MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2009 (#42)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 147

BOOK REVIEWS 46 MacDirectory DREAMWEAVER CS4 HOW-TOS > 100 ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUES REVIEW BY RIC GETTER A lot of it depends on individual learning style, but we often find it rather trying and tedious learning a program by working through somebody else's project step by complicated step. The goal often seems to be to get the project to look and work right rather than learning to use the program the book. David Karlins's Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques is a most refreshing change of pace. It walks through the process of building a Web site with Dreamweaver through the discussion of discreet tools and features. This also makes the book invaluable to two distinct sets of users. First, if you're confident with your basic computer skills and already have a web project in mind, How-Tos lets you get up to speed in the shortest stretch of time. You're learning while you're working. If you're already experienced with an earlier of Dreamweaver, it helps you deal with one of Dreamweaver CS4's greatest challenges: it no longer looks or acts like a Macromedia product. The book is structured in a way to be of the most benefit to an entirely new user, starting out collecting your content, defining a site and pointing out the important distinctions between the local and remote versions of a site, often one of the most confusing issues confronting folks new to Web design. As a training tool, one of the book's greatest strengths is its ongoing focus on teaching best practices, explaining why you should set things up in certain ways rather than simply telling you how. This is the kind of knowledge that is critically important but is frequently glossed over in books that take the step-by-step route. Dreamweaver CS4 How-Tos is also a godsend for longtime Dreamweaver users who have skipped a few iterations of the program before moving to CS4. When the program launches, the reaction will be something akin to " panels and widgets and APs, oh my!" Dreamweaver's new look represents a vast improvement over earlier versions but it's incredibly easy to get lost in a new interface and remain ignorant of the benefits provided by the new features. You're not in site-design Kansas anymore. If this is the case with you, the book's organization offers an accessible and efficient roadmap. The book is not completely without drawbacks. The layout makes use of margin-bound notes that are often distractingly lengthy (the reader would probably have been better served if some of these were worked into the body of the text). And coming up with an even 100 techniques makes for a nice-sounding title, but leads one to wonder what manner of editorial sleight-of-hand got us there. However, this most practical guide is a credit to Adobe Press and a must- have for a very diverse group of Dreamweaver users. Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 How-Tos, 100 Essential Techniques by David Karlins; $24.99, Adobe Press ( 253 pgs. ISBN 978-0-321-56289-0

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MacDirectory Magazine - Summer-Fall 2009 (#42)