Troubleshoot Dreamweaver on Macintosh OS X


This TechNote suggests some general troubleshooting techniques for issues or unexpected behavior with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX, Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Dreamweaver 8 running on Apple Macintosh OS X. Answers to common questions and additional information are at the end of the TechNote.

Note: This TechNote includes information specific to Dreamweaver. Users should use this TechNote in conjunction with General Macintosh troubleshooting (TechNote tn_3500), which describes basic troubleshooting steps appropriate for all Macromedia products on Macintosh OS X.

The information is divided into three main sections:

Collecting Information

Troubleshooting problems with Dreamweaver is generally easier when complete information and conditions to reproduce the issue are available. Information to help narrow down the problem can be found by answering the questions below.

Does the computer meet the minimum system requirements for Dreamweaver?

Verify that your system meets the minimum requirements. Running below or without the advertised minimum requirements may cause the software to malfunction.

  • Dreamweaver 8:
    600 MHz PowerPC G3 and later
    Macintosh OS X 10.3 and later
    256 MB RAM
    300 MB available disk space
    You must have at least 1024 x 768, thousands of colors monitor, although millions of colors is recommended.
    Note: This product must be activated over the Internet prior to use. Visit the Product Activation Center to learn more about activation.
  • Dreamweaver MX 2004:
    500 MHz Power PC G3 processor
    Macintosh OS X 10.2.6 and later, 10.3
    128 MB computer RAM (256 MB recommended)
    275 MB available disk space
    You must have at least 800 x 600, thousands of colors monitor, although 1024 x 768, millions of colors is recommended.
    Note: This product must be activated over the Internet or phone prior to use. Visit the Product Activation Center to learn more about activation.
  • Dreamweaver MX:
    A Power Macintosh G3 or better
    Macintosh OS 9.1 and higher or Macintosh OS X 10.1 and higher
    96MB RAM (128 MB recommended)
    275 MB of available disk space
    You must have at least 800 x 600, thousands of colors monitor, although 1024 x 768, millions of colors is recommended.

Note: Unix File System (UFS) is not a supported File system format to use with Dreamweaver on Macintosh OS X 10.x. Use Macintosh OS Extended (Journaled) HFS formatting in your hard disks.

Are Background Maintenance Tasks run on a regular basis?

Some developers report that aberrant behavior is corrected, and application performance improved, when Background Maintenance Tasks have been run. It is recommended these tasks be run on a regular basis. Please refer to the Apple Support Article ID 107388 for more information.

Isolating the problem

After confirming system requirements are met, and information is collected about applications running at the same time as Dreamweaver, isolation of the problem can begin.

Is there a conflict with another application?

Close all other applications and verify that the problem persists when Dreamweaver is the only application running. A list of running applications can be viewed in the Force Quit Applications window by pressing Option-Apple-Escape. For advanced users the ProcessViewer utility (found in /Applications/Utilities) provides some information about currently running applications.

Additional information can be found by running the Unix top utility in the terminal window, which shows the name of the application. For additional information about processes and daemons please see the articles, Mac OS X Server: Processes and Mac OS X: What are all those processes?.

Could the problem be the preferences file?

Because the preferences file for Dreamweaver is generally updated more frequently than other Dreamweaver files, the chances of that file becoming corrupt is greater. To test the Dreamweaver preference file, move or rename the file while Dreamweaver is not running, restart Dreamweaver and try reproducing the issue. Dreamweaver will create a new preferences file that should eliminate issues associated with a corrupt file.

Note: Dreamweaver site definitions are stored in the preferences file, so use the export/import functionality built into the Sites dialog box before performing this test. The Dreamweaver Preference file is located in the HD:Users:[username]:Library:Preferences folder, named as follows:

  • Dreamweaver 8 Prefs
  • Dreamweaver MX 2004 Prefs
  • Dreamweaver MX Prefs

New window disappearing on a second monitor?

Several customers have reported issues when opening new files on a second monitor. The new window appears as a small rectangle about five to ten pixels down the side of the second display screen. The workaround is to move the title bar to the first display screen and resize the window by dragging the bottom right corner.

Has the hard drive been checked for corruption?

There are several utilities that examine and repair disk corruption. Knowledge Base document, Mac OS X: About Using Disk Utility and fsck for File System Maintenance describes the use of these utilities. In addition, there are third-party utilities to fix certain types of disk corruption.

Can you reproduce the problem in Macintosh OS 9?

Note: This is a useful step for Dreamweaver MX users, but Dreamweaver 8 and Dreamweaver MX 2004 do not run under classic mode. Dreamweaver 8 and MX 2004 require Macintosh OS X.

Another useful piece of information is whether or not the problem can be reproduced in Macintosh OS 9.x. Please note, this is not the same as running in classic mode. To run the applications in Macintosh OS 9.x you will need to restart the computer. The Apple Knowledge Base document, How to Switch Between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, describes switching between Macintosh OS 9.x and Macintosh OS X.

If the problem cannot be reproduced in Macintosh OS 9.x, further investigation should determine if the problem is with the Dreamweaver MX installation by using a new account with admin privileges to see if the problem is reproduced.

Searching for a workaround

Most issues with Dreamweaver can be fixed once the problem has been defined, but some issues may require reinstalling Dreamweaver or disabling a corrupt font.

How do I uninstall Dreamweaver?

Please refer to Uninstalling Studio 8 applications on Macintosh OS X (TechNote 8f101099) for instructions on Dreamweaver uninstallation. Before uninstalling, make sure to back up important sites and customized settings; see Backing up and restoring Dreamweaver settings (TechNote tn_18736) for details.

How do I reinstall Dreamweaver?

  1. Copy the Dreamweaver installer from the CD to the Desktop. (Browse the CD and look for FSCOMMAND > DW_client_installer.
  2. Shut down 10.x ( Apple Menu > Shut Down)
  3. Turn on the machine and hold down the Shift key to start in Safe Boot (also called Safe Mode).
  4. Run the Dreamweaver installer in Safe Mode.
  5. Restart the machine to log out of Safe Mode.

How to disable a font?

Mac OS X error when launching Fireworks (TechNote tn_16404) describes how to disable fonts. To add or remove Classic Fonts from the Font folder, please see Apple knowledge base document, How to Add or Remove Classic Fonts. Another font resource is the knowledge base document, Font Locations and Their Purposes.

Other Macintosh OS X 10.x Troubleshooting

  • Run the Hotfix for Macromedia Installers

    Please refer to Some applications do not run after upgrading Macintosh OS X versions(ServiceNote tn_18933). Note: This step does not apply to Dreamweaver 8.

  • Disable Start Page

    Some users have encountered issues where the start page of Dreamweaver causes the application to hog memory or causes launching issues. This issue was first reported on Macintosh OS X 10.3.9. In most cases, turning off the start page would resolve the issue.
    1. Go to HD:Users:[username]:Library:Preferences:Dreamweaver 8 Prefs.
    2. Open the preference file in Text Edit (Control + Select the preference file and choose Open with > Text Edit).
    3. In Text Edit, Choose Edit > Find >Find (Apple Command + F) and look for GENERAL PREFERENCES.
    4. Change the line show start page=True to show start page=False.
    5. Save the file (File > Save).
    6. Test Dreamweaver 8.

      Note: Deleting or uninstalling/reinstalling Dreamweaver 8 will revert the preference file to its default settings.

  • Create a New user account on Macintosh OS X 10.x with Administrator privileges (this is covered in the General TechNote)

    1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.
    2. Launch Accounts dialogue in the System category.
    3. Click the plus (+) button for New User
    4. Supply all the fields in the New user dialogue window and make sure you check (select) "Allow user to administer this computer" in the Security tab.

    Note: If this option is unavailable, you might not be the Administrator of your machine and you may need to ask the Administrator to do this step for you.

    5. Log on as the New User account (Apple Menu > Log out as [username]).
    6. Test Dreamweaver.

    Note: If the problem goes away there may be some problem with the original account. You may consider Repairing Disk Permission.

  • Repair Mac OS X permissions

    Permission repair in Mac OS X 10.2 or later means increasing the startup speed, performance and stability of the operating system. It is a good practice to repair permissions periodically. Permissions are privileges given to files, folders, and directory structures in Mac OS X. When files come from another operating system, or are installed without having correct permissions, problems may occur.

    For additional information about the Repair Disk Utility of Macintosh OS X, visit the Apple knowledge base document Troubleshooting permissions issues in Mac OS X.

    Note: You may need to verify if you have the latest update for the Operating System. Visit the Apple website to check for the latest update for your Operating System.

Answers to common questions

  • If Dreamweaver MX is installed on Macintosh OS 9, will it run on Macintosh OS X?

  • If Dreamweaver MX is installed on Macintosh OS X, will it run on Macintosh OS 9?

  • How do I enable the root account on Macintosh OS X?

    Apple describes how to enable root access in the knowledge base document, Enabling and using the "root" user in Mac OS X.
  • Where are Dreamweaver Extensions installed?

    Extensions installed by users are stored in /Users/USERNAME/Library/Application Support/Macromedia Dreamweaver 8/Configuration.

Additional information

Below you will find additional troubleshooting TechNotes and links to more resources:

TechNotes on specific Macintosh issues

TechNotes on Font issues

Third-party resources

Although links to external web sites are provided as a resource, the web sites are not part of Macromedia. Please see the Macromedia policy regarding links to third party web sites in the Legal Notices and Information section. Pages to external web sites will open in a new browser window.


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