Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Some Web Tools

I haven't had to do much heavy-duty web work of late, but I used to do web creation very frequently. During that time, I liked a couple of tools very much. I haven't used these tools too recently, but I suspect that they're still very good. Experiences as follows.

1) Meracl Image Map Generator - For me, this was one of the most useful tools in my arsenal. It allows you to quickly and easily create image maps*. All you have to do is open an image in Meracl and it will allow you to drag out shapes over the top of the image. You can then set each shape to direct to a different URL. One click copies the image map's HTML code right to your clipboard, ready to be pasted.

2) HTML Kit - I was never really one for GUI, WYSIWYG HTML editors (wow, that was a lot of successive acronyms! top that!); generally, I prefer to shell into the server and work live. But, when I do feel the need to use an editor, I use HTML Kit. The nice thing about HTML Kit is that it helps you to write code; it doesn't try to figure out what you are trying to do and then implement it itself.

HTML Kit also supports a whole bunch of language. I know that it can do HTML, JavaScript, XML, and CSS. Plus, I think you can download modules for other languages. One of my favorite features is that you get a tabbed view and can swap easily between your code and built-in browser tabs - including tabs for multiple browsers, like FF and IE.

* An image map is a link embedded in an image that takes you to a different location based on where in the image you click. We've all probably seen image maps of the United States where you can click on each state and go to a page particular to that state - e.g. clicking on Maine takes you Maine's page.

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