|Switching From Front Page To Dreamweaver|
I am switching from Front Page to Dreamweaver because I need some
major functions that Front Page will not do. However, I'm finding that some of the simple functions that Front Page did so quickly and efficiently are not even listed in the back of the Dreamweaver Books under the Index.
Can anybody help me find functions in Dreamweaver that are comparable to the following Front Page functions?
1) Front Page Format Painter. (Copies text format from hi-lighted
text to new text)
2) Front Page Preview Button (shows exactly how my site looks in
3) Front Page Thumbnail Button (creates a thumbnail in seconds)
(I have Photoshop, not Fireworks.)
|I am switching from Front Page to Dreamweaver because I need some |
major functions that Front Page will not do.
Can you describe those major functions that FrontPage is lacking please? We'll see if you even need to switch. ;)
What version of FP are you using? The new Expression Web is rather good.
The first major item that I want to add to my site is a drop down menu, with sub-menus, which Front Page does not offer. I am afraid to plug in things because when I insert HTML, Front Page tends to add a lot of stuff to it that I didn't put there and it confuses me when I try to remove it later.
I would like a cleaner piece of software and everybody I know says that I really need Dreamweaver because I can do so much more with it. Front Page is limited (or gets more complicated) when it comes to adding other things to it. I use a lot of photo galleries and thumbnails because I am a photographer for Ballroom Dancing and I publish photos from the dances and competitions. I am taking my site National because it is so popular in Atlanta. But, to add Dance Calendars for new cities, I need drop down menus or else the Home Page will get much too cluttered. Later, I will want to learn video streaming so I can post dance routines on the site as well.
The big problem is that the site took off much faster than I anticipated and I didn't have the time to develop new skills to keep up with it. That's why I don't understand as much of the vocabulary of Dreamweaver as I do Front Page. I have a site that crys out for high tech and I still have a limited skill set.
Surely format painting, viwing what the site looks like in Internet Explorer (before publishing), and creating thumbnails must be available in a superior package such as Dreamweaver. I thought I found a way to view my site in Internet Explorer last night using Dreamweaver 8, but when I clicked the icon, it didn't look any different. When I click Previw in Front page, it is like night and day and I can see exactly what it will look like.
I don't have my Front Page Book here at work with me, but I believe that the version that I use is 2000.
Regarding Expression Webb:
Does it create Thumbnails the way Front Page does?
Does it have Drop Down Menus with sub-menus?
Does it create all those vti files for every photo gallery designed? Does it make you create a new photo each time you want to link to the same photo, or can use the same photo as a reference for many thumbnails?
Can you plug in programs to it with out it writing additional code that makes it hard to find when you want to remove it?
|Does it create Thumbnails the way Front Page does? |
Expression Web is FrontPage on steroids. Its the same interface with a few more bells and whistles. So, anything you could do previously, you should be able to do now and probably a little more efficiently as many things have improved.
|Does it have Drop Down Menus with sub-menus? |
I roll my own but if you were doing it in FP before, you can do it in EW now. ;)
|Does it create all those vti files for every photo gallery designed? Does it make you create a new photo each time you want to link to the same photo, or can use the same photo as a reference for many thumbnails? |
Are these issues you were faced with using FrontPage 2000? If so, then they either still exist or they have been addressed by later versions. In reference to the vti folders, I don't believe those are present anymore in EWD, I could be mistaken.
|Can you plug in programs to it with out it writing additional code that makes it hard to find when you want to remove it? |
No more so than earlier versions of FrontPage. Keep in mind that EWD is the replacement for FrontPage so it is built on the same platform with a few more layers of functionality.
As far as plugging in programs without writing additional code, I think that is going to be hard to find, even with DW. You can always opt to use one or more of the third party plugins available for FrontPage/EWD to achieve what you need to do. Or, you can figure out a way to do it using the default features of the program. Either way, there is learning involved and I'm sure some additional "technical" stuff.
Ooops, almost missed these...
|The first major item that I want to add to my site is a drop down menu, with sub-menus, which Front Page does not offer. |
I've never used FrontPage menu features or any other menu generating program so I cannot answer the above. But, I do know that any plugin menu is going to have a learning curve in configuration. I'm not too certain any of the WYSIWYG programs offer this type of functionality yet.
|I am afraid to plug in things because when I insert HTML, Front Page tends to add a lot of stuff to it that I didn't put there and it confuses me when I try to remove it later. |
This is where most WYSIWYG users run into problems. There are certain procedures that need to be followed for the addition and/or removal of FrontPage/EWD functionality.
If code is being added to your HTML, it is due to a couple of things. One, the HTML you are pasting may be invalid. Yes, I've seen FP hiccup on malformed syntax. Two, your preferences may be set in a way where you are allowing this to happen and it should be set to the "other way" where it won't happen. ;)
|I would like a cleaner piece of software and everybody I know says that I really need Dreamweaver because I can do so much more with it. Front Page is limited (or gets more complicated) when it comes to adding other things to it. |
That's not true. FrontPage/EWD, DW, HomeSite, etc. are all programs. Once the user is brought into the equation is when things get messed up. It can happen using any one of the WYSIWYG editors on the market. For example, did you know that if you click the order of WYSIWYG buttons in a certain sequence you'll end up with improperly nested elements?
Most users don't know that. There is a sequence to how a page is to be built. When you don't follow that sequence or "read the instructions", then please don't blame the program, take a look at your implementation first. Didn't find anything? Take a look again. Still couldn't find anything? Well, then it must be the program. :)
|I use a lot of photo galleries and thumbnails because I am a photographer for Ballroom Dancing and I publish photos from the dances and competitions. |
You're in an industry that has exploded over the years. There are literally thousands of packages out there for photo galleries.
|But, to add Dance Calendars for new cities, I need drop down menus or else the Home Page will get much too cluttered. |
Nah, you just need a simple calendaring plugin or use a third party calendar that plugs into your site, like your Google Calendar.
|Later, I will want to learn video streaming so I can post dance routines on the site as well. |
Whoa, slow down. Let's get the basics out of the way first. Video streaming is a whole nuther challenge.
|The big problem is that the site took off much faster than I anticipated and I didn't have the time to develop new skills to keep up with it. |
It may be time to think about hiring someone to assist you with further development of the site.
|That's why I don't understand as much of the vocabulary of Dreamweaver as I do Front Page. I have a site that crys out for high tech and I still have a limited skill set. |
DW is Macromedia speak. FP is Windows speak. There is no need for you to make that transition because someone told you DW can do what you want it to do and FP can't, that just isn't the case. It all comes down to "your skill set".
I'd take some time and really learn the advanced features of FrontPage and/or EWD, whichever you choose. You may want to stay with FP, at least upgrade to FP2003 so you can take advantage of all the features added between 2000 and 2003. I still use 2003 daily and have EWD open for newer .NET projects. Oh, EWD is great for working on .NET stuff.
To answer the original questions:
1) Yes, this functionality should be implemented with a css class (you create a css class for a certain style and add the class to each element you want to style in that way)
2) F12 (see Setting Browser Preview Preferences in Help documents)
3) No, although I am sure there would be a possibility of automatic thumbnail generation (via a command script) in PS as there would be in FW. And, as pageoneresults mentions, there are hundreds of commercial gallery scripts out there for different kinds of software these days. (Note that specialised DW commercial gallery scripts usually require the existence of Fireworks for automatic implementation from within DW, although manual designation of thumbnail and main pic folders created elsewhere is often possible.)
From your initial post, it seems as though you have already made the switch, so I would recommend that you use the Help files rather than books (Help link in DW on the top menu) and post here when or if you are stuck.
Thank you all for the input on this subject.
I don't understand much of it, but will learn as I go.
I have not yet switched to Dreamweaver. I thought I'd re-create my site in it's entirety in a separate folder before switching over completely. I want to make sure that I can do all the things in Dreamweaver that I presently do in Front Page first and maintain both sites for a while before publishing the one in Dreamweaver. I'd hate to switch over and then realize that I don't understand it as well as I thought and not be able to update daily.
Try to use CSS for the drop down menu thing. If you do that then using FP or DW won't matter. It is all done in your CSS file. One thing you have to be careful with is that a lot of the examples out there work in IE7 and firefox but not IE6.
No matter what (primary) wysiwyg editor you use, none of them will have all features you want. (I was just reading in another thread that DW doesn't have a thumbnail feature.) I actually use a combination of editors with a few plug-ins and a couple stand-alone products. Regardless what you use, unless you fully understand its capabilities, and limitations, you won't be able to utillize it to its fullest.
Rocky, you're right to test DW separate from FP, but I wouldn't give up on FP too soon. And considereing the upgrade to EW is only $90US and actually installs along side FP, not replacing it, you can take advantage of both. At least that's how my upgrade went. And, you can use both FP and DW together taking advantage of the individual features like thumbnails.
And in the end! - I still manually inspect and correct all the code, just to be safe ;)
I donít have the foggiest idea what CSS, IE7, and IE6 mean.
I have a basic Front Page background.
I do not know how to inspect code because Front Page does that for me. The only time I have looked at the code is when a friend of mine strongly suggested that I copy and paste the html code to disable right clicking photos and to insert meta tag statements into my source view at certain strategic points for search engines. But even then, after I paste it, sometimes it looks different and I canít find what I inserted if I come back later to change it. I think Front Page rewrites the code, which scares me. Marshall, how can I use Dreamweaver and Front Page together. When I publish in Dreamweaver, I think it will re-write the Front Page code. Therefore, when I go back to Front Page to publish something, it wonít recognize it's own code anymore.
Obletree and Marshall
I would give my website URL address to you, but I donít think that is allowable in this forum. If the two of you saw what I am working with, then maybe you would be able to assist me better. Is there a way to email it to you? The big project confronting me is to use drop down menus on the Home Page for people wanting to access my Dance Calendars in cities across the United States. If I list them all on the Home Page, it will clutter the entire page. I am attempting to create Ballroom Dance calendars for every major city and Entertainment Center in the United States. Therefore, drop down menus are a must.
[edited by: pageoneresults at 5:18 pm (utc) on July 10, 2007]
[edit reason] Removed Specifics - Please Refer to TOS [/edit]
Then I suggest that you stay with FP.
Expression Web will NOT do all the automated (but badly coded) things that you want unless you actually write them.
It is also almost totally CSS based, as is Dreamweaver (I just think it does it a lot better than DW does).
[edited by: Wlauzon at 10:52 pm (utc) on July 10, 2007]
If I stay with Front Page, or upgrade to Web Expression, will I be able to insert a Drop Down Menu Program into it from another source?
If so, will Front Page write it's own code, which will look different from the original and will it put it all in one spot, or will it dump it in different places in my source code. If it dumped it all in one spot, maybe could help identify the text by inserting a comment on both ends of the inserted text. What do ou think?