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Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual
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Product Description

The fifth edition of this bestselling book by experienced web site trainer and author David McFarland, Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual helps both first-time and experienced web designers bring stunning, interactive web sites to life. With jargon-free language, clear descriptions, and welcome humor, this new edition addresses both beginners who need step-by-step guidance as well as long-time Dreamweaver users who need a handy reference to address the inner-workings of the program.

Customer Reviews:

  • Dreamweaver CS3 the missing manual
    Comprehensive and easy to follow. I know I will refer to this book
    many times in the future.
    ...more info
  • awesome book. Very practical and focused
    Very practical and helpful in learning how to use dreamweaver. Different from most books by giving good tips and focused on a tutorial type approach....more info
  • Good Start for Dreamweaver
    David McFarland's guide answers most, but not my any means all, of the questions, a beginner or intermediate user might ask about Adobe Dreamweaver, the absolute best commercial program for web design. It's a good start and McFarland writes clearly and accurately but doesn't always follow through to the depth that some users nned. That said, it's still probably the best book yet published on Dreamweaver, useful and easy-to use.
    JoeGraphics, Memphis, TN...more info
  • Excellent tutorial
    The book is clear and provides good "learn by doing" exercises to reinforce the explanations. It also serves as a good reference. I was immediately able to create a website for a non-profit that I am a member of. Highly recommended....more info
  • worth its weight
    This is a thick, heavy book, hard to hold, worth the trouble. It doesn't solve every problem but it comes close, and offers links for more insight and details. If you are looking for a way to understand what you are working on, for a foundation from which to be creative, good book....more info
  • Best Dreamweaver CS3 Book I've Seen
    I've purchased many Dreamweaver books, glanced through most and completed a few. I'm quite a ways into McFarland's book and I must say it's the best I've read. It's very informative and he seems to touch upon every detail. You're virtually guaranteed to become a Dreamweaver expert after finishing this book. I'd advise beginners and intermediates to go from cover to cover. I've picked up so many things so far that other books have left out....more info
  • Excellent
    Even at this minute I am writing this review, I had the book opened onto my lap. It is a rare event for me to say that there is a book that really helped me so much. I found it very easy to understand, comprehensive and excellent to make someone an expert in dreamweaver. I am very happy I have found it.......more info
  • Excellent book
    I own a dozen books of the Missing Manual series, and I haven't found a bad one yet. This one is exceptional. Dreamweaver CS3 is as deep as web design programs get, and this book allows extended dives well beneath the waves without running out of air....more info
  • The Perfect User's Manual
    This book is clear, with easy to follow descriptions and tutorials. It covers basic and complex web design in an easy to understand format. This is the best user's manual I've ever used....more info
  • It is a great book
    I can't believe how much I have learned in the past few days just by reading this book. I am already doing some websites and as continue reading I discover more each day. It is a fantastic book. By the way, i went to NYU and the professor was using in class all the excercises from this book. I couldn't belive I paid 500 dollars to school when I could have done it on my own. So, get this book now!...more info
  • Fantasticaly Helpful
    This book provides a clear index, which makes it the go to place for any Dreamweaver questions. ...more info
  • Not for my personality....
    This is a verbose, somewhat unorganized book that could easily have been condensed to less than half the size the book. It has you referencing later in the book while mentioning something early in the book I think in an attempt to be cohesive but I found it irritating. I like bullet points but found it mostly in lengthly, overly wordy form. Just not my style. Now, with that said, once I am fluent, so to speak, in DW CS3, then perhaps I may refer to it and it may hold value to me then...not sure.

    I won't mention this problem without a solution that fit for me. I bought Dreamweaver CS3 Video Training with Garrick Chow. This was an outstanding solution for me! Perfect. Everything you need to get started from start to finish with DW CS3.

    I am absolutely new to Dreamweaver, and must note that as it may contribute to your expectations of what you want/need in supplemental materials to the DW program....more info
  • Dreamweaver CS3 the missing manual
    This manual reads so easily, works great as a reference and has a tutorial to follow after most of the key chapters. This is by far the easiest method I've found for learning this complex program. The author also speaks to mac and pc specifically if there are any differences. Great product!...more info
  • Very helpful for any level of expertise
    Just as the subtitle reads, this is the "manual that should have been in the box". Well written and organized, the tutorials were especially helpful for me....more info
  • The best guide.
    Simply put, this is the best executed guide to Dreamweaver I've read. It accommodates most any level of skill going in to it, and has very well constructed tutorials and examples. David is a natural teacher.

    My only minor criticism is that in a few spots, I felt the fine tuning of certain features was not fully explained, nor was there an acknowledgment of certain missing features to Dreamweaver and how to augment these missing options with minor CodeView tweaks. I'm not sure anyone but me missed this exclusion, so it is such a minor criticism to an otherwise glowing critique.
    ...more info
  • A Great Book for All Levels
    Before getting this book I knew absolutely nothing about Adobe Dreamweaver. Granted, I use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign a I was familiar with the Adobe family. Regardless, this book covers everything. I went from knowing nothing about web design to having my own web page up and running in 2 days. The book is very thorough, easy to read...especially for beginners, and the format is setup so that you can quickly refer to a particular topic if needed. The included tutorials are solid and really helped me learn at my pace....more info
  • Very informative
    As a newcomer to Dreamweaver, I found this book very informative and easy to understand. The tutorials were well set out and easy to follow. ...more info
  • 968 pages of help
    The Missing Manual series sports the tag line "The book that should have been in the box". Generally it's the truth and "Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual" is a shining example of what a tech manual should be.

    It's huge: 968 pages, not counting the index.

    It is thorough: the table of contents runs 14 pages and you can see that just about every subject a beginning to advanced intermediate website creator is included. (Note that I say website creator and not designer. This is not really a book intended for designers.)

    McFarland is an excellent writer for this kind of book. His style is moderately spare. He keeps his sentences concise and direct, which is a boon in this kind of manual. Unlike some tech authors, he does not see himself as a comedian, and doesn't attempt intoducing lame humor.

    Website creation isn't a single subject and, if it is covered in detail, it isn't necessarily simple. One needs to understand HTML, XHTML, CSS, HTTP and more. McFarland does an excellent job of introducing the reader to both website creation and Dreamweaver CS3.

    Dreamweaver CS3 is a complex environment, which accounts for its being the most used creation tool by web professionals. But McFarland takes the reader by the hand and walks him through virtually every aspect of Dreamweaver CS3. Not every capabilitity is treated in great depth, but that is to be expected.

    Overall, this is a fine example of what a technical manual should be. Exhaustive, but readable and highly informative. Its 968 pages may look daunting at the outset, but the reward is in leaving with a thorough explanation of what Dreamweaver CS3 can do - and being able to do it.

    Jerry...more info
  • A great book for beginning to intermediate Dreamweaver CS3 users.
    I've found this book to be a fantastic learning tool for anyone who has interest in beginning to learn Dreamweaver CS3, or those of you like myself who have used past Dreamweaver versions and wanted to get up to speed on the latest and greatest. I was somewhat schooled in Dreameaver MX, back when CSS was beginning to be integrated into the software. Now that Adobe has ahold of the software, it's become much more complex with increased usability and features.

    I originally wanted to start teaching myself CSS. I'm not a web professional by any means, I only do it as a hobby for my own personal site that is visited by a select few. As I was looking at CSS books at the local bookstore, I ran across this Dreamweaver CS3 book, looked through a few others, and decided that I needed to get back into the basics of my chosen web page editor before learning CSS. What a great decision this was.

    I hadn't used Dreamweaver in a couple of years, so this book really helped me get back into the flow of things. It was easy to read without having to be in front of a computer at all times. I loved the layout of the lessons, it felt like a natural progression of what you'd want to do. You would be taught the basic layout options, then a chapter about basic CSS would come along to show you how to implement everything you've already learned. You would then be shown some more advanced features of Dreamweaver, then some advanced CSS. These CSS chapters have really helped me get a basic understanding of what CSS is, why it exists, and how it's used. It gives me a huge step up to learning CSS a bit more indepth instead of going into it blindly.

    The tool tips scattered throughout the book are awesome additions to the material at hand, and gives you nice extra info that otherwise didn't fit in the instruction. Snapshots of the program are available all throughout the book, and provide a great visual so you don't have to try and decode what small button the text is trying to describe. The extra chapter on the new Spry java features is a welcome addition to understanding this great set of tools added to CS3. I appreciated the addition of chapters towards the end on dynamic webpages, but they seemed to be a bit beyond the scope of the book. However, Dreamweaver CS3 includes what looks to be great tools to work with these types of sites, so he has to cover them regardless.

    Overall, great, great book. It's highly recommended from a novice such as myself. I've just ordered the CSS Missing Manual to go along with this book. I purchased this Dreamweaver CS3 book on a Tuesday, and I had my new site up and running, complete with external style sheets, on the following Friday. Not too shabby for a man who works full time during the week....more info
  • No page numbers
    I've only just started working my way through this book. So far it is well-written, clear and detailed, and I feel the author did his best to help his readers get up to speed with Dreamweaver quickly.

    However, I had to knock one star off the review, because there are no page numbers! The author refers to something that will come up on page 126, but there's no way to find that page; there's no way to know what he is talking about when he references any page number, because there's not one, not anywhere in the whole book! Once I started flipping through it, I realized they had been cut off in printing. Overall, a very sloppy job was done with the printing. The text appears at an angle, and the pages are torn at the bottom.

    Publishers are getting cheap and indifferent to quality. This terrible printing job should have been caught by someone before it left the publisher's warehouse. Instead I paid full price for something that can not really be used for reference after I finish reading it, because the table of contents is pointless without any page numbers for guidance. ...more info
  • Good Reference Manual and Tutorial
    The book comes with clear and useful tutorials. It is well indexed and I have found it to be an excellent reference manual.

    Lots of tips, tricks and workarounds are provided.

    The only thing i found lacking was its reference to use of frames.
    I know frames are "yesterdays news", however, sometimes they can be useful on individual pages.

    All in all, a very well written and presented book....more info
  • Great book
    This book was engaging. This book pointed out several features of Dreamweaver that are downright useless. At the same time, this book was a wealth of knowledge in my path to creating my first respectable website in many years.

    I was able to go through most of the book in about 2 weeks while walking away with most of the knowledge that I read.

    This book is a must if you plan on using DreamWeaver!...more info
  • A must have
    I still use this book on most working days.
    It is such a great reference for dreamweaver.
    One of its main features are all of the things that you don't get in the official documentations.

    Really well written continueing the great tradition of the
    'missing manuals'

    Tony...more info
  • Amazing book for a newbie
    The book fun, easy to read, and well written, and the tutorials are a HUGE help. I've learned the best doing it myself along with the tutorials. This book is a MUST BUY for anyone who is starting out with Dreamweaver CS3...more info
  • BEST How-to book EVER
    I can't stop talking about how GREAT this book is! I've been trying to figure out how create a dynamic website for a couple years now, and I finally found a book to walk me through the process from start to finish- I practiced on my son's school track website- Thanks to Mr. McFarland, I got a dynamic site up and running!(With password protected admin forms for the coaches to update the data themselves!) I had no previous experience with MySQL or PHP, and didn't even know that I needed them, or how to get them (he gives you the links to do it for free)... I noticed that some people found the references and repeats to other sections irritating- Not having time to read everything, I found them essential, and appreciated him taking the time and effort to do that. I skipped to the sections I needed and found EVERYTHING I needed at my finger tips. (Who has time to read almost 1000 pages before you get to work!) His real world tutorials, and step by step instructions were EXACTLY what I needed to get my site up and running! He was logical, thorough and entertaining- I've been looking for a book like this for several years and am thrilled that I finally found it. I'll have to go back and read the chapters I skipped, and get his book on CSS (The missing manual)Then I will be a real expert. ...more info
  • A ton of information.
    As the title says, this book contains a ton of information. At times you have to search for specific items, but when you find it, it's like finding gold. The fact that it is enjoyable to read is a bonus....more info
  • Up And Running
    As a GoLive user for many years, I wanted to get up and running as fast as possible with Dreamweaver, now that I am making the switch-over. This book does the trick, with very well written explanations and tutorials. I highly recommend it!...more info
  • It's well named!
    I bought a lot of "manuals" for Dreamweaver CS3. Dreamweaver CS3 The Missing Manual was the best. It starts with directions on how to build a simple website, then goes on to tell you how to make a more complex website. Right from the beginning you are building websites, unlike some of the manuals that launch into descriptions of how the program is better than other programs, blah blah blah. (Nice but if you already have Dreamweaver, who cares). Part of what makes it good is that there is an online site where you do tutorials. That means you don't have to download lessons on your computer and you can pick and choose what lessons you want or need. This book has a lot of information arranged in a really usable way. It gets five stars from me. ...more info
  • The book you wished you'd found in the box.
    Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual, is definitely the book you wished you'd found in the box with the installation disk for Adobe Dreamweaver CS3. Weighing in at 995 pages (including a 25 page index), The Missing Manual is the best resource book for learning and using this equally robust web development tool. The book is divided into 26 chapters and two appendices, organized into seven sections. The Table of Contents is quite detailed, listing the chapter headings and sub-heading, making it easy to locate a particular subject. This book is filled from beginning to end with very detailed step-by-step tutorials to help you learn how to use Dreamweaver to accomplish a wide variety of web development tasks. I consider Dreamweaver CS3 The Missing Manual a definite must-have bookshelf reference for anyone who wants to investigate and learn every nook and cranny of this extensive application.

    Chapter 1 begins at the beginning and is geared to the new user. There is a tour of the interface followed by a thorough step-by-step `Test Drive' tutorial. Starting with customizing the program preferences, the chapter continues with setting up a site, creating and saving a web page, adding text and images, and previewing your page in a browser. This first chapter touches on a lot of subject matter covered in greater detail in later chapters. Dreamweaver has a wealth of dialogs and wizards to help you create rather sophisticated web documents and they can be just as daunting as writing code. And, there are also extensions (extend the functionality of Dreamweaver), you can install to facilitate productivity. The Missing Manual really holds your hand, leading you through the process of learning to use the Dreamweaver tools. For those who want a little more, there are insets throughout the pages with the titles (in the title bar) of `Workaround Workshop', `Up to Speed', `Power Users' Clinic', `Frequently Asked Questions', `Gem in the Rough', and even `Easter Egg Hunt'.

    To really take control of the web document creation process it's important to understand and be able to work with the underlying code. Beginning in Chapter 8: Advanced CSS, the discussion moves to talking about the HTML elements, the building blocks of creating a web page. Terms such as ID and Descendant Selectors enter the tutorial discussion. Why would you care? Well, even when using Dreamweaver as a visual editor and the GUI (graphic user interface) to modify the appearance of say, a list item, you need to know what the
  • tag is and that it needs to be selected for styling. And then wee come to Chapter 10, Under the Hood: HTML. Here we learn about using the Code View. First there are Preferences settings suggested, one for targeting and fixing invalidly nested or unclosed tags, and another for targeting extra closing tags for removal. Dreamweaver provides some great tools for working with code such as code hints, code collapse, the tag inspector and tools for file comparison. This chapter will help ease you into working with code, if you are interested.

    Adobe's Spry Framework for Ajax is mentioned as a technique for creating navigation menus in Chapter 5 and as a method for validating form data in the Chapter that explains how to build forms. Spry is the current hot web technology and you'll find the thorough explanations of Spry and Spry Widgets (an element made up of HTML, CSS and JavaScript), clear and understandable. Even if you don't completely understand the technology, you'll find the step-by-steps easy to follow. There are tutorials for adding Spry Widgets such as an accordion of collapsible panels and creating Spry Effects in the chapter that covers Dreamweaver Behaviors. If you've never been able to figure out how to use Dreamweaver's behaviors, working through the information and tutorials in this chapter will help get you past that obstacle.

    While a 995 page tech book is not usually a cover to cover read, you should be sure to refer to Chapter 16: Testing Your Site, before going public with your creation. It's a relatively short chapter with a checklist and the usual info on Dreamweaver tools for checking the site performance and detecting errors on your pages. The next chapter addresses getting your site onto the Internet. Section 5 is about how to really get the most out of using Dreamweaver. The chapters cover the topics of snippets, libraries, templates, automation and customizing the application. Section 6 is titled Dynamic Dreamweaver and has extremely good tutorials on using a variety of server side technologies. You'll even be stepped through setting up a free testing server on your computer, XAMP for Windows and MAMP for MacOSX. The last section contains two appendices. The first gives details about a variety of help resources including the Dreamweaver Help System, the Adobe site, Forums, the DMX Zone, and paid support. The second appendix is a detailing of every Dreamweaver menu.
    ...more info
  • An Average Book
    This is an average book. The description is lengthy but the information is all over the place, making it difficult to reference. The steps to create a web page are presented in two ways: first a vague description of the steps are presented and after that, a tutorial at the back of each chapter is given. Thus, the steps are presented twice. This explains the thickness of this book.

    A topic which is not covered in other books is the use of PHP in Dreamweaver. This book describes how to set up an online catalog using Dreamweaver but it stops short of creating an interface which takes in orders in a shopping cart, a powerful feature in PHP/SQL. Thus, this book is just an average book....more info
  • Review by a novice to Dreamweaver & CS3
    I needed to program my first web site using Dreamweaver CS3. I had designed the web site and programmed it in a higher level language which didn't give me access to the html code. I needed this access capability for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. Although I had programming experience, I didn't know html or cascading style sheets and had never used Dreamweaver. I spent a considerable amount of time searching for the best manual for me. I selected two manuals-McFarland's Dreamweaver CS3 as my primary manual and Master Visually Dreamweaver CS3 and Flash CS3 Professional by Gunter & Valade for its outline by function.
    Now, six months later, I have completed the web site ([...] if you wish to see its complexity) and will give you my opinions. Contrary to what some say about the verbosity of McFarland's book, with my lack of experience, I found the detail explanations most helpful. As it turned out, even though I liked the Master Visually manual, I seldom needed to use it. I did about half of the exercises in the McFarland book, and didn't find the few errors in the examples disruptive. But I didn't have the patience to go through the rest of the examples. I found very few errors in the manual itself which is important when you are working in unchartered waters. I really liked the McFarland book and I also liked how it would cross reference the same topic elsewhere in the manual. One area I was really concerned with was what I would use for a menu structure. I decided on the Spy menus and was very happy with how well they worked as well as their appearance using CS3. Using FcFarland's manual and Dreamweaver I made two master templates. This was well worth the extra work in learning. One master template fixed the header, sidebar menu and the footer. The net result is that a menu change takes only seconds to propagate through the entire system saving a lot of time. The second master template is designed for those times I used images to fill the content area. This saved some work and insured consistency. Probably the most difficult area with Dreamweaver is to get a handle on its complex interface. But once learned, you can appreciate how so much info that is needed is available on your screen. I guess my best recommendation for McFarland's Dreamweaver CS3 is that I was able to use it to program my website in Dreamweaver CS3. ...more info
  • Dreamweaver CS3 the Missing Manual is a friendly course in the use of DW CS3
    This book is ideal for the explanation of the use of Dreamweaver CS3. Its tone is light but not cutesy, quite accurate and detailed, but not pedantic or overly academic. I came to DW CS3 with some knowledge of DW 4, DW MX and html. I had also had used some CSS style sheets in making a few web sites. This version of DW is very advanced over DW 4 and MX in its support of CSS. For that alone DW CS3 and this book are worth their combined prices.

    The pictures in the book are frequent and useful. The book is rather lengthy and therefore physically somewhat unwieldy, but with DW CS3 having so many features and so much power, I can't imagine any other way to address them all in such a form. And once you get a taste of the power of CS3 via this book you will want to learn every last thing you can from such a source as MacFarland's book. Perhaps the book isn't for the newcomer to web site construction, but neither is DW CS3 in my opinion. MacFarland's book is the definative guide to DW CS3. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Dreamweaver CSS3
    This book was an excellent introduction to Dream weaver for a novice like myself.It has easy to follow tutorial and is very user friendly. High recommended....more info
  • Great for Novice!!!
    This manual is a good place to start if you want to learn about dreamweaver and all it can do without a headache. Very easy to follow and the tutorials are on the internet so no worrying about a cd that will scratch over time. ...more info
  • Great book for even Old Dreamweaver versions
    Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual

    I found that this book was absolutely great for my Dreamweaver 2004. I needed help with templates and my version as well as the books that came with software didn't do a good job with this. I have bought other books but when I got this one it did a great job with examples etc. 50+ pages just on this topic! I can't wait to use it for other types of things I plan on doing with my current version of Dreamweaver....more info
  • Great manual
    For those that are just starting out with Dreamweaver CS3 this is a complete breakdown of all the technical stuff but in a non-technical language. The tutorials are easy to follow and give you a good basis for creating your own website. It is rather lengthy but not every word needs to be read to follow along. As your skills increase there is information that will allow you to learn at your own pace....more info
  • A HUGE help!
    Yes, this is a huge volume - as are most software "how-to" and other reference books - but this is one you'll definitely want to tackle if you're interested in building your skills with Dreamweaver CS3. To say there's a ton of good information goes without saying. Any good manual of this type can dish out the factoids, charts and examples in mass quantities, and "The Missing Manual" for Dreamweaver is no exception. To their credit, the authors still manage to present all that information with a good amount of humor and enough real-world examples to make it easy to digest and understand.

    Especially useful are the "hands-on" projects and lessons contained in each chapter. You get a taste of topics such as text formatting, page layout, creating / modifying CSS rules and lots, lots more. Each lesson is simple and direct - click here, type this, etc. Step by step. Many of the lessons build on each other, so you can see a complete web page come together with more and more features and complexity. All of the lesson and example files are downloadable from the book's online companion site, so there's no need to find (and store and protect) a CD that might have been included in the book. The site also gives updated information and provides links to more help... very useful.

    You probably won't read this book all at once - not unless you're an absolute newcomer to web design and Dreamweaver. If that's the case, you can work through all of the lessons, and come away with a very good understanding of the program's main functions and features. The discussion (and lessons) on CSS alone are well worth the read. Even though the authors say this book is not intended to provide a complete reference for CSS, the material presented greatly increased my knowledge and confidence in using this particularly useful bit of web-design magic.

    In short: a very useful, very reader-friendly book that can help any new- to moderately-skilled Dreamweaver user. Advanced users probably know all this stuff already, but for the rest of us, "The Missing Manual" is a great addition to a personal software reference library. Highly recommended.

    Bill Sklodowski
    Author of the forthcoming book: "PC Smarts for Small Business"
    Personal & Small Business Coaching
    Digital Marketing / Creative Services
    ...more info