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Dreamweaver CS4: The Missing Manual Paperback – Dec 2 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1090 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Dec 5 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596522924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596522926
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 5.6 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #502,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is the president of Sawyer McFarland Media Inc., a web development and training company located in Portland, Oregon. In addition, he teaches JavaScript programming, Flash, and web design at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Electronic Art, the Academy of Art College, and Ex'Pressions Center for New Media. He was formerly the webmaster at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center. David is also the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book shortly after buying Dreamweaver CS4. It taught me Dreamweaver. And continues to be an excellent reference manual.
The book leads you through the functionality of the software with clear descriptions, step by step tutorials,and in-depth discussions of some of the more complicated topics. It even tells you which options in Dreamweaver NOT to use, if you want to follow best practices and make your life easier.
Although the book is massive, it has an excellent index. The virtual CD has all the files necessary for the tutorials, and you download it from the web site (hey, if you want to build web sites, you've gotta have internet access, right!)
I am a volunteer webmaster for several web sites including my own, a band from Winnipeg, and a non-profit organization. I recently totally revised the look and feel of one of them, and was delighted to receive unsolicited positive feedback. The book also helped me figure out how to fix some browser problems in older versions of Internet Explorer.
I spent a lot of time browsing the bookstores and trying to find a really good tool for learning the software. This is the best of the lot.
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Format: Paperback
I have used Dreamweaver for several years now but yearned to know more. This book turned out to be just what I needed. Everything is covered in clear concise language. What I like about Dreamweaver CS4 and this text is that it goes to great lengths to explain the new web site design techniques. CSS design is embedded and heavily used in this version of Dreamweaver and the book goes to great lengths to explain it. Excellent text.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 89 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Dreamweaver CS4 manual Dec 20 2009
By Mary Straus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased three books to help me learn Dreamweaver:

Dreamsweaver CS4 for Dummies
Dreamweaver CS4: The Missing Manual (this book)
The Essential Guide to Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS, Ajax and PHP

I started with Dreamweaver CS4 for Dummies, which I found to be a pretty good book. I was able to read it cover to cover (though it's not necessary to do so to get started). In addition to a good basic overview, it had a couple of very helpful tips in a chapter called "10 Resources You Might Need."

As my design became more detailed, I felt the need for a book that went into more depth and bought the other two books listed above. I like both books, but find I rely on The Missing Manual the most. Its writing is clear and easy to follow. The numerous tutorials give step-by-step instructions for a beginner on how to accomplish various tasks, with more advanced details included in the text.

I like The Essential Guide as well, but since I'm not using PHP, I find that there are areas where the advice they give simply doesn't work for me. For example, when I wanted to learn more about using templates, The Essential Guide gave only a very basic explanation, then went into far more detail about using PHP "includes" instead. While I agree that the PHP "includes" are probably the better choice, it's not one that is available to me since I don't have a PHP testing server (and don't want to go through the complexity of setting one up on my home computer). If you are using PHP, then this is definitely the book to get.

All in all, if I had to recommend one book to get started, it would be For Dummies, particularly if your needs are very simple and/or you're completely new to web site design. For those who want to move beyond the basics, I like The Missing Manual the best. This book could also be used by beginners as long as you're not put off by its length -- with over 1,000 pages, it's not one you'll be able to read cover to cover. I think The Essential Guide is best suited for those who want to create very complex designs, especially those that use PHP. It, too, is very clearly written, but more intimidating to a beginner.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamweaver CS4 Nov. 1 2009
By Peter M. Ronai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well-written, if rather daunting, tome of 1064 pages, which can serve as both a reference manual and a series of tutorials on "Dreamweaver CS4-The Missing Manual" (DW). Explanations are clear, and tutorials are detailed enough that procedures are easy to follow. Tutorials feature commands appropriate to both Windows PCs and Macintoshes, so the Mac user is not frustrated by a Windows-centric approach.

DW is an extremely sophisticated and powerful web design/web authoring/web maintenance package with a long and steep learning curve, and this book is consequently not for the rank beginner. A pre-requisite is a working knowledge of HTML, without which the book would be very hard to follow, despite the fact that DW is billed as a WYSIWYG editor. With that caveat, the book is suitable for both the amateur and professional web designer.

The author, and DW, do an excellent job of introducing and integrating Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) into web design, so that even CSS newbies can add CSS to their web sites without tears. Additional sections deal with Spry tools and Javascript, and with php files and dynamic ("database-driven") web sites, but I have not reached those sections of the book yet.

Like all The Missing Manual Series volumes I have read, there are relatively frequent typos, unavoidable sequelae of rapid publication schedules, but the author provides a web site where readers can give feedback and suggest corrections.

The book lists for $45 (remarkably for the same price in Canada), but is available for under $30 at Amazon. It is also available in a Kindle version for $23.75. The Kindle version has the advantage of a more portable format, as the print version is rather heavy for a "vade mecum."

I will try to write a more complete review when I have finished the book, but in the meantime, I can recommend it as the most complete guide to Dreamweaver CS4 that one could ever hope for.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge book, lots of information Nov. 24 2009
By E. Sanford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had been teaching a workshop on Dreamweaver CS3 and had to get a new book when CS4 came out. I picked "The Missing Manual" and was very pleased with it. You will find tons of information in this very thick book, and instead of including a CD, you downloaded your tutorial files from their internet site. It worked perfect. The site also had a list of Errata, in case you felt that something was wrong. Not every chapter had a tutorial, but the ones that did were to the point.

Another thing I liked about the book is that the author gave his frank opinion about different features of the software and, if he felt they were not useful, he said so! Often a book is sponsored by the software manufacturer and they will never admit there is anything wrong with the software!

I used the book for a beginner's class (32 hours) in Dreamweaver, and had hoped to cover around 800 pages, but that was too ambitious. However, the students, who were originally intimidated by the enormous book, seemed to have a good handle on Dreamweaver at the end of the session.

I would have liked to have had more video tutorials on the web site - there was only one - so be prepared to get your information from the book the old fashioned way.

Good book, lots of material
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what is says... Nov. 11 2009
By Mad Dog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After looking for a book that I could use as one single resource without having to carry a library with me at all times to check up on forgotten procedures, I finally landed on The Missing Manual. This book gave me all the answers I was looking for, and I did not know I was looking for. In this book I found answers to almost every question regarding how to use the software in a professional working process. Especially interesting is the part concerning Dreamweawers potential in connection with creating dynamic pages. The book is a brick and contains in my opinion all the really vital stuff especially if one is an emerging developer, but certainly a must have backup for the more experienced also. Excellent mix of encyclopedia and hands on tutorials ease the need for constantly searching the web after tutorials on how to do this and that. I would like to recomend it as a resource worth having as your companion while developing websites with Adobe Dreamweawer CS4. Finally a release delivering exactly what it says in the title, and then some...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have to choose one Dreamweaver book, this should be it Feb. 14 2009
By peg2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a terrific book. I'm not new to designing web sites, but I am new to the tools that make it easier. Dreamweaver is a marvelous tool, but there's a lot to it, and it has some limitations; the big question is, how to get started? I bought the Adobe Classroom in a Book on Dreamweaver; it's a good book, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go anywhere near far enough. This book, on the other hand, gets much more into not just how to do something, but why you would do it that way; the upshot is, you might actually learn the tool reading this book (of course, with Dreamweaver on a screen in front of you as well). You're not going to learn it in as much depth from Adobe's book.

I've always been a fan of the Missing Manual series, and the Dreamweaver entry is no exception. It starts off easy, so it's good for beginners. It gets into a lot of the more powerful features, and a lot of the picky little details, so it's good for veterans. A great learning tool and reference guide, all in one.