Migrating From Dreamweaver CS4 to Free Version IDE?

I am not sure if IDE is even the correct terminology to be honest. I am still a nub developer and prefer to stick mainly with php although javascript and action script are not uncommon. (html and css of course) But here is the deal.

I learned what I do know about Web Development with Dreamweaver CS4. Just on my own time with what I have learned on the internet, it’s kind of like my hobby. (I work a lot). The company wants there license back and says that I will no longer be able to use the software. Can some one point me in the right direction towards a comparable if not equal open source editor?

Any Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

There are quite few out there. You could start with

Komodo edit
Komodo Edit is a Free Open Source Editor for Perl, Python, Tcl, PHP, Ruby & Javascript

Aptana Studio

Welcome to NetBeans

Really depends on how you define comparable, but Visual Studio Express editions have lots of the UI-finish and tooling that dreamweaver has . …

Thanks for the responses guys,

I guess I should have been a bit more descriptive with comparable.

I like DW’s Code Highlight feature and
html and css autocomplete
the organizing of each site
the ability to select a function with right click

Just downloaded and gonna try aptana, but I would really rather not do this to each individual program. I would like a quality, widely used editor that can highlight code and follow functions and variables.

I am still green and impressionable, with no direction really. Something decent and free that will probably be around for a while is what I am looking for

I have been using Aptana since my last post (Mar 9, 2011) and I have to say I am quite impressed! Aptana’s ability to auto complete variables and functions vs Dreamweaver’s spry lets just say IMO there is no comparison. Aptana, if I had my choice for a PHP IDE between the two, would win hands down. Aptana has a cleaner look and better PHP features for application development.

On the downside so far…

Really missing DW’s HTML and CSS abilities. Dreamweaver’s ability to design the web page look on the fly, with advanced HTML and CSS features from what I have seen so far is untouchable

As far as I remember, Aptana is not much suitable for PHP development since they have removed PHP plugin and replaced it with PDT. I’d recommend NetBeans.

what are the good PHP features of NetBeans? Does it have a nice HTML/CSS editor?

Will admit I like Netbeans for my PHP stuff. Dreamweaver with Eric Meyers CSS sculptor, haven’t found anything to compete yet.

Hi techmichelle,

Please look into Eclipse. This is an advanced IDE used for Java, PHP, Javascipt and HTML. It is highly configurable and is opensource so it is free. It is build using Java and can run on any OS that supports Java Virtual Machines which certainly applies to Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It does have code highlighting that can be setup for HTML and PHP; even when intermixing PHP inside an XHTML template the appropriate PHP and HTML/JS highlighting apply properly. You can have syntax suggestions configured as well as the full PHP library. The Remote System Explorer is a dream, as it allows you to manage via ssh, sftp, ftp, Unix, Linux or Windows connections to your remote servers and can manage the web files the same way you manage local files.

Take a look at http://www.eclipse.org/pdt/downloads/ after you install eclipse you can use the Software Manager to setup your XHTML and Remote System Explorer plugins as well as additional sytax and highlighting plugins.

Work definitely is needed to understand what you can do with this IDE but once learned will be all you need moving forward.


Looks okay. Without the split screen support that dreamweaver has I do not think it will be a replacement.


You can define split screen or even split monitor views in eclipse.

Admit I don’t see the code / design view split button. Can you point out where it is?


Dragging the tab with the file name to any side (top, bottom, left,
right) and it will split that file into a different editor “pane”.

The tab can also be the browser viewer.

Alternatively you can launch two workspaces and have independent workspace configurations for each say on multi-monitor setups. You can also spread one workspace across two or more monitors and then split the panes as I first described.

Hope this helps,

so where do they hide browser view?


The first time you need to go Window -> Show View -> Other… -> Internal Web Browser

Keep in mind that you can install many Eclipse plugins that let you enable alternative Web Browser perspectives, some may be better than others. Personally I have two screens; I keep the Eclipse workspace on my left screen and open Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE on my other screen, so I don’t need to use this browser.