Do I have to use the control panel's .htaccess interface, or can I also create my own file in Dreamweaver and upload it to an appropriate directory?
When I do it manually, it does not appear in Fetch.
You can use your own .htaccess files. Just write them with any tool you normally use and FTP it to the proper folder. Remember to show hidden files -- you may need to use a switch "-AH" is some FTP programs.
-- TorbenGBTry out DreamHost with a free WebID /// Compare plans
There's also this article about creating them from the command line: https://panel.dreamhost.com/kbase/index.cgi?area=834