DreamWeaver requires customization in order to work efficiently. Obviously, options in DreamWeaver are far more varied and complex than those in Notepad or Textedit; I shall focus on the application's core options, matching, as close as possible, the approach we have taken in the past.

Note that the steps shown are for Adobe DreamWeaver CS5: earlier and later versions may be slightly different.

First, start up DreamWeaver. Preference settings are CTRL/CMD-U, as for most Adobe products.

Under the General option in the Preferences pane, turn off Show Welcome Screen. The option immediately under it, Reopen documents on startup is very useful if you can guarantee that you will be returning to work on that computer. This is not the case in most computer labs, but is true in most offices and at home.

DreamWeaver preferencesChange the spelling dictionary to your appropriate language and location. (You should typically write your body copy in a fully-fledged word processor or a Markdown tool with spellcheck, but using the dictionary in DreamWeaver is a useful backup.)

Code Hints: DreamWeaver can speed up production significantly by anticipating and auto-completing your code. DreamWeaver is not the only tool that does this, and not everyone finds the behavior advantageous. Used well, with planning, the feature typically decreases production time by 5 – 10%. If you find it more annoying than helpful, choose Never for the Close tags option and turn off Enable code hints.

Fonts: change the Code View font to a more legible choice.

New document: ensure that it is set to HTML5.

Preview in Browser: set up Firefox to be your primary browser; other browsers should be secondary.

Validator: turn on "HTML5", turn off all other options.