Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Web Design & Development > Blogs

(Serious) Fun with Web, Mobile, and Dreamweaver CS5.5

With the rapid spread of smartphones and tablets, responsive web design has become the order of the day. No problem, argues David Powers, author of Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 Studio Techniques: Designing and Developing for Mobile with jQuery, HTML5, and CSS3. Dreamweaver CS5.5 puts the necessary tools at your disposal, and formerly dreaded chores, like rounding corners on elements, or adding drop shadows and transparent backgrounds, have become a real pleasure.
Like this article? We recommend

After years of very little happening, web designers are suddenly caught up in a maelstrom of change. Forget predictions that HTML5 won't be ready until 2022 and that CSS3 is merely a pipe dream. They're already here. What's more, the web standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is encouraging web designers to start using the new features even though the specifications are still evolving. And in case you hadn't noticed, huge numbers of people now access the web on their mobile phones and tablets. Designs need to look just as good on a tiny screen as a desktop monitor.

Where's the fun in that? It sounds like a nightmare.

The greatest barrier to adopting new techniques has been buggy implementation and inconsistencies between browsers. While bugs and differences between browsers are unlikely to go away in a hurry, what's different now is that the browser manufacturers are competing to implement common standards, rather than going their own separate ways. All the latest versions of the major browsers—including Internet Explorer—support large parts of HTML5 and CSS3.

The other important factor is that HTML5 is deliberately designed to be backwardly compatible. For example, you can start implementing the new HTML5 form features in your websites without worrying that those features will break in older browsers. If a browser doesn't recognize the specialized input types, such as email, url, number, and range, it simply treats that type as a standard text-input field. As for CSS3, browsers ignore properties or values that they don't understand, so you can feel safe using many new features, such as rounded corners and drop shadows, to enhance the look of web pages in the latest browsers. Older browsers won't render the effects, but the pages shouldn't break, either.

As long as you're aware of the limitations of older browsers, and you check to make sure that your site looks acceptable with them, you can have plenty of (serious) fun experimenting with new features, progressively enhancing the experience for visitors with the most up-to-date browsers. CSS3 in particular makes light work of design elements that used to involve images and tediously complex markup.

Dreamweaver CS5.5 Rises to the Challenge

The latest version of Adobe Dreamweaver embraces all three challenges—HTML5, CSS3, and mobile—with vigor. Some of the new features were heralded in a free update to Dreamweaver CS5 in August 2010, but those features have been fleshed out and expanded in Dreamweaver CS5.5. Among all the new features, these are the most important:

  • Support in Live view for all CSS3 selectors
  • Visual tools for creating rounded corners and drop shadows with CSS
  • Rendering of web fonts in Live view
  • Greatly improved support for CSS media queries to create adaptive designs for desktops, tablets, and mobile phones
  • Defining colors with alpha transparency (RGBa and HSLa)
  • Integration of the jQuery Mobile framework to create dedicated mobile sites and apps
  • Integration of PhoneGap, an open source framework that converts sites built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript into native apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
  • Full code-hinting for jQuery, the most popular JavaScript library

As if that bounty weren't enough, built-in support for PHP code hints and syntax checking has been upgraded to PHP 5.3, and Dreamweaver CS5.5 can connect to your remote server using FTP over the Secure Sockets Layer (FTPS).

Don't be fooled by .5 in the version number. This is a major upgrade to Dreamweaver, rather than the addition of just a few nice-to-have features.

By default, Dreamweaver CS5.5 still uses XHTML 1.0 Transitional as its default doctype. The only time it defaults to HTML5 is when you use one of the jQuery Mobile starter pages, or one of the two predefined CSS layouts that employ HTML5 semantic tags (such as <article>, <header>, and <nav>). Support for HTML5 remains subdued in the background. You'll find it in code hints and in the Tag Inspector. All the semantic tags are listed in the New CSS Rule dialog box, but there are no tools for inserting the new elements in Design view. I think this was a wise decision by Adobe. Support is handy for designers and developers who want to experiment with the bleeding edge of HTML5, but it's kept in the background for the time being.

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020