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If you are brand new to Dreamweaver, chances are you are brand new to Web design as well. Now, this can make for somewhat of a steep learning curve as you try to learn a new discipline and a new program all at the same time. In this movie, I would like to offer some advice designed to make that path a little easier. I also want to make sure that you have the proper expectations about Dreamweaver's capabilities and where it fits into a proper Web design workflow. First, I recommend strongly starting by learning basic HTML, followed by learning the basics of CSS.
Those two technologies are the core of Web design, and without a solid foundation and how they both work, your skills as a Web designer will always be incomplete. Dreamweaver is an amazing tool and much, if not all, of the Web design process in Dreamweaver can be performed without ever touching the code. This doesn't mean that you don't need to know what's going on behind the scenes. Without a proper understanding of the code itself, you won't be able to tweak minor errors or go beyond the capabilities of Dreamweaver's visual tools. Look at it this way. A talented mechanic might use pneumatic tools on you car because they help him work faster and more precisely.
Those same tools, however, don't just automatically make anyone a good mechanic. Dreamweaver is a tool and to use it properly, you need to understand the processes and technology behind Web design. Now, there is no reason that you can't learn both at the same time. As you build your pages in Dreamweaver, take time to examine the code being generated. This is a great way to learn the structure and syntax of both CSS and HTML. Remember, too, that Web design is a huge field. There are many areas of specialization, and you will probably find yourself drawn to one aspect of Web design over others.
I recommend making those your initial focus. By learning the basics and then focusing on specific areas of design, you will pick up and retain more than trying to learn everything all at once. There are a number of titles in the lynda.com Online Training Library that focus on core Web design skills. I recommend completing both the HTML and CSS Essential Training as a way of building a solid foundation. I have also recorded a title designed specifically for new Web designers. Web Design Fundamentals gives an overview of Web design, explores best practices, and defines much of the terminology you will hear in this title.
If you are brand new to Web design, I recommend completing that title first before moving forward with this one.
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