CMairsCreate and Candyce Mairs blog about Adobe Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, Acrobat, Captivate, eLearning, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Livecycle Designer and all things web and mobile. Learn tips and tricks on a variety of web, PDF, and elearning in the posts below.

Adobe FormsCentral Alternatives

If you’re one of the many Adobe FormsCentral users being kicked to the proverbial form curb by the product’s announced retirement, you may have a few lingering questions. Like: “Why did Adobe close this product in the first place?” Or even: “What do I do if I’ve already paid for a membership to FormsCentral?”

But if the Adobe support forum is any indication, the most pressing concern is: “What is going to replace Adobe FormsCentral?”

Adobe users utilized FormsCentral for reasons spanning from simple contact forms, surveys and even converting web forms to PDFs. So you can’t blame users for being overwhelmed by the replacement choices; and there’s certainly no shortage of them. But the reality is, some alternatives are going to suite your specific needs better than others.

Here are the best FormsCentral alternatives based on their different capabilities:

Offline Workflow: JotForm

JotForm is famous for ease of use in building forms, but the company’s new Fillable PDF Form Creator makes them the top choice for offline workflow capabilities.

With this feature, users can seamlessly export forms as fillable PDFs then send it out to their intended recipients. The great thing is that response data from the PDF will be saved in their JotForm account when someone submits a response. The PDF forms are also available offline and can be filled out anywhere.

Surveys: Survey Monkey

One common use case for FormsCentral is surveys. Although surveys are a pretty standard capability for any form building service, Survey Monkey makes it their business to excel in this arena – and they do.

When it comes to not only gathering information for respondents, but analyzing the data, Survey Monkey really shines. Whether you’re looking to analyze individual responses, question summaries, or even open-ended responses, they feature incredibly power tools to sift through the information. What’s really cool is a text analysis feature that lets you categorize, code and filter response info by select words and phrases.

508 Compliance: Formstack

If you need a form service that let’s you stay 508 compliant, then you need Formstack. And just a refresher on compliance codes: 508 compliant means that people with disabilities are able to fill out the forms. For this reason Formstack has been one of the popular choices for government agencies who are required to provide 508 compliance.

Inventive Interface: Typeform

Typeform is a wonderful option if you’re looking to to really branch away from the standard form building interface. Their one-question-at-a-time usability makes it stand out. While this functionality might not be a best practice for your respondents are using a desktop, it’s mobile practicality is hard to ignore.

Bright, easy, clear buttons make this a very popular choice for mobile, and it’s definitely the biggest departure from what you’re used to from FormsCentral.

Adobe’s closure of FormsCentral has sent users scrambling for alternatives and the options above are alternatives worth looking into. PDF forms are an important part of any business. If you need assistance with transitioning from FormsCentral to another service, or wish to set up your own PDF forms workflow, please contact Candyce Mairs.

Emmet Toolkit for Dreamweaver

Emmet offers a toolkit for creating and working with HTML using a CSS style shorthand. Working and creating code for HTML pages can be substantially cut down using the Emmet Toolkit. This toolkit is available for a variety of text editors including Dreamweaver. Check here to view if there is an extension for your favorite text editor.

The Dreamweaver extension can be downloaded from the Emmet website. Once downloaded, simply double click the .zxp file and the Dreamweaver Extension Manager will open and install the extension for you. It can’t be any simpler than that!

Once downloaded, you can begin to code using the Emmet shortcut commands in Code View. An Emmet cheat sheet is available to learn Emmet commands very easily.

Emmet offers the capability to speed up your code creation by typing CSS style code, and Emmet processes that shorthand and creates full HTML coding. The Emmet style of coding allows you to cut down the time it takes to code your pages because you are not having to type the entire code base yourself. Add to that the issue of typing errors, and you can see how typing less code also means correcting less typing errors.

Here is an example. Let’s say we want to add an unordered (bulleted) list to our HTML page. In order for Emmet to process the shorthand code, your cursor must be at the end of the line of code. Then press ctrl/cmd E and Emmet works its magic!

Using Emmet we simply type this:

To create an unordered list with 7 list items using Emmet:


Place your cursor after the 7 in the code above and use ctrl/cmd E. Emmet creates the following for you:


To create a navigation bar using Emmet:


Place your cursor at the end of the code line and hit ctrl/cmd E:

Emmet outputs the following:


 To add text to the navigation bar as a placeholder for links, add text in curly brackets:

nav>ul>li{link goes here}*6>a


 Emmet can create div tags with classes and ids using the following code:


Hit ctrl/cmd E and you get the following:


The examples above only touch the surface of what Emmet can do for you. Speed up your coding and become more efficient using Emmet. Learn more about the Emmet Toolkit at

Insert Copyright Symbol within Dreamweaver

Every had strange characters show up on your web pages? One of the benefits of using Dreamweaver is that you do not need to be concerned about special characters within your web pages. As long as you use the special characters feature within Dreamweaver to insert these characters onto your web pages, they will always appear correctly. It is important not to use the special characters directly from your operating system character map since a browser does not understand these characters.

When inserting special characters into a web page, it is important to use ASCII characters for HTML entities. These should be used when inserting special characters for symbols such as copyright, registered, and trademarks. Each of these HTML entity special characters require an & at the beginning and a semi-colon at the end. You can view a listing of these characters at and choosing the first link for ASCII characters.

To insert the copyright symbole correctly, use the special characters feature within Dreamweaver. If you use Insert->Character and choose Copyright, Dreamweaver will create the correct ASCII characters on your web page. If you are inserting these characters directly from your operating system using a shortcut command, these characters will not display correctly on the web page once the page has been uploaded to a web server.

Be sure to use the Insert command or Insert panel within Dreamweaver to add these special characters to your pages to prevent special character issues on your pages.

HTML Bold vs Strong Tags in Dreamweaver

With the advent of HTML5, the b and strong tags have once again become a part of the language. They had been removed in prior versions of HTML. In order to produce bold text, you now have 2 options depending upon the circumstances.

Screen readers require the strong tag in order to read text on a web page in a stronger way than other text on the page. If you wish to simply make the text appear bold on the page for visual readers, you use the tag.

The same approach is available for italic text, although italics are not used often on the web due to its poor readability. The em tag tells a screen reader to add emphasis to the word when it is being read to a user. The i tag simply makes the text look italic visually.

Different Dreamweaver versions set the specific tag differently when you choose the B or I in the Properties panel. Newer versions of Dreamweaver are targeting the HTML5 doctype, so the tag that is created using the B icon in the Properties panel can vary.

The Preferences area in Dreamweaver allows you to control which tag is being created by default. Go to Edit-> Preferences (Win) or Dreamweaver -> Preferences (Mac) and choose the General Category in the left column. Within the Editing options area the 5th option down allows you to choose whether you want the or created by default within Dreamweaver.

If you check that option under Editing options, you always have the tag created by Dreamweaver so all screen readers will read the text in a stronger way than standard text on the page. Earlier versions of Dreamweaver did not offer this option since HTML had dropped the use of the b and i tags.

eLearning & Captivate Resources Added

New eLearning resources now available at CMairsCreate! The eLearning industry is expanding as more companies want to offer training in a variety of ways that can adapt to each worker’s needs. Creating training courses that are engaging and always available is an ever expanding industry. Due to this need, there are 2 new resources pages that have been added at cmairscreate. There are now resources specific to the eLearning industry along with Adobe Captivate resources.

Adobe Captivate offers a way to produce interactive eLearning that can be provided on any device. Content can be published out into a variety of options to suit your exact needs. Learn more about Captivate at the new Captivate resources page at CMairsCreate.

If you are looking to move into the eLearning industry, get familiar with the terms, statistics and industry using the links located at eLearning resources. Get started developing eLearning courses to suit your needs. Should you need classroom or online training for Adobe Captivate, contact Candyce Mairs.

Adobe Discontinues FormsCentral

FormsCentral is being retired by Adobe in 2015. FormsCentral offered Adobe Acrobat users an online service for creating and managing PDF forms. If you are presently using this service, you will need to transition to another solution by July 28, 2015.

PDF forms offer a simple solution for gathering data from users. The PDF solution does not require a web developer to create an maintain HTML forms. Adobe offers two solutions for creating PDF forms, Adobe Acrobat and LiveCycle Designer.

Adobe Acrobat users had an additional product installed onto their system for managing PDF forms. Included with an Adobe Acrobat license was an online service for PDF forms called FormsCentral. This service was installed along with Adobe Acrobat in a standard install. FormsCentral allowed you to create, store and manage PDF forms. Forms created and user data gathered using the service could be maintained online. FormsCentral was designed to allow you to easily build and manage PDF forms created on FormsCentral.

Adobe has announced that the FormsCentral service will be retired on July 28, 2015. Anyone presently using this service will need to transition to another option for working with PDF forms. Here is the retirement schedule:

June 23, 2015 – New forms can no longer be created and form data can no longer be collected. You can still download data collected from existing forms.
July 28, 2015 – FormsCentral service will be retired and no longer accessible.

If you are presently using FormsCentral and wish to transition to another similar service, Adobe recommends other third-party services such as Formstack, JotForm, SurveyMonkey, and WuFoo.

Please view FormsCentral FAQs for further information about the retirement of FormsCentral.

Adobe Creative Cloud Users (CC version only)

If you are an Adobe Creative Cloud user and have the subscription service, be sure to stay up to date on all the various software updates within Creative Cloud. Adobe is continuously updating software within the Creative Cloud, so it is easy to simply apply an update if you are prompted, and not realize that included in that software update are some new features that can save you hours of time in your workflow.

A quick and easy way to stay on top of the changes is to click the What’s New link below the specific software name before you select the Update button. This area gives you a quick overview of what is new in that update, so you can easily see if there is anything specific to your workflow, or anything you should look into a bit further. Included in the What’s New text are links to additional details about the update including documentation about fixes to known issues within the software.

We are all so busy trying to complete our work that is is difficult to find the time to stay updated on new features. Keep in mind that those new features may allow you to skim minutes if not hours off your workflow. Start scanning the What’s New text before making your updates, and you can easily determine if you should explore the update a bit further before moving into your daily work. Taking 30 seconds before updating could make a huge difference in your daily work!

Extract Service for Adobe Creative Cloud

If you are an Adobe Creative Cloud user and create Photoshop PSD files to use as a base for web designs, you will be pleased to hear Adobe has introduced a new service to assist you. Extract for Creative Cloud allows you to copy all the CSS needed to reproduce your Photoshop page design directly into your web files. This feature eliminates hours of struggling to determine what CSS rules will duplicate the look and feel of your PSD web designs within Photoshop.

Learn more about this amazing new free Adobe Extract service automatically included with your Creative Cloud membership. Take advantage of the hours of time saved using this service available with your Creative Cloud membership.

CC 2014 Creative Cloud User Update

Adobe Creative Cloud users have an update once again. Adobe has been very busy creating new features for Creative Cloud users. Creative Suite users (CS6) continue to fall behind in features within Adobe programs such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign and others within the Creative Suite. So many new features have been added since the Creative Cloud release, and this cycle will continue moving forward.

Many users do not even realize these new features, many of which would greatly speed their workflow. When a new update for Creative Cloud comes out, be sure to update it. This will give you access to the updates within the various programs you have access to through Creative Cloud.

Included in the most recent update is access to prior versions of Adobe programs should you need them. This is crucial to me since I teach Acrobat and Dreamweaver on a wide variety of versions based on my client’s needs.

It is easy to stay up to date with new features within the programs you use in the Creative Cloud. Once you have installed an update to a specific program such as Photoshop within the Cloud version, click the View tutorials link in the Home category of the Creative Cloud interface. Once there, select the Whats New link at the top of the page. You then get an overview of the new features for the program you updated. Here is the Photoshop new features page as an example.

If you take the time to do this as you update programs, you can pick & choose the features within each program that you use and quickly learn more about those features. The short amount of time it takes to stay up to date is well worth it to speed up your workflow efficiency within those programs.

Want to test out the new CC 2014 version of a program but do not want to disturb your present version? Do not worry, all version CC 2014 programs allow you to install them and keep your present version as it is. Be sure to watch the install screens to be sure you are installing correctly to maintain your present version.

As an example, I am able to keep Dreamweaver CS6, CC & CC 2014 on my same machine as completely separate versions. This capability allows a Creative Cloud user to customize their installations to suit their needs.

Adobe Creative Cloud continues to offer new features without overwriting previous versions of Adobe programs. I continue to be amazed at all the Creative Cloud offers to Adobe users.

ColdFusion 11 & ColdFusion Builder 3 Released!

The latest and greatest versions of ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder were officially released recently. ColdFusion 11 offers new mobile development features that allow you to develop end-to-end mobile applications quickly and easily. ColdFusion Builder 3 has a new updated interface, and allows you to more easily develop ColdFusion applications including addon features using extensions. Get a listing of new ColdFusion 11 features.

The CMairsCreate ColdFusion resources page has been updated to include ColdFusion 11 and ColdFusion Builder 3 links and information. Be sure to check out all the new information that is available about these exciting new products by Adobe specifically for ColdFusion.