Dreamweaver CS5 Makes it Easy for Designers to Edit Code-Heavy Sites:
Dreamweaver CS5 was announced on April 12, 2010, and it provides a lot of new features for designers to edit Web pages that previously were difficult to edit unless you know PHP or another scripting language. Plus there are changes for beginners as well as changes that corporate users will appreciate. Dreamweaver CS5 is a great new version.
Site Setup is Finally Easy:
If you've ever set up a site in Dreamweaver, you know that there are a lot of steps and details that you have to know. But no longer. Dreamweaver CS5 streamlines that process. If you know all the details, you can still add them right at the beginning. But even if all you know is the name of your website, you can set up a site and get going on building it without needing to worry about FTP, server-side languages, where your images are stored, or what check-in system you're using. Then, as you need those options, Dreamweaver CS5 prompts you for them.
For example, say you set up a site with just a name and directory on your hard drive. Then, after you've designed the pages, you decide to upload it. When you click on the upload button, Dreamweaver CS5 recognizes that you don't have an FTP server set up, so it prompts you for that information.
CSS Starter Layouts Include More Documentation:
In Dreamweaver CS4, the CSS starter layouts were well documented within the HTML code, but if you viewed them in design mode, there wasn't a lot of help. Now the layouts include instructions and details about why various items in the code are used. The CSS templates are an excellent learning tool that you can open up and learn how the CSS layouts were built.
Inspect Mode Makes it Easy to See Your Styles in Action:
When you make changes to your CSS, you can inspect the changes to see how things like the box model is affected by the changes that you are making. This makes it very easy to visually see how your CSS changes affect the page. Inspect mode adds color coding and outlines to help you see what happened.
Support for CMS Systems Like Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress:
If you've ever tried to edit a Drupal, Joomla!, or WordPress template for a website, you'll know how complicated they are. There are dozens of different PHP files that are activated with different conditions. And trying to edit them in design mode on Dreamweaver has long been an exercise in futility. But Dreamweaver CS5 turns that around. Dreamweaver can now look at the files as they might look in a dynamic environment and will open the correct files to allow you to edit, in design mode, the parts of the site you want to edit.
Plus, Dreamweaver CS5 recognizes specific CMS systems (like Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress) and uses that information to help you design the templates. But if you are using a PHP-based CMS that Dreamweaver doesn't know, you aren't left out. Because the dynamically related files will look through the code and find all the files that might need to be edited. You can then do searches across those files and filter the list to show only the ones that are relevant to what you're working on.
Complicated Server Set Ups are Now Supported:
Dreamweaver CS5 now has the ability to assign multiple servers to a site. For example, if your company has a workflow such as:
- Write pages on local hard drive
- Upload to testing server to test design
- Upload to QA server to test interactivity
- Upload to staging server for final approval
- Upload to production server to put the pages live
In Dreamweaver CS4 and before, you had to change your server settings or use an external FTP client to upload to any but the one server you specified for your site. But Dreamweaver CS5 has fixed that. Now you can specify multiple servers and give them all custom names so that you can keep your workflow all within Dreamweaver.
Adobe BrowserLab Now Built-In:
With Dreamweaver CS4, Adobe announced BrowserLab. But in order to get it integrated with Dreamweaver, you had to get a plugin from the Adobe site. Now that plugin is no longer necessary and you can test your pages with the additional browsers and tools that BrowserLab CS5 brings to the table.
Improved Subversion Support:
If you need to keep your files in a version control system, the open-source tool Subversion is one that many companies choose. But Dreamweaver CS4 only had minimal support for Subversion. Now you can move, copy, and delete files locally and then sync with Subversion. Plus, they've added in a revert command to roll back changes. And Dreamweaver CS5 will continue to support newer versions of Subversion through free extensions on the Adobe Exchange.
Code Hinting Gets Even Better:
If you have PHP custom classes, Dreamweaver CS5 can now show you code hints based on parsing the PHP as you're writing it. And if you've indicated what type of site you are running like Drupal, WordPress, or Joomla!, Dreamweaver CS5 has code hints already set up for them. And you can add in your own files for code hints on other systems.
All the Great Features from CS4 Are Still Here:
If you're still using an older version of Dreamweaver than CS4, you should check out the updates that were included in Dreamweaver in CS4 and CS3.