Dreamweaver

Update: Dec 1st, 2009

On This Page…

What Is It? ~ Who Uses It? ~ Why Use It? ~ Do I Have to Use It?
How Do I Get It? ~ Where Can I Get Training? ~ 5 Most Common Errors
Are There Other Resources Available?

What Is It?

Dreamweaver is a complex web authoring tool that allows users to create and maintain web sites. It’s tools incorporate CSS, javascript and other common website applications. In order to use Dreamweaver, you must have FTP access to your site. Dreamweaver is the only HTML coding tool supported by Colby.

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Who Uses It?

Dreamweaver was one of the first tools available to Colby users who wanted to create personal, departmental and course web sites. Today, CommonSpot, WordPress, Confluence or Moodle are Colby’s first choices for these tasks. However, there are still legacy sites on the Colby servers that require either raw HTML coding or the use of an application like Dreamweaver.

Today, Dreamweaver is one of the top choices for users who are doing highly complex web development and have advanced web coding experience.

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Why Use It?

There are two reasons to use Dreamweaver:

  • You have been asked to maintain a site that is not in CommonSpot, Confluence, Moodle or WordPress.
    or
  • You are maintaining a web site at another location (another college or a public hosting site). Even in this instance, most hosting sites and colleges have a built-in or alternative web development tool other than Dreamweaver.
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Do I Have to Use It?

Not unless your department, club or organization requires it. ITS is always ready to help migrate a site from Dreamweaver into an appropriate alternative. You can read about Colby’s general web authoring policies here. Read about specific Colby Web authoring tool recommendations here.

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How Do I Get It?

Dreamweaver can be ordered by Faculty and Staff through the online software order form. The order form can be accessed here. You will be asked to login, and to provide information about the academic reasons for your request.

The form is reviewed by the Director of Academic ITS and, if approved, will be ordered and delivered directly to you.

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Where Can I Get Training/Help?

You can request an introductory training session from technical training.

Online tutorials are available from VTC.COM. Be sure you check the version number on the tutorial. Although much in Dreamweaver has remained constant, recent versions have implemented some significant changes.

  • Go to VTC.COM
  • Username: StudentTutor
  • Password: ACITS-StudentTutors
  • Search for “Dreamweaver”
  • Click on a desired tutorial.
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5 Most Common Errors

The following errors and solutions are the most common reasons that users may have difficulty editing their pages.

Problem: I cannot see my files. Probable Solution: You have not logged into Colby0. Non-CommonSpot files are accessed through secure FTP. In order to “see” them, you have to run your secure FTP application and log into the appropriate account.
Problem: My page is all “messed up”. Probable Solution: You have inserted an element but not “closed” it. Because Dreamweaver “hides” HTML code from the user (unless you are editing raw HTML in “Code View”), it is all too easy to “click” into the end of a previous element and insert a new one. This can create a confusion of commands being issued to the browser. To fix this, you must view and edit the raw HTML to find the “mismatch” of HTML codes.
Problem: Dreamweaver won’t open my local files. I can’t find them Probable Solution: You are using a different computer or have recently reorganized your file structure. Your local files are stored on your computer in a folder. Dreamweaver remembers where that folder is, and attempts to display local files in that location whenever it is run. Since Dreamweaver does all this in the background, it is easy to forget that you must not move or delete these files. If this should happen, you can 1) move the files back to where Dreamweaver is expecting to find them, 2) Edit the site information in Dreamweaver to reflect the new location, or 3) download the entire site from the Internet to recreate a local copy.
Problem: Weird stuff is happening. Some tasks do not complete correctly. I get an error message when I start Dreamweaver. Probable Solution: You have updated your operating system. Vista is not compatible with Dreamweaver – any version – at the moment. There is a Service Pack for Dreamweaver CS4 available that be installed that resolves most issues with that version. Windows 7 has been tested but has not yet run the gamut of user testing. If you are using an older version of Dreamweaver, you should update now. These issues will only get worse as time goes on more updates are released. Adobe has no plans to make older versions compatible with new operating systems.
Problem: I recently updates my operating system and now I cannot get Dreamweaver to run at all. Probable Solution: You need to reinstall Dreamweaver. Adobe recommends that you reinstall Dreamweaver after any operating system update. In some cases, you will be required to do so.
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Are There Other Resources Available?

Dreamweaver is an industry standard web development tool and there are many web sites and publications available.

Here at Colby:

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