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If you're brand-new to Dreamweaver, chances are you're brand-new to Web design as well. 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'd like to offer some advice designed to make that path maybe a little bit easier for you. I also want to make sure that you have the proper expectations about Dreamweaver's capabilities, where it fits into a proper Web design workflow, and what your expectations about this course should be. First, if you're new to Web design, I recommend starting by learning the basics of HTML and CSS.
These two technologies are the core of Web design, and without a solid foundation in how they both work, your skills as a Web designer will always be incomplete. Dreamweaver is an amazing tool, and much of the web design process in Dreamweaver can be performed without ever touching the code. This doesn't mean however 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 really expensive tools when working on your car because they help them work faster and more precisely.
Now, going out and buying the same tools however wouldn't automatically make me a good mechanic. That's how you should view Dreamweaver, it's a tool, and to use it properly you need to understand the processes and technology behind Web design. That doesn't mean 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 CSS and HTML. I do want to stress however that the focus of this title is to teach the basics of Dreamweaver, not the basics of HTML and CSS.
To learn those I recommend exploring the many titles in the Lynda.com Online Training Library that focus on core Web design skills. I recommend starting with my Web Design Fundamentals course, as it gives an overview of web design, explores best practices, and defines much of the terminology you'll hear in this title. If you're brand-new to web design, I recommend completing that title first before moving forward with this one. After that, I recommend also exploring the HTML Essential Training title and my CSS series, including CSS: Core Concepts and CSS: Page Layout.
Those courses will broaden your understanding of HTML and CSS and help you utilize Dreamweaver to its fullest potential.
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