Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Impressive Free HTML WYSIWYG editor

English: M in blue square (similar to seen on )
English: M in blue square (similar to seen on ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Microsoft surprises me again. Since I do web design as a hobby (at the moment), I am constantly on the lookout for legitimate freebies (as in, not “pirated” software). Enter Microsoft Expression Web 4 and Microsoft Expression design 4.

Expression Design 4 is a basic vector graphics editor. I typically use SWiSHmax as it does export to PNG but ED4 does have some interesting features. Because I haven’t use it much except to make a logo for my husband’s website, I don’t have much to say about it, except that it’s free and seems easy to use. Maybe I’ll be able to get into more depth in another post.

I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s comparable to Dreamweaver, but it is the best free WYSIWYG out there so far and unlike FrontPage or Word (both from Microsoft that can do webpages) it doesn’t add useless code.
It’s also not that difficult to learn as I figured it out pretty quickly without looking anything up or checking the help files. I did have get a little confused when adding styles to objects. The odd thing is, you right click on the CSS properties box on the left-hand side, and create a style, but then, the right-click no longer works and you have to click on “New style” on the right to create a new style.

It wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your HTML and CSS as there were a few times I gave up on using the design mode and switched to code, but it does have an instant code feature. Just start typing and the list of tags, objects, or properties show up.

Overall, it’s an impressive freebie and I would recommend it for the not-so-beginner web designer. If you want to learn HTML and/or CSS, you might want to check out W3Schools.com.
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