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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.

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By: Dan Wellman
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 76
June 23, 2004
  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 - Apycom DHTML Menu and Visual Quick Menu Pro
(Page 5 of 5 )

For those of you that prefer working in a browser, the Apycom DHTML Menu is a great solution.  Priced at $29.99 for a single-site license, it's a little bit more expensive than other products in its class, but on downloading and using the software, you'll see why. Like other browser-based products of this type, it has all the usual features such as ease of use, cross-browser and cross-frame compatibility, but what really makes it stand out from the competition is its tweakability. The menus you create with Apycom DHTML Menu are so customizable that even visitors to your web site can change how the menu appears!   This is a big step in the accessibility direction, allowing partially sighted users to increase the font size of your menu items, for example, completely on the fly.

In addition to the above plus points, the Apycom menu maker seems very well suited to making 'start menu' based menus and not only can your menu items include icons, but these icons can also be animated.  All in all, this is an excellent bit of software and well worth the asking price.

For the fully fledged web professional, Apycoms multi-site license, which as the name suggests allows you to create an unlimited number of menus for multiple sites, costs just $99.99.  This is relatively cheap for its class, in contrast with its single-site license price.  If you're a developer that enjoys using a browser, my advice would point in Apycoms direction.

Visual Quick Menu Pro

Many of the companies offering single-site licensed software also offer an unlimited usage professional license, ranging from the above example of $99.99 to around $700. If you fall into the professional category, or have corporate sponsorship, you can get what you need for just $399 by downloading the awesome Visual Quick Menu Pro from www.opencube.com. The application has been around for some time now, it's currently on version 5.4, and is trusted by well-respected sites such as Kelkoo and eBay.

The interface is very smooth and surprisingly simple, but don't be mislead by this as under the hood it boasts incredible power. The Pontiac Firebird of JavaScript Menu creation software, this application delivers results swiftly and easily, with style.

You get templates, icon libraries and color schemes that are available at the click of a button, and you need not know even a single line of JavaScript to use it.  The program even generates text files used to modify the menu which you can edit in real-English. 

The program does state that the menus produced are compatible with all major browsers, however the JavaScript files it produces are written in JavaScript 1.2 so any browser older than IE 4 will not support them.  

It is possible to create trendy, interactive menus for your site purely by hand-coding, but with so much software available to choose from, why bother?  DHTML has many uses, but if you're not fluent in it don't let that stop your sites benefiting from it.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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