Posts in Category "General"

Editing an existing remote website in Dreamweaver

Here is one of the most frequently asked-about situations for new Dreamweaver users:

“I have just inherited a website from another person. The files for the website are on a remote server that I’ve never worked with or accessed. How do I get the web (HTML) files from that other server, onto my own computer so that I can edit them in Dreamweaver?”

The short answer:

Establish a connection to the website’s remote server and download the files to your computer.

The long answer:

You’ll need two main things in order to “get” files from someone else’s remote site:

  • A local Dreamweaver site. This is the place on your computer where you’ll store local versions of the web site’s HTML files.
  • A connection to the remote site. The remote site is the place out on the web where the website you need to edit is currently living. (Literally, it is a folder on the computer that is running the web server.) Someone else has put that website out there and now you need to edit it. Before you can edit the site, however, you need to connect to the appropriate remote server so that you can access the files.

STEP 1: Set up a local Dreamweaver site

This is the place on your computer where you’ll store the local versions of the web site’s HTML files. (You always want to edit files on your local computer, never live on the remote server.)

For instructions on setting up a local site in Dreamweaver, see Set up a local version of your site in Dreamweaver Help. 

STEP 2: Connect to the remote server

Once you’ve set up a local repository on your computer for the HTML files, you need to establish a connection to the remote site that’s out on the web. The idea is to transfer a copy of the files from the remote site to the local version of the site (on your computer). Once the files are local, you can edit them, and then repost them to the web.

See Dreamweaver Help for instructions on connecting to a remote server.

There are numerous ways of connecting to a remote server; we could give 50 examples here and still not cover every permutation. You will likely need to work with a server administrator or an ISP (Internet Service Provider) to create a successful connection. The server administrator (for example, someone who works at the company whose website you now need to edit) needs to provide you with some important pieces of information, namely:

  • The type of connection method you need to use. (Most often it’s FTP.)
  • The root directory for the website you need to access. (This is the main folder on the remote server where the website “lives”)
  • Your username and password, which will give you access to the remote server

Once you have all of the information you need from the server adminstrator, you’ll fill out the Site Setup dialog box in Dreamweaver. (Instructions for how to do so, according to particular connection methods, are detailed in the Help link above.) When you’re finished, your Site Setup dialog box should look something like this. (You can click on the below image to expand it.)

Use the Test button in the Site Setup dialog box to test your connection. If you connect successfully, you are ready to move on. If you can’t connect successfully, you need to keep adjusting the settings in the Site Setup dialog box until you establish a connection.

STEP 3: Connect to the remote server

The Test button in the Site Setup dialog box does not actually “connect” you to the remote server. Once you know the connection works, you just need to do that manually in Dreamweaver.

  1. In the Files panel make sure your new local site is showing.
  2. Click the Connect to Remote Host button in the Files panel.
  3. The connection icon should turn green, indicating that you have an active connection.

STEP 4: Get the remote files

Once you’re connected, you can get (literally transfer) copies of the files that are on the web to your local computer.

  1. In the Files panel, click the Expand to Show Local and Remote Sites icon.

    Doing this expands the Files panel so that you can see both the remote site and the local site simultaneously. The remote site appears on the left side of the Expanded Files panel; your local site files appear on the right.
  2. Select the files in the remote site that you want to get. Usually, if you need to get an entire site, you select the directory that holds all of the site files. (You can click on the below image to expand it.)
  3. Press the Get button and wait for the remote files to download to the local version of the site on your computer.

Once you have the files on your local computer, you can edit them in Dreamweaver. You can then repost the new versions of the files back to the server, or you can set up another remote site in relation to this same local directory, and post the edited files to a different server entirely.

Adobe recommends: Packaging mobile apps with Dreamweaver CS5.5

Over the next week, we are going to be publicizing some high-value content from and other community sites. We have been tracking what’s been most important to our users, and feel that getting this content out to the larger community will go a long way toward helping people tackle some of their most pressing challenges.

Our first recommendation is from your truly:

Packaging web application as mobile apps using Dreamweaver CS5.5

The tutorial provides a sample mobile application and shows you how to compile the files in Dreamweaver. The end-result is a debug build that you can test in iOS or Android emulators on your computer.

Give it a spin and let us know what you think!

Create Animated Web Content using HTML5, CSS3, and JS

Edge is a new web motion and interaction design tool that allows designers to bring animated content to websites, using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript web standards.

Download the Preview version from Adobe Labs:


Late-breaking issue: Windows XP computers shutting down or restarting when trying to launch Dreamweaver CS5.5

We’ve been hearing from some users that their computers (running Windows XP) are shutting down or restarting when they try to start Dreamweaver CS5.5. Some users are also seeing a blue or black error screen prior to the shut down or restart.

The solution for this issue is to install the Service Pack 3 for Windows XP. For more information, see this tech note.

Late-breaking issue: Put/Get not working for some Dreamweaver CS5.5 users

We’ve been hearing rumblings from some users about the upload (put) and/or download (get) process failing during FTP file transfer in Dreamweaver CS5.5. If you are having trouble uploading your files to or downloading your files from you server, consult this tech note for a number of possible solutions. You’ll want to make sure you step through the recommended solutions in order as you troubleshoot your upload/download problem.

Adobe has further identified particular failures amongst those using GoDaddy as their web host. The failure is usually indicated by the message “File activity incomplete” in the Background File Activity window, and the FTP Log in Dreamweaver showing an error similar to the following: “An FTP error occurred – cannot put ‘/index.html’. Access Denied.”

The issue seems to be affecting only those files you might be trying to put to/get from the root folder of your FTP server. For example, you may be able to put files to the /wwwroot/css/ subfolder, but not to /wwwroot/. The problem also occurs despite the fact that you can perform the same action (e.g. uploading a file) using another FTP client, such as FileZilla or an older version of Dreamweaver.

If you are a GoDaddy user and experiencing this issue, see Solution 3: Move or delete any symbolic links in the above referenced tech note.

CSS3 Transitions

As part of our wind-down from CS5.5, the Dreamweaver Team has started thinking about how we can deliver a world class experience for building CSS3 Transitions for the web.  In the coming weeks, the Dreamweaver Team will be conducting surveys and asking for your input on how we can do just that, so we’re bringing it to our fans directly through our social media outlets.  This week we want to see examples of CSS3 Transitions (or animations).

So send us links to your sites showing off your CSS 3 Transitions skills!

Exciting news about Adobe BrowserLab!

Today we’ve asked Bruce Bowman, product manager for Adobe BrowserLab, to guest blog for us with some exciting news about this incredible product. Take it away Bruce!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I’m Bruce Bowman, product manager for BrowserLab ( and I’d like to tell you about how the BrowserLab team has made some recent improvements to the BrowserLab workflows in Dreamweaver. You can get the new BrowserLab panel for Dreamweaver by downloading the new Dreamweaver 11.0.4 updater using Adobe Application Manager (available beginning May 3), or by upgrading to Dreamweaver CS 5.5.

We’ve added some new features to BrowserLab to improve workflows for Dreamweaver users: 

  • Follow local links. When testing in BrowserLab, you can now click on links in the screenshots to follow links. If the page is from your local Dreamweaver site, we will tunnel back to Dreamweaver, and Dreamweaver will send the new page and assets to the BrowserLab service. It has never been easier to test your local content in BrowserLab.
  • URL History. Now, while you’re testing in BrowserLab, we keep track of your recent tests, and allow you to reload the results very quickly from cached results. If necessary, BrowserLab can re-request the page from Dreamweaver when you are testing local content.
  • We’ve improved the reliability of the pairing connection between the BrowserLab panel in Dreamweaver and the BrowserLab service. You should experience far fewer drops and lost connections.
  • We’ve simplified the Permission settings in the BrowserLab panel in Dreamweaver when your test request requires access to local content. Rather than the previous permission setting that was file based, we’re now setting permissions on a global basis.
  • We’ve expanded our language support to include Spanish and Italian in the BrowserLab client. 

Watch this short video of BrowserLab in action in Dreamweaver CS 5.5:

If you haven’t tried BrowserLab (, or haven’t tried it lately, I invite you to take it for a spin. You can find it in Dreamweaver using the Preview in Browser “globe” icon, by choosing File > Preview in Browser > Adobe BrowserLab, or by opening the BrowserLab panel (Window > Extensions > Adobe BrowserLab). 

Don’t just wait until the end of a project to do cross browser testing – we encourage you to use BrowserLab ( early and often in your workflows.

I hope you like BrowserLab, and it lives up to its promise of saving you time and money, as well as making cross browser testing less of a chore and a lot more fun.

Bruce Bowman
Adobe BrowserLab product manager
BrowserLab User Forums,
Twitter: @adobebrowserlab,, @brucebowman,

Adobe announces Creative Suite 5.5/Dreamweaver CS5.5

Today Adobe announced the release of the latest and greatest version of the Creative Suite family: Adobe Creative Suite 5.5. As part of Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium, Dreamweaver CS5.5 certainly stands out as one of the many jewels in this crown. The focus for this release is decidedly on mobile devices, and streamlining your HTML5/CSS3 workflow in this as yet Wild West-like land of opportunity. True to its history and the spirit of collaborative development, the Dreamweaver team has listened to its user base once again, and has delivered a show-stopping tool that now lets you easily develop and package web apps for mobile devices.

“One of the neatest things in Dreamweaver CS5.5,” says Randy Edmunds, Senior Computer Scientist at Adobe, “is the new Media Queries dialog box, which lets you specify CSS style sheets for different devices, so that your web page can look the way you want it to look on any screen. The feature eliminates something we see a lot of—the chances for typos and errors—and is going to remove a great deal of headache for people who want to target multiple screens.”

In addition to CSS Media Queries, Dreamweaver CS5.5 also supports multiscreen preview (where you can literally see in one window exactly what your page will look like on different devices), CSS3 and HTML5 code-hinting, and jQuery mobile integration, which includes drag-and-drop jQuery mobile application widgets, as well as jQuery mobile starter pages to get you up and running in seconds. “This release means rapid development for mobile apps,” Edmunds says. “And that’s good, since everything is about rapid these days.”

One of the most enticing features of Dreamweaver CS5.5, however, is the new Native Mobile Application packager, which lets you build and emulate native mobile applications for Android- and iOS-based devices. Dreamweaver CS5.5 now uses seemless integration with PhoneGap—an open-source development framework for building cross-platform mobile applications—and together the two bring a new level of ease to building apps for mobile devices.

“We wanted to remove all of the pain and confusion from the process of building mobile applications,” says Jung Yun Choi, Software Quality Engineer on the Dreamweaver team. “Our goal was to make it so easy that even someone who doesn’t know anything about mobile apps could step through the process and build one within minutes.”

And the Dreamweaver team has done just that. Building a mobile application for iOS- and Android- based devices is now as simple as installing the iOS or Android SDKs, specifying a few configuration settings, and selecting “Build and Emulate” from a list of menu choices.

To learn more about all of the new and exciting features in Dreamweaver CS5.5, check out Dreamweaver Product Manager Scott Fegette’s What’s New in Dreamweaver CS5.5, and the Dreamweaver CS5.5 feature overview on Adobe TV.

You can also read more about individual features in the What’s New section of the Dreamweaver Help system.

Packaging widgets with the Adobe Widget Browser

This tutorial by Scott Richards on the Adobe Developer Connection shows how to package an existing HTML and JavaScript widget using the Adobe Widget Browser so that it can be shared with other users of the Widget Browser. Read the full article here:

Optimal CSS Tiled Background Image Size

I have recently analyzed several web pages for Dreamweaver customers that complained about slow page loading times. A trend that I have noticed is images used for tiling backgrounds with a width or height of 1 pixel. I have even seen some 1×1 images used for tiling. Yikes!

“Tiling” refers to using a CSS background image that repeats in the X and/or Y directions to fill a page or element.

While it’s generally best to make images as small as possible, one exception to that rule is for tiling images. The smallest download that browsers can do is 1K bytes, so the best size for tiling image files that can be made to be under 1K in size is “as close to 1K without going over”. This can significantly reduce the amount of tiling that Dreamweaver and browsers need to do, which improves page loading performance.

For example, consider a 1×1 image versus an equivalent 10×10 image. The size of both images is under 1K, so the download time is the same, but the smaller image is tiled up to 100 times more than the larger image, which requires more time to render.

This argument also applies to non-tiled images, but those can easily be combined in a single file using the CSS Sprite technique.