I’ve already defended Dreamweaver in a previous post, so I’m possibly repeating myself, but discussing development with a user of Notepad++ this week, I was reminded of a couple of basic features that make my life infinitely easier:
- Shift-F6: when in code view, hitting this command validates your code against whatever W3C standard you prefer. It’s still advisable to check in the official W3C validator, but this and the “Clean up XHTML” command will usually ensure minimal errors.
- Code hints: strangely not the default setting, but Dreamweaver’s code editor can be set not only to suggest what HTML or CSS tag you are typing, but also to close your HTML tags automatically, eg. providing </p> the moment you’ve finished typing <p>.
- The option to “get” a file from the server and “put” it back with a right-click, when you’re looking at files via the Windows Explorer-style view on your local machine and the server.
My quest for efficiency is driven generally by laziness, lack of time and wanting to avoid the boredom of repetition. This, along with the desire to avoid RSI by typing and mouseclicks, makes Dreamweaver an effective editor for me personally.