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Super Styling with a Dedicated CSS Editor


If youíve read Dan Wellman's introductory series on XUL, youíll know that there are better uses for your humble text editor than creating stylesheets. The move from Notepad to a dedicated CSS editor will increase your output and give you an advanced environment in which to develop more complicated and effective stylesheets.

Author Info:
By: Dan Wellman
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 17
June 15, 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Super Styling with a Dedicated CSS Editor
  2. · Cascade DTP and Causeway CSS
  3. · CoffeeCup and Astyle
  4. · JustStyle and The Morphon
  5. · Rapid CSS and Style Studio
  6. · TopStyle Pro

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Super Styling with a Dedicated CSS Editor
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Notepad is great, because itís always there (or something very similar), so on almost any machine you can load it up and begin work.  It is also a fantastic learning tool; nothing will ingrain the syntax rules of a language more firmly into your mind that writing out hundreds of lines of itís native code manually. However, increasing output and innovation eventually overtakes the need of learning, and that is the time to give code work to an application.

CSS has been a recommended W3 specification since 1996.  Various proposals and recommendations were kicked around from as early as 1993, so the language has had time to evolve to its second official recommendation. During this evolution, a plethora of specialized applications have popped into existence to fill the suddenly widening niche created by developers wanting tools more powerful than text editors.

The problem is, how do you know which of the many available applications are best suited for you?  This article should answer that for you, making your choice easier or perhaps introducing you to something better than your current editor. So, here are 10 potential CSS editors (in no particular order).

The first application I looked at was the W3ís open-source Amaya 9.1 (free).


Amaya Style Menu

Itís not really a dedicated CSS editor, but rather a showcase application that demonstrates a host of W3 recommendations and technologies with an integrated browser.  However the W3 is the home of CSS so any application developed by them for producing CSS is worth looking at.  Amaya looks nice, and existing XHTML document can be easily loaded and styled inline.  Hours of fun can be had opening existing web pages (such as the w3 homepage) and messing about with the appearance of them, but it offers little in the way of creating functional CSS documents from scratch.


Amaya Style Tools

The CSS side of it is basically a text editor that can be used to add some basic font and positioning rules.  There are no templates and no selector inserting tools.  Because I respect the W3 organization, I really expected more when I downloaded this application.

Download Amaya at: http://www.w3.org/Amaya/.


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