[thelist] what do you use to create code from layout?

John Dowdell jdowdell at macromedia.com
Wed Apr 4 14:02:38 CDT 2001

At 4:41 PM 4/1/1, ted serbinski wrote:
> simply when you design a site and layout in your favorite graphics
> program (say fireworks or photoshop) ... what tools do you use to
> transform this layout into code that you can fix and than tweak?

FreeHand is hot for such work:

--  During design you have full vector editability, across multiple
linkable pages

--  Symbol libraries, master pages, live updateable styles, and
search/replace for both text and graphics speed revisions

--  You can export layout and text to table-based or CSS-based HTML, with
automatic conversion of graphic assets to GIF/JPG or SWF

The key advantage of comping in a different medium is that you avoid
implementing during the design phase... it forces a level of abstraction,
same as a cocktail napkin does. Vector updatability is much faster than
drawing on a napkin, though.... ;-)

Sidenote: If someone gives you a comp pixelized via Photoshop, then for
many designs you can quickly autotrace in FreeHand and export as HTML.
Wouldn't be appropriate for all photographs, true, but is a zippy method
for at least some cases.

> i thought dreamweaver might be a useful tool, but after trying it,
> it seems it is not as useful as originally thought.

The tracing layer introduced a couple of versions ago can help, sure, but
you are indeed manually reproducing from a photo here, rather than quickly
translating as with FreeHand.

At 6:45 PM 4/1/1, H. G. Quinn wrote:
> One thing I hate about DW is: once you begin to place images in
> a table, the columns to the left or right of the images being
> placed collapse down to the point where their cells are
> virtually unselectable.

If you've got teeny columns, then a quick way to select a cell is to click
the cursor in its neighbor, then arrow-key into the desired cell.

(If you wish to then select the TD itself, rather than add contents to the
cell, then "Select Parent" or CTRL-SHIFT-comma to jump up a level in the
selection hierarchy. Another "Select Parent" then selects the TR, or you
could SHIFT-arrow to select each cell in the column.)

> Anything out there that's really easy builds poor code.

The HTML export from FreeHand isn't as customizable as that from
Dreamweaver, true, but it's a good way to get a design quickly into
workable markup which can then be tweaked as you desire. (Dreamweaver's
"Apply Source Formatting" is a quick step to get it laid out as you desire,

> ...since Macromedia and Allaire merged recently, maybe one day
> there'll be a single tool that will do everything we want....

If you could, would you drop a note to
wish-allaire-macromedia at macromedia.com describing what you'd like to see?
This goes directly to the top decisionmakers, and right now is a
particularly fertile time for shaping future efforts. Thanks!


John Dowdell, Macromedia Tech Support, San Francisco CA US
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