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Drop-down Menu Builders


Dan Wellman evaluates free and commercial software that can help you create menus that expand into sub-menus and are used as a means of navigating your site. He looks at browser-based and GUI-based formats and makes some recommendations.

Author Info:
By: Dan Wellman
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 76
June 23, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Drop-down Menu Builders
  2. · Why Use JavaScript Menu Creation Software
  3. · Freeware
  4. · Software for Businesses
  5. · Apycom DHTML Menu and Visual Quick Menu Pro

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Drop-down Menu Builders - Software for Businesses
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The next rung of the ladder is the semi-professional software aimed at the web enthusiast who doesn't mind paying a small price for a cool site, or the small business owner that needs to keep overhead down and hit counts up. Software of this type is priced typically between $25 and $50 and again comes in either browser based or GUI based formats.

Priced at just $35 for a single PC/unlimited site license, the excellent Sothink DHTML Menu 4.4 is a strong contender for title of 'Best JavaScript Menu Creating Software' in the middle group. It's a full application with a very well laid out graphical user interface that has a strong 'XP' look and feel to it. In addition to the main program window, there are several floating panels which give easy access to the properties and settings of your current project, a very advanced feature in such a reasonably priced product. There is also a live preview pane in the main program window to give you a constant view of how your menu is shaping up.

I am amazed at how intuitive this program is; with literally a few clicks you can have a fully functioning animated menu up and running. Whilst creating your menu, setting the options for the menu is extremely easy; you have full access to everything from font sizes and colors through to mouse-overs and menu item names using the Menu Item floating panel. This panel also includes the styles picker which allows you to base your menu on one of around 80 templates. 

When you're happy with the look and feel of your menu, publishing it couldn't have been made easier than with the publishing wizard, which gives you complete control over how you use the script behind the menu.    

In addition to its already impressive array of features, Sothinks Menu builder is also cross-browser, cross-frame and database-driven compatible, and it is fully compatible as a plug-in that integrates smoothly into Dreamweaver or FrontPage. The program download is a little over 2Mb, so developers on a dial-up connection need not cringe, and you can even pay for the it via PayPal. A hearty thumbs-up goes to Sothink.


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