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I use DW to help with the visual elements of layout - tables, cells, etc. It's easier to test different table widths and sizes by dragging the borders than it is to keep guessing at the code.
I also like the site management with DW.
But I do most of my real coding by hand.
DW gives a good clean interface. It's the difference between Windows and DOS. You can still run your computer in DOS, but Windows makes some things easier.
Import tabular data - often need to get a CSV file into a table DW inserts the data into a nice table for you.
Put file - I love working on a page and hitting "put file" the file goes straight into the right directory without me having to leave the document I'm working on
Library Items and Templates - much time saving to be had by these will update and entire site.
Synchronize - when working on a large site with many files in many different directories its nice that DW compares files on the remote server and only uploads those ones that have changed.
Round trip image editing - you want to edit than image? just click edit image and fireworks boots up loads the image you do your stuff and click done. Even if you change the extension DW handles that for you.
Extensions - fantastic stuff available to save you effort and time.
I could go on but these are the features I use daily.
once you get past the basics of dreamweaver you can start adding extensions, which are at the download centre at macromedia. Usually .js stuff, and a mixture of server tools, for larger sites.
the ability to drop in external objects, scripts, is pretty cool.
All in all dreamweaver is pretty good.
BOL, one thing i would suggest, once you get a little feel for it, get a site online with the DTD statement at the top, and get a feel for the added code, or attributes that DW drops in, hence once you get into using the templates, u can edit them out and have validated pages.
yes tx, i appreciate the topic has been covered, but these are people who seem to use DW cos they cant be bothered to hand code ;) I'm used to FP and just wanted to seee what everyones recommends to the first time users, as opposed to the user who knows everything ;)
looks totally different to what im used to......
as for validated pages, im workin on a new site that validates, using includes etc, but hopefully when all is settled I can tinker them with DW as opposed to FP ;)
That's pretty much what I use DW for nowadays. As long as I'm not using CSS for positioning, DW is what I use for a visual tool. As soon as I'm happy with the mockup then I switch over to my code editor and just use DW to ftp my files to the server.