Teach Yourself Visually Dreamweaver CS3 by Janine C. Warner

Teach Yourself Visually Dreamweaver CS3

  • Author: Janine C. Warner
  • Softcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley(Aug 6 2007 12:00AM)
  • Book dimensions: 8.9 x 7.3 x 0.7 inches
  • ISBN: 0470144750
  • ITBookworm score: 2.0 /5

Score Reasoning

This book just doesn’t hold enough real technical appeal for most IT people to get behind it. Perhaps it would be good for your parents to get started from scratch learning to code web pages, but for anyone who’s done it at all before, they’ll find it way too basic. The quality of the book is also very poor. The first night I started reading it, it came apart on me.


This book is very beautifully printed, but doesn’t offer much in the way of real web development. It appears to not be as much of a tutorial on Dreamweaver CS3 as much as it is on the web and websites in general along with Dreamweaver. It’s definitely for the absolute beginner who knows next to nothing about web development or anything else about the internet. To that end, it explains some of these extremely basic terms which will bore most readers. Like I said though, it is very pretty. It’s got pages and pages of full color screenshots and examples. I did find though that sometimes the screenshot was busy enough that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be looking at really. And sometimes, the circles and pointers on the pages got in the way of what I was supposed to be seeing. Still, that doesn’t happen too much, but enough to limit its usefulness.

I find too, that the range of topics it covers is very basic. Most of the stuff covered could easily be discovered by just poking around a little. It really only covers most topics in most basic terms offering no real advice. For instance, when you open Dreamweaver and create a new page, you’re presented with a couple dozen choices on the type of file you’d like to create. And I don’t mean ASP.NET, ColdFusion, HTML, etc. I mean once you pick one of those, you have tons of choices, and this book doesn’t even touch on the basics of what kind of page to choose. I’m a fairly experienced web developer and DBA and when I first opened Dreamweaver I wasn’t sure what type of file to choose. And this book offered me no advice on the topic.

The Spry framework is one of the biggest new features in Dreamweaver and this book didn’t even mention it. I would think that a book geared toward this new version of the product would have a couple tutorials on one of its biggest features. As well, it didn’t cover any of the new Photoshop functionality either.

It covered live data a little, but really not very much, and then only one small section in the back of the book. There’s almost nothing you can do without data these days, so that’s a pretty important tutorial to scrimp on. Databases are a complicated topic and many people spend years trying to understand the complexities, yet this author seems to think the basics can be covered in a single sitting. Well, the level this book is at, I really doubt its audience would have any idea what she’s talking about here and wouldn’t be able to grasp much of the database concepts being introduced here. And even if they could, the example is so simple it’s almost not even worth doing.

In short, you really won’t go very far with this book, and you’re certainly not going to learn any cool Dreamweaver secrets here. Oh sure, there are a couple small nuggets along the way, but nothing most IT people couldn’t discover on their own in just a couple hours. I would personally prefer a book that was more project-based and actually showed me how to do some really cool things with the new features instead of teaching me how to code from scratch and just happens to use Dreamweaver.

Who is this book really for?

This book is more for absolute beginners in web programming than it is for those who really want to learn Dreamweaver CS3. There are no real nuggets in here. It mostly just covers the basics.

Writing Style

It’s a visual step-by-step guide. There’s no realy writing style.


I didn’t have to be very tough at all with this book before it just started falling apart on me. The first day I had it, I cracked the spine and shortly after, a page came out in my hand. It also started dropping pages like mad after that. This book just won’t be around long at this rate, which is good, because I probably won’t read it again anyway.

-Sean McCown, ITBookworm.com


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