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Web Design Tools

This lesson provides a general overview of web design tools and also includes step-by-step exercises. The web editors used in this lesson are available as fully functional trial versions at no cost. If you haven’t decided which tools to use, you’ll want to download and install the software tools used in this lesson

Web editors versus WYSIWYG tools

HTML and CSS use text as their foundation. Because of this, even the most simple text editor, such as TextEdit on the Mac or Notepad on the PC, is capable of creating web pages. These basic text editing tools, however, lack features that help with web design and development such as checking code syntax, organizing your site folders, and uploading fi les to web servers. In addition to text editors, there are also fully featured web editors and design tools, such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression Web. These are WYSIWYG tools (“What You See Is What You Get”) that provide a visual layout environment, code editing, along with website management tools

Plain text editors

Plain text editors such as Notepad and Text Edit are included with the Mac OS or Windows operating systems, so you likely already have one installed on your computer. While they are widely available and free, they are not optimized for web design. Working with plain text editors requires excellent knowledge of the language you are coding, because they provide no guidance when writing code. The basic text editors also lack functionality for previewing your pages in a web browser, or the ability to check pages for correct syntax or broken links.

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Defi ning sites in Dreamweaver or Expression

Web Both applications use site folder defi nitions for the local and remote storage locations where a website resides. Once you defi ne a site folder, the program keeps track of the fi les being used. When you add, remove, rename, or reorganize your asset fi les, both Dreamweaver and Expression Web update any related hyperlinks.The fi les on your local drive can also be synchronized with the fi les on your remote web server using integrated FTP capabilities.


In the following two exercises, you will walk through the initial steps of creating a new site in Dreamweaver and Expression Web. These exercises are designed to get you up-andrunning in either (or both) of these popular web design applications

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