First Look: Dreamweaver Pairs Well With Photoshop

17 Apr

Tight integration with Photoshop speeds site design and publishing.

Part 1 of a special five-part series.


Dennis O’Reilly, PC World

Monday, March 26, 2007 10:00 PM PDT


For Web-design professionals, Dreamweaver CS3’s integration into Adobe’s Creative Suite bundle of applications is the ideal marriage of graphics programs. Fundamental to the revamped Dreamweaver is the software’s tight integration with Photoshop.

Former Macromedia Studio users might take a while to adjust to seeing Photoshop open when they double-click an image on a Dreamweaver page (in the past, Studio’s Fireworks app would have handled such tasks), but Dreamweaver and Photoshop go together so well that I’m betting it won’t be long before those same people are saying, “Firewha?”

I tested a shipping version of Dreamweaver CS3. Alone, the program is $399; alternatively, you can buy it as part of Creative Suite 3 Design Premium ($1799, or $599 as an upgrade from CS2) or Creative Suite 3 Web Premium ($1599, or $499 as an upgrade from CS2 or Macromedia Studio 8, Studio MX, or Studio MX 2004).

I admit I was taken aback the first time I saw an image from a Dreamweaver page layout open in Photoshop as a .psd file. But the integration works well and is bidirectional: You can copy all or part of a Photoshop image and paste it directly into Dreamweaver; a dialog box opens for choosing the options you prefer to optimize the image for the Web. When you subsequently double-click the image in Dreamweaver, it opens in Photoshop with all its original layers, masks, and other .psd attributes.

Interactivity Reigns

If you’ve been looking for a quick and simple way to add the interactivity of Ajax to your site, Dreamweaver provides the Spry framework of widgets and effects. The Spry JavaScript library includes XML-based tables, tabs, and form-field validation, the appearance of which you can customize via CSS. Spry effects let you make elements fade in or out, grow smaller or larger, or move across the screen, all without any scripting, and without requiring any server components. Adobe claims the Spry code is 99 percent HTML, so it should be easy to edit and customize. While a few hard-core developers will surely appreciate the ability to crunch their own JavaScript, using the Spry components with as little alteration as possible is simpler.

The program also adds a Browser Compability Check that lists the problems your site may have when opened in various versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, and any other browsers you want to add; meanwhile, Dreamweaver’s code view highlights potential CSS-related problems by underlining the suspect code in green.

Current Dreamweaver users can upgrade to the new version for $199 and continue to use it with Fireworks, Flash (now itself part of CS3), and the other former Studio apps, but they’ll be missing out on the new version’s biggest productivity booster, its direct link to Photoshop (and to a lesser extent the other tools in CS3). The tandem of Dreamweaver and Photoshop is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

Source :,130154/article.html?tk=nl_wbxrvw

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