Modifying Dreamweaver to Produce Valid XHTML

Problem: Dreamweaver 4 falls short in its ability to produce well–formed, standards–compliant markup. Solution: You can easily harness Dreamweaver’s two greatest strengths, its flexibility and its user community, to make it one of the best tools on the market for producing good XHTML. This article will tell you how.

Article Continues Below

With a few tweaks, hacks and extensions, you’ll be able to produce
sites that validate, and to clean up legacy pages. Set aside an hour or two, follow
these directions, and fall in love with Dreamweaver all over again.

What this article does not do#section2

This article does not show how to tweak Dreamweaver to produce standards–compliant scripting. A future article may do that. Also note that upcoming Dreamweaver 5 is expected to be more standards–compliant than the current version, so some of these tweaks may not be needed with future versions of Dreamweaver.

Finally, remember to validate all your pages. Just because you’ve converted Dreamweaver into a standards–friendly tool doesn’t mean your pages will always be perfect. (We all make mistakes.)

Starting small#section3

XHTML must be written in lowercase, so set Dreamweaver to write markup accordingly:

  1. Open Dreamweaver.
  2. From the dropdown
    select Edit>Preferences.
  3. In the Preferences dialog box, select code format on the left of the dialog
  4. Set the “case for tags”  and “case for attributes” to lowercase.

Setting lowercase.

Doctype by default#section4

XHTML documents must begin with a namespace and an XHTML Document Type Declaration (including a URI that points to an online Document Type Definition). Unfortunately,  the default template in Dreamweaver does none of that:

<title>Untitled Document</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" c charset=iso-8859-1">
</head><br />

But good little girls and boys use a template that looks like this:

xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<title>Untitled Document</title>

It’s easy to make the default template include this or any other Document Type and namespace declaration:

  1. Find the document called Default.html:
    Windows: C:ProgramFilesMacromediaDreamweaver4
    Macintosh: HardDrive/Dreamweaver4/Configuration/
  2. Make a backup of the file.
  3. Open Default.html and change the head so it includes the Document Type Declaration and namespace declaration above (or the Doctype and namespace declaration of your choice).
  4. You may also want to edit the <body> tag, deleting the body color and text/link color styles that your cascading style sheet should handle.
  5. While you are there, you can also set up links to style sheets, insert basic
    meta tags, and declare your character set.

Closing non–closing elements#section5

XHTML requires you to close non–closing (“empty”) elements including form tags, image tags, horizontal rule tags and break tags. (For more information, see XHTML Guidelines in the NYPL Online Style Guide and W3C’s HTML Compatibility Guidelines for XHTML 1.0.) Closing these pesky elements can be one of the most time–consuming tasks in transitioning to XHTML. But you can modify Dreamweaver to do the work for you:

Closing the LineBreak.htm#section6

Let’s start with the simple line break; we’ll change <br>
to <br />.

First, find the file called LineBreak.htm in ConfigurationObjectsCharacters.

Finding objects.

  1. Create a backup of LineBreak.htm.
  2. Open LineBreak.htm.
  3. Edit line 17 so that <br> becomes <br />.
  4. Save and close the file.
  5. Open a new HTML document in Dreamweaver and insert a line break.
  6. View Source to be sure it worked.

Closing linebreaks.

Closing images#section7

The process for the Image.js file is similar, but a bit more complicated:

  1. Go to ConfigurationObjectsCommon.
  2. Backup Image.js.
  3. Open the file Image.js and modify line 21 from:
    "return ‘’;"
    to this:
    "return ‘’;".
  4. Again, test your work by opening a new HTML document and inserting an image

Repeat these steps for HR.htm and other non–closing element files in these

  • ConfigurationObjectsCommon
  • ConfigurationObjectsForms
  • ConfigurationObjectsHead

Checking your work#section8

After you have modified all of the non–closing elements, create a new document that uses all such elements and perform a little QA testing on it. Preview
the pages in a few browsers on a few platforms, and run the page through the HTML
validator. If you have made an error, you
don’t want to compound it by creating pages with broken markup.

Characters and Styles#section9

Dreamweaver makes it easy to insert special characters such as em–dash or proper quotation marks. Under the Insert drop–down menu, select Special Characters and you will see a list of the most common ones, ready for easy insertion.

But two problems make these options less than desirable. First, the
process of selecting em–dash, for example, takes too many steps. It is
easier to simply type “—”. Second, the character sequence that Dreamweaver
inserts is not valid. So if you use these characters as they are, your site will
not validate.

Two quick fixes solve both problems:

Editing the Special Character Files#section10

You can edit the the character objects themselves so that they produce Unicode character entities. Let’s work with the em–dash:

  1. Return to the file ConfigurationObjectsCharacters.
  2. Open emdash.html.
  3. Change return “—” to return “—”.
  4. Save the document, and test it as you did above.

Continue the process for the other files in the Characters directory. To modify
the dropdown Insert>Special Characters>Other menu, edit commandsInsertEnt.htm. Again, backup this file before you edit it.

Caveat: Dreamweaver will not display some Unicode character
sequences in Preview mode. Do not be alarmed when it renders “ (left double quotation mark) as a dot. All will be well when you see it in the browser.

Creating Keyboard Shortcuts#section11

Now you have nicely written Unicode, but it’s still a pain to insert the little buggers. You can create keyboard shortcuts for the character sequences by editing the menus.xml document in your program files (Configuration>Menus>menus.xml.).

You might for example create cmd+shft+h for an em–dash. I created shortcuts for right and left double quotation marks.

Before you do this, close Dreamweaver. Edit menus.xml in another editor like
HomeSite, BBEdit, PageSpinner, or Notepad. Make sure that you do not use a command sequence that is already in use.

Unicode em-dash.

The Bold and the Strong#section12

While you are working in the menus.xml file, you might also want to exercise a little more semantic consideration. The <b> and <i> tags will validate, but use of these formatting tags is not really in the spirit
of good markup. They don’t mean anything, they are just for formatting. If you care enough about document structure to want to write XHTML, you should be using the more meaningful tags <strong> and <em>

There are a few different ways of making Dreamweaver do this, but I found
it easiest to modify menus.xml this way:

Bold to strong, Italic to em.

I just gave the menu items _Bold the argument for strong, and _Italic the argument
for em. This way, when you select bold from the text dropdown menu—or if you use the bold or italic keyboard commands—these semantically more meaningful tags will appear instead.

Caveat: This does not change the HTML generated
by the properties window.

Update: After this article was published, Francois Jordaan implemented the XHTML modifications discussed here and packaged them in a downloadable file for your convenience. See the section labelled “Help & Praise,” below.

Cleaning up bad pages with extensions#section13

A developer named Jason Dalgarno has been kind enough to made available a Dreamweaver extension that allows you to convert your pages into XHTML. Note this is a zipped file download. When uncompressed, Dreamweaver Extension Manager will open it automatically. The tool will:

  • Quote unquoted attribute values.
  • Unminimize Boolean attributes.
  • Copy name attributes to id attributes.
  • Add the pitifully neglected type attribute to <script>.
  • Set an empty alt attribute to <img> tags.
  • Change null links from # to JavaScript;.
  • Fill empty table cells.
  • Run the command site–wide (be careful with this one).

Remember to make a backup copy of the page (or site) before you work with this new tool.

A bit of fiddling may be required before you get the hang of it. By default, the
extension will run every time you save a document. I found this a bit annoying
and changed my preferences so it runs only when I command it to.

Super HTML–XHTML DTD Dreamweaver Extension#section14

This handy little extension allows you to change the DTD of a page with a single
command. Note that if you are working with Dreamweaver 3 or earlier, you will
also need to download the Macromedia Extension Manager.

Installing the Extension#section15

  1. Visit the recently moved and reformatted Macromedia Dreamweaver Exchange and search for the Super HTML-XHTML DTD Extension appropriate to your machine.
  2. Open Dreamweaver.
  3. From the “Commands” drop–down, select “Manage Extensions.”
  4. Browse to the Super HTML-XHTML DTD Extension file that you downloaded and
    double–click it. The extension should now be installed.

Help & Praise#section16

The modifications discussed in this article have been implemented by Francois Jordaan and are available for downloading from his personal site.

Thanks to Rachel Andrew, William Samplonius, Sam Marshall, Yvonne Adams, Austin Govella, David Perini, Steve Champeon and the Webdesign-L community for help with this article.

118 Reader Comments

  1. I’ve seen some screenshots and though it’s hard to make out, rumor has it that perhaps many of our calls for XHMTL/CSS standards support have been answered with DrmWvr MX … including file conversion of HTML files to XHTML.

    Thanks ALA and for any part you might have played in this …


  2. Wow, I need more coffee … took me three visits to Zeldman’s site to realize that this particular forum is up, not all of them … kept going to the forum page and hitting refresh… still seeing the “forums not available” page… considered emailing Zeldman in case he did not realize the problem, but decided to take a minute to make sure I was right… I was wrong. =)

    Is there another designers’ forum/community anywhere? I had just discovered dreamless when it closed.

    Now I feel guilty and must make this post on-topic. I have so far found exactly one of my clients that cares about validated code … and he was quite obsessive about it. I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble to update my sites to xhtml yet, even with Dreamweaver’s help, though I’m glad it’s possible.

    I guess I’m setting myself up for always fighting fires, but I have to pick and choose which new stuff I devote time to learning and implementing, or I end up babbling and drooling in the web design aisle of Barnes & Noble.

  3. Pssst! Ixnay on the anderstay in eamweaverDray.

    It’s been suggested that the upcoming version of Dreamweaver will offer enhanced compliance with web standards, and there may be truth to that rumor.

    However, anyone who KNOWS is not allowed to discuss such things until after the software has been released to the market.

    Macromedia asks folks to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements for a reason. Anyone who’s seen upcoming Dreamweaver MX may be happy about what they’ve seen, but they can’t discuss it publicly at this time without breaking their NDA agreement, and we can’t publish any discussions like that in our Forum without also inadvertently breaking that agreement.

    Thanks for understanding.

  4. My current off-time project at work is to convert the corporate site from messy HTML to crisp and valid XHTML.


    Our site has a mess of Flash in it – and while I have, in the past, successfully linked to a custom DTD (in order to get both OBJECT and EMBED to be accepted) and had things validate (via only, of course) – making these same alterations in Dreamweaver has caused a number of hiccups during the validation process. I still can’t get it to accept the custom DTD.

    Might there be additional tweaks to be made to the DW Flash tags? I’ve added the ending slash for the PARAMs, but I might be missing something.

  5. Ok, if we shouldn’t talk about D.MX then how about Adobe implementation of XHTML, CSS and other standards in the new GoLive 6. Did Adobe get it right or are there strings attached to creating pages that validate?

  6. Grrr. And is anyone except me irritated that every time they manage to afford the upgrade it seems like the next version is imminent? I could swear I just upgraded Dreamweaver, and now everyone is drooling in anticipation of spending another couple hundred bucks. Grrr.

    Though I do [fondly] recall the days of corporate web design, and just handing my boss a list of software that I needed. It was lovely … like Christmas…

  7. These changes are nice, since we use DW for mock ups and frequently use that code as the basis for the final code set, using BBEdit to replace tags while coding the finished product. However, I have found that the change from
    as described in the article only works properly when Line Break is selected from the Insert menu. If I type Shift-Return (the default keyboard shortcut) a regular
    is inserted!

    Does anyone have any bright ideas about this one? I use the keyboard shortcut all the time, so if that doesn’t work it’s not of much use to have made the change 🙂



  8. I’m happy to see the new forums coming up!

    I’m curious… HTML Tidy is supposed to be able to convert lots of messy tag-soup pages to XHTML. It seems to work pretty well on my hand-coded and occasionally Perl-generated pages (I use the BBEdit plug-in, which is a lovely thing). Is it any good at dealing with Dreamweaver output?

  9. I am also glad to see the forums up. Since I first began reading ALA the forums have always been down. I can’t wait until they are all up and running.

  10. wow, this is really cool… I didn’t know I could change the default start up… that will save me a few steps when I start a new site…

    I still need to get better with stylesheets, as I still use the body tag for a lot of text formatting (im sorry!)

    But now, Im having a problem in my dreamweaver class… the teacher wants us to make a site, but he doesn’t know anything about webstandards… guess what? my site doesn’t work on his Netscape 4.01! How can I convince a University Professor that his class is out of date and he needs to teach standards? Hell, my GTF had never even heard of web standards! grrr. btw, thanks for the forums again!

  11. I must confess that I have not applied these fixes, as I am still a ‘hand-coder’. Homesite 2.5 for me, baby! I have always found using DreamWeaver a slower process for me, as I always have to correct things afterwards. Still it’s worth a go.

    Anyway, my question is about GoLive. I am evaluating version 6 – have never used GL before at all. Looks quite interesting/powerful, while not immediately intuitive. There is an option to output as XHTML but that output does not pass validation.

    If anyone has any ideas about how to improve compliance in GL6, please e-mail me direct on this.

    [Deferential bow to the waferbaby for giving Mr Z a helping hand]

  12. I have been using Homesite for a few years now and Dreamweaver before that. I was willing to go and try these tips but having read about Dreamweaver MX Im not too sure now.

    Can someone please give me a good reason why I should bother to use Dreamweaver over Homesite ? ? I ask out of a willingness to change but a lack of knowledge as to why…

  13. Speaking of standards, it looks to me like the forum software written by Waferbaby validates… and
    Not that I expected any less. My question is: What did you use to write this in? It seems extremely fast and responsive, even as the number of posts per page has increased? Any info you could give would be extremely appreciated.


  14. “Is there another designers’ forum/community anywhere?” asked by Johannah.

    Just launched is, with nice forums. Just how much of it will be actual design talk remains to be seen, I fear a lot of it could just be making nice images rather than designing sites etc. Although that’s fine with me 🙂

    I think pixelsugeon also has a forum? Not sure, not really into it that much (please don’t kill me!).

    I started to modify DW to write valid code but stopped when I realised that

    a. I can write better code myself
    b. It would take too long.

    Dreamweaver is great for some things, more abstract functions like changing links sitewide and quickly sticking flash and bits and bobs into sites, but as far as I’m concerned, the unrivalled freedom of a text editor like Notepad or JEXT is fantastic.

  15. “How can I convince a University Professor that his class is out of date and he needs to teach standards? Hell, my GTF had never even heard of web standards! grrr. btw, thanks for the forums again!”

    Ask him why he uses Netscape 4.01, then give him a CD with a slightly more up to date browser on it (ie a w3c compat one). Mention to him that evolt keeps such archaic relics so he doesn’t have to fill his hard-drive with antiques, and then go forth and show him the wonders of properly implimented web-standards CSS design 🙂

  16. “I have so far found exactly one of my clients that cares about validated code … “¦don’t know if it’s worth the trouble to update my sites to xhtml yet”¦”

    I think about it in terms of best practices. At this point, the use of XHMTL and CSS is a best practice, and all clients are entitled to best practices, even if they do not ask for them.

    If you were to hire a contractor to build a house for you, you might not specify or understand the best practices of that profession, but you would hope to dear God that the contractor would build according to them.

    Shouldn’t we expect the same from web site construction?

  17. “If you were to hire a contractor to build a house for you, you might not specify or understand the best practices of that profession, but you would hope to dear God that the contractor would build according to them.”

    First of all, I was glad to hear another opinion on my comment. However…

    IMO I don’t think that’s a valid analogy … I think of it more like an interior designer … if you give her $50,000 to redo your kitchen, you can expect Italian granite countertops, but if you give her $10,000 you might end up with Formica. =)

    Since my clients are mostly small businesses with very tiny budgets, it isn’t cost-effective for me to take 3x the time on each site. For most of my clients, I’m developing their initial web presence. I have to explain interactive features to them, most of them come to me wanting brochureware.

    For example, I don’t support browsers lower than 4.x … but if a client and I determine that his/her customers are likely to be on terribly outdated browsers, I change my approach. I also don’t test as rigorously as I might if I worked for a corporation with serious money invested in usability. I’ve worked for those corps before, it was fun, but I don’t have the time. I’ll test the major browsers on the major OS, but I don’t test IE 3.0 on a five-year-old Mac.

  18. One more thing that occurred to me … the term “best practices” … I’m curious as to corporate web designers’ experience … have you ever found a company that did more with “best practices” than wave around the doc? I find this terribly amusing since I worked for a company in Boston for a long time that had binders and binders full of usability best practices that they never used. Maybe it’s just a management issue. I’m curious to see if anyone has ever worked for a large corp that “does it right.”

  19. Tried Dreamweaver. Tried GoLive. Tried Dreamweaver again. Tried GoLive again. I keep going back to HomeSite.

    And I am SO glad this forum is back! Thank you, ALA

  20. Who are you people who think your code is better than some generated by a WYSIWYG editor? I didn’t realize that the browsers would find your tags much more appealing. A

    is a fucking

    . “OH I CREATE WAY BETTER CODE” give me a break you elitest prick. I’ve handcoded all my life, and don’t have time to worry about spelling mistakes and other slight typos that plague handcoders. Granted after I’m done WYSIWYG editing, I WILL comb through the code and tidy it up. These editors are by no means perfect, but the time saved from cleaning up their code rather than starting from scratch and typing out every single tag is huge. I’m just so sick of people looking down their noses at designers such as myself because I use *gasp* Dreamweaver.

  21. “Since my clients are mostly small businesses with very tiny budgets, it isn’t cost-effective for me to take 3x the time on each site.” — By Johannah

    It think that the term Best Practices applies in more than one way.

    If you write valid XHTML code all the time, with practice it won’t take you much more time in coding alone than writing any non-valid code. Plus the validators provided by the W3C and others will help you find errors in your code and you can have a more consistent expectation of what your code will output, which will save you debugging time.

    Granted, it will take you longer to code at first, but as you use it, you will start saving time in coding alone, not to mention maintenance. Now I am speaking from a hand-coding perspective [HTML-Kit (] and I have very little experience using authoring tools as I am a code-control freak.

    As far as Corp’s doing it right, I can say that very few companies I have programmed for care about standards or accessibility as more than a checkbox to check off if at all. However, I feel that it’s in my best interests in the long term to code no other way. So I do not and will not.

  22. Well … though I think you might be getting a little too confrontational about it …

    I can see both preferences. I was “raised” on Notepad, and had never even heard of an html editor until I got my first “real design job” at a consulting company. It was like my first hit of acid when someone opened up HomeSite and showed me all of the color-coding and tag completion. I nearly wet myself when I saw the extended find and replace. For a couple of years I was a HomeSite convert … I tried Dreamweaver a few times because the other designers used it for mock-ups … but since the code (DW 2 and 3) was still not great, I had to fix it in HomeSite to get what I wanted.

    I’ve only just begun to rely heavily on DW4 this past year. It’s just what you’re used to … some people prefer to use their tried-and-true tools, some people like to try the new stuff, ever hoping for a more perfect tool.

  23. Just a quick note, my reply “It’s all personal preference” was to “WYSIWYG” and not to Jeff Carr.

  24. “Since my clients are mostly small businesses with very tiny budgets, it isn’t cost-effective for me to take 3x the time on each site.” I totally understand the situation, Johannah, and that is why I wrote the article. I wanted to make authoring in XHTML less time-consuming enterprise.

    I don’t want to pick too much, but I would stick to the home building analogy and shift away from the interior design analogy. We are talking about a site’s structure. The granite counter tops might be more analogous to having Matt Owens come in a build the flash stuff for you.

    As for my own work, I do not do big corporate sites, but I do manage a large non-profit site. One of my biggest responsibilities is making sure that the scraps of money that we do find are used as effectively as possible. Building a standards-compliant site is the best way to do that. I think this is our strongest chance for having sites that work over time, and on different receiving devices.

    As for the WYSIWYG/text editor question, what ever gets the job done.
    Ask me about boxers vs. briefs, and I’ll be happy to weigh in.

  25. WYSIWYG wrote:
    “Who are you people who think your code is better than some generated by a WYSIWYG editor?”

    We are professional web developers and designers who see that the adoption of web standards is a clear solution to creating forward compatible web documents and minimizing costs associated with site maintenance.

    There are tremendous benefits inherent in adopting standards, but the benefits can only be realized if a majority of parties that work to create the Web use them.

    Standards-compliant code is better than non-compliant WYSIWYG code because of these benefits (which I won’t go into here, they are detailed in a number of places on the Web).

    “I didn’t realize that the browsers would find your tags much more appealing.”

    Well, now you know. But I smell sarcasm, so I suppose I’ll have to explain it. Browsers that properly implement standards do find standards-compliant markup more appealing in the sense that they render the markup consistently. Assistive technologies for the disabled like them better, too. And so will the next generation of search engines, or have you not yet heard of the Semantic Web?


    is a fucking

    . ”

    Wrong. It’s a


    “I’ve handcoded all my life, and don’t have time to worry about spelling mistakes and other slight typos that plague handcoders.”

    Yeah, us handcoders have it tough. We must have no clue. Us and all of the programmers. And writers. But I guess that’s why they invented spell check. And markup validators.

    “These editors are by no means perfect, but the time saved from cleaning up their code rather than starting from scratch and typing out every single tag is huge.”

    I can build a page by hand just as quickly, if not faster, as I can in Dreamweaver. The one I coded by hand is standards compliant and accessible. YMMV.

    “I’m just so sick of people looking down their noses at designers such as myself because I use *gasp* Dreamweaver. ”

    I don’t look down my nose at you because you use Dreamweaver. I look down my nose at you because you are a rude troll.

  26. Elitest Prick (at least he admits it) wrote:

    “We are professional web developers and designers who see that the adoption of web standards is a clear solution to creating forward compatible web documents…”

    I fully agree with W3C standards. And can’t this be achived with Dreamweaver? I never said anything about NOT conforming to standards. I completely believe in a global set of rules. I accomplish this just fine IN Dreamweaver. Make a few modifications to it and boom it’s ready for valid markup. This and checking it over manually (which everyone has to do anyway) produces perfectly valid code. So don’t preach to me that a WYSIWYG editor can’t create standards-compliant code, because it can.

    And lastly on this topic, do all professional web developers and designers out there agree that handcoding is the one true guiding light? If not, then don’t speak as “WE are professional web developers and designers” it’s more like “YOU are a professional web developer and designer who has an opinion that hand coding is better than WYSIWYG code”. If I can recall I too am a professional web developer who doesn’t share your sentiment.

    “Wrong. It’s a


    And no YOU’RE wrong.. a

    IS a

    . A

    is a

    I knew some Elitest prick such as yourself would try to pick out ANY little detail he/she could find just to try to make his/her case seem clever. Make sure you scour the rest of this post and hope that I screwed up by putting a period somewhere it shouldn’t be and then get back to me, because we all want to hear it. Symantics.

    “I can build a page by hand just as quickly, if not faster, as I can in Dreamweaver. The one I coded by hand is standards compliant and accessible. YMMV.”

    That’s fine, but you’re probably one of the FEW who can. And like I said before, my code with Dreamweaver is also standards compliant and accessible. So let’s drop that one.

    “I don’t look down my nose at you because you use Dreamweaver. I look down my nose at you because you are a rude troll.”

    The fact that you look down your nose at anyone convinces me that you’re a pompous ass who should go back to drinking his tea. The whole purpose of my first post was to express my disgust with people like you who think they’re gods gift to the web world just because they handcode. If you handcode, fine, I applaud you. Just don’t tell me the way I do things is wrong and jump down my throat when I tell you that I actually respect a users choice for using a WYSIWYG editor.

    Good day.

  27. so now that everyone has puffed up and flexed…
    can we move on to a more constructive discussion.
    if you aren’t ready… perhaps you should swap email and step outside.
    i don’t mean to add to the mess… so… please and thanks.

  28. Didn’t take long for this thread to get all trolled up did it? Anyway, what’s the expression about opinions. They’re like arseholes. Everyone’s got one. So live and let live, and try to be polite while you’re about it. WYSIWYG, you are entitled to your opinion, but there’s a fine line between being vocal and downright rude.

  29. Sorry, just commenting on the forum. Man, another big scroller here, with comment box right at the bottom (there’s nothing on the page telling you how to post a message if it requires scrolling) …what was wrong with the tree-view? Also, can’t read the titles…I mean, it’s making me think I need to see the eye doctor. Forums took so long for this?

  30. Hi

    just a quick question about valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Can I not use Width and Height attributes on images anymore? How about the “boreder” attribute?

    Any help would be much appreciated. I get an invalid error on these attributes when I run them through the W3 validator BUT I don’t see anything saying I cant use them in the XHTML1.0 spec.



  31. Simon,

    The answer to your question is yes you can. The question now becomes why is the validator barking when you are using valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

    It’s a good question for which I have no answer. But someone else might if you gave an example of the code.

    As far as modifying dreamweaver goes…. Thank you Carrie Bickner!

  32. Ok

    the problem was occurring with an Image Field Tag NOT an image tag. This is the problematic Line:

    The validator chokes on the boreder, width and height attributes.



  33. html4/xhtml 1.0 transitional won’t let the border fly in .
    you could control the border from a stylesheet perhaps… ns4 might disagree.

    have you tried to include an id as well as name? might be adding to your blues.

    hope this is at least a bit helpful. jc

  34. I checked the HTML and XHTML DTD’s, and the problem that you are having Simon, is that border, width and height are not attributes of the input element. CSS can adjust those properties successfully, however they have never been part of the official spec since HTML 2.0 at least.

  35. Re: Eliteist Prick

    TBL’s vision of a symantic web was a grand concept in its day. However, in case you haven’t noticed, such visions died a couple of years ago. Corporations don’t want everyone to be able to “steal” their data. People want the precise markup control that Flash provides. For gods sakes, look at the number of corporations – like Ticketmaster – that even oppose Deep Linking!

  36. Ok, yeah I’m an idealist. But I don’t think the symantic web will never die.

    Yes Ticketmaster does oppose deep linking as do some others, but there will always be stupid people and corporations. Now you might think that is a little harsh, but why would a company like Ticketmaster want to make it more difficult or inconvenient to find the shows that you want to get tickets for? Their reasoning is that they sell ads on their front page, (their ad income must be huge to support legal fees from preventing deep linking) and that their competitors were sending people to ticketmaster’s site (Is this kind of thing a big problem that I am just not aware of?).

    Now of course corporations don’t want anyone to steal their data, but if they don’t want it publicly accessible, why the heck are they putting it on a non-protected area of the internet to begin with?

    As far as precise markup control goes, yes I want it. I want it so badly I can taste it. But going with one company’s proprietary technology to hold the future of our information seems pretty shortsighted. Some of you may have been following the problems with streaming that Macromedia had with the release of it’s latest plugin. One small bug ( on their part broke to one extent or another all sites using streaming content written in any version of Flash. Now yes, they are taking care of it, but that should show you just how tenuous relying on one product can be.

    For the most part, I agree with Macromedia’s perspective ( on HTML’s versus Flash’s current capabilites. However, as a rule I dislike Flash. But that comes more from the (mis)uses that I see it put to than any dislike for the actual product itself.

    <-:Steps off soapbox, gets back to work which has never been at HFX:->

  37. Do any of you Dreamweaver aficionados know if DW 5 will have better support for using SVG?

  38. Hey, waferbaby, I can read the titles to each post now clearly! Still miss the tree-view because I think on a long thread it’s easy for people to “branch off” and talk about semi-related things….with a linear thread it seems a bit disjointed when people refer to an earlier comment that might be 15 comments up the thread….just a thought!

  39. Well lets see if you use DW you end up with a much code, less appealing but for the design aspect of dw i give it 200%.

    Now if you use notepad or Homesite (my beloved wife) you will definitely see all the errors DW has created once it’s tie to clean up your code.

    I love DW/UD but it’s actual script or syntax is sometimes a bit over the top. A none programmer will disagree.

    So why do people complain (clients and none programmers) because they find it much more stressful and tideous to correct their (none existent) mistakes.

    I hope Netscape gets a proper funeral finally!!!

  40. Changed the stylesheet last night based on what my eyes (and some of you) were telling me. Should be much easier to read link text now.

    Many ALA readers disliked the previous forum’s tree structure, which required numerous clicks as well as forward and backward motion as you tried to follow each thread. Reader comments were compiled by former ALA Community Director Webchick. Over and over again our members said the same thing: “lose the tree structure.”

    Readers told us the tree structure got in the way of conversation. They asked that we revise the forum using a flat structure like the one you’re now reading. And now, with a major assist from waferbaby, we’ve done so.

    There are pluses and minuses to the new, flat-page approach as there were pluses and minuses to the previous layout. Hopefully most comments will stay on topic, and real conversations will emerge. We’re still refining the Forum and the admin it rode in on, and your feedback is welcome and helpful.

  41. Does anyone have any opinions on using Dreamweaver “templates” and “Library items”, are they good or bad? can they do any “harm”.

  42. I’ve had no use for the Dreamweaver templates. But I do use the libraries for things such as copyright notices, bottom-of-the-page links, and other oft-repeated items. On one site, I even used it for the rollover navbar, a then-unweildy chunk of code and scripting.

    Do they cause harm? Couldn’t say. But if I recall, the library feature just throws a couple of hidden comments into your code. As for the HTML it generates, it spits out what you put in.


  43. It spits out what you put in in a callous, tight-fisted WYSIWYG editor style 🙂 I still believe that to truly achieve the best results you should use a text editor. If you can’t type very fast or can’t remember the tags or hexes or whatever then that’s ok. I used to have Dreamweaver ready for basic table structure before the advent of tableless design, and I still use eithe DW or Fireworks for my hexidecimal reference, although I guess I should just compile my own pallate (spl).

    In response to all the elitest bullcrap, everyone has an opinion, but some are wrong 🙂 With time and practice you can write better code using Notepad than you can in Dreamweaver. The bonus is that you can use it to write everything – JavaScript, CSS, PHP, Perl, XHTML; you never need to worry about updating it or taking huge amounts of time to manually change the code it outputs by using the method shown in the ALA article we are currently debating. All you need to do is use a web-site for the first few weeks to make sure you get your code right, validate it and you’re away. Logic dictates that something done first hand ie – you doing it will be better than you doing it through something else. If you need something done… That doesn’t mean DW is crap or even not very good, but it does mean that most truly unique, creative web-sites don’t use Dreamweaver for the bulk of the coding.

  44. Why would anybody advocate using – ack! – Notepad when there are much better options like Homesite and BBEdit available that allow for much faster code creation that is more accurate and has less chance for error because it notifies the writer if they’ve forgotten anything in their code (such as requiered elements) and included syntax highlighting and built-in validation and automatic tag completion and …

    To each his own, I suppose. But I haven’t looked back since I stopped using Notepad.

    The Template/Library function is Dreamweaver is actually pretty sophisticated and has a nice interface. For simple things, I works very well. I’d love them to really advance it to include things like automatically including tables of contents that automatically update when you add documents to a site. Currently, the easiest way to do something like that is with Frontpage or CityDesk or something like those programs.

  45. Just a couple of ideas i had about these forums (which, BTW, i’m really thankful are back up):

    1) why don’t you use a background for the h3 instead of un-symanticing your page with loads of (which by putting alt=”” you kinda admit it aint symantic) Something like:
    background: #ee6 url(/images/document.closed.gif) no-repeat 50% 10px;
    would look good.
    2) how about some accesskey atributes for the post a message bit, or even some tabindex for the post a message bit to make it easy to get down to them?

  46. “Why would anybody advocate using – ack! – Notepad when there are much better options like Homesite and BBEdit…”

    Personally I use JEXT as that has most of the syntax highlighting and other bits and bobs you mentioned, but when I say Notepad I mean text-editors in general. Not simply a point and click software. Think about how much you pay for Dreamweaver, and what do you benefit? Apart from the sitewide things you can do to it, what do you actualy gain if you know the code? Let’s see…

    Let’s assume you have a computer with a text editor on it. Why? Why the hell not?

    1. Copy of HTML reference – free online!
    2. Offpeak internet access (6 quid a month UK)
    3. JEXT – free online if you want it! PHP, CSS, JavaScript all open to you…
    4. Debugging tools (ie – Internet Explorer and early browsers) free at!

    1. Copy of Dreamweaver – $200? Maybe more?
    2. Server side? You need Ultradev! $200.
    3. Time overheads – it takes longer to do!
    4. Time overheads – you clean up the code!


  47. Great that the forums are back… too bad it’s overcrowded. It would be cool if this could be turned into a real messageboard where people can make their own topics.

  48. Folks, just had to go in and delete a post linking to screenshots of Dreamweaver MX.

    Hate deleting posts, but must remind everyone that Macromedia is serious about their NDA.

    They could even be persuaded to take action against a site that posted information like this.

    Please don’t put ALA or its forums in jeopardy.


  49. Does anybody know how I can get Dreamweaver to stop rewriting my code?
    The things I am battling with in particular are check boxes where the box is checked, dreamweaver doesnt like checked=”checked” and changes it back to checked without asking, same with selected.

    Also when using templates it doesnt like the
    @import url(“../style.css”)
    and changes it to
    @import url(Templates/%22../style.css%22)
    so the style doesnt work.

  50. Hey there…

    been combing through this site just to get some info on properly implementing/simplifying some CSS stuff for cross-browser compatibilty, etc, and also because I am curiously stepping into the XML/XHTML arena, and want nice, clean, standards-compliant code (I am a C programmer by heart).

    My one question remains: Why does everyone focus so much on client-side functionality? The majority of my sites are written in PHP, and I personally hate javascript. Far too much nasty code sent to the client, and far too much reliance on an unreliable resource (browser). I like to do things simply on the server-side, which is why I use PHP. I can even use PHP to setup styles, regardless of browser – although, I generally use it to detect browser type and then either send CSS or manual styles.

    SO my question remains – What’s with all the client-side reliance? I say “screw the browser”… rely on your server to generate decent code, and eliminate eye candy that most people ignore anyway. Seems like most of these web developer sites focus on technologies and gizmos that the average user just ignores or looks at and says “that’s kinda cool, i guess…”. I’m a geezer tho, and none of my sites are fancy. But that’s why I like them. ALL (and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE) of my clients like extremely simple and clean sites which work across the board and absolutely refuse to rely on client-side technology.

    An example, a functional real-world example of my theory, could be had by just taking a look at Google or Ebay. Simple sites with fairly clean layout and nothing fancy. They just get the job done.

    Anyway… great article. I am a babbling fool now because I have spent all night (the last ten hours) reading about XML and XHTML and am still digesting it all. So sorry if this makes no sense.

    PS – All my code is generated by PHP, which is written in VI (a real editor) via SSH. So TAKE THAT!! Heh heh heh…

  51. Any one know where I can get a Dreamweaver MX crack- I really have to get it now!

  52. OK firstly I know you are all saying “why is this idiot posting this here?”. Well I need some help with this problem but if I post in the forum associated with the article I don;t think I’ll get any response. The last post in there was 10th March!

    If anyone would be kind enough to offer some light on these problems it would be very much appreciated.

    1. Does anyone know how to make Dreamweaver produce lowercase javascript as default? If for example I use dreamweaver’s swap image script wizard it produces non-valid markup (when validating to XHTML 1.0.transitional). Basically it litters the scripts with capitals – non valid capitals!

    2. Another non valid piece of Markup it produces is the

    Both very frustrating and I’m sure both will be fixed in the forthcoming Dreamweaver release but I won’t be purchasing that for a while so any advice on how to modify DW for the time being to prevent this happening would be appreciated.



  53. Dreamweaver = easy tables, to cut and paste in to TextPad, and code around.

    I wouldn’t even atempt to use Dreamweaver to code my scripts for me, why should markup be any different?

    People who use Dreamweaver as a crutch should not call themselves designers or developers… perhaps hobiests at best, hacks at worst. It’s the difference of buying a entertainment center at wal-mart, and comparing it to what a professional cabinet maker could produce.

    Simply, there is no comparison —

  54. Does anyone know how one goes about modifying DW4 to produce valid HTML 4.01? For instance, how do you modify it so that instead of getting

    , I get per the W3C. Another is, how do you center a table in a page when the
    tag is deprecated with div tags, table tags, and by itself?
  55. damn, WYSIWYG, tell us how you really feel!

    Anyone know how to accomplish some of these customizations in Homesite? I can’t seem to find a way to get my keyboard shortcuts to write in
    and the image tag wizard to write the xhtml-style tag.

    And another thing…what about and ?? I have tried to validate pages with normal meta tags, but the validator tells me that even these should be . Anyone know about this?



  56. Not elitist, just practical. I consider Dreamweaver painfully slow, and WYSIWYG editors in general to be so buggy as to not be worth the effort. It’s quicker and easier for me to knock out the code myself than trudge through a sluggish WYSIWYG editor and then slog through its code fixing its numerous mistakes. Dreamweaver and FrontPage are both better than they used to be, but neither of them is as good as I am… yet.

    Your mileage may vary.

  57. Oh, and I use TextPad for day-to-day coding, in case you’re curious. It’s the best text editor I have ever tried. Well worth the miniscule cost.

  58. Any tips on how to do some similar hacks in HomeSite? Especially entities and special characters? Any suggestions welcome!


  59. Hello everyone.
    I have been interested in converting some pages to XHTML for some time, and I know how. That is not the problem. Dreamweaver rewrites nowrap=”nowrap”, selected=”selected” and other similar attributes to the normal nowrap and selected. I use Dreamweaver to save time on initial preparation and manage my site; I clean up by hand. I have not gone over to XHTML yet because I haven’t yet figured out hot to get around this.

    I am now using Dreamweaver MX Trial, but if you don’t know how to do it in MX I would still like to learn how to do it in 4. Thank you, everyone, in advance for any advise you can offer on this matter.

  60. Going back through the posts and reading them I see many people bashing designers that use Dreamweaver. I type over 70wpm and can hand code in my sleep, but guess what? Dreamweaver saves me time anyway. We are not talking about a few minutes here; we are talking about hours upon hours of work. Its site management features like library items have saved me days on updates and allowed me to use great layouts that I would have normally decided against.

    All I can say is this. If you think Dreamweaver will slow you down then you probably don’t know how to use Dreamweaver.

  61. Anybody have any ideas why I can change the
    tag to
    in Line Break.htm (according to Carrie’s instructions on A List Apart) but the tag appears as
    when I use it in a new document in Dreamweaver?

  62. Alot of people think that dreamweaver is a cheap way to enhance your site, and anyone who uses it is slow and opposing the normal conventions of site building.
    Well, this is what i have for them, although dreamweaver maybe a shortcut through all the work u have to do without it, on notepad or another html accepting file, it is much faster and easier. Yes, building a site is no accomplishment now when you hav this kind of sofware which makes it a breeze for u, and those who do it manually writing html from scratch, may think they r being cheated. And i agree, because i used to write it by hand, but times change, you’ve gotto move on, and thats wot i did.
    i didnt think i’d find dreamweaver that useful, but i did, its great, so easy to make sites within minutes and editing couldnt be made easier.

    I recently got the mx version, but i need a crack for it, if any1 finds 1 that works, then please send it to me. at my email, and puttin the the subject area, ‘DREAMWEVER CRACK’, so i recongnise it, cos i get alot of junk stuff.

  63. I’ve been trying to tweak my Dreamweaver 3 to conform to
    XHTML per your recommendations. Most of it seems to work
    fine, but when I’m saving a new HTML file I get the following 2 errors:

    While executing onLoad, the following JavaScript errors
    At line 11 of “xhtml_beforeSave.htm”
    dreamweaver.getDocumentDOM(‘document’).getParseMode() is not a function.

    While executing onLoad, the following JavaScript errors
    At line 11 of “xhtml_afterSave.htm”
    is not a function.

    Is there a way to fix this? The pages seem to come out alright
    and they even validate, but I would like to get rid of the

  64. This is in response to Quasidandy’s post re: the Image Tag Editor in HomeSite.

    In HomeSite 5.0, it is possible to create XHTML-compliant tags, using the Image Tag Editor, but you have to first set the doctype as XHTML in HomeSite in order for it to work properly.

    Even though you may have a valid XHTML DTD at the beginning of your page, you still need to set the doctype to XHTML. To do that, select “Options” from the menubar. At the bottom of the menu is an option to “Set Document as XHTML”. Once you select that option, a dialog box will appear, notifying you of your selection, and asking you if you want to change your DTD to Strict, Transitional or Frameset (or no change at all).

    Once you’ve done that, go ahead and try the Image Tag Editor again. Now, you’ll see different options for the tag (including a few for accessibility). The output from the Tag Editor will also be XHTML-compliant (quoted attributes, the final forward slash at the end, etc.).

    Hope this helps (assuming you haven’t got an answer already, that is 😉 )

  65. It only took 4 months for anyone to notice my extension no longer works in DW3? (Shame on me for using an undocumented function)

    It can’t be doing anything at all in DW3 as getParseMode() is checked in the main function. The way to fix it is to uninstall the extension and give me a day or three to think up an alternative for DW3.

  66. Hi,

    Just wanted to thank you for replying regarding my attempts to tweak DW3. I’ll certainly give you all the time you need 🙂 I’ll check back at the site to see if you come up with a fix regarding that.

    I suppose I could just upgrade to DW-MX, but I don’t have the dinero. $200 buck is a lot of money for me right now. If you come up with something I’ll be anxiously waiting as I’ve been very happy with version 3 of Dreamweaver. I’m used to it so I can jump around on it pretty quickly. Meanwhile, I’ll uninstall the extension.

    By the way, the NEWEST version of the extension manager (1.5) doesn’t even work on DW3. I had to re-install a previous version that I had sitting around on my hard drive.
    DW3 users need to note that.
    Planned obsolescence or progress?? Either way, whatcha’ gonna’ do?

    Frankly, I tried the Dreamweaver MX version on my humble little PC (900MHz-256 RAM) and it was sluggish. Huge file download, too.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble on, all the best,

  67. After reading all the “ping-pong” messages about WYSIWYG editors like Dreamweaver vs Hand Coding I’m just wondering what would be like if we hear the client’s opinion on the subject.?
    I know that some clients don’t even care if your computer is a 286 and you work in the old “EDIT” from DOS as long as they see what they want. The issue here is how would the client feel (confidence wise) after finding out the tools the person in charge of the website uses. ( I’ll refer as “person” to the individual “creating”, “developing” or “designing” the website. Don’t want to hurt any feelings and start another message war just because I called “designer” to somebody who considers h**self a “developer”).

    I think that my point is, after you spent hours creating the website and is out there for the public to see, and it looks, feels professional. Would they even care what tool you used??.

    On the subject. I think that some people haven’t used DW enough to see the actual advantages over manual coding. There are some things that you can’t do with editors like Notepad or Textpad(personally one of my favorites). And don’t start making those faces because I’m not talking page-wise but site-wise.
    * DW allows you to collaborate in one common project when you have a group not an individual working on the site.Do you have “checkin-check out” features in Textpad?.
    * Templates are definitly a time-saver. Doesn’t matter if you are the fastest coder in the planet you won’t change 50 pages with a broken link faster than DW. Using DW (provided you’ve used Templates )change the
    broken link once and that’s it every page related to that Template gets updated.
    * Design Notes have proven to be a “nice” feature, not essential but helpful, yeah you can have 3000 yellow sticky notes around your monitor reminding you what to do but I rather have this feature specially if you are working with a group of people…

    Just one last note.. if you are going to reply please do in a professional manner no need to send anybody anywhere or bring up body parts in the message. After all what is the client going to think of you if you present yourself that way???
    Have fun..

  68. There’s an easier way to do the keyboard shortcuts with DW4 – Edit > Keyboard shortcuts…

    No need to muck around with Dreamweaver menu.xml file – you can replace your Ctrl+B shortcuts with just by pressing the buttons and clicking ‘change’.

    Very simple and no danger to corrupting the XML file.

    I not sure if this feature is in earlier versions of DW, but it’s in DW4+.

    – Mal

  69. There’s nothing wrong with using Dreamweaver, or whatever tool works to get the job done. If you’re a non-technical person, or anyone who is pressed for time on a project, a tool that helps you build the best looking and working site possible in the least amount of time is exactly the thing. By all means, use Dreamweaver, Frontpage, whatever. They may not always generate the cleanest code or give you maximum control, but hey, we’re not painting the Sistine Chapel, or some great work of art designed to last for generations. We’re building WEB SITES for heaven’s sake, transient things that are here today and gone tomorrow, designed to look cool today and destined to become stale by tomorrow. Why spend weeks or months crafting the “perfect” page or site with perfect html and maximum control, if you can build a cooler looking and more functional site in a matter of hours with a tool? Some people can code like lightning in a text editor, but let’s face it, that’s a minority, and for most folks, a tool like Dreamweaver is exactly what they need.

    Now having said all that to avoid the charges of “elitism”, I do think that if you’re a serious programmer who makes your living as a software developer, you need to give some careful consideration whether to use Dreamweaver, even as slick as MX is. As a programmer, you have a different set of needs than web designers (who focus on the visual issues, graphics, layout, site navigation, etc.), business users, and other folks who just want to crank something out. When you need to have maximum custom control over code, you need to know what it’s doing, and why it’s doing it. You don’t want a bunch of little graphical widgit thingies coming between you and the raw code, no matter how convenient or clever they are. You want access to the raw code.

    Now someone might argue, well you can do that in Dreamweaver MX, and it’s got the new combined features of Ultradev and HomeSite to let you do stuff that keeps you closer to the code. It’s got tag libraries, syntax highlighting, and all the rest. Yes, but it doesn’t have the degree of control over your programming environment that you’d want in a serious editing tool. It’s got a FEW of those things, but in reality I have a $30 text editor, Ultraedit, that has more programming tools than Dreamweaver (which weighs in at around $350 street price). It has the ability to convert between encodings (UTF8, ASCII, Unicode, etc.). It has the ability to interface with external programming tools such as compilers. It has all the things Dreamweaver has, such as snippet library, custom tag libraries, and syntax highlighting.

    As a dev, all the ready-made stuff you pay for in Dreamweaver isn’t that useful. Sure it has canned javascripts, but you can get oodles of those for free all over the web. So it has html syntax checking; that’s a joke, how hard is html for a developer? There are free reference sites all over the web; who needs all the hand-holding built into Dreamweaver? So it does fancy things like layout regions using tables, that can then be reused throughout a site. For a dev, how hard is it to do a server-side include, or better yet, develep some reusable code on the server to generate the common content automatically. And if you do this yourself, you have maximum customisability, unlike with the canned Dreamweaver stuff. Dreamweaver’s a nice tool, but for a dev, I think you can do better.

    I won’t condemn anyone for using Dreamweaver, but I think a serious dev should consider looking elsewhere, and I plan to.

  70. I’ve been roughing out my site
    m/members/rebelgt , and I was looking at it on my friends Mac running OS X. The wierd thing is, when I look at it on his comp, it won’t show the drop down menu in the javascript window. But if I open up the page on its own, [
    m/members/rebelgt ] it shows it with out a prob. Any insight would be much appreciated. 🙂

  71. Go to Start -> :: Run Then type in REGEDIT :: Now, Go Macromedia and delete the Dreamweaver portion of the folder :: Next, go to the top of the folders list and select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE :: Now, delete the Dreamweaver portion again. Finally open Dreamweaver MX and type in your name, ignore Organization, and copy-and-paste this in the serial: DWW600-54020-05455-61816 :: This WILL work.

  72. Shya, right, Dude Killa. I’d really like to know how DM slows you down. It’s not a crutch if you know how to write valid code AND know how to use DM: it’s jet-powered rocket coder. But, I see you still prefer you horse and buggy. Though protests too much. If you are the stone cold hard coder you say you are, you’d benefit from the speed and convenience of DM (if you’d bother learning to use it correctly, know it’s strengths/weaknesses), because you, with your knowledge of specs, would turn DM into text-editor times 10.

    Many designers, myself included, use DM and produce clean mark-up, and we do it faster. DM’s editing window allows someone who is conversant with the specs to write clean html/xhtml, and, if you know the specs it’s not necessary to code clean.

    So, really if you know DM, and you know the specs, you’re in the fast-AND-clean lane.

    BTY: I’m glad the Web has some diversity, some color, and elements of design. If it were up to the self-elected over-inflated vociferous self-proclaimed “purists”, the Web would still be text based. Sure, information is nice, but information that is designed is nicer.


  73. Is there a mistake in the dates posted for each message or is this the type of dating where its day/month/year and nothing has been posted since April.

  74. all this chat just goes to show how good it really is I think I might buy it with all the bells n whistles.

  75. I just wanted to post some updates to the article for DWMX

    1. Valid Default Document New Path: c:program filesmacromediadreamweavermxDocumentTypesNewDocumentsThe just edit the one you want.

    2. closing image tag: same file but different lines
    New lines: 24 and 27

    The current information in the article about eding the html files in Forms, Frames, etc…. is still current.

  76. Remove the 30 day / VBox shit from the trial version.

    1. Run regedit.
    2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Macromedia.
    3. Completely delete the Dreamweaver folder and subsequent keys.
    4. Exit regedit and launch Dreamweaver.
    5. Should the VBox screen reappear, click Try, else:
    6. Fill in First Name, Surname and enter a random serial from this file:
    8. [Probs with link? Navigate to
    8. Enjoy!

  77. Oh! Oh! I feel like I’ve died & gone to Heaven! I’ve finally stumbled upon a group of people discussing just the same type stuff I need to know! I’ve got questions for y’all coming up!

    But, to respond to this topic, I’ve been putting together a site & converting another to DWMX, using *many* templates & library items in both. So far, the only negative I’ve found has been one annoying but manageable issue with the templates.

    Sometimes DWMX allows you to insert & save some bad code it really doesn’t like, but doesn’t tell you until you discover it yourself & try to correct the problem (like a missing close tag or something). When you try to make the correction, the template gets a bit confused & thinks you’re trying to change something in an “uneditable” region. My only successful methods of rectifying the situation have been to undo, undo… until I get back to the place I made the original mistake (this works sometimes & sometimes not) or to use the method recommended by one of the DW consultants from the DW site forum which is to open the pg in a different editor (I’ve just used Notepad, but the tabs can make it quite hard to locate what you’re looking for), make the correction & save it, then reopen the pg in DWMX. You can see the full discussion on this issue at…

    I found that this was less of an annoyance when I turned off the 3 Preference/Code Rewriting/Rewrite Code options.

    Otherwise, I’d have to say my experience so far has been that templates/nested templates & library items RULE! You see a minor change, you make it to the template, &, bam, in a few secs all your pgs are changed. Don’t like the change; remove it from the template, save, & it’s gone from all pgs. Same with the library items for such as dates, amounts, counts. (Note: The Library seems to get a little confused about iitself every once in a while & sort of think it doesn’t exist or an item name remains when the item has really already been deleted. I’ve always been able to resolve this “fake prob” by Recreating the Site Cache & Refreshing the Library until either all the items reappear or the names of the deleted ones no longer appear).

    I surely hope nothing more negative shows up with ’em as they truly make site-wide updating a snap.

  78. I do think too that people bashing WYSIWYG users are somewhat arrogant. And they miss the point anyway. It’s not about having all the work done for you, it’s (as James stated) about TIME.

    Would any of you say: “don’t use a text processing software to produce long documents, but instead start typing all the attributes and styles in a text editor, then render it in some other software”? Uh? No, of course. So why on earth should HTML be an exception in this? Very funny.

    I can write code, too, and have a fairly high typing speed.

    But between the average 10 minutes I take to determine page layout and CSS via Dreameaver, + the 10 minutes of code verification/correction, and the full 1 hour it takes to do the same in raw typing, well, I’ve choosen.

    Matching, in a text editor, the time one takes in DW to build layout and CSS is possible only with very simple layouts, with more than 80% informational contents.

    Another consideration is that when you come from PAO, your working habits are very different than when you come from the programming world. For programmers, writing code is the “natural” way. For PAO designers, actually SEEING what you are doing is the “natural” way. It’s a whole different approach.

    I personnaly can tell, most of the time, the difference between a site designed by someone who is into PAO and someone who’s on the programming side…

    I DO understand the points of those guys who claim that, FOR THEM, using text editors is better. Sure it can be. But some of them are indeed arrogant, and should think twice before making nonsense declarations. I think they simply deny the right to “traditional” designers to play a role in the web community, and dream of a web directed only by programmers, “people who KNOW about languages”. To me, it doesn’t sound very democratic.

    Cheers from Belgium 🙂

  79. MX seems to have fixed all.. well almost. you can set all of the afore mentioned changes in prefrences except the
    and to but you can still do this in TagChooser.xml. Someone said somewhere that the special character incoding is wrong and also the flash code is updated but still dosn’t validate so we are still stuck with the flash satay (what is satay) method. woo hoo! im happy it even does good code formating! COOL!

  80. Dreamweaver, has since v4 offered a feature by which certain sections of code are translated. This includes the php

    < ? php include('header.php'); ?>

    which i use to inclue the header you see above. problem is dreamweaver interprets this as an ssi and decides to translate this to the source found in the local copy of the file, no matter how out of date.

  81. In DW4. In code mode I try editing Javascript code like MouseOver, OnChange, etc, and change them to all lower case.
    They look OK but then they always revert back to their original.
    I’m trying to validate as XHTML.
    Anyone else seen this?
    Any fixes??
    email me


  82. Dreamweaver keeps rewriting my javascript events as such:
    onmouseover = onMouseOver

    this is keeps my page from validating…

    is there anyway to stop Dreamweaver from doing this?

  83. I create site models in XML, generate the site (with XSLT) and then fill in the content in a WYSIWYG (using FP2002). Now I’m trying to round-trip the content back into the XML.

    Problem: the HTML generated in FP2002 is not XHTML compliant by far, so the round-trip screws up my XML something wonderful.

    Any suggestions for a nice (cheap) page WYSIWYG for XHTML? No site features required (except maybe publishing)?


  84. Dreamweaver MX trial version expired and I’ve tried everything to rejuvenate it with no luck. There is obviously some hidden file that prevents me from re-downloading a fresh trial version and the old one won’t launch anymore. Any suggestions? (I’ve tried the suggestions above for changing a trial version to full but it doesn’t seem to work once the 30 day trial version has expired)

  85. great little article this, now i don’t need to buy dwMX….oh how i like my dreamweaver 3 :)….thanks again! scott

  86. I keep finding the question, but have never found the answer. I use DW for the templates and management etc. I hand code in code view, but DW won’t leave certain attributes well enough alone.

    It keeps changing selected=”selected” back to selected

    How do I get it to stop that?


  87. I’ve just read that comment tags in XHTML have to be done differently using CDATA or something – it’s still a little fuzzy. Anyway, DMX uses comment tags for its templates with no CDATA thingummy so doesn’t that mean all pages produced by a DMX template are NOT valid XHTML? Anybody know what I’m talking about?

  88. Hello,

    I was just wondering if A list a part is going to publish a guide how to make these same tweaks in DW MX 2004. Atleast the doctype doesn’t change by editing the default.html anymore. I’m using a mac with DW MX 2004.

  89. The modifications to Dreamweaver to produce valid XHTML, do they apply to Dreamweaver MX as well or only the previous versions: 4,3..?

  90. does anybody know where to get the crack for dreamweaver MX for osx?
    if you please let me know thanks

  91. Does anyone know of a program that does automatic XHTML? If there is not one out yet, is there anyone who wants some XHTML work to do? email me to get started. I have paypal and pay very well!

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