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By Joseph Lowery | Monday, August 11, 2014

Hot and Hidden New Features in Dreamweaver

2014_08_10_DreamweaverHero

Having reached the ripe age of 15, Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2014 is a precocious teenager.

This widely popular web design program is capable of simultaneously showing off big, wowza new features while casually accepting major productivity advancements with a no-big-deal attitude.

The latest version of Dreamweaver has ample new features from both the sonic barrier-shattering and the subtle-but-essential varieties.

Let’s take a tour of the new features in Dreamweaver.

By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This week’s Featured Five: Using Styles for creative efficiency

Styles is a catch-all term that refers to a set of particulars like font size, color, effects, etc. that can be saved and applied over and over again. With no need to re-set your style preferences every time, you can save your sanity, your wrists, and perhaps most importantly, your time. Variations on the styles feature exist in many different applications, from word processors, to graphic design applications, to web-page authoring programs. For this week’s Featured Five, I’ve selected five free movies that reveal how styles can help you work more efficiently in five different creative applications.

1. Creating your first style with Microsoft Word

It’s quite possible that the first time most of us encounter the concept of a style is in Microsoft Word, where it can be very handy to establish font type, color, and size styles for various repeating elements of a document. In Word 2010: Styles in Depth,Mariann Siegert covers the whole gamut of style tools that Word provides. Here’s an unlocked excerpt from chapter one of the course that demonstrates how to create your first style:

2. Applying styles to objects with Adobe InDesign

InDesign, Adobe’s layout program, allows you to create five different kinds of styles, depending on what kind of elements need to have repeat formatting, and you aren’t just limited to creating text styles. In this excerpt from chapter five of InDesign Styles in Depth, Michael Murphy introduces object styles, which allow you to repeat the created attributes of your specially designed frames:

3. The nuances of style creation in Adobe Illustrator

Of course, InDesign isn’t the only place you may be working with text elements that would benefit from style creation. In this video from chapter six of Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text, Mordy Golding takes a look at the particulars of working with text styles in Illustrator:

4. New styles features in Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta

For those of you who have struggled with managing your text settings and effects within Photoshop, your day has finally come. In the latest latest beta version of Photoshop, character and paragraph styles have finally arrived. As with any new feature, there’s a little bit of a learning curve. In this movie from Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview, Deke McClelland gives an overview of the new Photoshop text and style enhancements feature. (Note: For a limited time this course is completely unlocked, so consider checking it out as my featured five-plus bonus of the week.)

5. Creating styles for an entire website in Dreamweaver

You can efficiently establish a consistent look for every similar element in your entire web site by using Creative Style Sheets (CSS) in Dreamweaver. In this excerpt from chapter six of Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, James Williamson takes you on a tour of the CSS Styles panel and reveals how much time can be saved by establishing consistent styles for your site.

Feeling inspired to explore some of the uncharted learning paths on your own to-do list? Remember, 10 percent of all lynda.com content is free to try. Just click on any of the blue links on any course table of contents page in our library.

Free Movies

I’ll be back next week with five more free selections. In the mean time, have you recently seen any free movies from lynda.com you’d like to share?

Suggested courses to watch next:Word 2010: Styles in DepthInDesign Styles in DepthIllustrator Insider Training: Type and TextPhotoshop CS6 Beta PreviewDreamweaver CS5 Essential Training

By Ray Villalobos | Saturday, March 31, 2012

How to become a web developer: Tips for those with a print background

I meet a lot of people who come from a print background and are interested in learning new web skills. Learning to make that transition doesn’t have to be scary—I know because I was one of those people who learned about designing for print first and then moved on to the web. I went through my first few jobs working for commercial printers learning about paper, inks, imageSetters, imposition, trapping, film, and typography. When the web came around, I realized that it was the next big thing and I needed to learn as much as I could about it in order to survive in the long run. Eventually I managed to learn what I needed and move on to work on the web full-time.

The web can be scary, but learning new web skills doesn’t have to be hard. It’s like trying to eat an elephant…you have to do it one bite at a time. In this post I will share some of my learning experiences and offer some recommendations for those with a print background who are interesting in learning more about web development. I encourage you to share your print to web journey, and to ask questions, in the comments section below.

Overcome the experience deficit

Every job listing will ask for years of experience. Whether it’s two years or five-plus years, I’ll let you in on a secret—the years are not as important as your portfolio. If you come from the print field, you know what I mean. Generally people get hired based on what they’ve accomplished, not how long they’ve been doing it. I know because I landed my first online job with zero years of experience in the field, and I did it by building a portfolio of work that was equivalent to years of experience. Although I hadn’t worked in the industry, I had projects to show that I knew what I was doing. So, your first step in the print to web development migration is to start building websites as soon as possible.

Start by learning how to build sites with WordPress. It doesn’t require any development skills and it’s pretty easy. You’ll need to know how to set up WordPress and how to set up a server with your own domain name. For help with this, check out Managing Hosted Websites, a course that goes through the process of setting up a domain name and installing WordPress. Once you’ve installed WordPress and set up your server and domain name, it’s time to start building web sites. For this I recommend checking out WordPress Essential Training. Some entire businesses are based on building web sites with WordPress, so it’s a great first skill that will help you gain some of that critical experience everyone is looking for. Plus, it’s a marketable skill that you can use to build a portfolio of work right away.

In this clip from chapter one of the Managing Hosted Websites course, I discuss how to pick the right domain name before you choose your server, since your domain name decision will have an impact on how people arrive at your web site:

Just knowing how to install and work with WordPress is not enough, though. What people will really want to see is how well you can customize a WordPress web site. Go through WordPress: Creating and Editing Custom Themes to sharpen your WordPress customization skills, then dive into Create an Online Portfolio with WordPress (because after you’ve got a few sites under your belt, you’ll need to show off what you’ve done).

Build from your Strengths

Another thing I did when I got started was to focus on building from my strengths. I had a design portfolio, so I started learning software that would let me build on design skills. This was the late ’90s so I began by learning a program called GoLive, a website editor much like Dreamweaver.

I already knew how to use Photoshop, so I worked with those skills and focused on designing projects for the web first in Photoshop, and then transferring those skills to Adobe Fireworks, which is better for preparing online graphics. I knew about formats like EPS, PDF, and TIFF, so I learned about the online formats like GIF, JPEG and then PNG. The point is, when you get started plan to evolve your skills instead of trying to learn too much.

So, if you’re starting with a background in design, check out Designing Web Sites from Photoshop to DreamWeaver. This course will point you in the direction of a quick win and teach you how to build on your existing Photoshop knowledge. From there, move on to DreamWeaver with Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training.

Find out what the market needs

Even when I was a new designer, I knew that development skills would be very valuable, but that learning development wouldn’t happen overnight. So right away I established learning development as one of my long term goals. I started with HTML since it was the easiest to learn. If you’re just getting into development, I recommend you start with HTML 5 Structure, Syntax and Semantics. It’s a thorough course that explains the basics of HTML. CSS wasn’t as critical to learn when I got started in the ’90s, but it is very today, so I would head in that direction after HTML. If you’re primarily a designer, then this should be an area of focus for you. Start with CSS Fundamentals, then move on to CSS Page Layouts, and plan to go through one new CSS course per month.

In this movie clip from chapter three of the CSS Fundamentals course, James Williamson asks the question “What is CSS3?” and walks you through the answer in detail:

Becoming awesome

Once you’re past the basics, your next skill should be JavaScript—this is a very hot skill. JavaScript is one of those topics that can be tougher to learn, but the better you get with JavaScript, the more sought after you’ll be. Start with JavaScript Essential Training and then move on tojQuery Essential Training. (jQuery is a javascript framework that helps you build interactivity into your projects easily and handling a lot of cross-platform issues.)

Once you’ve got those under your belt, move on to a server-side programming language. I recommend starting with PHP and then moving on to MySQL. Once you’ve spent some time with JavaScript, the same programming concepts apply to PHP and MySQL, so they will be easier to pick up. As you begin looking for development work, you’ll start to notice those two languages featured prominently in job descriptions. Remember, the stronger you are, the more you’re worth. When you’re ready, try out PHP with MySQL Essential Training.

Conclusion

Remember the elephant…one bite at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the technology. Make yourself a plan and remember to be consistent with learning. Even if you watch only one movie a day or a few movies a week, you can make a dent in that virtual elephant and build enough experience before you know it. Using myself as a case study, I know you can do it. There weren’t any special skills I started with, I was a print designer just like you. If I can do it, I know you can. Just remember, even when it seems overwhelming…you can learn it!

By Crystal McCullough | Wednesday, April 14, 2010

12 new CS5 courses in the Online Training Library®

On Monday, Adobe officially announced its Creative Suite 5 line of products, and lynda.com released 10 Adobe CS5 New Features training courses, one Essential Training course, and a Creative Techniques course. Click on any one of the following images to view the trailer for that course:

Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training Course TrailerAfter Effects CS5 New Features Preview Course TrailerDreamweaver CS5 New Features Course Trailer

Encore CS5 New Features Course TrailerFireworks CS5 New Features Course TrailerFlash Professional CS5 New Features Course Trailer

Illustrator CS5 New Features Course TrailerInDesign CS5 New Features Course Trailerhotoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New Features Course Trailer

Photoshop CS5 New Features Course TrailerPremiere Pro CS5 New Features Course TrailerAfter Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques Course Trailer

Here are the direct links to each course:

After Effects CS5 New FeaturesAfter Effects CS5 New Creative TechniquesDreamweaver CS5 New FeaturesEncore CS5 New FeaturesFlash Professional CS5 New FeaturesFlash Catalyst CS5 Essential TrainingFireworks CS5 New FeaturesIllustrator CS5 New FeaturesInDesign CS5 New FeaturesPhotoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New FeaturesPhotoshop CS5 New FeaturesPremiere Pro CS5 New Features

View the entire course listing on lynda.com. We’ll be releasing another group of courses on April 30, and more CS5 titles in weeks to come. As always, we invite you to let us know what you think.

By Crystal McCullough | Monday, April 12, 2010

Adobe Creative Suite 5 new features training on lynda.com

From 'Making use of updated color effects and blending modes' in the lynda.com After Effects CS5 New Features.

Today Adobe officially announced its Creative Suite 5 line of products, and lynda.com released a dozen of our Adobe CS5 New Features training courses:

After Effects CS5 New FeaturesAfter Effects CS5 New Creative TechniquesDreamweaver CS5 New FeaturesEncore CS5 New FeaturesFlash Professional CS5 New FeaturesFlash Catalyst CS5 Essential TrainingFireworks CS5 New FeaturesIllustrator CS5 New FeaturesInDesign CS5 New FeaturesPhotoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New FeaturesPhotoshop CS5 New FeaturesPremiere Pro CS5 New Features

View the entire course listing on lynda.com.

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