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Dreamweaver CS5: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Dreamweaver Extensions

While keyboard shortcuts give you an easy way to access frequently used commands, they’re not much help if the command you want doesn’t exist. Suppose, for example, you use Dreamweaver’s Open Browser Window behavior (Navigation Actions) to load a new web page into a window that’s exactly 200 X 300 pixels. What if you want to center the window in the middle of your visitor’s monitor? Dreamweaver’s behavior doesn’t do that. What’s a web designer to do? You could go to the Adobe site and request the new feature (www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&product=12) in hopes that the bustling team of programmers will add the command to the next version. But you’d have to wait—and there’s no guarantee that Adobe would add it.

The legions of hard-core Dreamweaver fans have taken this feature wish-list issue into their own hands. As it turns out, amateur (and pro) programmers can enhance Dreamweaver relatively easily by writing new feature modules using the basic languages of the Web: HTML, JavaScript, and XML. (In fact, HTML forms, JavaScript programs, and XML documents constitute much of Dreamweaver’s functionality. The objects in the Insert panel, for example, are actually HTML pages stored within Dreamweaver’s Configuration folder, and Adobe wrote all of Dreamweaver’s menus as an XML file.)

Because of this “open architecture,” you can add new functions and commands—called extensions—to Dreamweaver by downloading the work of one of those programmers and ...

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