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Dreamweaver MX: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 9. Under the Hood: HTML

While Dreamweaver started life primarily as a visual Web page editor, each new version has brought enhancements to its text-editing features. Dreamweaver MX includes powerful code-editing tools that let you work on your pages’ HTML, CSS, and JavaScript codes directly. In fact, in recognition of the ever-multiplying types of files used on the Web, Dreamweaver MX now lets you edit all text-based files, including XML, Java, ActionScript, and just plain text files. The code editor includes professional features such as customizable syntax highlighting, auto indenting, line numbering, and code hints. Now, Dreamweaver may be the only Web page creation program even hard-core code junkies ever need.

Roundtrip HTML

Unlike many other visual HTML editors, Dreamweaver has always graciously accepted HTML written by hand (and even by other programs). In fact, Dreamweaver has always made it easy to jump between itself and text-editing programs like HomeSite (for Windows) and BBEdit (for the Mac).

This ability, which Macromedia calls Roundtrip HTML, lets Web developers write code the way they want, without worrying that Dreamweaver will change it. For example, suppose you have a particular way of formatting your handwritten code. Maybe you insert an extra carriage return after every <td> (table cell) tag or like to use multiple tabs to indent nested tags. In such cases, Dreamweaver won’t try to rewrite that to fit its own style—unless you ask it to.

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