CMXtraneous: Dreamweaver

Right on the edge of useful

Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3

Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 12:10:57 PM by Stephanie


Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3, the book I co-wrote with Greg Rewis, is finally out. Yes, I know, it was long overdue. I took a picture of it when I finally got to see it at Greg's house (no, my copies haven't arrived yet), so if you'll excuse the exhausted, traipsing around Phoenix all day look on my face, you can see me with the book on Flickr.

Greg and I didn't want to create the same CSS or Dreamweaver book that others have written. Those books are published, are very useful, and if that's what you need buy the appropriate book. Our goal instead was to show how to create standards-based, accessible web layouts using Dreamweaver. It's a myth that you have to hand code to be a real web developer. Is it best to know how to semantically mark up your page? Yes, absolutely. This is a craft and you should know as much as you can about it. Can you hand code within the Dreamweaver environment? Of course you can -- I do it all the time. Do you have to? Absolutely not. There are tools within Dreamweaver that make your work faster, and more effective whether you're working in code or design view. If you haven't looked at Dreamweaver since about MX or so, it's come a long way baby!

Chapter 1 is an overall review of important CSS principles that you must understand to create sturdy CSS-based layouts. The project in chapter 3 takes a lovely, nested table-based layout and transforms it to a CSS layout. Each of the remaining four chapters are a full project based on the CSS layouts I wrote for Dreamweaver CS3 - Fixed, Liquid, Elastic and Hybrid. Chapter 6 also uses Spry 1.6 (an upgrade from Adobe Labs for the Spry 1.4 version that ships with Dreamweaver CS3) and takes you through the process of using HTML data sets to create an accessible Ajax gallery -- unobtrusive javascript and all. We hope the projects will feel like we're working with you as your personal trainer.

The book is full of CSS tips and techniques. It also teaches a variety of ways to use Dreamweaver CS3. Both Fireworks and Photoshop comps are used and the integration of those programs with Dreamweaver is illustrated.

Our hope is that the techniques taught in the book will make your beautiful designs more solid as well as making you more comfortable with the program used by so many web departments. I use Dreamweaver every day and even I learned some new Dreamweaver tips from Greg! Here's what one reader had to say:

"The first chapter alone was worth it to me. I have a lot of CSS books, tutorial sites, etc. Maybe I'm more familiar after working with it for a while, but for me, this book is as clear as a bell, informative as a book ought to be, and motivational as a hand grenade... made me want to jump up and run like hell... to Dreamweaver to try stuff out."

C. Lindauer

Some of you may have also heard a rumor about the other partnership that came out of writing this book. And to that I say, yes, it's true. Greg and I were engaged (via Twitter) in early March. You can think of the book as our baby. ;)

Category tags: Adobe, CSS, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, JavaScript, Photoshop