Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Review

By Kshitij Sobti | Updated Apr 14 2010
Adobe Dreamweaver CS5  Review

Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 detailed review

Dreamweaver CS5

While such features were demonstrated quite a bit during MAX 2009, it would appear that HTML5 will not be fully supported in Dreamweaver. While we received beta build of Adobe CS5 software, the Smart Pate feature was nowhere to be found, and it appears it will not be part of CS5 release.

It is understandable considering that HTML5 is still not a standard, and still in development that supporting it in a release product is difficult. Additionally since it is supported only in recent versions of most browsers and will only be partially supported in IE9 which is still years away, creating a website in HTML5 currently isn't very feasible. Even so, it is quite a disappointment that this brilliant feature could not be included. Hopefully it can be delivered in the form of an addon.

Dreamweaver CS5 CSS Inspect

The CSS Styles panel will show the properties of an elemwnt when you hover over it. The will also be highlighted.

In Dreamweaver CS4 Adobe introduced Live View, and in CS5 Adobe has made it even more powerful. Instead of relying on CSS inspection tools in your browser such as FireBug (Mozilla) or Dragonfly (Opera) you can inspect CSS code straight in Dreamweaver. This is sure to reduce switching between a preview on the browser and on  Dreamweaver. Since Dreamweaver's live view is standards compliant (based on webkit), it will render pages exactly how they will look on a standards compliant browser. Just like you can with FireBug, in Dreamweaver CS5's CSS inspection panel you can turn on or off CSS properties live, and see the effect they have on the page.

Dreamweaver CS5 Inspect mode switch
Dreanweaver will also suggest the best workspace layout for using the inspect mode and let you switct to it with ease.

Further expanding on Live view is support for navigation in live view. Most websites are now dynamic at both client and server sides, and with this new feature you can test your websites running on your server. While viewing a PHP page in live view, you will get the final rendered page and will be able to navigate using the links on the page as well.

Dynamic discovery of related files, and navigation in Live Vive
[Click for a larger image]

With a dynamically generated website this becomes quite powerful as you are able to see live data and see the changes your code is having instantly. The new live view navigation mode will let you enter any URL in the browser and navigate to it. If the url is part of your website and a local copy exists, you can even edit it.

Dreamweaver CS5 dynamic discover

Dreamweaver will alert you if it detects that a file might have dynamically related files.

Another CS4 feature improved in this release is the related files feature. In CS4 Dreamweaver automatically detected all the assets attached to a page, such as external stylesheets and JavaScript files. In Dreamweaver CS5, these related files can be populated dynamically. So for a PHP code which doesn't include any external resources, however renders an HTML page which does, you will have better access to all related content.

From quite a while Adobe has been offering a service called BrowserLab, which allows one to test how their website will look on multiple platforms, with multiple versions of the applications. Thus service is now integrated with Dreamweaver CS5 and appears as one of the preview options along with the browsers installed on your system and of course Device Central which will let you test your code on multiple devices.

Dreamweaver CS5 BrowserLab

Dreamweaver CS5 can test your web page using the BrowserLab service in addition to your local browsers.

For people working with PHP code there are many new enhancements which are sure to please. First and foremost being support for code completion on custom classes. If you have written a lot of code or are using frameworks such as Zend, this means that Dreamweaver CS5 will now provide code hints for these custom classes even based on content which hasn't been committed to disk.

Dreamweaver CS5 Site Specific Code Hints

You can set site-specific code hints by including directories with your PHP classes.

Support for PHP based Content Management Systems (CMS) has also been added, and supports the popular Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress PHP CMSs out of the box. A new site-specific code hints dialog allows you to configure your own websites code directories which will then be available as code hints. This can be of great benefit to people creating templates, modules, components or other kinds of extensions to the website.

Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress, three popular PHP-based CMSs are supported by Dreamweaver CS5 out-of-the-box.

Overall Dreamweaver CS5 looks to be a much more dynamic release with features which enable working with the current standards. It is quite unfortunate that support for future standards has been removed in favor, as those demonstrations were some of the most exciting ones. Considering that HTML5, CSS3, WebGL, Canvas and other such technologies are intended to create web applications, Dreamweaver will perhaps never be the best tool for  the job. Creating rich application for the future is something that Flash Professional is better suited for, even if it is to HTML5 and related technologies.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 14 Apr 2010
Market Status: Discontinued
Kshitij Sobti
Kshitij Sobti

Email Email Kshitij Sobti


Adobe Dreamweaver CS5

Adobe Dreamweaver CS5

Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.

We are about leadership-the 9.9 kind! Building a leading media company out of India.And,grooming new leaders for this promising industry.