I’ve been using Dreamweaver for roughly 10 years now. I’ve always used Adobe products, because that’s what I was originally trained on. Some features of Dreamweaver I use, and some I don’t. Pretty much anything script related I don’t use, because of bloated and cluttered code. However, I’ve always loved the interface for handling html and PHP when building from scratch. I also code my WordPress themes in Dreamweaver. Adobe recently released major (or at least what they call major) updates to all of their software. The last major Dreamweaver update was CS6 in 2012. One program that received updates was Adobe Dreamweaver. In this post, I’ll cover the main Dreamweaver 2014 new features.
Quick Element View
I am all for making my work easier. This feature is made to help figure out what an element actually is, so we can edit the right thing. This is a great idea in theory, and is meant to work much like Firebug for Firefox. If you are working in basic html, it may be fine. However, if you have multiple nested divs, or you’re working with Foundation or Bootstrap, Quick Element View becomes more visually confusing and complicated that just looking at the code.
When a tag icon looks like it is stacked on a lot of other tags, that means there are nested elements within it. This really gets visually confusing when there are a lot of nested elements. I feel like it would have been much better if their live view had an inspect concept, like Firebug, or the Inspector found in Chrome. Of course, I’ll just hop over to Firefox and use Firebug anyway if something is going awry. This bring me to another point, too.
Live View Still Sucks
Live View Editor
Lets assume that you like Live View. Dreamweaver actually added a cool feature of being able to edit code in live view. You can click on an element, and double-click on the little blue tabs to pull up an editor to change aspects of that element. If you need to swap out an image, you can just double-click on an icon in the corner of that element, and point to a different file in your site folder. This makes edits quick and easy, assuming that Live View displays your site properly in the first place.
In an effort to make Dreamweaver more visual, they implemented CSS Designer, which allows you to select an element and apply styles to it. You can see things such as breakpoints in your media queries, and you can edit them, too. You can also look at all of the css rules that are applied to an element. You can also apply CSS properties to any element, too. I like the idea behind this feature, but my only concern is how Dreamweaver auto-generates the CSS in your stylesheet. You have to wonder whether the CSS is compact and streamlined and efficient, or if it is thrown in any old way.
In an effort to streamline your workflow, Dreamweaver has several widgets that you can insert using their Insert Panel. This means that you can select commonly used elements, such as accordions, tabs, progress bars, and more. I like how Dreamweaver automatically places scripts in the footer, following best practices. In the dropdown menu, you can choose from elements, broken down by type. You’ll see things like structure, media and data, among others.
Conclusion: Dreamweaver 2014 New Features
Dreamweaver is a great tool, despite the fact that some love it, and others hate it. I have always used it, so it has always been a part of my workflow. I like the update as a whole, although there are still some things that I think could be better, considering they’ve had 10 years or more to work on it. It has been a while since we’d seen significant Dreamweaver updates. I can honestly say that I expected more. However, I am glad to see them moving in the right direction. Which do you think are the best Dreamweaver 2014 New Features?
Dreamweaver CC 2014 Summary
Adobe is trying to build a powerful WYSIWYG editor, but there are still some things that don’t quite sit well. I like most of the new features, but feel like they still have a long way to go. Editing in Live View is nice, but still isn’t enough to push it past 3 out of 5 stars. What rating do you think it deserves? leave your user rating below.