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Adobe Dreamweaver is one of those tools that most people think all developers and editors use. It’s got great features like fluid grid layouts, but at the same time concerns like macros and shortcuts pop up in discussions about it. Whether it’s a tool for starter or production level projects, it’s nonetheless established itself in the industry!

Adobe Dreamweaver has been around for quite some time and is extensively used in a variety of industries. The question of whether it is a professional tool for production-level output often comes up in discussions, with some attesting that it meets the demands while others say it’s not exactly top-tier material. Here, we outline the pros and cons of Adobe Dreamweaver as well as a couple of points of contention that end users will find important.

adobe dreamweaver features

The Upside of Adobe Dreamweaver

The latest iteration of Adobe Dreamweaver builds on the basic utility that one would expect out of website design software, improving on it by capitalizing on simplicity and ease of use:

  • The fluid grid layouts tool is a new feature that finally gives long-time users a way of knowing where grid lines ought to be for tracer images. This works flawlessly when building from the ground up; however integration with existing web sites was not as smooth and simple.
  • The CSS3 transition panel feature lets you choose the what changes you want to make to a particular item, as well as select from a variety of properties and timing functions. From here, you can leave it up to Dreamweaver to generate the style that you want.
  • Making mobile applications is a lot easier with a more solid connection between PhoneGap Build and Dreamweaver. More functionality is introduced to make editing mobile pages with jQuery a lot easier.


Areas of Concerns

Of course, Dreamweaver is not without its own particular list of concerns. The trepidation that many developers have about using Dreamweaver for large scale projects comes from the following:

  • The Live View feature makes for complicated editing, and not for more superior functions. The feature, designed to make the program look at the dynamic code, was meant to make things simpler. While that was pretty much evident in previous versions, the latest on proved to be pretty far from the truth. When editing, you cannot highlight texts from content that’s open in Live View in WYSIWYG windows. To edit it, you have to pull up Design View. There is a big possibility that one will just plug in the changes by way of code as a result. If you do not have an open code view window at the moment, well, it can get somewhat annoying.
  • On the issue of macros and shortcuts, one would think that with Macromedia’s acquisition of Allaire things would be improved in this area. Sure, Dreamweaver has solid shortcuts but CODE, an element that is very often used, doesn’t have one. It’s not even part of the menu, so you’ll have to do “Tag” dialogs again before scrolling back to CODE element.
  • While you no longer need a plug-in to have HTML5 elements and CSS3 properties, there’s an expectation that you know how to use them already. There isn’t much built-in support or guideline for this in the software itself.

At the end of the day, the usability of Dreamweaver will really depend on what you use it for. Its features are brilliant for working on mobile and design projects. It’s also a must for those who consider grid design a priority. The largely visual format is also great if you lean towards that. Then again, it will start to show its limitations for those who are already experts in their field. As it is, Dreamweaver’s position as a top-ranked editor can be traced to its enthusiastic users. For those who don’t rank Dreamweaver, there are always other options, such as:

  • Aptana Studio
  • BlueGriffon
  • SeaMonkey