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Super Styling with a Dedicated CSS Editor


If you’ve read Dan Wellman's introductory series on XUL, you’ll 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 - CoffeeCup and Astyle
(Page 3 of 6 )

CoffeCup Stylesheet Editor Version 4 ($34) is a basic yet functional CSS editor. It can work as a standalone product or as part of an integrated suite with other CoffeeCup software titles.  It is a text-editor style application that will let you select and add style selectors for most common html elements and then add the required style values.  It seems angled more at the CSS beginner; it has an excellent help and tutorials section that will not only guide you in the use of the application, but also in the syntax rules of CSS itself. The help section of this program could be a great utility for those who haven't learned all of CSS already and those who are unclear on certain values.


Coffecup Tags menu

It also features a tabbed side-panel that contains a file browser, CSS templates (of which there are just two), and some rather basic DHTML templates.  CSS files you create are added to the CSS templates window, provided they are saved in the default application folder. Although the DHTML templates sound like a good idea, after applying one of them, you have to restart the application before it will let you apply any more.  Sadly, dialog boxes feature custom buttons which say ‘cool’ and ‘no way’ instead of ‘ok’ and ‘cancel’, which while entertaining at first, will quickly become irritating to anyone over the age of about 12.  While $34 is not a lot to ask of a program that clearly works and does what it says it would do, it is not something I would buy myself.  However, anyone new to CSS would feel very much at home.

Download Coffeecup at: http://www.coffeecup.com/stylesheet-maker/.

Astyle CSS Editor 2.04 ($55) is a basic CSS level two stylesheet creator/editor that for some reason reminded me very much of the Microsoft XML notepad.


Astyle Styling

It is laid out in a tree style editor manner that lets you quickly and easily add common and custom selectors and properties.  It took very little time to get used to it and on the whole worked very well. It outputted clean, ready to use stylesheets with minimal effort.


Astyle Selectors

The interface is very simple; I would go so far to say in fact that it was bleak and bare, but experienced developers may be attracted to it for this very reason.  You open it, do what you need to do and close it.  Editing multiple stylesheets is not a problem; they just appear as children of the file that you happen to be working from and are saved separately.  Again, this application comes with a 30 day trial period, and although I liked it, I could not really see myself paying the required $55 to obtain a license for it.

Download Astyle at: http://www.athlab.com/Astyle/.


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