What’s New in Dreamweaver CS5.5?

by Dhruv Kapoor

Normally with a point release you expect a couple of minor improvements but that is definitely not the case with this version of Dreamweaver. This new version has a heavy emphasis on features for multiple screen resolutions and mobile devices. This upgrade hosts a wide variety of fantastic surprises that hone most of the available features of Dreamweaver CS5.

This is definitely a must-have for anyone looking to develop applications for mobile devices and can be a great tool for advanced web designers. New features available in this release include:

  • FTPS support
  • jQuery code hinting
  • Full jQuery mobile support, together with over a dozen mobile widgets
  • A preview of pages at different screen resolutions without leaving your document window
  • Powerful phone gap integration that lets you use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create Android and IOS apps
  • Web font support
  • Total support for all CSS3 selectors
  • New tool for the creation of drop shadows and rounded corners in CSS3

In the New Document box, starter pages are available for jQuery mobile that enables you to make an easy web app that is compatible with all major platforms in a matter of minutes. If you want to create something a bit more complicated, you will be required to make your own code. Luckily, Dreamweaver CS5.5 provides you with full jQuery mobile and jQuery core code hinting. This streamlines the process and makes it much easier to reach your goals.

One of the most impressive features of this release is undoubtedly the phone gap integration. Simply build your app in HTML, CSS, or JavaScript and Dreamweaver will build the native version and install it into a simulator. For now, it can only be used to develop applications for the iOS and Android operating systems but there are plans to expand this capability to include other mobile operating systems later on.

Other enhancements that may not seem as major but are still infinitely useful include the ability to create image-free drop shadows and rounded corners using CSS3. Live View allows you to immediately see the effects of your design changes without switching between a browser and style sheet. It also now supports hsla() and rgba() color formats, making it much easier to use transparent effects on your web creations.

Of course nothing is perfect and Dreamweaver CS5.5 is no exception to the rule. For one, you must be careful about where you insert mobile widgets. Instead of splitting or moving outside of an element as Dreamweaver normally does, it inserts new code at whichever point you happen to be at the time. Though not a major failing, this can be highly irritating over time. It can also lead to disaster for those who are not experts at writing and understanding code.

Additionally, it has a way to go with HTML5. Though full HTML5 code hinting is available, you can only insert HTML5 parts by making code in Code View. Some also consider the $199 upgrade price to be a shortfall of this release since it is still a bit behind Netbeans and PHP storm. Of course, those options require hand coding so many users may consider the price difference to be worth it. Love it or hate it, Dreamweaver CS5.5 is a point release that offers the benefits of a full upgrade.

This Guest Post is by Dhruv Kapoor. Dhruv is an employee of Offshore Ally, a company providing the best virtual assistants and link builders online. He is passionate about gadgets, graphics, and technology in general. Connect with him via Twitter.

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