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July 13, 2001

Dreamweaver Missing Manual

Sebastopol, CA--As the Web's popularity continues to soar, so does that of Macromedia Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver deploys a rich, well-designed, WYSIWYG environment for building cross-platform, cross-browser web sites; but unlike most visual editors, it doesn't clutter up the underlying HTML code by inserting unnecessary tags that make large web sites difficult to manage. "One thing I try to do in my new book," says David McFarland, author of the just released Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, US $29.95), "is to bridge the gap between what you want and what HTML offers. Dreamweaver 4 has made huge leaps forward in this regard, too. It has powerful tools for creating professional-looking sites; tools that don't produce sloppy or bulky HTML. Once you get an understanding of how you can use HTML and Dreamweaver to get the look you want, your designs become much more sophisticated."

Dreamweaver is a favorite of multimedia designers, thanks to its smooth integration with other Macromedia applications like Flash and Shockwave. The new, more sophisticated Version 4 incorporates the latest developments in browser technologies--and the best way to get the full advantage of these improved features is with Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual the ideal companion to this complex software. Under the guidance of Missing Manual Series editor David Pogue, author Dave McFarland brings Dreamweaver 4 to life with clarity, authority, and good humor.

"I think people often underestimate the extreme productivity boost Dreamweaver brings to the Web development process," says McFarland "And Dreamweaver's site management abilities can save you literally days of work when you need to reorganize the files in your site. Best of all, if Dreamweaver doesn't do what you need, you can write your own extensions."

After orienting you with an anatomical tour of a web page, McFarland's book walks you through the entire process of creating and designing a complete web site. Along the way, a unique "live examples" approach lets you see and test, on the actual Internet, real web pages that follow the development progress of the book's chapters. Armed with this book, both first-time and experienced web designers can easily use Dreamweaver to bring stunning, interactive web sites to life.

"Dreamweaver is a little unusual for this series, because the retail version of the program actually does come with a printed manual (the online version doesn't)," says David Pogue, the creator of the Missing Manual Series. "But it doesn't go into nearly the depth of David's book, lacks the sneaky bug workarounds, and doesn't have any jokes at all."

"Don't get me wrong--the Dreamweaver manual that comes with the product has a lot of information in it," McFarland explains."But Dreamweaver has always assumed a rather knowledgeable user. Now, however, more people are turning to Web design and using Dreamweaver as the first or ONLY tool they use for building sites. What I've done is bring my experience of teaching the program and my experience of using the program for my clients to help present Dreamweaver's many powerful features in a way that's easy to understand. I've also tried to put the program into the context of a real-world Web development process. The problem most manuals make is they explain in detail how to use a feature of a program but rarely why or when you'd use it. Just because a piece of software has some nifty new widget doesn't mean that you should use it. Often new features are added to software because the engineers can, not because the users want them. A good computer book should be an advocate for the reader, guiding him or her through the program, pointing out the useful bits, and the less-than-useful bits. (Besides that, my book shows some fun Easter Eggs hidden away in Dreamweaver 4.)"

Online Resources:

Dreamweaver 4: The Missing Manual
By Dave McFarland
July 2001
0-596-00097-9, 480 pages, $24.95
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

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