Advice on good free CSS editors?
December 21, 2003 9:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying out Macromedia HomeSite. It might be the best web page program I've worked with, there's only one thing I don't like: TopStyle, the CSS editor. Do you know any good, free CSS editors?
posted by Termite to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not to digress, but... I'm not sure I see the appeal of a CSS editor. HTML can get crazy and messy and hard to read... but CSS syntax is pretty straightforward and lends itself nicely to use with a text editor (with or without syntax highlighting) and a reference sheet.

My own humble opinion, of course. If there's a piece of software that out there that will reveal to me the error of my ways, I'm all ears.
posted by namespan at 9:50 PM on December 21, 2003

Topstyle Pro is amazing, but not free, of course. The Topstyle Lite that comes with Homesite is pretty simple, it's true (no search-and-replace!?). I mostly use a simple text-editor, like namespan, myself. With search-and-replace.

(Sorry if this is a derail, but I have a semi-related question : I'm also fiddling around with the Homesite trial again based on the recommendations from my recent question about people's preferred HTML editors, and I wonder if (since it is apparently so extensible) anyone knows if and how I could use it to design new Moveable Type templates locally, using MT tags and stuff, but pulling data from my remote server to see what real content would look like.

Is this a) not possible b) trivially easy or c) somewhere in between with Homesite? It seems to be setup out of the box for doing server-side stuff like CFML and ASP etc, and although I know that's a whole different thing in most important ways from a content management system like MT, I was wondering...)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:39 PM on December 21, 2003

I ahve to recommend notepad or any html editor and a book on CSS. ;)
posted by twine42 at 4:56 AM on December 22, 2003

I'll throw in with those who don't see the need for a CSS editor, but if you wanna experiment, a few months back Morphon made their Java-based XML & CSS editors available for free.
posted by RavinDave at 5:09 AM on December 22, 2003

Stavrosthewonderchicken, though I don't use Homesite what I did for local MT stuff was just install Apache, PHP, MySQL and Perl locally. There are several bundles that a Google search will turn up (though not the most current, I've had good luck with phpdev) that make installation pretty much a one-click deal.

Then you can build away and just use http://localhost/whatever for the site. This will allow you to work with dynamic pages without even being connected. For me, this was a better method than constantly uploading and downloading changes from a remote server. With some Apache fiddling you can replicate the structure of your remote server so that paths and such match.
posted by cedar at 5:11 AM on December 22, 2003

Well, I like TopStyle Pro well enough, but if this is going to quickly turn into a text editor discussion, let me throw in my $0.02 for Metapad as a better alternative to Notepad/Wordpad.
posted by briank at 6:08 AM on December 22, 2003

I recommend note tab you can use it just as you would notepad, but it also has cool "clip libraries" that allow for quick access to common css/html/whatever code snippits. Also, it's free.
posted by soplerfo at 7:06 AM on December 22, 2003

stavros, i'd set up a local apache config and mirror your MT installation there. The set up homesite's deployment server to upload everything to your site just as it is on your local environment. Read up on the FTP & RDS docs to see how.
posted by Hackworth at 9:26 AM on December 22, 2003

I actually use HomeSite+ itself to do my css as well as everything else. Really, all that other stuff seems like a bit of overkill for something as simple as css style sheets.
posted by ph00dz at 9:32 AM on December 22, 2003

I second ph00dz: I use Homesite many hours a day, and simply opening a blank page and starting a css file from scratch is all I do. Once you save it as a .css file, HS will color code it for you. I only use TopStyle for occasional reference, but there are probably better tools for that.
posted by o2b at 12:55 PM on December 22, 2003

ditto o2b . homesite for html/php/asp etc... and then coding css as well. topstyle is nice if you forget css syntax ... or something. i wish it was bundled into to the homesite app ...
posted by specialk420 at 1:18 PM on December 22, 2003

Thanks for the (offtopic) advice re a local webserver. I actually did that on my laptop quite a long time back, but I don't think I (literally) have space on my boot drive to do it with my desktop with mysql and the whole hog. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:14 PM on December 22, 2003

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