Yes, the behavior that you see in Dreamweaver is the expected behavior. While the design view gives you a rough approximation of the visual representation of your code, it is the Live View that you should turn to for a preview of how your site will eventually appear in a browser.
But the code I listed above doesn't preview (correctly) in either view, but will view correctly in Coda (a cheaper than DreamWeaver webpage builder). I don't understand why. It there a special property to doing floating that I'm not aware of? Theimage with the blue bloat is from Coda, the other image is from DW. Notice the difference? It's the same code. How can that be? I'm guessing that DW is set up differently but I'm not sure how to change it so that it displays correctly. Any suggestions?
Can you preview your site in actual browsers and let us know what you get?
I hate to say it but CS3 Missing Manual is sorely out of date for CS6.
Are you working within a defined local site folder in DW? Without this critical first step, DW cannot properly manage assets & links for you.
Go to Site > Manage Sites > New... for further details see the tutorial below.
Creating your first web site in DW
Design View is not 100% reliable. Live View is built on the Webkit/Chrome engine so it is more like a real browser. However, to test your work always use Preview in Browsers.
It comes out fine in both Chrome and Safari (like the second image but with the header from the first).
As for the Missing Manual, I'm learning both CSS and HTML for the first time, if anyone has any other suggestions, please pass them along. I did try one of the tutorials from DW, but I had no idea what I was doing or why, so I went with MM. Either way, it doesn't explain why Coda displays the same code differently from DW. Is there a special line of code I need to insert for the Chrome based DW to disply thingss like text-shaddow?
DW & Coda are two different products. I don't use Coda and probably never will so I have no familiarity with how it works or what it does.
All I can tell you is web technology is changing at break neck speed. Many browsers have failed to keep up. If you're using CSS3 properties, you often need to add vendor prefixes for the various browsers:
-moz = Firefox,
-webkit = Chrome/Safari,
-o = Opera,
-ms = IE9+
Box-shadow code generator:
Design view is incapable of displaying CSS3 properties. Live View is pretty good most of the time but it's not as comprehensive as the very latest browsers. I keep Firefox open all the time so I can refresh browser to check my work.
Can I get you in book form?
That site is really helpful. Thank you.
I'm just a little frustrated because I hear DW is The Best software out there but Coda is showing me what I'm supposed to see. Since DW is comparativly expensive I have higher expectations.
I work in Split View with Live View. This allows me to see the layout in one panel and edit code in the other.
That's what I've been doing, but with the code I'm entering coming up differently I've also taken to writing the same code in Coda. It's frustrating because the results are different.