We recently got the following email from Jim Maivald. Jim is one of the foremost experts on XML and web design. As you can see Jim is on a mission to get more people to use Dreamweaver as an ePub editing program.
Hi. I was just perusing your “Digital Publishing” book and ran across the suggestion of using Dreamweaver as an EPUB editor, p 207. First, I like the book. I hope you get tons of sales.
Second, I love DW as an EPUB editor. I use it all the time. I am a huge advocate to get DW to be Adobe’s official EPUB editor. It offers tons of productivity enhancements that your readers should know about.
Features already in DW:
- Edits all files used in EPUB, except images, natively.
- Provides an easy way to access, create, edit and preview CSS formatting. Similar to InDesign in making Paragraph and Character styles.
- Offers great trouble-shooting tools for CSS issues or errors.
- Provides code hinting feature for writing code by hand, if necessary. Otherwise the program can write most of the needed HTML code without ever looking at it.
- Can help build and edit hyperlinks within document.
- Supports HTML5 and CSS3 features/techniques already. It’s ready for EPUB3.
- Has a built-in WYSIWYG “Design” view window that provides pretty accurate preview of HTML and CSS. No need to preview in a browser.
- Has a “Live” view feature that provides near perfect preview of the final code.
- The Design view window has a feature that can automatically resize to specified dimensions that can simulate the eReader device, such as 600×800, 800×1024, etc.
- You can insert images and animations and DW will build the code references properly.
- It’s interface is similar to InDesign’s, so users familiar with one will already be familiar with the other.
There isn’t a steep learning curve for InDesign users to understand the Dreamweaver interface for working with CSS styles.
- Shows any files linked to the open document and allows you to view, edit and save changes to the “linked” files from the parent file without having to open them first.
But the most important item to know is that few other programs offer all these advantages in one place. Sigil and Calibre can edit the files but they don’t make it easy and you have to do most of the work manually.
DW is not perfect, there are some things it still needs to be become the ideal editor.
Features we still need:
- Open EPUBs directly within DW without first decompressing.
- Intelligent awareness and editing of XML metadata files. When you add or remove an image or asset, DW should add or remove the appropriate reference from the manifest and anywhere else it appears. Add a chapter or remove a chapter and similar references should be updated in the sidecar files.
- Access to available validation services or features within DW.
- Conversion from one standard to another. For instance, from EPUB to K8 or mobi.
The more people that use and want to use DW as their EPUB editor, the faster this will become a reality.
I hope I can enlist you and Diane in this cause.
Consider us on board!