Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Apps

Programming Software

Macware MacFlux 3 review

Article comments

Macware’s MacFlux 3.1.4 simplifies creating rich HTML5 and XHTML websites without sacrificing powerful features. With its WYSIWYG layout tools and powerful CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) editing, even novices can learn to build and revise complex sites quickly. But beginners may be tripped up by the program's occasional quirks and spotty documentation.

Split the workload

Most time in MacFlux is divided between two main windows, the Site Manager and Page Editor. The Site Manager lets you create new projects, add HTML or CSS files to them, and publish sites to MobileMe, a local folder or an S/FTP folder. You can drag pictures, movies and other assets in from the Finder.

If you’ve already created a website in another application, you can export it to a folder and import it into MacFlux. Of course, you can also build new sites from scratch or use one of 19 templates as a starting point. However, templates consist of only a few pages, and you can’t easily switch among them if you change your mind. In addition to standard websites, MacFlux can create Ruby on Rails, Concrete5 or ePub projects as well as WordPress themes.

Web pages are built in the Page Editor. One toolbar lets you add elements, from empty div tag containers to placeholders pre-formatted for forms, videos, images and other media and interactive elements. These can be resized and repositioned by clicking and dragging, and you can directly edit a pages’ HTML in a resizable pane. A second toolbar toggles elements’ handles and other visual cues, letting you see just the information you need when you need it.

Six optional layouts populate pages with blank header, footer, and body elements for you to fill, each with preset CSS styles. These and all styles associated with your site (as well as a text list of page elements) are shown in a sidebar, where you can add new styles and select them for editing in the Inspector.

Say it with style

The Inspector palette lets you precisely set element attributes like position, colour, size and even WebKit reflection and rotation effects. It’s a lot of power in a straightforward, easy to use interface. Colour coded icons show which style you’re editing (and whether it’s inline or external) so you can always see what you’re editing at a glance, even in busy pages.

However, edits made here can’t be undone with a simple Command-Z without first switching back to the Page Editor window, if they can be undone at all. This limitation is relieved somewhat by a History feature that saves snapshots of pages you can return to later, but it still feels like a frustrating oversight.

For a different kind of style, MacFlux’s library of HTML, JavaScript and CSS widgets lets you add flashy buttons, dynamic photo galleries and other stylish touches with a click. As you customise them for your site, you can easily preview pages in any browser on your Mac, or in MacFlux’s preview mode. A handy Live Preview feature quickly uploads changed pages to your server when you absolutely have to see your work live. MacFlux also supports @font-face code and integration of fonts from the Google Font Directory, allowing use of Google's web fonts for greater cross-browser compatibility and design freedom.

Expect to study

MacFlux offers plenty of features and flexibility, but its documentation doesn’t do them justice. As an overview of application features and CSS and HTML basics, it’s enough to get you started (a tutorial project is also included), but not nearly comprehensive enough. Users who don’t mind exploring online to fill in the gaps may not mind, but novices will be at sea without a CSS/HTML reference and patience.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments

Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.


Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *