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Noah’s Tool Belt: Espresso & CSSEdit

| March 12, 2010 | Comment

The first program I used when I started to learn web design was TextEdit, followed by Dreamweaver. For a while, Dreamweaver was great  because if you knew what you wanted to do you could find a button for it and let Dreamweaver do the rest. It’s easy, but it creates a lot of cryptic code. So being a “Mac Guy”, I decided to try out some simpler programs. I probably would’ve tried Coda first, but recently a couple of newcomers have been making noise, CSSEdit and Espresso. They are both made by MacRabbit, a Belgian Mac developer.

I started using CSSEdit first. I found that with the interface and the live Preview I have a much better idea of where everything is fitting. The Live Preview X-Ray feature is great for troubleshooting because you can find out exactly what is not working pretty quickly. Overall it was very refreshing to deal with after having worked in Dreamweaver. It’s clean and streamlined. As its name suggests CSSEdit is for CSS only, leaving room for MacRabbit’s new product, Espresso.

Espresso takes the simple, focused approach to the rest of your text editing world. It strips away a lot of the distractions that I was used to in Dreamweaver. But, unlike Adobe’s behemoth, it doesn’t have all sorts of tasks automated in buttons. You have to know the tag or code you want and then Espresso can help you finish it off. It organizes your code for you so it’s easy to find what you want and know where you are. It’s refreshing to be working without the crutches, mostly, anymore and even better to have a great Mac style UI to do it in.

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