Best Buy
  • Price: 339 . 169 . 699 . 299

  • Pros: Introduces tabbed windows for the Mac version, plus ime-saving background FTP. Extensive new CSS support, coding improvements, zoom tool, and specific device style-sheet support.

  • Cons: Code collapse and Zoom are Windows-only. System-resource heavy. Dreamweaver behaviours haven’t been touched.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10 We rate this 9 out of 10

Part of Macromedia’s Studio suite of Web site building tools, Dreamweaver 8 sees some major breakthroughs in the update to the world-leading Web development product.

One instantly helpful feature is the inclusion of tabbed windows for the Mac version. There are other more subtle refinements to the user interface, such as new background FTP, and extra XML support. They all serve to improve efficiency.

Dreamweaver 8 works with all the other Studio products like a hub for extraneous Web elements created for a site. It seems to be the flagship product that Macromedia improves more and more with each upgrade. However, in developing the product, Macromedia seems to keep in mind its design sensibilities, and the technology needs of the other Studio software.

Dreamweaver 8 gathers elements created by Fireworks, Flash, and FlashPaper together, and controls how Contribute users work in a team. It then allows Web developers to work confidently towards a finished product.

Some of the enhancements in version 8 are merely new technology support updates to keep the software at the cutting-edge of Web site requirements. The latest support for ColdFusion MX 7 is included, with new server behaviours and code hinting, plus support for PHP 5. Notification and event logging in the Web Publishing system lets you keep a close eye on any site file changes.

And the O’Reilly reference content has all the new information you may need to help you keep up-to-date on new technology uses.

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The inclusion of Tabbed windows within the user interface has come late to the Mac version, but it’s still a huge boost <BR>
to productivity for Mac-based Web designers. 
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Much like Safari’s tabbed browser windows, instead of having to stack or tile your current work pages, you can flick easily and quickly from one to another. On the Windows version you can also now zoom into the content or code in your files to check alignment of image fragments, giving you more control. 
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A new coding toolbar lets you find commonly used scripts. This new functionality allows you to perform common workflow tasks such as showing hidden characters and wrapping tags. Using the Code Collapse feature for selections or tags makes it easier to navigate your code. It means you can keep code you’re not currently working on out of your sight, to help you stay concentrated on the section of code you are focusing on.
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Macromedia has enhanced the support for Cascading Style Sheets use in Dreamweaver 8. All the CSS-related tool bars, options and palettes have been consolidated into one new panel. Knowing where to quickly access this information on page elements will speed things up tremendously. 
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