Dreamweaver 4 Overview

Introduction to Dreamweaver 4

1  Dreamweaver 4 Overview
2 The Interface: Same, but Different
3 Handling Code
4 How Buggy Are Your Scripts?
5 Inserting Flash Objects in a Flash
6 Handling Images
7 Site Management: All Together Now
8 Hits and Misses
Home Tired and Want to go HOME

Dreamweaver 4 Overview

Page 6 — Handling Images

The graphics editing capabilities of the application haven't changed substantially with this release (if it ain't broke, don't fix it!), but some ease-of-use improvements have been made that are worth mentioning.

Dreamweaver has always been excellent at handling images, and much of that excellence arises from the drag-and-drop nature of the program. The new Asset window is helpful in the this latest version because you can browse through your library of images, select the one you want, then drag it onto the page wherever you'd like. Once the image is there, you can use Dreamweaver's familiar set of graphics tools to resize the picture, change its attributes, add hotspots that provide clickable links within an image map, and even add your alt tags.

And, just like in previous versions of Dreamweaver, you can select a default external graphics editor for your images. Once you tell Dreamweaver which program you like to use, just right-click (or ctrl-click on a Mac) on the image and select "Edit with..." from the menu. Your graphics editor, such as Photoshop, Image Ready, or Fireworks, will launch automatically.

There is one added feature to this process in Dreamweaver 4. If you have the lastest edition of Macromedia's Fireworks installed on your computer, you can take advantage of Dreamweaver's "round-trip" graphics editing capability.

Let's say you've used Fireworks to design a snappy clickable image map that you want to add to your site. Once you've dropped the image map onto your page (along with the map's HTML code), you can launch Fireworks and edit the map at any time. Any changes that you made to either the image its HTML code will be reflected instantly both in Dreamweaver and in your Fireworks source files when you save your changes. Macromedia calls this "round-trip" editing because your changes show up without you having to refresh the page or reload your graphics files. Also, any changes to your image or its code that you've made in Dreamweaver will be recognized by Fireworks when you launch and edit your image. You can even use Fireworks to optimize your graphics and have the changes instantly be reflected in Dreamweaver's design view.

Of course, the main setback of this feature is that it can only be used with Fireworks. If you use Adobe Image Ready for every graphic on your site, the feature won't do you much good. Furthermore, these features are designed to be used with Fireworks 4, which was released at the same time as Dreamweaver 4. So, if you didn't upgrade your copy of Fireworks, your launch-and-edit capabilities will be limited.

Now, in our last-but-not-least category, let's take a look at Dreamweaver 4's site management capabilities.

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