml, located in the Configuration menus folder.
  • Dreamweaver extensibility has exploded in Dreamweaver 3. Visit Dreamweaver Exchange to download the latest extensions to Dreamweaver.

New features list for FireWorks: 

Design editable Web graphics, animations, and Web comps in an instant. 

  • Preview optimization and rollover effects right in the workspace
  • Copy paths for pasting into Flash, FreeHand, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, CorelDraw, and more
  • Gamma preview
  • GIF optimization 
  • Brightness/Contrast, Hue/Saturation, Levels/Curves 
  • Export selected slices 
  • Missing Fonts dialog box
  • Preserve transparency
  • Rotate canvas 
  • Preview font before applying 
  • Photoshop's native filters can be applied as Live Effects

Automate the Web graphics workflow to meet the demands of constant edits, updates, and changes.  

  • Entire application can be scripted using JavaScript 
  • History panel
  • One-step command creation
  • Symbols library 
  • Button symbols 
  • Graphic symbols 
  • Step-by-step button creation 
  • Find and replace Web-safe colors 

Integrate with other Macromedia products, popular graphics applications, and HTML editors for a complete Web solution. 

  • New Dreamweaver object automatically inserts Fireworks HTML and graphics into Dreamweaver documents 
  • Navigation bar behaviours 
  • Remember original source location during launch and edit
  • Copy to clipboard wizard for step-by-step insertion of HTML into GoLive, FrontPage, and Dreamweaver
  • Script Fireworks from Dreamweaver with JavaScript 
  • Export as Illustrator 
  • Export as SWF 
  • Import Photoshop and retain layers, including editable text and effects layers 
  • Update HTML command  

Setup

The Macromedia DreamWeaver 3/FireWorks 3 setup is almost simple even if we regret that it's not really an integrated one. Indeed you have to install separately FireWorks and DreamWeaver. Too bad! To run the setup you have to insert the CD and double click the 'package for the web' file to install Dreamweaver then Fireworks. When the setup begins you're prompted to enter your (too long!) serial number and once the serial number is approved, the files will be copied and the program will be installed. Finally the CD comes with Internet Explorer as well as Netscape Communicator, it's an appreciable effort even if the versions provided are quite obsolete.

Help

As you read DreamWeaver & FireWorks are complex but very complete web designing tools. Sometimes it can be hard to find the exact function of this feature or to simply find 'the' feature. Hopefully Macromedia has included a very exhaustive HTML help file. This help is displayed in a Microsoft Internet Explorer Windows and through a nice and clear design will unstick most of novice users. When you call the help, on the left side of the screen you've got an index regrouping all help topics that are classified through alphabetical order. If you don't want to spend long time navigating through the index the search feature will display all the help topics that match your request. It's rare to see such a beautiful and above all helpful HTML help in recent software that's why we mention it. Also Macromedia didn't forget those epaper allergic users as they include great and complete user's guidebook to the pack.

DreamWeaver Features -->

 

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