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Learning Web Design in Reverse

Have you ever visited a web site and thought to yourself, "How did they do that?" You can save yourself a great deal of time by learning from others online. Today I want to share a simple technique for finding out how some web pages are built. The technique doesn’t work all the time and it isn’t perfect. But unless you’re a developer, the technique is much easier than trying to interpret code. You’ll need Internet Explorer and Dreamweaver.

Start with (IE) Internet Explorer. IE does a good job of downloading and saving html and graphical elements on a web page.  Load the page you're trying to analyze in IE. Go to the file drop down menu and select “Save As …” Then, save the page to a location that is easy to remember.

After the file has downloaded start up Dreamweaver. If you don’t have Dreamweaver you can always download a free 30 day trial at Adobe.com. Load Dreamweaver and select the “Open …” option for the file you just downloaded.

You’ll rarely get a perfect representation of what you see on the screen, but you can highlight code or design and interpret how things work. You might discover something that wasn't immediately apparent.

It's far easier and cost effective to emulate someone else's wheel than invent your own. Hopefully this technique will assist you.

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