Thu
29
Mar '12

Using Dreamweaver with Sass and Less

When my wife, Stephanie Rewis, decided to leave the gun-for-hire world and join a start-up, she was immediately faced with a decision on which CSS preprocessor to use – Sass or Less. And compounding the problem, her editor of choice, Dreamweaver, doesn’t provide color coding or hinting for either preprocessor – even though their files are really just CSS. So, being the good husband (and evangelist for Dreamweaver) that I am, I set out to remedy the problem. If you’re wanting to use Sass or Less with Dreamweaver, here’s how to make it work.

As always, here’s the disclaimer – you’re going to be editing files in Dreamweaver’s Configuration folder, so proceed with caution, make a backup of the originals, etc.

The first thing that we need to do is to tell Dreamweaver that it’s okay to open a .scss or .less file – something that Dreamweaver by default doesn’t understand. You’ll first need to take a peak in your personal Dreamweaver configuration folder – on a Mac, that’s located in (more…)

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Thu
9
Jun '11

New Dreamweaver Feature: W3C Validator Integration

I will be the first to admit that I rarely think about validating my pages while I work. Okay, sometimes I don’t validate at all. I know I should, but I can usually come up with a good excuse for not doing it – an elephant ate my homework still works on occasion. ;-) And as a Dreamweaver user, validating against the W3C validator was always that “extra step” that I didn’t feel like taking. But with Dreamweaver CS5.5, there really is no excuse anymore – it’s now built directly into the app!

When you’re ready to validate your page, simply click the W3C Validator button and choose whether you want the local page on your computer validated or a page on a server.

(more…)

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Fri
27
May '11

Best Tip Ever: Using Online CSS3 Tools In Dreamweaver

One of the coolest things about the development of CSS3 is all of the experimental sites and online tools being created to help us all learn the new syntax, properties, etc. There are literally tons of great ones like css3maker.com, John Allsopp’s  westciv tools, border-image.com, css3generator.com and many more. In fact, even Microsoft has gotten in the game with their test drive site for IE 9 (and Preview Release of IE 10). But even with the great enhancements to Dreamweaver CS5.5, using these tools still requires bouncing out to the browser, using the online tool and then copy/pasting the generated code back into your CSS in Dreamweaver – or does it?

Actually, one of the best features of Dreamweaver, Live View, can be used in a way that you might not have thought of. We know that Live View allows us to see the page, rendered by the embedded Webkit engine, exactly as it would appear in Webkit-based browsers. But there is also an interesting text field that becomes active in Live View at the top of the document window – an address field – just like in a browser!

The address field in Live View

And yes, you can type any URL into the field. Dreamweaver, just like the browser, will load the page in Live View. If you are in Split View mode, you might notice that the actual HTML from the page you are viewing is not there because Dreamweaver is still showing the code of your original page.

Live Code displaying the generated source

But click the Live Code button, and Dreamweaver will display the generated source of the page you are looking at — complete with all the corresponding CSS and Javascript files appearing in the related files bar. It’s a great way to learn from what others are doing.

To get the most out of this feature, I have simply created a “tools page” with links to all of my favorite online tools. In order to interact with your local tools page, you will need to choose “Follow Link” or, even better, “Follow Links Continuously” from the Live View Options menu.

The follow links continuously command

So now, when I start Dreamweaver, I immediately open this page, turn on Live View, enable the Follow Links Continuously option and then go about working on my projects. Any time that I need a gradient, transition or anything more complex that I don’t want to “think about” how to create, I switch to my “tools page” tab where all my online friends are ready to help. I can then easily copy their code into the stylesheet that I am working on.

Live View rendering Colorzilla's Gradient Maker

Let me know what you think about this – or if you have an even better “Best Tip Ever”!

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