Dreamweaver books

Reviewed by Scott DeLoach
Published in Technical Communication, August 2007

ISBN: 0321336267 ISBN: 0596101635 ISBN: 0321384024 ISBN: 0321336283

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8: Training from the Source
This thick 590-page guide is divided into seventeen lessons of about 30 pages each, and the back cover estimates that it provides 24 to 28 hours of self-guided tutorials. The author, Khristine Annwn Page, teaches Dreamweaver using a sample project: creating a Web site for Yoga Sangha, a yoga studio in San Francisco. The sample project is interesting, and the reader will probably feel a strong sense of accomplishment after completing the book and the sample Web site. The lessons are well explained and provide useful details, tips, and supporting conceptual information.

I would recommend this book to someone who is completely new to Dreamweaver. If you have never created a Web site, the book’s sample project will help you focus on learning how to design and create a site. After completing this book, you should be ready to use Dreamweaver to create your own site. The only challenge to using this book—and other books that use a running example approach—is that it could be difficult to use as a reference. You might want to purchase a quick reference guide for day-to-day use.


Dreamweaver 8 Design and Construction
Dreamweaver 8 Design and Construction focuses on best practices for planning, designing, prototyping, building, testing, and maintaining a Web site using Dreamweaver. In twenty chapters, Marc Campbell provides excellent advice, tips, background information, and essential facts to help his readers efficiently use Dreamweaver.

As he writes in his introduction, Campbell modeled his book on the principles of the design-build movement in architecture. These principles include single responsibility (the book is written especially for independent designer/consultants), quality, cost savings, time savings, reduced administration, up-front cost estimating, and risk management. Campbell does a good job of explaining how to perform tasks in Dreamweaver and why they are important. For example, he includes an almost 100-page introduction to Web design, and he builds on this introduction when he explains how to design pages using Dreamweaver. As a result, Dreamweaver 8 Design and Construction is an excellent introduction to both Web design and Dreamweaver, and it should prove to be a very useful resource to new and intermediate users.


Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide
In this QuickPro guide, Lucinda Dykes focuses on creating a dynamic, database-driven site using Dreamweaver. In 14 chapters, Dykes provides well-written overviews, detailed instructions, and numerous screenshots to help you learn how to get the most from Dreamweaver. Dykes covers using Dreamweaver with SQL, ColdFusion, and ASP, which should cover all of her readers’ needs. She does an excellent job of explaining advanced Dreamweaver features that are usually not covered in other books.

QuickPro guides are written for advanced users, so this guide is not for new users. I would recommend the QuickStart guide to Dreamweaver by Tom Negrino as an introduction to this guide.


Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Certified Developer Guide
Sue Hove, Senior Manager of Instructor Readiness at Adobe, and Donald Booth, Dreamweaver Quality Assurance Engineer, have written a clear, concise, and very informative study guide for the Dreamweaver certification exam. Adobe’s Certified Professional Program can be used by Web site developers to show their expertise with Dreamweaver, Flash, ColdFusion, and other Web site development applications.

The Dreamweaver study guide is divided into seventeen chapters, building from an overview of the Dreamweaver user interface to more advanced topics such as managing site assets and using behaviors. Each chapter provides a short introduction to a concept or task, a high-level summary, and sample exam questions (the answers are provided in the back of the book). The chapters are around ten pages, and I found them easy to read and study.

This guide is an excellent resource if you are studying for the certification exam. However, it does not provide step-by-step instructions on how to use Dreamweaver, and it does not cover all of Dreamweaver’s features. I would recommend starting with Macromedia Dreamweaver 8: Training from the Source, then moving to this guide to prepare for the certification exam.