What’s new in Dreamweaver 8

What’s new in Dreamweaver 8

Dreamweaver 8 includes various new features that improve usability and help you to build pages whether you’re working in the design or the coding environment.

First, Dreamweaver 8 provides support for best practices and industry standards, including support for advanced CSS use, XML and RSS feeds, and accessibility requirements.

Work with best practices

Visual authoring with XML data

Get up to speed with XML using powerful, visual tools to integrate feeds into work and remove the mystery from XML to HTML translation. Integrate XML-based data, such as RSS feeds, into web pages using a simple drag-and-drop workflow. Jump to Code view to customize the transformation, using improved code hinting for XML and XSLT. For more information, see Displaying XML Data in Web Pages.

New, unified CSS panel

The new, unified CSS panel provides a central location for learning, understanding, and working with the CSS styles applied to pages in a visual way. All the CSS functionality is consolidated into one panel set and enhanced to make working with CSS styles easier and more productive. The new interface makes it easier to see the cascade of styles applied to a specific element so that you can easily identify where attributes are defined. A property grid allows for quick edits. For more information, see Using the CSS Styles panel,

CSS layout visualization

Apply visual aides at design time to outline CSS layout borders or color CSS layouts. Applying visual aides reveals complex nesting schemes and improves selection. Click the CSS layout for valuable tooltips that help you understand the elements that are controlling the design. See Laying Out Pages with CSS.

Style Rendering toolbar

View content the same way users will see it no matter what the delivery mechanism with new support for CSS media types. Use the Style Rendering toolbar to toggle to Design view and see how it will look in print, on a handheld, or onscreen. See The Style Rendering toolbar.

CSS rendering improvements

Match how complex CSS layouts will render in most browsers with substantial improvements in Design view accuracy. Dreamweaver now fully supports advanced CSS techniques, such as overflow, pseudo-elements, and form elements.

Accessibility: Support for WCAG/W3C priority 2 checkpoints

In addition to the integrated accessibility evaluation tool for Section 508 and WCAG Priority 1 checkpoints, Dreamweaver now supports both CSS and accessibility with an updated evaluation tool that includes WCAG Priority 2 checkpoints.

Improved WebDAV

WebDAV in Dreamweaver 8 now supports digest authentication and SSL for secure file transfer, and offers improved connectivity with a wider array of servers. See Using WebDAV to check in and check out files.

Get more done in less time with optimized user workflows that reduce the time required to complete common tasks. Dreamweaver 8 takes the hassle out of the little things so you can spend more time designing and developing engaging websites and applications.

Get more done

Background file transfer

Keep working while Dreamweaver 8 uploads files to the server. For more information, see Managing file transfers.


Get greater control over your design with zoom. Zoom in and inspect an image or work with a complex nested table layout. Zoom out to preview how a page will look. For more information, see Zooming in and out.


Compare the page layout to page mockups with pixel-perfect accuracy using guides to measure page layouts. Visual feedback helps measure distances accurately and supports intelligent snapping. For more information, see Using guides.

Coding toolbar

The new Coding toolbar provides buttons for common coding features in a gutter bar along the side of Code view. For more information, see Inserting code quickly with the Coding toolbar.

Code collapse

Focus only on the code you want to see by hiding and expanding blocks of code. For more information, see Collapsing and expanding code fragments.

Workspace layouts

Customize and save workspace configurations. Dreamweaver 8 ships with four different configurations tailored to the needs of designers and coders. You can also build a custom workspace. For more information, see Saving custom workspace layouts.

Tabbed documents for the Mac

New document tabs on the Mac help simplify the user interface and make it easier to select documents. For more information, see Displaying tabbed documents (Macintosh).

New starter pages

New layouts and designs let you to create sites quickly.

Improved site synchronize and check-in/check-out

Manage sites with increased reliability and confidence. Improved site synchronization features help ensure that the file in use is the latest version. Prevent accidental overwriting of others' work with improved check-in/check-out functionality. For more information, see Synchronizing the files on your local and remote sites.

Compare files

Quickly compare files to identify what has changed. You can compare two local files, a file on the local computer and one on a remote computer, or two files on the remote computer. Use your favorite file comparison tool with Dreamweaver on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. For more information, see Comparing files for differences.

Paste Special

With the new pasting options in Dreamweaver, you can retain all the source formatting created in Microsoft Word, or just paste the text. For more information, see Adding text to a document.

Site-relative references

Work seamlessly with server-side includes at design time and runtime by ensuring that references are relative to sites instead of local files. For more information, see Setting the relative path of new links.

Code-editing improvements

Gain greater control over how Dreamweaver provides code hints and completes tags to fit with your coding style. For more information, see Setting the code hints preference options.

Dreamweaver 8 supports efforts to learn and take advantage of new technologies, including PHP 5, Flash Video, ColdFusion MX 7, and the Macromedia Web Publishing System.

Integrates with the latest technologies and standards

Support for ColdFusion MX 7

Updated support for ColdFusion MX 7 includes new server behaviors and code hinting. To match the code hinting and debugging with the correct version of ColdFusion, Dreamweaver automatically detects the server version the first time it connects to the site. The tight integration between Dreamweaver and ColdFusion lets you add and remove databases directly from the Databases panel, and view only ColdFusion components defined in the current site. For more information, see Enabling the ColdFusion enhancements.

Support for PHP 5

Take advantage of updated support for PHP 5, including server behaviors and code hinting.

Flash Video

Quickly and easily insert a Flash Video file in a web page. For more information, see Inserting Flash Video content.

Macromedia Web Publishing System: notification and event logging

Keep track of everything that is going on within your site. Events in Dreamweaver notify the Macromedia Web Publishing System server so that all changes to a website in the WPS system are recorded.

Updated reference material from O'Reilly

Consult new reference content for XML, XSLT, and XPath, and updated content for ASP and JSP.

Getting Started with Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver Basics
Exploring the Workspace
Setting Up a Dreamweaver Site
Working with Dreamweaver Sites
Laying Out Pages
Adding Content to Pages
Working with Page Code
Preparing to Build Dynamic Sites
Making Pages Dynamic
Developing Applications Rapidly