The professional’s choice for making websites now goes mobile
The key selling point of Dreamweaver hasn’t changed since its early days as a Macromedia product. This is a powerful but expensive web-design tool that allows you to create pages visually in Design view, by typing the HTML yourself in Code view, or via any combination of the two.
The Design view has extensive palettes and windows to tweak almost every aspect of each photo element, while Code view has automatic code completion to speed up the process for back-to-basics web programmers. Live view, a feature available since CS4, gives a more browser-like look at the page without having to save and preview it in a separate browser.
Dreamweaver can also help you create suitable HTML mobile pages in the first place, too. Support for jQuery Mobile was added in CS5.5, and you can now add jQuery Mobile pages and elements from a menu – a handy timesaver for coders, as well as designers.
Not everyone wants to create separate websites or apps for mobile devices, however, so CS6 introduces new tools for those who want to visually create pages that will scale nicely across different devices. The Fluid Grid Layout system sets up pages for you using common HTML5 tools so it is possible, in Design view, to create a layout that scales nicely across the differently sized screens available on different devices.
The process of creating suitable pages is still fiddly but it allows designers to create adaptive layouts that would previously require hand-coding. Dreamweaver has multiple view modes for Mobile, Tablet and Desktop, so it is straightforward to judge how a page will look at different screen resolutions.
Dreamweaver CS6 does not add a huge number of new tools but the ones that are added are both thoughtfully chosen and well implemented. If you have CS5 then it is well worth upgrading. For CS5.5 users, the choice will largely depend on your use of Design view and how much you create for mobile devices. For new users, the £357 price alone makes the decision simple; this is a brilliant tool if making websites is your priority but otherwise it’s just too expensive.
Read more reviews
The latest version of Adobe's professional web-design program adds clever new mobile and app tools, plus some handy updates for users of Design view
Excellent online Phone Gap Build service; Thoughtful additions to jQuery Mobile and CSS3 support
As expensive as ever; New Fluid Grid Layouts are fiddly to use
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