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Dreamweaver MX 2004

 Dreamweaver MX 2004

Opening Dreamweaver MX 2004 for the first time, you are greeted by the new Start page. This new welcome screen is in all the new versions for 2004. It isn't in Freehand (listed on my Start Menu as FreeHand MXa), since this is the version previously released in Studio MX Plus.

From here you can choose to work on a recent document, create a new blank document or create a document from a template. You can also reach the Macromedia Exchange to look for new extensions, take a Dreamweaver tour or do a tutorial. If you don't want to see the screen again, tick the "Don't Show Again" box at the bottom of the screen.


Automatic Site Importing

My first very pleasant surprise was that my sites from DWMX had been imported, all on their own, with no input from me. DWMX 2004 quietly and swiftly retrieved them from my DWMX folder and placed them in the Files panel.

As you open a site, DWMX 2004 searches for new and updated files, and this takes a few seconds depending on the size of the site. I have noticed one disturbing trend: one of my sites is quite large, and contains numerous folders for the various parts of the site. Trying to work on files from this large site resulted in DWMX 2004 searching for new and updated files but crashing quite often during the process. In the end I deleted the site and made separate sites for the various areas of the website. Sometimes the sites will appear to have no files until chosen from the popup site menu again, and then they reappear in their proper places.

I have also noticed that my panels and toolbars don't always stick and are sometimes missing when I open Dreamweaver. Whether this is specific to windows machines I don't know.

My second pleasant surprise was that finally the default color mode has changed since DWMX, and now comes set not to use websafe colors. It is a great pleasure to choose to use #FFFFF6, and not have DWMX change it to white. I think this is a step forward; websafe colors have their place but in this day of larger monitors and 16M colors, less stick to the websafe rules anymore. If you prefer them, you can easily change it in the color picker options by checking Snap to Websafe.

Customize your Workspace

The first time you open Dreamweaver (Windows only) you will be asked to choose a workspace: Coder or Designer. If you prefer Coder you will get the Homesite View with code and folders. With the Designer workspace, the What You See Is What You Get view helps new designers see what they are designing, and it lets experienced designers test the look of the design.


You can switch views at any time by going to Edit > Preferences > General and clicking the Change Workspace button.

Or for those who prefer a bit of hand coding with their WYSIWYG, the split view showing both Design and Code view in a split window will be just the ticket. I typically work this way, so I can change code in a flash and see the results in Design view.

Want to create your own keyboard shortcuts? You can do that too. By hiding, grouping, and floating panels you can create a work area customized to suit the way you work.


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Adobe and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trandemarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.  All designs and images on these pages other than product shots or trademarks are copyrighted to me, Sara Froehlich and Northlite Designs. If you want to use something you see, please contact me for permission. Thank you!

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