I'm on my own when it comes to learning new software, and I've had a lot to learn. Recently I scoured Amazon and finally decided on Visual Quickstart's Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 by J. Tarin Towers. I haven't been sorry, and believe me, I've run the book through its paces.
For starters, I'd never before used a WYSIWYG editor. I prefer to code by hand because I feel I have better control over the page. I can make HTML do things no WYSIWYG has even heard of. But I had a client who used Dreamweaver and wanted their staff to be able to use it to update their new site.
Okay, I told myself. I'm reasonably intelligent. I'll just buy a book.
Tower's book is comprehensive, easy to understand even for beginners, and really well organized. I thought the sections that dealt with CSS were especially good—and I had scarcely heard of CSS. It actually motivated me to find out more.
Now I keep the book on my desk as a reference guide, and I can always locate the information I'm looking for quickly.
The only disappointment was that the book didn't address library items or templates, two things I was especially interested in. I had to buy a separate book—Dreamweaver MX Templates by Halsteed and Summers. While I was waiting for that book to arrive, I got on Macromedia's site and found most of what I needed to know. By the time the book arrived, I didn't need it, which was good because it is very limited. Most of what is covered in Templates can be found on the Macromedia site.
If you need to learn Dreamweaver in a hurry, Tower's book is an excellent resource. With that book and the Macromedia site, you'll learn everything you need to become proficient in Dreamweaver.