Apr 16, 2008

How to Change File Permissions With Dreamweaver [CHMOD]

Dreamweaver Logo After using Dreamweaver for 6 or 7 years, I’ve always thought it was ludicrous that it didn’t include a function to change file permissions! Dreamweaver is a fairly powerful WYSIWYG editor with an equally powerful FTP client built in, how hard could it be to offer a simple context-menu option for changing the file permissions!? Previous web searches turned up forum after forum, page after page of people lamenting the same thing.


I finally stumbled upon a help page from hosting company that – in couple lines – solved the mystery.

Once connected via FTP, (pre MX I believe) open the FTP log from the Window menu of the Site Window. In newer versions this can be done with the site menu in the side bar or in “dual pane” mode by going to View then Site FTP Log.

In the command line, type:

chmod ### /path/to/filename

Where ### is the numerical equivalent of the permissions you wish to assign.

Where path/to/filename is the relative path to the filename.

For example, the change permissions of a file named readme.txt location in your root folder should be:

chmod ### ./readme.txt
chmod ### public/html/readme.txt

The path depends a lot on your server’s or hosting company’s setup.

Once your realize (as I did) that the FTP log allows you to send any FTP commands, you’ll be able to do anything your heart desires. Though, that still doesn’t explain why in heck Macromedia hasn’t provided some kind of GUI solution for file permissions.

Note: The methods described above apply to Linux / Unix server systems.

UPDATE: Thanks to an astute reader, Danny, it was brough to my attention that Dreamweaver 8 and above provides the ability to change file permissions with a GUI interface by right-clicking on the desired file and hitting “Set Permissions.” So, those of you with Dreamweaver version 8 and above (Dreamweaver CS versions) can ignore the instructions in the post unless, of course, you like doing things the hard way!

UPDATE, May 1, 2009: Head over here for an updated post with all the above and below tips for CHMODing the heck out of your files.


  • Actually they have given a GUI to change permissions. If you go to remote view and right-click on a file or folder you can choose “Set Permissions” and change it there. It’s pretty simple, just like any other FTP program would allow you to do. You just have to make sure you’re looking at files/folders on the remote server and not your local.

  • Which version of Dreamweaver are you using? I’ve never seen that option, and currently I’m using MX.

  • I’m using CS3, but I’m pretty sure it’s been there for a couple of versions (at least since 8). Do you not see it in your version?

  • Unless I’m missing something obvious, no, I’m not seeing it. I’m right-clicking on a remote file / folder and I’ve got nothing like that.

    screenshot: http://www.365discoveries.com/images/dw.jpg


  • After doing a little research apparently it was a new feature in Dreamweaver 8. Looks like you’re just going to have to upgrade. :-)

  • Aw man, just a day late and a dollar short for me. It’s funny I’ve never run across that information before when looking for setting permissions! Thank you very much, Danny, for bringing closure to that quandary!

  • with mx version you have to download a “set permissions” extension from adobe exchange

  • FINALLY! Thank you Danny for pointing out our lack of observation… :P

    Awesome… :P

  • …”Once connected via FTP, (pre MX I believe) open the FTP log from the Window menu of the Site Window. In newer versions this can be done with the site menu in the side bar or in “dual pane” mode by going to View then Site FTP Log.

    In the command line, type:

    chmod ### /path/to/filename…”

    I’m using Dreamweaver MX 2004, and can go to the FTP log but where is the “command Line”? I tried to type in the log itself but get the “thud” (can’t do that sound)

  • It seems that Adobe removed the command line from MX 2004. (See: http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_18867)

    View the comments above for more information on how to set permissions in newer versions.

  • yeah, for MX you need to download and install an extension.

    In the remote view you can then right click and set the permission!

  • [...] [Update] Filed in Shared Discovery, Web Design, troubleshooting on May.01, 2009 Last April, I reported my findings on how to use Adobe (formerly by Macromedia) Dreamweaver to change the permissions of web files and [...]

  • You can also set the permissions in CS3, by going to the remote view, and then right-click on the file and click on “set permissions”..

  • Help! I was messing around with permissions and de-selected “Execute” from my file and watched in horror as the whole section of the website slowly went away. Now I can’t reset it to execute, or find the files or even overwrite the files by transferring them.

  • Sherry,
    Depending on your level of permissions on the server, if “execute” is not selected, you won’t be able to view the files, but they’ll still be there. If you can, FTP into the server with root privileges, find the files, and set the execute permission on them again.

  • [...] visits per month, mostly thanks to the post on free church graphics from February and the post on how to CHMOD with Dreamweaver from early last [...]

  • Cant get that to work. Perhaps I am using the wrong path. I need to change the permissions to 755 to get a formscript to work on this particular hosting but, unlike all the other hosts I have used, it wont work without changing the permissions. HELP. This is what I have typed chmod 755 ./bookings.htm.

  • I am using Dreamweaver MX 2004 6.1 by the way

  • Instead of the period, try typing the full path provided by your host.

  • Thanks to “bill” who posted the set permissions extension info. I am using MX 2004 and found the extension here (http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange/index.cfm?event=extensionDetail&extid=1013102#) downloaded and it works perfectly! So much better than having to open Filezilla just to manage permissions.

  • Thanks for saving me an enormous headache!

  • It’s an remarkable post in favor of all the internet people; thry
    will get benefit from it I am sure.

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