If you are already using Dreamweaver and Photoshop, then it is quite likely that you will find the number of steps required to import an image into Dreamweaver from Photoshop cumbersome (as well as all the steps you must repeat when editing the file again in Photoshop) . Dreamweaver CS3 supports direct copy and paste from Photoshop. In Photoshop CS3 you can select a layer, “slice”, or even draw a frame around the area of the document that you want to copy and copy all the layers corresponding to that selection; later you just have to switch to the Dreamweaver document and paste it. (You can also skip these steps and just drag the PSD file directly onto the Dreamweaver page.) The new optimization window lets you apply compression settings directly in Dreamweaver (no more “Save for the web” in Photoshop), save the file to your website, and import a new optimized image to the website.
You can also run Photoshop and open the original file for editing directly in Dreamweaver. After you have made the desired changes in Photoshop, copy the desired layer or slice and paste the newly edited image into Dreamweaver replacing the old image. Dreamweaver will keep the settings you applied to the previous image (including the optimized file name) and will apply them again. Unfortunately, Dreamweaver is not fully integrated with the suit so you will not find support for smart objects or a simple workflow for importing Illustrator files into your web pages.
Spry’s features are grouped into three main groups: effects, widgets, and datasets. Effects are fun visual effects, such as fades, movements, shrinks, or enlargements, that allow you to draw attention to images or other content on the page. Widgets add elements of interaction. For example, the Spry Menu Bar is a navigation bar that supports two-level drop-down menus; Validation widgets allow you to verify data in a form before the form is submitted, so that you can ensure that the data is provided in the correct format. Other widgets make it easy to present your data in a small area. For example, tab widgets allow you to place content in separate tab areas.
The Spry Data feature allows you to take data from an XML file and display it in a table. People who visit the Web page can sort the table by clicking on the column headers and even see detailed information about any of the elements contained in the table cells without having to refresh the page from the web server.
Dreamweaver has always had a powerful set of tools for creating and editing CSS. Cascading style sheets allow web designers to create complex web pages with great design from HTML. Unfortunately, it is also complex and confusing technology. Dreamweaver CS3 adds new CSS tools to make working with style sheets easier.
New CSS management features make it easy to relocate style sheets, rename styles, and move styles between different style sheets. The new CSS templates offer out-of-the-box page layouts with HTML and basic CSS that allow you to create the most popular page layouts (2 column, 3 column, fixed and flexible width, etc.) Since templates are mere skeletons, you can modify them and add CSS files to create your own designs.
The new “Check Browser Compatibility” tool can save you hours of trial and error to make sure your pages are displayed correctly in all major web browsers. This tool examines web pages and identifies any CSS or HTML code that may not be compatible with a specific browser.
When the final version of Dreamweaver CS3 is available, Macworld will evaluate the performance and usefulness of the new tools, and will also expand the coverage of all the new features offered by the program.