difference between dreamweaver versions

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Dreamweaver version differences

On this page:

CS5 vs CS4
CS4 vs CS3
CS3 vs 8
8 vs MX-2004
MX-2004 vs MX
MX vs 4
PC vs Mac


This version Also known as
Dreamweaver CS5 Dreamweaver 11
Dreamweaver CS4 Dreamweaver 10
Dreamweaver CS3 Dreamweaver 9
Dreamweaver MX 2004 Dreamweaver 7
Dreamweaver MX Dreamweaver 6

Macromedia is now Adobe Systems (since Dreamweaver 8).

What's the difference between Dreamweaver CS5 and Dreamweaver CS4?

For people considering attending our Dreamweaver CS3 course but have CS5 back at home or the office: The majority of the topics covered on our CS3 course are applicable to the CS5 software. Certain commands or tools may be found under different menu items and the interface is slightly different. The two-day course is at an Introduction level, so it covers the basics, which are true for mostly all versions of Dreamweaver software.

Here are 14 new features in Dreamweaver CS5 as listed on the Adobe web site. The final point is a list of depreciated features:

  1. Support for PHP-based content management systems
    With authoring and testing support for third-party PHP-based content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal, Dreamweaver CS5 delivers a professional development environment for creating robust websites. Dynamically Related Files provides direct access to the assets necessary for these complex systems, including dynamically generated pages and content. New Live View Navigation allows you to explore the various states of your dynamic applications and pages - even those already deployed on a live server.
  2. Dynamically Related Files
    The Dynamically Related Files feature in Dreamweaver CS5 helps you access files and update pages faster, as well as simplify management tasks for complex sites. With a single click, you can direct Dreamweaver to discover all of the external files and scripts necessary to assemble the page and display their filenames in the Related Files toolbar.
  3. Live View navigation
    With Live View navigation enabled, not only can you view a page as it is rendered in standards-compliant browsers, but links are active, allowing you to interact with server-side applications and dynamic data. In addition to the rendered Live View of the page, Live Code highlights changes as they happen, allowing you to quickly locate the dynamically loaded data or code changes triggered by JavaScript.
  4. Enhanced CSS tools
    For seasoned professionals and novices alike, there is a need to understand how page elements relate to one another, as well as to have the freedom to iterate and experiment with their page designs in real time. With enhanced CSS tools and Live View, Dreamweaver CS5 gives you more control without having to leave your editing environment, even giving you the ability to view any link state and change text size - tasks that previously required a browser.
  5. The inspect command
    Develop CSS-based designs more efficiently and accurately by visually displaying the CSS box
    model properties—including padding, border, and margin—in detail, without reading code or
    requiring a separate third-party utility such as Firebug.
  6. CSS Enable/Disable
    Quickly and easily disable and re-enable CSS properties directly from the CSS Styles panel in Dreamweaver CS5. Disabling a CSS property simply comments out the specified property without actually deleting it, and the affected property is no longer rendered. This convenient option for toggling CSS properties on and off, coupled with the ability to inspect CSS, allows you to remain in your editing environment throughout the development process, eliminating the time-consuming process of previewing in the browser and troubleshooting with browser-based tools.
  7. Integration with Adobe BrowserLab
    Dreamweaver CS5 integrates with Adobe BrowserLab, one of the new CS Live online services, which provides a fast and accurate solution for cross-browser compatibility testing. Whether you are new to web design or a seasoned professional, you can use BrowserLab to preview web pages and local content with multiple viewing and comparison tools, customizing sets of browsers to meet your project’s requirements.
  8. Enhanced support for Subversion
    In Dreamweaver CS4, Subversion support was limited to the most basic functions of locking and unlocking files and generating status updates. Dreamweaver CS5 expands support for Subversion, allowing you to move, copy, and delete files locally, and then synchronize changes with your remote SVN repository. The new Revert command allows you to quickly correct tree conflicts or roll back to a previous version of a file.
  9. PHP custom class code hinting
    Dreamweaver CS5 provides enhanced PHP code hinting on the fly by dynamically parsing PHP code and updating it as you type—even with code that hasn’t yet been saved to disk. Dreamweaver CS5 dynamically highlights errors and provides alerts in the Information bar to help you more efficiently find and fix errors in your PHP code.
  10. Site-specific code hints
    Site-specific code hints within Dreamweaver help you to more efficiently handle PHP coding tasks on a site-by-site basis. Theme files for blogs and other custom PHP files and directories can be included (or excluded) to customize the coding environment of Dreamweaver CS5 when working with third-party PHP libraries and CMS frameworks such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! and others. For robust code hinting, you can also specify files and even folders located outside of the defined site root.
  11. Enhanced CSS starter layouts
    Complex descendent selectors have been removed in favor of simplified, easy-to-understand classes, and the overall structure of the documents has been revamped. To help ensure success with the new layouts, instructions and comments are included both in the CSS code and the text of the document.
  12. Simple site setup
    To help make setup faster and easier, the Site Definition dialog box has been extensively redesigned, implementing many improvements suggested by web designers and developers who use Dreamweaver on a regular basis. You can start with as much or as little detail as you like - even with just a site name and local site folder - and Dreamweaver will prompt you for the remaining details as they’re needed as you build your site.
  13. Integration with Business Catalyst
    With the Adobe Business Catalyst® extension for Dreamweaver and the Business Catalyst online service, you can deliver powerful online businesses without programming and at a fraction of the time and cost - all from within your familiar Dreamweaver workspace. Business Catalyst is an online service that can replace as many as five or more applications and tools with a single central platform for web designers that works hand in hand with Dreamweaver through the Business Catalyst extension for Dreamweaver.
  14. Deprecated features
    The following features have been deprecated for Dreamweaver CS5:
    • Accessibility validation report
    • ASP/JavaScript server behaviors
    • Check Browser JavaScript behavior
    • Connect to FTP/RDS server without defining a site
    • Control Shockwave or SWF JavaScript behavior
    • Create Web Photo Album
    • Hide Pop-up Menu JavaScript behavior
    • InContext Editing Manage Available CSS Classes
    • Insert FlashPaper
    • Insert/Remove Mark of the Web
    • Microsoft Visual Sourcesafe integration
    • Navigation bars
    • Play Sound JavaScript behavior
    • Show Events menu (Behaviors panel)
    • Show Pop-up Menu JavaScript behavior
    • Timeline JavaScript behaviors
    • Validate tags
    • View Live Data

See Adobe's PDF document: new windowWhat's new in Dreamweaver CS5

What's the difference between Dreamweaver CS4 and Dreamweaver CS3?

Dreamweaver CS4 simplifies web development even further. The user interface has been enhanced to provide better integration with other Creative Suite 4 components such as Photoshop, Fireworks and Flash. In particular, you may notice the new vertical split Code View.

  • Better features for working with CSS
  • Improved Photoshop integration
  • New 'Live View' and 'Live Code' more accurately render web pages within Dreamweaver

"The striking new user interface of Dreamweaver CS4 is both an aesthetic pleasure and highly efficient. Web professionals of every stripe will find a workspace arrangement to fit their style, or they can customize their own. The revised user interface shares a uniform look and overall functionality with other key members of the Adobe Creative Suite 4 family."

For people considering attending our Dreamweaver CS3 course but have CS4 back at home or the office: The majority of the topics covered on our CS3 course are applicable to the CS4 software. Certain commands or tools may be found under different menu items and the interface is slightly different. The two-day course is at an Introduction level, so it covers the basics, which are true for all versions of Dreamweaver software. One unit taught on the CS3 course is Inserting flash text/elements: this feature is depreciated in CS4.

Screen elements are where they've always been by default: The properties panel at the bottom; the site files and other panels on the right; the menu items at the top.

Here are 10 new features in Dreamweaver CS4 as listed on the Adobe web site. The final point is a list of depreciated features:

  1. Live view
    Dreamweaver CS4 lets you design your web pages under real-world browser conditions with new Live view, while still retaining direct access to the code. Changes to the code are immediately reflected in the rendered display.
  2. Code hinting for Ajax and JavaScript frameworks
    You can now write JavaScript more quickly and accurately with improved support for JavaScript core objects and primitive data types. You can also put the extended coding functionality of Dreamweaver to work by incorporating popular JavaScript frameworks including jQuery, Prototype, and Adobe Spry.
  3. Related Files and Code Navigator
    Dreamweaver CS4 lets you efficiently manage the various files that make up today's web pages. Click any related file to see both its source in Code view and the parent page in Design view. The new Code Navigator feature shows you all the code sources that affect your current selection, such as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) rules, server-side includes, external JavaScript functions, Dreamweaver templates, iFrame source files, and more.
  4. InContext Editing
    You can enable end users to make simple edits to their web pages without help from you or additional software. As a Dreamweaver designer, you can limit changes to specific pages, distinct regions, and even custom formatting options quickly and easily.
  5. CSS best practices
    The Dreamweaver CS4 Property inspector lets you create new CSS rules, and provides clear, simple explanations of where each property fits in the cascade of styles.
  6. HTML data sets
    You can integrate the power of dynamic data in your web pages without the learning curve of mastering databases or XML (Extensible Markup Language) coding. Spry Data Sets recognize content in a simple HTML table as an interactive data source.
  7. Adobe Photoshop Smart Objects
    Insert any Adobe Photoshop PSD (Photoshop Data File) document in Dreamweaver to create an image Smart Object. Smart Objects are tightly linked to the source file. Make any changes to the source image and update your image in Dreamweaver without opening Photoshop.
  8. Subversion integration
    Dreamweaver CS4 integrates Subversion software, an open source versioning control system, for a more robust check-in/check-out experience. Update your site and check in modifications directly from within Dreamweaver.
  9. New user interface
    Work faster and smarter across Adobe Creative Suite 4 components with a shared user interface design. Toggle quickly from one work environment to another with the workspace switcher. The user interface in CS4 has been redesigned. The panels are much more configurable than in previous versions.
  10. Deprecated features
    The following features have been deprecated for Dreamweaver CS4:
    • Timelines
    • Web services
    • Layout mode
    • Site Map view
    • Java Bean support
    • Adobe® Flash elements (Image Viewer)
    • Adobe® Flash text and Adobe® Flash buttons
    • ASP.NET and JSP server behaviors and recordsets

What's the difference between Dreamweaver CS3 and Dreamweaver 8?

Dreamweaver CS3 (released early part of 2007) has again taken a few steps up from Dreamweaver 8. One of the most anticipated features of CS3 is the integration of the Spry framework for Ajax. We believe the most useful feature is the inclusion of new range of CSS tools. The new CSS tools include full support for CSS layouts. This layout format has now stamped its mark in the web design industry as the main format for web site layouts, overtaking the older method of using tables. Listed below are the top 10 reasons to upgrade to Dreamweaver CS3, according to Adobe:

  1. CSS Layouts
    As mentioned above you can now easily design sites using CSS layouts. Adobe has included a range of templates with full comments to get you started. Using CSS layouts gives you the opportunity to separate design from content making your website easier to manage.
  2. CSS Advisor Website
    If you are having specific browser problems with CSS, you can use the CSS advisor website to find the solution. You can even add you own tips.
  3. CSS Management
    Easily move CSS around your older web pages, from in-line to head, from head to external document and from document to document. This can all be done by means of a context sensitive menu.
  4. Adobe Integration
    Photoshop, Fireworks and many other Adobe products now have full integration with Dreamweaver. For example you can copy and paste directly from Photoshop into Dreamweaver. You can even edit your image in Photoshop and when you save the changes Dreamweaver will update the image within the webpage with the new version. There is also full support for Contribute CS3.
  5. Spry Framework For Ajax
    Using the Spry framework for Ajax you will be able visually design and develop dynamic user interfaces and tools. This tool will add interactivity but at the same time reduce page refreshes.
  6. Spry Effects
    Quickly add page visual transitions to page elements. Make the elements grow, shrink, fade, highlight and many more additional features.
  7. Spry Data
    Data can be integrated in XML format from an RSS feed or database. This data is easily managed for example you can sort or filter the data.
  8. Spry Widgets.
    You can quickly and easily add common interface components such as tables, tabs, lists, repeatable regions and form validation (client side) using Spry widgets.
  9. Adobe Device Central CS3
    If you are creating a website for a mobile device you can design, preview, and test mobile device content using Adobe Device Central, now integrated throughout Adobe Creative Suite 3.
  10. Compatibility Check
    This feature was part of Dreamweaver 8, but it is now in a completely new form with full support for CSS layout. So you can save time by checking your CSS layouts within Dreamweaver, with no need to open up all of the different web browsers.

For a full review on Dreamweaver CS3 please see: Creative Pro

What's the difference between Dreamweaver 8 and Dreamweaver MX 2004?

Differences between Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Dreamweaver 8. Dreamweaver 8 (released September 2005) has a wide range of new design and development tools, enhanced video support, efficient workflows and support for the latest industry standards and technologies. Specific new features include the ability to integrate XML data with a powerful drag and drop workflow; a new Zoom tool to get control over the design; a new Code Collapse tool to stay focused on the code at hand; and the ability to add Flash video in five mouse clicks. Listed below are the top 10 reasons to upgrade to Dreamweaver 8, according to Adobe:

  1. Drag and drop integration of XML data feeds
    Dreamweaver 8 does for XML and XSLT what Dreamweaver 1 did for HTML. Simply point any page to an XML file or a URL of an XML feed, and Dreamweaver will introspect it to enable dragging and dropping the appropriate fields onto the page. From there, pop into code view to work with improved code hinting support for XML and XSLT. Take advantage of the new XML and XSLT reference content.
  2. Take CSS-based design to the next level
    The new, unified CSS panel makes complex CSS simple. Learn CSS by reviewing the consolidated view and visual representation of the cascade as it applies to content for quick access and power. Know exactly where to make a change, select and go—no more hunting through text files. For working with CSS for content position, the new CSS layout visualization provides design-time visual aids to quickly and easily review page structure. The styles rendering toolbar previews how pages work with different CSS media types.
  3. Get greater control over design
    Zoom in on designs to de-bug complex layouts and review images. Use guides to accurately position content on pages to improve the accuracy between comps and finished product.
  4. Stay focused by collapsing code
    Focus only on the pieces of code in use and put the others aside. Selectively collapse and expand sections of code by selection or by tag with code collapse.
  5. Stop hunting and keep working
    No more hunting through menus to find snippets and source formatting options. Access common coding operations directly from code view using the new coding toolbar. Take advantage of new functionality to support frequent code workflows, such as commenting and uncommenting code, wrapping tags, and showing hidden characters.
  6. Work while files upload
    Continue working with local files while Dreamweaver uploads files and synchronizes sites with the new background file transfer.
  7. Add Flash Video
    Add Flash Video to sites with less than five clicks of a mouse. Simply point Dreamweaver to any Flash Video file, select the playback controls to surface on the page, and get rolling.
  8. Spend less time re-formatting text
    Stop wrestling content from email and Microsoft Word into formats. With new pasting options in Dreamweaver, retain all of the source formatting created in Microsoft Word, or just take the text and apply the CSS already created.
  9. Work with the latest technologies, including PHP 5 and ColdFusion MX 7
    With Dreamweaver, keep current with updated server behaviours and code hinting for PHP 5 and ColdFusion MX 7.
  10. Boost rendering
    Get a clearer picture of layouts and design in Dreamweaver. The design view in Dreamweaver 8 has been dramatically improved to better support CSS rendering within the tool, allowing for more precise final designs.

See also: Dreamweaver 8 Review on Macworld

What's the difference between Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Dreamweaver MX?

In Dreamweaver MX 2004 (released September 2003), the interface is less cluttered and more logical. This maximizes the usable workspace, and shows context and focus more clearly.

  1. Secure File Transfer
    Unlike previous versions of Dreamweaver, transferring files between Dreamweaver and the Athena server no longer requires an SSH tunnel. The internal FTP function in Dreamweaver MX 2004 now has SSH security built in. This means that your username, password, and all data are encrypted within Dreamweaver. To connect to Athena servers securely, simply check the setting "Use Secure FTP (SFTP)" when setting up your remote site. No external program is needed.
  2. Accessibility Tools
    The major changes in the tools are:
    • Full Keyboard navigation
    • Improved support for JAWS and Window Eyes screenreaders
    • A wide variety of accessible templates
    • Improved support for cascading style sheets (CSS), as described below
  3. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
    The biggest change is improved support for Cascading Style Sheets. From the code editor to the WYSIWYG view, all existing features of the program provide better support for CSS:
    • Style sheets are easier to access and apply.
    • CSS styles in both Code and Design views are easier to edit.
    • Six pre-configured CSS page designs are available.
    • CSS code is W3C compliant and renders accurately in the Design View.
  4. Templates
    Dreamweaver MX 2004 offers the same Template functions as Dreamweaver MX. The only difference is a slight change in the interface. Supported and non-supported Template features have not changed.
    New Template Features:
    • Nested Templates
    • Repeating Tables
    • Editable Attributes and Editable Regions
    • Template Syntax checker
    • Repeating Regions
    • Editable Optional Regions
    • Optional Regions
    • Template Parameters

What's the difference between Dreamweaver MX and Dreamweaver 4?

Dreamweaver MX (released May 2002) includes a variety of improvements and new features.

  1. Secure FTP
    Secure FTP using Dreamweaver Site Management (Windows: Secure CRT, Macintosh: Set up SSH tunnel in MacOS X or OS 9)
  2. User interface
    • Interlocking collapsible panels -- Docked to outer edges of the design space and will not overlap main document window.
    • Insert Panel tabs -- Located directly above design view window:
      • Tabs contain commands and tags previously accessible only from menus or from the Properties or Object panels.
      • Individual tags, such as Strong and EM, are available directly from Text tab.
    • Option to use Dreamweaver 4 interface -- (Windows only) Available under Edit>Preferences>General.
  3. Cascading style sheets (CSS)
    • Style sheets are easier to access and apply.
    • Choose from 24 pre-configured external style sheets.
    • CSS code is W3C compliant and renders accurately in Design View.
  4. Dreamweaver templates
    • Nested templates (templates within templates) for better control of design elements.
    • Control design of repeating tables -- for expanding content within existing design.
    • Individual attributes can be defined as editable.
  5. Sample page designs
    • A selection of pre-formatted page designs are available under File>New>Page Designs and File>New>Page Designs (Accessible).
    • Additional preformatted page designs -- available from Macromedia web site.
  6. Accessibility tools
    • Accessibility prompt -- reminds you to make HTML elements accessible
    • Accessibility checker -- checks your HTML and lists potential problems
    • Navigation within the authoring environment using the keyboard
    • Limited support for screen reader technology – JAWS and Window Eyes
  7. Advanced template features
    • Repeating regions
    • Editable optional regions
    • Optional regions
    • Template parameters
  8. Advanced application development features
    • For example: PHP, JSP and ASP

What's the difference between Dreamweaver on an Apple/Mac and PC/Windows?

There are minimal differences between the Macintosh and Windows versions of Dreamweaver. The primary difference is that the equivalent of right-click on a Windows systems is achieved with a Control-click on the Macintosh. Also, web developers should know that web page text usually appears smaller on Windows systems than it does on Macs while Mac web images are generally brighter than the same file on a Windows system.

Note for Macintosh users: When you open Dreamweaver it is possible that the Panel Groups Design, Code, Application and Answers do not show up. If you need to open these groups, you can do so by selecting the relevant categories from the Window menu.

You will find that the options in the Window menu do not contain the names of the Panel Groups but only list the categories each group contains.

Please note that the Macintosh version of Dreamweaver MX does not have a Files Panel Group. We can explain how files are managed and uploaded to your web server if you undertake Macintosh Dreamweaver training (this is usually only offered as one-to-one, closed company or on-site formats).

There are other small differences between the PC and the Macintosh versions of Dreamweaver, which our trainers are aware of and will point out during our Dreamweaver training courses.


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