Creating a Page

To create a Web page, begin by simply typing into the blank untitled document on the main Dreamweaver screen whatever text you want displayed in a Web browser - just as you would create a document in a word processing program like Word.

As you enter text and other elements on the page, Dreamweaver will automatically construct the appropriate HTML code in the background so it displays properly on a Web browser

Try typing some words into the Dreamweaver screen, such as:

To see the HTML code that Dreamweaver has created behind the scenes, click on the Show Code View icon in the far upper left corner (circled below). Or in the menu at the top select View...Code.

Now save the page by selecting in the menu at the top File...Save (or use the Cmd-S (Mac) or Ctrl-S (Windows) hotkeys, which work in all applications, all operating systems). In the box that appears, navigate to the drive and folder where you want your file stored (such as the site folder you defined for Dreamweaver to store your Web files). You'll use this same folder (and subfolders within it) to store all of your HTML files, images, audio, and video. That way you can move all the files in this folder to a Web server later.

Give your Web page a name (index.html is the preferred name for the main or home page of a Web site), make sure the name ends in .html, and click on Save.

Previewing Your Document

Dreamweaver gives you a pretty good idea of how your page is going to look in a Web browser, but remember that Dreamweaver is not a browser. To see how your page really looks, in the menu at the top select File...Preview in Browser and then select a browser from the ones listed (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.). The hotkey for preview in the system's main browser is F12, a good hotkey to remember, as you'll be using it frequently.

Your document then will be launched in the browser you selected so you can see how it looks in a real browser.

Your simple test document will probably look the same in Dreamweaver and in the browser, but as documents and layouts become more complex, differences become more apparent.

A complex page also will display differently in different browser (Explorer, Netscape, Safari) and on different operating systems.

So you should test your pages in a variety of browsers on both Mac OS and Windows before going live!