Inside Dreamweaver MX

 
   
   
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Inside Dreamweaver® MX
By Laura Gutman, Patricia J. Ayers, Donald S. Booth
   
Publisher : New Riders Publishing
Pub Date : August 07, 2002
ISBN : 0-7357-1181-X
Pages : 1344  

Whether you are new to Dreamweaver or a seasoned professional, Inside Dreamweaver MX will help you use the new and powerful Dreamweaver MX to its fullest extent. Not just another rehash of the documentation, this completely revised and comprehensive book broadens your understanding through hands-on projects, tips, and techniques. These pages are your guide to:

  • Learning about all the new features Dreamweaver MX offers, such as a Tag Library Editor, customizable tools, pre-built Snippets, the Site Definition Wizard, cloaking, and more

  • Using databases to create dynamic web pages with ASP, ASP.NET, ColdFusion, PHP and JSP

  • Implementing the new accessibility options Extending your working environment with extensions Optimizing site and asset management

  • Using behaviors to control layers Using Flash MX to build interactive web pages Using templates and libraries to simplify the design process

  • Integrating Flash and Fireworks into Dreamweaver MX

Inside Dreamweaver MX's carefully designed exercises will demystify advanced techniques. Insightful interviews with industry leaders and enlightening deconstruction of a variety of web site elements will help you uncover common web design pitfalls and avoid them in your own work.

777

Copyright

About the Authors

About the Technical Reviewers

Acknowledgments

Tell Us What You Think

Visit Our Web Site: www.newriders.com

Email Us from Our Web Site

Introduction

What (and Whom) This Book Is For

How This Book Is Organized

How to Use This Book

What to Take Away from This Book

Chapter 1. What's New with Dreamweaver MX?

Improved Interface

Page Design

Site Design

DHTML and Multimedia

Code Editing

XML/XHTML Support

Dynamic Data

Summary

Chapter 2. Setting Up the Dreamweaver Workspace

How Dreamweaver Thinks

The New Dreamweaver Workspaces

Touring the Dreamweaver Interface

Getting Help

Summary

Chapter 3. Creating and Working with Documents

Creating New Documents

Workflow in Dreamweaver

Importing Pages from Other Sources

Dealing with Browsers

Summary

Chapter 4. Working with Text

HTML and CSS

Typing, Copying/Pasting, and Importing Text into Dreamweaver

Formatting Text with the Property Inspector

Text Formatting with the Dreamweaver HTML Styles Feature

Special Characters

Using Images as Text

Working with Dynamic Text Elements

Summary

Chapter 5. Working with Images

Images and the Web

Designing with Images

Interview: Marion Kaltenschnee

Special Uses for Images

Working with Dynamic Images

Editing Images: Working with External Editors

Summary

Chapter 6. Links and Navigation

How Links Work in the Browser

Basic Link Creation in Dreamweaver

Dynamic Links

Email Links

Named Anchors

Image Maps

Jump Menus

Rollovers

Navigation Bars

Summary

Chapter 7. Utilizing Head Content

How Head Content Works

Interview: Lisa Tannenbaum

Working with Head Content in Dreamweaver

Working with

Dynamic Tables

Working with Other Head Content

Summary

Chapter 8. Design Issues

Usability

Navigation and Site Structure Design

Methods of Page Layout

Interview: Corey Eiges

Page Composition Issues

Use of Color

Summary

Chapter 9. Building Tables

HTML Tables: Only for Tabular Data?

Working with Tables in Dreamweaver

Tables and Page Layout: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

Summary

Chapter 10. Using Dreamweaver's Page Layout Aids

Viewing Aids

Layout View

The Convert Layers to Table Command

Summary

Chapter 11. Working with Forms

How Forms Work in the Browser

Creating Forms in Dreamweaver

Behaviors and Forms

Strategies for Working with Forms

Dynamic Data and Forms

Taking Forms Further

Interview: Adrian Senior

Server-Side Scripts for Processing Forms

Summary

Chapter 12. Designing Frame-Based Pages

Frame Basics

Interview: Murray Summers

Building Framesets in Dreamweaver

Working with Frames

Setting Attributes

Linking and Targeting

Working with

Summary

Chapter 13. Using Cascading Style Sheets

What Are Cascading Style Sheets?

Styles, Style Sheets, and Where They're Kept

Creating Cascading Style Sheets in Dreamweaver

Interview: Nick Bradbury

Working with Redefined HTML Tags

Working with Custom Classes

CSS Selectors

Combining Style Sheets

Summary

Chapter 14. Using Layers for Page Layout

Layers: The Basics

Working with Layers in Dreamweaver

Clip

Taking Dreamweaver Layers Further

Interview: M. Kosloff

Summary

Chapter 15. Multimedia Issues

What Is Multimedia?

Designing with Multimedia

The Big Picture

Summary

Chapter 16. Getting Interactive with Behaviors

Behaviors and JavaScript

Working with Behaviors in Dreamweaver

Behaviors and Dynamic Data

Some Useful Behaviors

Working Sneakily with Behaviors

Summary

Chapter 17. Controlling Layers with JavaScript

Dynamic HTML: Layers and Scripting in the Browser

Controlling Layer Visibility

Controlling Layer Contents

Dragging and Dropping Layers

Controlling Other Layer Properties

Summary

Chapter 18. Animating Layers

How JavaScript Animation Works

The Timeline Interface

Animating Layers

Animating Images

Timelines and Behaviors

Working with Multiple Timelines

Summary

Chapter 19. Plugins, ActiveX, and Java

Extending the Browser with Plugins and ActiveX

Extending the Browser with Java

Summary

Chapter 20. Building Web Pages with Flash

What Is Flash?

Working with Flash in Dreamweaver

Interview: Jennifer Bennett

Working with Full-Screen Flash Pages

Flash and JavaScript

Flash Text and Flash Buttons

Summary

Chapter 21. Development Issues: Planning Your Site

What Do You Want to Do?

Who Is Going to Visit Your Site?

What Are They Going to See?

Other Considerations

Organizing Your Files

Interview: Angela C. Buraglia

Choosing a Web Host

Summary

Chapter 22. Local Site Management

How Dreamweaver Handles Local Sites

Defining a Local Site

Working in the Site Panel

File and Link Management Within a Site

Assets Management with the Assets Panel

Summary

Chapter 23. Site Publishing and Maintenance

How Dreamweaver Works with Remote Sites

Defining a Remote Site in Dreamweaver

Working with a Remote Site

Keeping Local and Remote Sites Synchronized

Summary

Chapter 24. Workplace Collaboration

Challenges of Working in a Design Team

Using Design Notes for Improved Workflow

Version Control

Creating Project Workflow Reports

Summary

Chapter 25. Templates and Libraries

Dreamweaver Site-Wide Content Tools

Working with Templates

Working with Library Items

Interview: Becky Tench

Strategies for Working with Templates and Library Items

Summary

Chapter 26. Introduction to Dynamic Dreamweaver

Dynamic Web Sites and How They Work

Getting Started with Dynamic Development

Dynamic Development Tools in Dreamweaver MX

Summary

Chapter 27. Building a Basic ASP Site

Setting Up Your Workstation to Work with ASP

Setting Up an ASP Site in Dreamweaver

Setting Up a Database Connection

Displaying Dynamic Data

Summary

Chapter 28. Building a Basic ASP.NET Site

Setting Up a Workstation for ASP.NET

Setting Up an ASP.NET Site in Dreamweaver

Displaying Dynamic Data Using ASP.NET

Summary

Chapter 29. Building a Basic ColdFusion Site

Setting Up Your Workstation to Work With ColdFusion

Setting Up a ColdFusion Site in Dreamweaver

Setting Up a Database Connection

Displaying Dynamic Data Using ColdFusion

Summary

Chapter 30. Building a Basic PHP Site

Setting Up Your Workstation to Work with PHP

Setting Up a PHP Site in Dreamweaver

Setting Up a Database Connection

Displaying Dynamic Data

Summary

Chapter 31. Building a Basic JSP Site

Setting Up Your Workstation to Work with JSP

Setting Up a JSP Site in Dreamweaver

Interview: Harlow Pinson

Setting Up a Database Connection

Displaying Dynamic Data

Summary

Chapter 32. Technical Issues

Markup Languages

Scripting Languages

Summary

Chapter 33. Writing Code in Dreamweaver

Using Dreamweaver as a Text Editor

Linking to External Text Editors

Tag Libraries and the Tag Library Editor

Advanced Search and Replace

Editing Non-HTML Markup with Dreamweaver

Writing JavaScript in Dreamweaver

Summary

Chapter 34. Customizing Dreamweaver

Setting Preferences

Modifying Keyboard Shortcuts

Automating Tasks with Custom Commands

Summary

Chapter 35. Working with Extensions

How Dreamweaver Is Configured

Working with the Configuration Folder

Installing and Using Extensions

Summary

Chapter 36. Creating Extensions

Before Getting Started

The Dreamweaver API

Creating Object Extensions

Creating Command Extensions

Packaging Your Extensions

Summary

Part VII: Appendixes

Appendix A. Using Dreamweaver and Fireworks Together

Placing Fireworks Files in Dreamweaver Documents

Launching Fireworks from Within Dreamweaver

Optimizing Fireworks Images or Animations in Dreamweaver

Placeholders

Appendix B. Online Resources for Dreamweaver Web Developers

The Macromedia Online Forums

Resources on the Web

Appendix C. Introduction to MySQL

What Is MySQL?

Setting Up MySQL (Windows)

Setting Up MySQL (Mac OS X)

Getting Around in MySQL

Resources and Further Reading

Appendix D. What's on the CD-ROM

System Requirements

Loading the CD Files

The Exercise Files

Read This Before Opening the Software

Copyright

Copyright © 2003 by New Riders Publishing

FIRST EDITION: August 2002

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 752064711810

06 05 04 03 02 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Interpretation of the printing code: The rightmost double-digit number is the year of the book's printing; the rightmost single-digit number is the number of the book's printing. For example, the printing code 02-1 shows that the first printing of the book occurred in 2002.

Printed in the United States of America

Trademarks

All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. New Riders Publishing cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Dreamweaver is a trademark of Macromedia, Inc.

Warning and Disclaimer

This book is designed to provide information about Dreamweaver MX. Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty of fitness is implied.

The information is provided on an as-is basis. The authors and New Riders Publishing shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book or from the use of the discs or programs that may accompany it.

Credits

Publisher

David Dwyer

Associate Publisher

Stephanie Wall

Production Manager

Gina Kanouse

Managing Editor

Kristy Knoop

Acquisitions Editors

Linda Anne Bump

Deborah Hittel-Shoaf

Senior Development Editor

Lisa Thibault

Product Marketing Manager

Tammy Detrich

Publicity Manager

Susan Nixon

Project Editor

Suzanne Pettypiece

Copy Editor

Keith Cline

Indexer

Lisa Stumpf

Manufacturing Coordinator

Jim Conway

Book Designer

Louisa Klucznik

Cover Designer

Aren Howell

Proofreader

Linda Seifert

Composition

Jeff Bredensteiner

Gloria Schurick

Media Developer

Jay Payne

Dedications

To Caroline. She kick-started my career all those years ago, and has been a haven of sanity for me ever since.

—Laura Gutman

This is for my parents, Donald and Lynn Ayers, who have always been confident that I would amount to something, despite some evidence to the contrary.

—Patricia J. Ayers

I dedicate this book to my parents, who have supported me in everything I have done.

—Donald S. Booth

About the Authors

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Laura Gutman works as a multimedia developer, web application developer, and educator in the fields of multimedia, programming, and design. Her first experience in computer science was at an IBM training school in 1983, where she learned how to punch cards, dissect mainframes, and program in COBOL. In the intervening years, she earned her doctorate in English from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) and has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator (for print and multimedia), technical writer, and multimedia developer. Currently, Laura lives with her dog, parakeets, and hundreds of computer toys in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to her development and consulting work, she teaches a range of courses in multimedia and graphic design at the University of New Mexico. You can visit her online at www.rocketlaura.com.

 

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Patricia J. Ayers has been producing web sites professionally for more than 6 years, with more than 20 sites successfully completed in the past year. She is the owner of Carolina Web Solutions (www.carolinawebsolutions.com), a web design company specializing in small business web sites, and uses Dreamweaver and Fireworks as her primary design tools.

Patty attended the State University of New York at New Paltz and Pace University, and is currently an avid student of marketing, advertising, and graphic design, in addition to web development.

As a Macromedia Certified web developer and regular volunteer on the Dreamweaver user forums, Patty maintains a Dreamweaver resources site featuring original tutorials at www.thepattysite.com and is involved in the beta testing of Dreamweaver extensions. She is also a member of the Carolina ColdFusion User Group.

Patty lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her family, and depends on such occupations as biking, gardening, and playing guitar as antidotes to too much computer time.

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Donald S. Booth currently works as a team lead on the Dreamweaver Technical Support Team at Macromedia. He has been working at Macromedia for two and a half years. He also works on the Authorware Support team as a technician and trainer. He has degrees in art and philosophy from the University of Rhode Island.

When not building web pages, Don likes to build other things such as guitars, cameras, and a good library. He likes taking photographs and collecting cameras. Don loves music and has a fascination with spacecraft that borders on plain silly.

He currently resides in San Francisco. Learn more about him at www.dbooth.net.

About the Technical Reviewers

These reviewers contributed their considerable hands-on expertise to the entire development process for Inside Dreamweaver MX. As the book was being written, these dedicated professionals reviewed all the material for technical content, organization, and flow. Their feedback was critical to ensuring that Inside Dreamweaver MX fits our readers' need for the highest quality technical information.

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Brad Halstead started out in the computer industry as a sales representative for a local company and moved up quickly to senior technician, where he performed service contracts for companies such as IBM, PC Service Partners, Xerox, and Olivetti for several years. In 1994, he became interested in web design and hasn't looked back since. Brad is very lucky and thankful for the support of his partner, Brenda, and children (Amanda, Aaron, and Megan) through his endeavors in this field.

 

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Julie Hallstrom is a team lead for the Macromedia Dreamweaver technical support team. She came to her love of Dreamweaver after hand coding HTML for a year and designing web sites for small companies. She sees her job of supporting Dreamweaver users as an opportunity to share her enthusiasm for a really wonderful product.

 

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Elaine Montoya is a principal of Zocoloco Studios—a graphic design firm specializing in web development, motion graphics, and print. Founded in 1985, Zocoloco Studios has won numerous awards and has been published in HOW Magazine.

From a young age, Elaine began to pursue her career in the creative field. At age 14, she started working in printing and graphics and has worked in advertising, graphic design, and multimedia since. Currently she has over 25 years of experience in the field of graphic design and multimedia. She has a degree in liberal arts from the University of NM as well as a degree in advertising design from the Colorado Institute of Art.

Elaine uses a combination of Macromedia products in her daily work with Zocoloco Studios. She finds the combination of Flash, Dreamweaver, and ColdFusion (or PHP) to be an excellent means to create rich media sites with database connectivity for her clients.

Acknowledgments

Laura Gutman:

Hats off to our terrific editors at New Riders—Deb, Lisa, and Linda—for getting us all together and keeping us afloat through all the dragon-filled waters of writing this big book. My technical knowledge was expanded and supported by my colleagues at the University of New Mexico and by Elaine, Jen, Becky, and the rest of the Girl Geeks. Lots of people's skill and experience got tucked into the pages herein!

Patricia J. Ayers:

I would like to thank David Pickens, who first suggested the wild idea that I could work at web design as more than a hobby and then helped and supported me every step of the way.

Many thanks to all of my dear friends and colleagues from the Macromedia user forums, who have helped, taught, supported, and amused me throughout this project, especially Martina Kosloff, Corey Eiges, Murray Summers, Jag Sidhu, Marion Kaltenschnee, Adrian (JoJo) Senior, John Waller, Bob Haroche, Becky Tench, Laurie Casolino, Colm Gallagher, John Tucker, and all the rest.

Donald S. Booth:

Thanks to Julie Hallstrom for her excellent technical editing and for providing daily laughs.

Thanks to Eric Lerner for recommending me for this project.

Thanks to my co-authors, Laura and Patty, for their help and insight with this project. You both made it more enjoyable for me.

Tell Us What You Think

As the reader of this book, you are the most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we're doing right, what we could do better, what areas you'd like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you're willing to pass our way.

As the Associate Publisher for New Riders Publishing, I welcome your comments. You can fax, email, or write me directly to let me know what you did or didn't like about this book—as well as what we can do to make our books stronger.

Please note that I cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book, and that due to the high volume of mail I receive, I might not be able to reply to every message.

When you write, please be sure to include this book's title and author as well as your name and phone or fax number. I will carefully review your comments and share them with the author and editors who worked on the book.

Fax:

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Email:

stephanie.wall@newriders.com

Mail:

 

Stephanie Wall 
Associate Publisher 
New Riders Publishing 
201 West 103rd Street 
Indianapolis, IN 46290 USA

 

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Introduction

Welcome to Inside Dreamweaver MX! It's an exciting place to be. Your authors have combined all their knowledge and diverse experience to provide you with a rich resource for learning all about the new Dreamweaver and learning how to apply your knowledge to deal with real-world web-authoring issues.

What (and Whom) This Book Is For

Our goal in writing this book was to give you a more in-depth experience of Dreamweaver, and of web page creation, than you'll find in the program manual or beginner-level books. If you've never fired up a copy of Dreamweaver before, you'll find plenty of good fundamental information about where things are and how they work. If you're already a Dreamweaver user, but aren't satisfied that you're taking full advantage of the software, or want to take your knowledge to the next level, there's plenty here for you as well. If you're a web developer just itching to wrap your brain around database-driven web sites, XHTML, DHTML, and other cutting-edge technologies, we have sections on each of those topics to help you play technology catch-up.

Dreamweaver in the Larger Scheme of Things

Working with web development software isn't like working with any other kind of program. Before you can use Dreamweaver effectively, you need to know how browsers work, and how HTML, JavaScript, and other web technologies function within the browser to create web experiences. One of our goals in this book is to help you look beyond the software, to start thinking about what's possible on the web and how Dreamweaver can help you accomplish that.

To that end, this book examines every topic as it relates to browsers and HTML standards, as well as how it's implemented in Dreamweaver. Instead of just learning how to format type in Dreamweaver, you want to know what all the possibilities are for type formatting in HTML, how they work, and what their relative advantages are. Then you want to know how to use Dreamweaver to make that formatting happen. That's the emphasis throughout this book.

Dreamweaver in the Real World

We also know that no one becomes a pro by memorizing program features. To really master any software, you have to know not only what the program can do, but also how to use its capabilities creatively to solve real problems and build real projects. This book teaches you how to use various program features. However, it also explains why to use them—and how to use them well. Each chapter includes our own professional tips and strategies, as well as exercises showing you how to apply program features. We've also included several interviews with web professionals so you can see how Dreamweaver works in the trenches.

Dreamweaver and Live Data

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The most dramatic change in Dreamweaver MX is the incorporation of UltraDev's dynamic data features into the main Dreamweaver program. If you're not yet versed in this aspect of web development but want to learn, we have some special features for you. In addition to a section of the book devoted to creating data-driven web sites (Part V, "Dreamweaver and Dynamic Data"), we've placed relevant dynamic data topics throughout the book's other chapters. They're marked with a special icon, so they'll be easy to identify. And for those of you who aren't interested in this aspect of web development, Dreamweaver hasn't abandoned you and we haven't either. You can ignore Part V and skip right past the dynamic data topics—there's plenty of other information to absorb.

Other New Features

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There's more new to Dreamweaver MX than just database connectivity. The program sports a new, streamlined interface, organized around dockable panel groups. Dreamweaver now offers XML and XHTML support, including DocType declarations and validation. Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) support has been beefed up. Dreamweaver now makes it easier to write accessible code. And for the hand-coders among you, many HomeSite features have been integrated into Dreamweaver. Integration with Flash MX is a joy to behold. And that's just the highlights! Throughout the book, keep your eye out for the special "new features" icon. Wherever we show off a new feature, you'll see that icon in the margin.

How This Book Is Organized

Each of the book's 36 chapters contains explanatory text, lots of pictures, and several hands-on exercises. The chapters are grouped into six sections:

Part I: Web Page Construction with Dreamweaver

These chapters cover the nuts and bolts of creating web pages with Dreamweaver, including setting up the workspace, creating documents, working with text and images, setting up links and navigation systems, and adding head content. Just because these are fundamentals doesn't mean this section is only for beginners! There's a lot to learn here about good, solid work skills for creating good foundation documents.

Part II: Design with Dreamweaver

This section looks at Dreamweaver as a design tool. This includes creating good page layout with tables and layers, using CSS, creating frame-based layouts, and designing forms. The focus is on creating attractive, functional and communicative page designs, and on developing good coding skills to create well-structured pages that will display well across browsers and platforms.

Part III: Interactivity, DHTML, and Multimedia

Web pages don't have to be static. An important part of the web experience is interactivity, whether it's for user engagement, efficient presentation of information, or entertainment value. The chapters in this section examine all the tools for making things hop and pop, turning the static web experience into something interactive. This includes JavaScript behaviors, DHTML (what it is and how you can use it), as well as working beyond HTML with Flash and other rich media content.

Part IV: Site Management with Dreamweaver

No web page is an island. This section covers Dreamweaver as an organizational tool for working with the dozens or hundreds of files that comprise a web site. This section covers creating a local site and taking advantage of Dreamweaver file management resources, working with remote sites, and using Dreamweaver tools for team-based or large-scale web development.

Part V: Dreamweaver and Dynamic Data

Dynamic data is the future of web development. Read this section of the book to start using Dreamweaver to work with ASP and ASP.NET, ColdFusion, PHP, and JSP. These chapters get you going from the ground up, explaining how dynamic web pages work and how to set up a workstation for dynamic development. One chapter is devoted to each of the major development environments Dreamweaver supports.

Part VI: Dreamweaver Under the Hood

Think of this section as Dreamweaver for geeks. Starting with an overview of the web from a coder's point of view, these chapters cover Dreamweaver as a coding tool; customizing the Dreamweaver workspace; working with extensions and the Extension Manager; and finally, using a bit of scripting to write your own extensions.

How to Use This Book

How you use this book depends on who you are and how you want to use it.

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  • Reading front to back. You could read this book from front to back, like a good novel—the topics are generally arranged from simpler to more challenging, and from small-scale (working with individual pages) to large-scale (working with sites and servers). Or you could pick any section or chapter you like, and start reading there. Each chapter contains enough cross-references that you should be able to pick up the story anywhere you like, and still be oriented.

  • Doing the exercises or not. The exercises are provided to give you practice with various Dreamweaver topics and examples of how to put different Dreamweaver functions to use. You'll gain a lot by doing them. Sometimes, however, you just don't have time to do exercises—you need answers now. All topics are fully covered outside the exercises; so if you want to use the book as a reference only, you can find everything you're looking for in the text.

  • Getting started with dynamic data. If you're ready to enter the brave new world of live data, you should start by reading Part V. Then go through the book's other chapters. Look out for the "dynamic data" icons; they'll point out aspects of each chapter's subject matter that relates to dynamic data web sites.

What to Take Away from This Book

We hope you enjoy learning about Dreamweaver as much as we have enjoyed writing about it. We want you to close the covers of this book with a greater understanding of how web development works, and how to use Dreamweaver to work with it, than when you started. But remember, no one ever became a better web designer just by reading books. Read the book. Then go create some web sites. Then come back and read more of the book. Then go make more web sites. And just about the time you think you've got everything mastered, it'll be time for a new book!