Do you use Adobe Dreamweaver in your Drupal workflow?

Chris Charlton's picture
Yes, for theme design.
22% (39 votes)
Yes, for module development.
1% (1 vote)
Yes, for both module and theme development.
17% (30 votes)
I don't use Dreamweaver.
61% (110 votes)
Total votes: 180


I sure do!

mikewhobikes's picture

I sure do! Dreamweaver is an excellent all-around code editor and central to my workflow. Does anyone else who uses it for Drupal have any tips to speed things along?

I use dreamweaver with

john.arroyo's picture

I use dreamweaver with Drupal. I've been using it for many years and am just comfortable with it. It's hard to make a strong argument for it these days since there are some great free or cheap alternatives these days. A few years ago most of the free alternatives sucked.

One big plus for dreamweaver though is the easy switching between code and design view. The design view is WYSIWYG and renders the page nicely and even handles php includes (header, footers, etc).

John Arroyo | |

dreamweaver and drupal: mysql connection

maituz's picture

Hi i need help with connecting to my database on a remote server. i can do it on a localhost.

= "localhost";
$database_guide = "guide";
$username_guide = "root";
$password_guide = "";
$guide = mysql_pconnect($hostname_guide, $username_guide, $password_guide) or trigger_error(mysql_error(),E_USER_ERROR);

this script works fine on localhost, but when i change the path to a remote host is doesnt work.

$hostname = "";
$database = "itututorial_clanteam_database01";
$username = "******";
$password = "*****";
$guide = mysql_pconnect($hostname, $username, $password) or trigger_error(mysql_error(),E_USER_ERROR);

i only changed the hostname, database, username and password.

please help

Dreamweaver plugins

btopro's picture

I've found the jQuery and Drupal Dreamweaver extensions to be pretty helpful.

Has saved me several trips to the ol' api docs.

"Plaguing the world with Drupal; One Plone, Moodle, Wordpress, Joomla user at a time since 2005." ~ btopro

Dreamweaver extensions

Chris Charlton's picture

I'm glad you dig the extensions for jQuery API and Drupal API. Does anyone else here use them too? I'd really like to hear cases of people using it for their work. Thanks.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

Code Coloring added

Chris Charlton's picture

Drupal API extension updated today.

Let me know if any issues pop-up or persist.

Also, if you have done any manual tweaks to Dreamweaver they may conflict. Be sure to properly uninstall/delete the old extension, and then install the new extension.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at


steveoliver's picture

In Windows (ulghk!), I use the SubWeaver Extension to Update and Commit TortoiseSVN repo files. I've replaced Dreamweaver's standard Get and Put keyboard shortcuts (CTRL+SHIFT+U and CTRL+SHIFT+C) with TSVN Update and Commit commands.

you rule

RockSoup's picture

thanks for the link, I am loving subweaver


I like dreamweaver...

RockSoup's picture

but recently I have been really annoying developers on my team because I have had a hard time getting the tabs set to 2 spaces rather than the default....

anyone have a keyboard shortcut set they care to export and share?


Edit preferences

Chris Charlton's picture

You'd want to have them edit preferences and set their tabbing to 2 spaces, which is easy.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

I did that

RockSoup's picture

and when I view it in Dreamweaver it looks all good, but when I check it in to the repo and browse to it in FF I see tabs in the code and the code doesn't look all neat and tidy like it does in Dreamweaver... it is weird. I think I need to just spend some time double checking my preferences


Maybe someone wanna check this

diegomanas's picture

Here are some explanation about dreamweaver configuration for drupal development. I think someone may be interested on that. Also explain the solution for the problem with tabs.


hackwater's picture

I use Quanta for theme and module development. If I'm ssh'ed into a server and can't be bothered to use fish to open files in Quanta, I'll use Joe for quick stuff.

I use to.

chadcross's picture

I use to. I have since moved to Aptana Studio.

nano, all the way. gedit if

matt2000's picture

nano, all the way. gedit if I'm feeling lazy.

...OK, usually KomodoEdit, and if I really need a visual HTML editor, it's Kompozer. But I'm not a designer. I wake up in the morning thinking about code. It's disgusting really.

but if I'm SSH'd into a server... I've done a lot of tweaks in nano.

Now, some one has to start defending emacs...

Haha oh I know that feeling

tjholowaychuk's picture

Haha oh I know that feeling all to well.. many nights have I lost sleep thinking about program solutions haha.. im sure its classified as some kind of disorder

Tj Holowaychuk

Vision Media - Victoria BC Web Design
Victoria British Columbia Web Design School

Dreamweaver used to be a big

trevortwining's picture

Dreamweaver used to be a big part of my toolkit. As I moved more into PHP programming and standards compliant design, I found the DW too limiting. I imagine some of that has changed since I moved away, but I wouldn't consider anything other that some sort of auto-completing text editor and firebug.

I'm using TextMate because

grantkruger's picture

I'm using TextMate because it allows me to write my own tools. However my girlfriend is a designer and Drupal themer and she uses Dreamweaver extensively. It seems a good tool. There are many things she can do faster than I.


Sala kahle,

editing tools

morpheusathame's picture

I have always been a DW fan, but my most-often-used solutions at this time are:
Windows: Directory Opus and ScITE
Mac: TextMate

Firefox + Firebug for testing

I use Fireworks extensively for design.

-- Kelly Bell --

-- Kelly Bell --


NonProfit's picture

Yes, but only as a text editor. -NP


ckng's picture

Eclipse all the way for me =)
from coding, module, themeing to css, with Firefox + Firebug help of course.

CK Ng |

CK Ng |

Aptana Studio

thomas23's picture

Almost the same here, only using Aptana Studio to also sync files with the server via sftp. To my knowledge it's the Aptana guys who put in the sync (Studio is heavily based on Eclipse).



romand's picture

Eclipse, notepad++


jwolf's picture

It's all about the Komodo.

Once you go Komodo you'll never go back!

YAY Komodo IDE!!

Too big, too slow

adrinux's picture

I have it, but it's just too much of a memory hog and too slow to use for code editing (event though it's not that bad as a code editor). Might use it more when I get around to upgrading my hardware :)


elv's picture

I've never been comfortable with wysiwyg editors, and was never able to get my head around Dreamweaver. I'm primarily a designer / themer but I prefer hand coding (with TextMate and the incredible html and css bundles, by the way).
I started learning during the html 2 era, so it wasn't difficult at that time :)

I have to admit, when I

psynaptic's picture

I have to admit, when I first started getting involved with web design and development, I did use Dreamweaver on Windows briefly (although only for the syntax highlighting in code view). I never once added anything using the Dreamweaver interface and certainly never used design view. I did like that I could login to a remote site using the built-in FTP facility to edit stuff directly on the server but I have since learnt that using a proper development > staging > production workflow is essential and much safer!

Looking back, it was pretty short-sighted to use Dreamweaver for only it's syntax highlighting when other tools (such as jEdit) would have much better suited my needs.

I think a tool like Dreamweaver can not only produce bloated code but also limit the skill-set of the user and in using the DW interface the user isn't getting the proper hands-on experience necessary to become true masters of their craft. I've seen so many web designers that rely on DW and when given a simple text editor they become lost and can't even type out the simplest of things. That's not to say that DW actually forces the user down this path but for all but the most determined users this seems like the path of least resistance.

I currently use TextMate which is Mac only but E-TextEditor exists for Windows and uses the same bundle system. I couldn't be happier with TextMate. It's just a simple text editor that fits my needs perfectly. There are bundles for HTML, CSS, PHP, Drupal, jQuery, SQL, Markdown, Diff, and anything you can think of. If you need something that's not already available you can use your scripting language of choice to write your own bundle.

For anyone who prefers to use code view and not touch the DW interface I suggest you give either TextMate or E-TextEditor a go. Watch some of the videos on the TextMate site (especially the HTML one) and you will see some of the power.

Mixed bag - my 2c

eigentor's picture

One always comes too close to a religious issue with Dreamweaver, because the (also my) notion is: Dreamweaver-users can't code.

But this is only half the truth. Actually it is quite good, but far too slow to start up, and offering things a more purist-oriented Designer does not need.

I do though use it occasionally: If you are editing static Html Pages that are long and wretched, the split view with code and layout at the same time is definitely the quickest way to do such work if you cannot get around it.

Personally I use PSPad because being quick, free and having a wonderful code-completion tool. For PHP after being a drag to some fellow IRC users - I use Komodo because of PHP-Debugging and also because it has built-in Drupal API support (or do you have to pull it in yourself? Anyway, that works.)

Life is a process

Life is a journey, not a destination

people don't know the truth

Chris Charlton's picture

I don't work for Adobe, but I've been using Dreamweaver since version 2 (v10.0 is coming) and I have this to say for those who have commented or plan to comment -

Dreamweaver does not produce bloated code. If someone chooses to only use Design View, then they are not less of a web designer. Dreamweaver produces, and helps produce web standards compliant markup, CSS, XML/XSL/XSLT, and while it doesn't have a PHP debugger by default, Dreamweaver is extremely extensible and I think 99.8% of the people who use Dreamweaver never venture past the default interface.

Also, Dreamweaver does not rewrite your code. If it still is doing that then its time to upgrade your old version, or you need to seriously look over your software preferences. I read someone couldn't get their people to use 2-spaces per tab, well, that's a breakdown in either communication, heart, or people were just "too busy," not the fault of the software.

While DW does feel memory intensive at times, it is capable of amazing features and productivity. DW had CVS support for years, and the new labs version mentioned SVN support, and it always had FTP support too. I program awesome Dreamweaver extensions, for jQuery and Drupal, so someone can make a debugger integrated with DW, but not enough people have gone there with it.

For those who have an interest in Dreamweaver, I do tons of Dreamweaver (and Eclipse) work, so please feel free to ping me if your DW is not the powerhouse you want it to be.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

It's not that I think DW is

trevortwining's picture

It's not that I think DW is bad, or evil, or anything negative. To me, it just seems, limiting. When I want to get into the guts of a site, It just feels like I'm using a sledgehammer when what I really need is a scalpel. I'm sure there are many developers/themers out there that use it in a productive context, I'm just don't think I'm going to be one of them. I used it up to version 8, but in an ever-decreasing capacity from Version 1. The way I look at it is that I just outgrew it.

The developer's toolset is a pretty personal set of choices, and I don't think we need to find consensus. I think the important thing here, (and thanks for bringing up the topic anyway), is education about possible options. Then we leave each other to find the best fit for our workflow.

Maybe things have changed

psynaptic's picture

Maybe things have changed but I have seen so much shocking code produced in/by DW, redundant CSS rules like positon: relative; on almost everything. This is what I call bloat. I prefer to only use the minimal rules that are necessary.

check the "shorthand rules" pref

Chris Charlton's picture

This can be altered by a single checkbox in the DW preferences (shorthand CSS).

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

Very handy

highermath's picture

Dreamweaver used to be the devil. Now it is a very handy tool for theming on the fly. BBEdit and VIM are my front line weapons of choice,with Dw doing support.


NikLP's picture

VIm ftw! :)

I really ought to get using something like an IDE tho I think (and version control!!)


tbartels's picture

<3 vim for all the IDE you need ;)

Is Dreamweaver the new Front Page

samcohen's picture

When I first got into this business I used FrontPage -- which I soon learned was the ultimate sign of an amateur, as bad as having an AOL email address. This was a well deserved reputation given the insane extensions is relied upon.

But it now seems like DW is the new FrontPage for a lot of folks, which is really undeserved, given most of the criticism about it isn't true.

Oh well, I guess us DW users will have to switch, stay in the closet, or face condescension.

NMS: Drupal Training & Services

Greater Philadelphia Drupal Meetup

I paired up and worked

SamRose's picture

I paired up and worked recently with a developer who works mostly in windows, and dreamweaver was great for most apsects of Drupal dev

I have been using emacs, a web browser with firebug and that's about it.

recently, I've started working with eclipse, but have not had time to incorporate it into my workflow.

I'd rather use open source software and give feedback to those communities, than just buy and use a commercial application

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Open Source Ecology
P2P Foundation


theoria's picture

I started with SimpleText in '95, and struggled along with that for a while. Then... along came... (drumroll...) PageMill. HA! I remember being involved in a lot of "wishlist" discussions with a company back then, and Dreamweaver was at least partly a result of input from a lot of designers. Someone was listening! But there was no database integration, so I eventually incorporated Drumbeat into my workflow. Early Dreamweaver plus Drumbeat equals some seriously freaky code, but it worked. (Note how I avoided FrontPage the whole time, lol.) When Macromedia bought Drumbeat, I was ecstatic, and Dreamweaver Ultradev became my weapon of choice because I could build apps with it. I found it incredibly handy.

But something happened a few years ago. Here's this guy who has been using wysiwig crutches off and on for more than ten years, and I find myself working with some very talented uber-geeks who talk me into owning my code. Now, I use Coda exclusively, and I'm extremely happy with it. I opened Dreamweaver (CS3) recently, and I felt like it was a handicap. It's just what you're used to, I suppose. I find that using a text-editor and firebug is very liberating.

IMO dreamweaver is a

tjholowaychuk's picture

IMO dreamweaver is a handicap, CSS is quick and easy by hand, as is HTML, the WYSIWYGs and dialogs slow things down I think. Eclipse is way to damn slow for my liking. Everyone might want to check out PhpED its really fast and is built full of features, terminals, smart upload/download, profiling, debugging, tons of good stuff

Tj Holowaychuk

Vision Media - Victoria BC Web Design
Victoria British Columbia Web Design School

handicap = bad word

Chris Charlton's picture

I know it was your opinion, but to use the term handicap downplays a lot of work that goes into that product and the wonderful work that gets produced with it by your peers - fellow web designers/developers - as if they code Duplo blocks instead of Legos. Dreamweaver has millions of users, and while I'm not picking on anyone directly, I am tell folks using different software is cool let's (all) just talk about the software and not talk down about people, or their work, no matter their choice of software.

(I hate Vi. Long live pico.)

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

Certainly, it is defiantly a

tjholowaychuk's picture

Certainly, it is defiantly a choice that we all have to make, I have just had bad experiences with our staff using it, and in some cases it hinders their motivation/ability to learn core aspects of these technologies due to cloaking it with dialogs and wizards. I agree though, could be argued endlessly really

Tj Holowaychuk

Vision Media - Victoria BC Web Design
Victoria British Columbia Web Design School

Dreamweaver is whatever you

chadcross's picture

Dreamweaver is whatever you want it to be. It can be a handicap if you use it that way, or it can be really useful if you choose it to use it that way. It is a broad diverse tool that can be used in many ways. This reminds me of all of the ridiculous "Flash is evil" conversations from years ago. Just because people choose to do dumb things with it, doesn't make it a bad tool.

It is handy for static sites were the client uses Contribute and you need a file check in/out system. I still use it for that for a few clients.

All this banter is good

phil-roberto's picture

As a front-end developer looking to get my game up a level I find it useful to read these comments; they provide details leading to possible steps to take. I do use Dreamweaver/Firebug to theme. I also realize there are many ways to good work flow and most of it harkens back to an individual's past steps which are further formed by the focus/discipline of that individual. Thanks for the discussion.

So is there any concensus?

snorkers's picture

I'm just starting out in Drupal, but have been happily coding in Dreamweaver for past few years (having been handcoding in Notepad/Netbeans before that). Dreamweaver's pretty good at many things, and the many plugin tools (Spry, jQuery et al) have certainly saved me from getting down in the weeds with JS. And Dreamweaver is a nice way of abstracting upwards and working in a higher level - removing the need to be an encyclopedic guru on HTML and CSS, allowing the developer to expend more effort on overall design and content. And that is my main motive for getting involved with Drupal - I want to concentrate on communicating the message in a website. I don't want to spend my whole career slaving over code (although that doesn't mean I'm no longer interested in peeking under the hood).
From the varying comments today, there is a groundswell of negative opinion in using a mass-produced tool, but there doesn't seem to be a single, ideal solution that works with Drupal.
Are we debating coolness or functionality?

no debate, just votes

Chris Charlton's picture

Use what you want and like. That's the consensus.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

my dollar twenty-five

ha5bro's picture

I use the following for my design/dev

CSSEdit - because it cleans up my crappy typing for me

Smultron - for building templates because it's got a kick ass snippet function built into it

Text Wrangler - just for stuff that I need serious search & replace for

Dreamweaver - practically never unless I'm hacking together a form (I hate forms)

CSSEdit - totally rocks

dadderley's picture

BBEdit + CSSEdit + Firebug (Firefox extension) = happy themer (me)
I have used DW for years for straight quickie html sites. I do not use it for Drupal dev as I have no need for it.

Dreamweaver generally slows

brendoncrawford's picture

Dreamweaver generally slows down development.


Chris Charlton's picture

Slow down how?

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

I should clarify. I didn't

brendoncrawford's picture

I should clarify. I didn't mean it slows development for eveyone. I was only speaking for myself. My biggest gripe with it is lack of good keyboard accessibility and I couldnt seem to find xDebug support for PHP.

access keys are highly customisable

sherifmayika's picture

in DW.
I spoke to people at the Adobe who is in charge of New features To have code validation and xDebug suport. May be they will implement it in DW CS5. If I could not see it on the featre list of DW CS5 I will work on such a extension

A free extension for php debuging is already availabe at

Last time I used it I found

tjholowaychuk's picture

Last time I used it I found it slow in general, even FTPing files was slow in comparison to my IDE, I havent taken a look at it for about half a year though. The style explorer is maybe the only thing I would want/use, but since there is no CSS Documentation syntax specification that does little use as well (worken on that one).

Tj Holowaychuk

Vision Media - Victoria BC Web Design
Victoria British Columbia Web Design School

I just spent most of today

SamRose's picture

I just spent most of today working with using the same workflow we used with dreamweaver. at least for php templates, css it is just as good. I think some folks love dreamweaver because of it's integration with fireworks etc, and some people just get a really fast workflow going with DW. DW users think I am crazy for using emacs, for instance, but I can work just as fast as them on files, css and text stuff (actually faster) . It all boils down to preference.

I <3 FW

Chris Charlton's picture

I am a religious Fireworks user, since it came out. It's amazing for web design since it uses vector and bitmap and has great precision - it's my Photoshop and Illustrator in one, but lighter and faster. Photoshop is bloated in comparison for web design to Fireworks, so it's always something as this poll has pointed out. (And yes I tried GIMP before)

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

I <3 Inkscape

mike stewart's picture

Used to love, love, love fireworks. It was the one application (other than Quickbooks) that I kept my MS Windows machine alive.

But I've got a new friend now. Inkscape rocks! All the things I loved about Fireworks I found in Inkscape.

  • It's intuitive (took less than a day to learn -> yes I hate the Gimp interface)
  • vector & bitmap graphics with good effects
  • uses a standards compliant file format: SVG! (Remember when FW did that, and everyone thought what the heck is a PNG?)
  • allows you to easily export (using ID's) for easy output to png.
  • it has layers - AND SUBLAYERS! (omg, how does anyone use gimp without sublayers?)
  • OPEN SOURCE - and cross platform. FOSS means it comes with community, lots of tutorials, clip art, and in some cases friends.

To be fair, it has limited bitmap editing (tracing & good selection of effects), but it does allow link/or embedding, and even has good tracing for conversion to vector. And it's got some really nice vector effects too. Check it out some time:

mike stewart { twitter: @MediaDoneRight | IRC nick: mike stewart }

Fireworks Rocks

johnvsc's picture

I use FW all the time... especially the CS3 version... really, there are so many killer functions in it. My most used feature is the copy to flash feature.... what a time saver.

Also, PNG is it for web graphics. are there still people with 28k s

In terms of an IDE: I have used DM since 98. It is still a great WYSIWYG, but remember, it is just that a WYSIWYG at core. To use it for serious dev (where's the C# library?!?) is comical. A hard core IDE that reminds you of the comforting C:/ prompt it is not.

Because I am primarily a designer, I found Developer IDE's to be way out of my comfort zone. Lucky I stumbled upon Blumental's WeBuilder, I got the umbrella version with the HTML/CSS/PHP support. A really great IDE for those designers who aspire to be devs

my 2 Cents


mike stewart's picture

I have Bluefish loaded - but don't like it for PHP coding & Drupal work. Eventually I found It's GTK2 based so it's cross platform - VERY lightweight - loads as fast as most text editors - but is an awesome lightweight IDE tool for development with good PHP, CSS, HTML (plus a bunch of other languages). Even includes a shell in a *nix environment!

mike stewart { twitter: @MediaDoneRight | IRC nick: mike stewart }


design_dog's picture

I probably shouldn't admit it but:

I've been using Dreamweaver since BEFORE they actually came out with V.1.
heh. At that time, believe it or not it was a toss up between NetObjects Fusion and DW1. :-)
Back then people were freaked out because it seemed "a little too complicated." heh.
Then later came GoLive. I worked at a advertising firm once that used GoLive and it drove me insane.

Anyway, admittedly off and on I've been using and still use it now. And also, admittedly [which people knew it the beginning,] it has a tendency to write bad code - esp. frontend regarding putting in stupid things like spaces < p > tags and handling CSS classes.
BUT most of it's easy to fix.

For handling CSS it can be still a pretty awesome tool as well as micro-managing a site and it's formatting/content.
Still pretty useful for layout divs. and creating sites from zero.

For everything else I just use something simple like wordpad/notepad.

And yeah. Fireworks is awesome! Always one of those programs that just didn't get enough credit but it just works for quick design and stuff. Excellent to for integration with Flash. Actually the previous versions were even better. CS3 is kind of lagger.

InkScape rocks. for what it is. I was really impressed. It's long-awaited great open source program and it works well.
Anything vector is a good path.

I still use Illustrator a lot just because I am lazy with the shortcuts and I can get in and out of there pretty fast. But even for quick web stuff its great.

thats just all on the front end... but really the other stuff I just use a simple textpad.

I happen to like

Jacine's picture

I happen to like Dreamweaver. I learned HTML and CSS using it. I never once used it as a WYSIWYG editor, even in the beginning because I wanted to learn. For some things, like image mapping (God forbid I ever have to do that again) and design-time CSS stuff, nothing beats it IMO. I'll never understand the prejudice that people who don't use it have toward it. My favorite thing is job descriptions that wont consider you if you use it. LOL.

However, I don't use it anymore. When I really got into professional development I was totally bullied into using anything but. I turned to TextMate, after trying TextWrangler, Coda & Komodo. After watching this video demonstrating the power of it: and installing the Drupal & CSS bundles, there was really no turning back.

There's nothing better that typing in theme_links + tab and getting the whole function syntax to display or typing in theme_links and clicking ctrl + d and having it load the current Drupal API page for that function. It took a little getting used to, but it really makes it easy to code according to Drupal Coding Standards, and with the SVN & Tidy bundles, there's really nothing I miss from Dreamweaver anymore. My biggest gripe with TextMate is the UI, although I realize that's part of why it's so lightweight. Sometimes I open Coda every once in a while, just to get a visual fix though. LOL.

I am also a religious Fireworks user for all the same reasons mentioned above. It's nice to see others that feel the same way, since Fireworks is usually bashed as well :)

i actually did open dreamweaver yesterday...

chachasikes's picture

i totally stopped using dreamweaver - i first stopped when i tried aptana, and now i use eclipse. we all use eclipse at work - which is sometimes just nice because then everyone can help each other with the program. eclipse is hideously offensively ugly (and i haven't had time to reskin it...but it's totally begging for it!!!, isn't that possible?) eclipse also has some really annoying problems with me accidentally dragging files in eclipse's filesystem with my wacom pen, happens twice a day. otherwise, it's awesome. and i have the aptana plugin & one for php...and some others. there's also so many features like 'local history.'

i do like textmate (which jacine showed me!!!) for quick edits of pages. the bundles are really cool, i agree.

that said, yesterday i opened up dreamweaver because i had to make a table. i can't deal with making tables any other way, or looking for other ways to make tables. i hate making tables. it also reminds me of the old days.

tables = retro

Chris Charlton's picture

Wow, tables, that's like 20th century web, huh.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

Try making a newsletter that

Mihai Chiriac's picture

Try making a newsletter that will work on all mail clients without tables.. in 2008 :)

True enough

mshmsh5000's picture

Agreed: Authoring rich HTML email without tables is a losing battle. Even now!

As for tables on the web, they still have their uses. Six or seven years ago there was a struggle to get coders to stop using them as the Swiss Army knife of layout:

These days, people are willing to consider simple tables for expediency:

I still find them useful for tabular data. That's what they were made for, after all.

Matt Holford
Helen Marie

Cs 4 is more promising

sherifmayika's picture

Dreamweaver cs4 is more promising. When I create my Drupal theme there 'live view' sothat I don't want switch to Firfox and trigger firebug. Dreamweaver cs4 also offers buit-in jQuey and php support like code hints. Drag and drop functionality of PSD images int DW are awesome. Code navigator shows in live view what code is used for for a certain part.

Drupal API is truely useful.

I love to see dreamweaver to show php erros

Drupal API extension

Chris Charlton's picture

Hi Sherif, glad you like using my Drupal API extension for Dreamweaver.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

I have ever used Dreamweaver

lukus's picture

I have ever used Dreamweaver - I started coding my COLSPAN="3" etc.. in notepad, and was always aware that the shortcuts that WYSIWYG authoring programs like Dreamweaver (and, heaven forbid, Frontpage) used would end up shooting me in the foot one day. After notepad, for a while I used a free program called HTMLKit, which I really liked.

Then when I started to become more serious - I made the the switch to linux... and with it my IDE changed to Eclipse and a multitude of plugins (Aptana for web). If I'm stuck in a text console, I'll use my rudimentary knowledge of emacs to get around.

The things that I like about Eclipse are the fact that doesn't cost anything - and that I can also use the same environment for coding in C, java and rails. My main criticism of it, is that it runs a little slow on my poor old laptop.

If I were still using Windows, I think it would take a lot to convince me to shell out £250 to use Dreamweaver as an IDE - when there are fully featured packages like Eclipse which cost zilch.

But, I think that Dreamweaver's downturn in popularity since the late-90's is mainly because it's not fashionable. And fashion means more to most geeks than they'd (we'd) like to admit.

P.S. If you're ex-windows, hate the gimp interface and miss photoshop... try gimpshop - it's not perfect, but it makes it easier to get around.

Can someone enlighten me?

coreyp_1's picture

I started HTML design using Firstpage2000 ( (NOT FRONTPAGE!!!). I used it for years as an editor. Now, I use a simple text editor for both my php and html. Using that and Firebug, I think I can conquer anything.

Will someone tell me (or point me to a video) why I should try something else? What advantage is there to using one program over another? What feature is so ground breaking that it will change the way I work?

To tell the truth, I've never thought about it much until now, but if there is a better tool, I would like to use it.

My favorite unrelated story: Two weeks ago, a friend asked me what I was doing over the summer. I told him "web programming" and gave him a short blurb about Drupal. His response: "I designed a website for a university a few years ago in Front Page. It wasn't too hard, so I thought about getting into web design, too." It was really really hard to keep a straight face.


What Ever is Clever

Souvent22's picture


I think "editors" are a personal item IMHO. it's what ever lets you work faster. For me, its mostly about autocompletion, and how fast I can get around to different files, and key-board shortcuts. I'm totally comfortable in VI, however, I use Komodo because i can work with multiple files at the same time much better.
Think of it this way: One can also do Java development in Notepad or ANY text editor...but lets be is going to use an IDE of some sort NOT because it "codes" for you, but because it lets one "code" faster and safer.
So, in summary, an editor is not some show of ones "ability", just ones "preference". So go try other may be surprised when one grabs you and you can't work w/o it, or just "prefer" working with it :).

  • Earnest


DrupalShark's picture

Love Dreamweaver, Dreamweaver with Drupal extension three words HUGE, HUGE, HUGE.... I especially love it with fava Beans and a nice Chianti, FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

I've been converted by the programmers.

davebrenner's picture

I used to use Dreamweaver exclusively. But then the programmers I worked with insisted that my life would change if I only learned how to code everything the good old fashion way using BBedit or Notepad. I fought it for 6 months and then finally saw the light. My life is much simpler now and I can code with more efficiency. My advise is lose Dreamweaver and go clean and simple.

Drupal administrator and designer

Haha ew... I hate when

tjholowaychuk's picture

Haha ew... I hate when people say that notepad stuff... if you want to be extremely slow and efficient go nuts, although I believe LEARNING that way may be relevant but WORKING that way is definitely not a good way to go. I do agree though for the most part, removing dependency for lame convoluted dialogs helping you create HTML and CSS scripts is great and it really is faster IMO just to write the damn stuff.

I am actually working on a module which is just about finished now that will allow you to edit CSS in real time straight from a Drupal page. This is something I felt was needed because I was sick of looking back and forth from my IDE, and constantly refreshing the page, now you dont have to!

Tj Holowaychuk

Vision Media - Victoria BC Web Design
Victoria British Columbia Web Design School


dawehner's picture

I use Vim for at least all my stuff

its incredible fast with to many features

Snippets for the Formapi (Port of the textmate Package)
Autocompletion based on ctags

Autocheck of syntax and codestyle


My addiction

personal preferences

ricardoom's picture

there are a myriad of options and personal preferences as to how we get things done. usually in my personal environment i use skEdit which does basically what i need: ftp on save, code highlighting and auto-completion, which means fewer key strokes, good shortcut mapping, line selection and snippet depot. this for me, means less mistakes and relative ease in debugging. im all for writing code out by hand, but computers are tools and they are supposed to make our lives easier, so if an app that makes my life easier im all for it. one thing i find particularly handy about some programs is an integrated ftp. i work on busy production sites that (unfortunately non-drupal) are in constant need of uploading content and that feature is indispensable, so one for dreamweaver. ive tried many editors and the ones that stand out are flexible enough to do the things that are customizable to my personal needs so that i can get to the business at hand, building and creating. coupled w/ the some browser plugins what difference does the brand name make?

Love Dreamweaver

toluan's picture

I have been coding since mid 90s and have gone through multiple MS "Studios" as well as DW/Ultradev, etc. What I have learned is there is NO perfect tool. I could easily take any position on what i like and don't like to tell you the truth...

Since the vase majority on this post doesn't use Dreaweaver anymore, I really like you to convince me a better tool than Dreamweaver for producing lightning quick Data-binding(SQL recordset) objects, forms and tables.

It is one thing to write SQL statement by hand, it is another trying to union 5-6 tables into a SQL statement. On top of all that, you need tools to tell what tables are already out there and its columns objects(I don't know any tool beside DW that can do all those things at once) Once you got the T-SQL statement right, all you have to do is drag/drop the column objects into your tables cells and add "repeat regions" from Server Behaviors..Viola' your job is done.

Before you think I don't know how to write SQL code, I do. I take a lot of pride writing good SQL code so I don't have to make multiple calls to the server. DW gives me the tools to see all the database objects quickly, more important, when the objects are on screen I am less likely to misspell it - heck majority of the time I double click it and it paste onto my edit window. It usually takes me about no more than 5 minutes to write complex SQL statements via DW. If I have to use any other tools, I have to open another program (beside the text editor) to see all the database objects to write the SQL statement and testing it.

Now on the negative sides of Dreamweaver - it has no php debugger and pretty "stupid" FTP client that has a "dependent" file feature that can cause some serious havoc. Its Version control is practically worthless IMHO.

In all seriousness, convince me because I am probably an idiot and hanging on a PC and DW too long. In all seriousness, I love DW for its data-binding and testing server environment. Looking forward to hear what suggestions you guys may have.

Using Dreamweaver with Drupal

daneyuleb's picture

I'm considering using Dreamweaver, but not too sure what advantages it has specifically for Drupal sites. There's a lot of talk here about IF people are using it, but little info to be found on HOW people are using it.

I got the extension api (thanks!) but, since Drupal is database-oriented rather than static html....I'm not sure just what uses, other than as a nice text editor, one can make of it in regards to utilizing DW's many other features.

I guess what I'm looking for is general guidelines or a tutorial on setting DW up to theme a typical drupal site for the intermediate user, and what advantages it gives Drupal users over using one of the many syntax-highlighting editors out there. What features of DW are applicable to Drupal, and where and when can they be used in a site's development?

CS4 really stepped it up

Chris Charlton's picture

My extensions are some of the best ways to currently integrate with Dreaweaver. The Drupal API extension for Dreamweaver isn't my only Drupal extension coming to DW.

Okay, promo out of the way... now Dreamweaver CS4 has two key features that make it rock - Live View and Live Code View.

  • Live View tuns Design View into a legit web browser, so you can interact with Javascript and CSS interactivity perfectly. There's even a pause button to pause JavaScript at anytime and freeze what's going on. So, no external browser necessary.

  • Live Code View activates a live mode in Code View that will literally render code changes and highlight what moved, got added, etc. This is super key to help debug DOM tweaks with JavaScript and CSS, like jQuery and the like.

These are just a few new things in Dreamweaver that I really like. For Drupal people directly, the features above are useful but I do see there's more needed to bridge that gap and I am trying, with Adobe's help, to squeeze that gap smaller.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

Yep, CS4 is pretty slick

daneyuleb's picture

Yep, CS4 is pretty slick with the live preview, but I'm still not sure how to best implement it with editing a database/php template driven Drupal site since you're not really pointing at an html page for it to display (unless I just paste the source from an already rendered page, which doesn't give you the ability to preview template or module changes).

But then I haven't worked with DW much yet, so I may yet figure out the workflow for Drupal that allows me to make template/css/module changes and see previews on the fly within DW. In a perfect world, the workflow would be like Devel or Firebug--click a page element, see the underlying php.tpl's, css and js stuff that made it, then edit it on the fly and see your changes. Right now, the text editing is divorced from the previewing for the most part, and it all seems pretty jumbled. (Using DW with a static (non-drupal) page, though, the Live View is very cool). Is there some basic workflow I'm missing to bring it all together?

It really helps a ton to

jgordon's picture

It really helps a ton to have a PHP debugger when doing drupal development. I can't stress that enough, really. As far as I know, dreamweaver isn't going to give you this. Here's some that will:
- Komodo (my favorite editor)
- Eclipse
- Zend IDE (easiest debugger to setup/use)

PHP debugger already setup & configured

mike stewart's picture

I agree with@jgordon IF you're a developer. I say that because its been mentioned Dreamweaver is a bit more targeted for designers, with some development goodies. I simply don't know, and can't add ideas to explain a good Drupal workflow using DW.

However, If anyone is is looking to try a PHP debugger (for free) here's the latest eclipsePHP with xdebug pre-configured as a Virtualbox image that'll work on any Platform - Win, Mac, *nix. more info:

mike stewart { twitter: @MediaDoneRight | IRC nick: mike stewart }

Trying to decide right now...

andrewjanu's picture

I'm building a new site with Drupal for the first time and trying to decide if Dreamweaver is worth using/buying for the project. Any opinions?

Doesn't make a difference

kabarca's picture

@andre_j: I'm a web designer and I use DW just because I have been using it for a looong time specially for the code hints but it really doesn't bring any additional help for Drupal, you can use Notepad++ or EclipsePHP with the same or better results (Eclipsephp).


It's not that important

johnpwarren's picture

Dreamweaver is very nice, refined, powerful, and flexible. But I never used it outside of classes on web design. You can do almost everything you do with Dreamweaver with these 3 tools:


Probably the nicest thing Dreamweaver did that you can't get out of those tools is good integration with Flash and a wide variety of javascript effects. If you code though, you'll want to handle most of that on your own anyway.


I believe Dreamweaver simply

Bèr Kessels's picture

I believe Dreamweaver simply does not fit into a professional workflow, with Drupal.
For that one needs SSH, Subversion and PHP extensions.
IMO a texteditor that focuses on textediting (textmate, e, kate, notepad++) is by far the best option.
And it lets you handle the other stuff, like staging, testing, versioning with the tools best suited for that.

In general, the one thing one needs to do when it comes to Drupal themeing, is tweaking XHTML, altering some PHP and hardcore CSS-editing. And those are the things that most suits, including dreamweaver, suck at.

Bèr |

DW has SVN and PHP5 support

Chris Charlton's picture

I disagree. Live View and Live Code View (pause JavaScript) are hands down game changers. DW has had PHP 5 support for years and CS4 has SVN built-in, and there was/is a SVN extension for Dreamweaver for DW 8-CS3 owners.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

CS4 and Netbeans

snorkers's picture

I still like Dreamweaver and have just upgraded to CS4. The most impressive features of CS4 are (IMO) the Live views (Design and Code) and showing all component files of a page (includes, CSS etc). It really is saving time on pulling web pages together and I'm seeing potential for client involvement in RAD. As I'm still cutting my teeth on Drupal Theming (and hopefully module development too), I haven't quite fathomed out the benefits of using Dreamweaver for Drupal - although I was just getting the hang of the cool 8/CS3 plugins that Chris/ has made available.

However, I used to use the Netbeans IDE for Java development and had a quick look this morning at the new release (6.5) - you can get a bundled download for many languages (other than Java), such as PHP, Ruby etc... but of particular interest is the Netbeans plugin for Drupal module development. Installing NB6.5 went well - detected my XAMPP server quickly and seemed pretty integrated. Running the Drupal module creation wizard seemed pretty straightforward and loads of documentation. More info at node/327486. Although heavily biased towards Java, Netbeans easily does HTML, CSS, jQuery and XML; PHP debugging seems OK too. There's also a plugin for Subversion too. So if you're looking for a cheap (free) solution, Netbeans could work for you.

Can't say I have any strong opinions about which IDE is right or wrong (OK - DW isn't really an IDE), but there are certainly some good tools out there.


snorkers's picture

As an aside, I just tried out the Drupal extensions from in CS4 and the code hints seem to work just fine. In my Windows installation, there's also a Subversion DW extension you can get too. :)

DW CS4 Drupal code hints work, but aren't pretty

Chris Charlton's picture

Code hints work in CS4 just fine, for now. I plan to release a CS4/CS3 update to bring back the pretty icons.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

Notepad++ (GPL)

the_phi's picture !

Notepad++ is a free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL Licence.

Based on a powerful editing component Scintilla (, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendlyness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.



PHILIPP-SCHAFFNER.COM {Text 3.0 & Web 3.0}

I have a love hate

PixelClever's picture

I have a love hate relationship with Dreamweaver. I use it almost every day for theme related work since its CSS tools are so much better than anything else I have found. However for programming it sucks. It is blind to syntax errors, it has no built in debugger that can run on a Drupal installation, it has very limited code completion, and it revolves around entirely out dated web design methods that isn't really suited to Drupal (their design view for example).

For anything more than 3 lines of php I open up Komodo which is in my opinion a far superior code editor. Even for theme design I find that Dreamweaver falls short for the php needed for template files etc... If they would add a decent CSS toolkit and file browser to Komodo I would gladly dump Dreamweaver for good. Until then I have to keep it around. I tried cs4 but wasn't impressed.

Drupal theming, Module development and logo design:

Drupal theming, Module development and logo design:

Design View remedy in new Dreamweaver Extension

pod-gdo's picture

Hopefully the Drupal Dreamweaver Extension I just released for Dreamweaver CS3 / CS4 will serve to bridge the Drupal/Design View gap - I've forced most (if not all) of the commonly used Drupal variables to render as nifty little icons in Design View, so instead of seeing a bunch of little golden PHP tag placeholders you can actually see that a breadcrumb is a breadcrumb, and thereby better visualize your themes as you build them. I've attached a screenshot so you can see what I mean.

You can read more about the Drupal Dream Theme Utility Suite at

For me, having this tool available has been a huge asset in theme production - but then, I may be slightly biased.

Anybody reviewed the "Drupal

sunilkumar's picture

Anybody reviewed the "Drupal Dream Theme Utility Suite" ? Please link here



snorkers's picture

Are there any top tips to update files (eg contrib modules) so that when you 'Check In' to SVN via Dreamweaver, SVN actually works. I've tried all sorts of ways to replace files, but when I go to make the commit I get a svn 155007 error (screenshot). Tried deleting the outdated files via DW first, then copying in the new ones via Finder - no joy. Would Drush be the answer to such Dreamweaver woes? (Or would that only do the right things with CVS repositories).

Really keen to love DW for Drupal sites, but this problem has been eating away at me for weeks.

Theme development

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