All in the <head>

– Ponderings & code by Drew McLellan –

– Live from The Internets since 2003 –


CSS in Dreamweaver

10 September 2003

New at, Designing with CSS in Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 looks at building a flexible, standards-based CSS and XHTML layout using Dreamweaver MX 2004.

Before you ask, yes, I did do it without any hand-coding. Dreamweaver has come a long way this year. Whilst it’s still not up there with my favoured combination of Homesite and TopStyle, at least this kind of this is now possible with Dreamweaver. As I say at the beginning of the article, Dreamweaver MX (previous version) was fine at rendering simple CSS layouts and even making basic edits, but you couldn’t really work with it. Macromedia has made vast improvements to the page rendering engine in MX 2004 resulting in most CSS layouts displaying pretty much as they do in Internet Explorer. Almost as importantly, MX 2004 has a new set of tools for creating and editing CSS documents. All this new functionality is essentially version 1, so it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a good start.

- Drew McLellan


  1. § Jesse: Ya it is pretty cool but what I want to know is how do I get DW back to saving .html rather than .htm by default?

    The help is less than helpful...
  2. § Jeremy: On the HTM > HTML saving...I have had to change this setting for some co-workers.

    In the folder Macromedia\Dreamweaver MX\Configuration\DocumentTypes there is an XML file called MMDocumentTypes.xml. open it in notepad or your favorite Text Editor.

    On the third line, there is are ”winfileextension” and macfileextension” attributes. add html to those, as the first item in the value. save. close MX if open, and restart MX. If HTML is already in the list, just move it to the front.

    .html should now be your default file extension.

    btw, i still use Homesite/TopStyle. Can’t beat it. Even if MX does have a ”HomeSite Version”.
  3. § Jesse: I would love to use that but I am 100% mac.. my choices are BBedit.. or BBedit.. hehe.

    Haven’t really look at anything else.

    Oh and thanks.. got it changed, I am happy :D I wonder how many people are irritated by that?
  4. § tomjleeds: To be honest, I think I prefer MX 2003 to MX 2004 :-(


Work With Me logo

At we build custom content management systems, ecommerce solutions and develop web apps.

Follow me


  • Web Standards Project
  • Britpack
  • 24 ways

Perch - a really little cms

About Drew McLellan

Photo of Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan (@drewm) has been hacking on the web since around 1996 following an unfortunate incident with a margarine tub. Since then he’s spread himself between both front- and back-end development projects, and now is Director and Senior Web Developer at in Maidenhead, UK (GEO: 51.5217, -0.7177). Prior to this, Drew was a Web Developer for Yahoo!, and before that primarily worked as a technical lead within design and branding agencies for clients such as Nissan, Goodyear Dunlop, Siemens/Bosch, Cadburys, ICI Dulux and Somewhere along the way, Drew managed to get himself embroiled with Dreamweaver and was made an early Macromedia Evangelist for that product. This lead to book deals, public appearances, fame, glory, and his eventual downfall.

Picking himself up again, Drew is now a strong advocate for best practises, and stood as Group Lead for The Web Standards Project 2006-08. He has had articles published by A List Apart, Adobe, and O’Reilly Media’s, mostly due to mistaken identity. Drew is a proponent of the lower-case semantic web, and is currently expending energies in the direction of the microformats movement, with particular interests in making parsers an off-the-shelf commodity and developing simple UI conventions. He writes here at all in the head and, with a little help from his friends, at 24 ways.