Most powerful web design app for OS X, but still easy to use?

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by studio460, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. I tried the Freeway trial version (web design software for OS X), and it had incredible type control (it automatically outlined any text typed into a text box, and turned it into a scalable vector object), but I just couldn't figure it out, and there was no documentation to speak of.
    Can anyone recommend a capable OS X web design application that doesn't come with a huge learning curve? I'm especially interested in type control, including tracking, kerning, and/or leading (tracking alone would suffice). Freeway handled this expertly, but as I said, I just couldn't figure out how to use it.
    Thanks for any recommendations!
     
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You seem to be asking for total control and total simplicity. It isn't going to happen.
     
  3. What sort of output are you looking to create, in terms of browser compatibility? Are you looking for non-D/HTML output (like Flash, Silverlight, etc)? Ultra-precise text control on the design side won't always translate to the same output on the client side.
     
  4. If you want total control of how the recipient sees the output ... you will have to use something that puts out PDF files
     
  5. Ultra-precise text control on the design side won't always translate to the same output on the client side.​
    When used as text, no. However, Freeway accomplishes this by outlining typed text to accomplish precise, WSIWYG type layout. For graphic design, Macromedia (when they existed), and others, used single-pixel gifs to proviide design precision approaching that of a page-layout program, all within the constraints of standard HTML coding.
     
  6. You seem to be asking for total control and total simplicity. It isn't going to happen.​
    Let me re-phrase: Which stand-alone web design applications have more capability than a web-based, site-building tool, yet are still easy to use?
     
  7. Have you tried jAlbum? URL http://jalbum.net/en/
     
  8. JAlbum can be used to make very nice photo galleries, but it's not for the development of (most) other types of web pages. And I doubt any of its skins (templates) allow for such fine control as kerning.
    Are you really sure you want/need to do that?
     
  9. Thanks for your replies, Lorne, Noreen. Forget about kerning. Freeway was excellent at it, and I had hoped another application was out there with similar capabilities, but maybe not. I'll just outline my type in Illustrator, then comp them into a Photoshop bitmap, then include them in my layout the old-fashioned way--no system/browser-supported fonts required. This is the way graphic designers have traditionally incorporated type into their web designs.
    Freeway is truly innovative in the way it completely side-stepped this process--perhaps I should try to give it another go. By the way, Freeway outputs plain-vanilla HTML files, uploadable to any host via FTP.
     
  10. Matt said:
    Are you looking for non-D/HTML output (like Flash, Silverlight, etc)?​
    No, I'm just looking to output plain-vanilla HTML files for maximum utility/compatibility.
     
  11. Looking back at the the Softpress Freeway site [http://www.softpress.com], I do see that they offer a more extensive reference manual, both in an online version, and in a PDF-ready version formatted for on-demand printing [http://www.softpress.com/support/freeway5referencemanual/]. They also support a fairly active user forum [http://www.freewaytalk.net/]. Maybe, armed with these tools, I'll be able to muddle through the app with more success.
     
  12. But, I'm still certainly open to other suggestions!
     
  13. I want to thank you, Ralph, for mentioning Freeway. I've been thinking about trying something more sophisticated than my current HTML editor (KompoZer) without having to invest so much money in Dreamweaver. I'm going to download the Freeway demo to see what it can do.
    (Having written that, I'd likewise entertain alternatives!)
     
  14. I said:
    . . . but I just couldn't figure [Freeway] out, and there was no documentation to speak of.​
    I don't know why I didn't see the downloadable documentation months ago when I first tried the trial. Thankfully, when I re-downloaded the trial this morning, it totally allowed me another 30-day trial period. This time, I'm going to download the print-on-demand version of the Freeway reference manual, and have it printed and GBC-bound at Fedex/Kinko's (the PDF is formatted with instructions for printing specifically for Fedex/Kinko's), and give it another try.
     
  15. Noreen said:
    I want to thank you, Ralph, for mentioning Freeway. I've been thinking about trying something more sophisticated than my current HTML editor (KompoZer) without having to invest so much money in Dreamweaver. I'm going to download the Freeway demo to see what it can do.​
    Oh, my pleasure--hope it helps! I used to own Dreamweaver, and though it allowed for very precise graphical layout, I wasn't thrilled with its interface, and never got very expert at it. Freeway's interface is very attractive, and appears easy-to-use, but, as I said, I had some difficulty managing the navigation syntax. WIth a bit of effort, this app may really pay off--it has some very slick features that I've not found in competing web design apps.
    (Having written that, I'd likewise entertain alternatives!)​
    Me too!
     

Share This Page