Tera knows more about Mac utilities and great applications than anyone I know. She has this uncanny sense for what makes a good “Mac only” application.
You open up something new and click around and it all just falls into place. I felt that way about Comic Life. This web page design application is the same. The guys who make this just “get it.”
Don’t misunderstand. I didn’t just come upon Comic Life by myself. Tera sent me an email with a link and said, “Try this. Write something up.” So I did.
Tera’s been doing this longer than me and has a strict sense for what’s worthy and what’s not. She also does a lot of web development. That requires quick and inexpensive mockups of web pages that eventually become expensive and complex.
At first, I thought she coded everything by hand. You know, the old H_T_M_L way. She’s older, so it figures. Then I saw some pages she put together after meeting with a client. Overnight. They looked great.
“How? How do you get good looking product that quickly?” I asked.
In response, she made me install Rapidweaver on my Mac and let me figure out the rest for myself. If you’re interested in any kind of web page media presentation, in addition to web pages, consider Rapidweaver.
First, it’s rapid. But it’s not Dreamweaver. They’re just not the same. Yes, there are plenty of HTML and web page editors for the Mac. Not ONE of them will do all that Rapidweaver does, as quickly, as elegantly, as simply, AND with plenty of today’s required bells and whistles.
You know, bells and whistles. Strict XHTML, strict CSS, embedded QuickTime movies, RSS links. The works. I could go through Tera’s list of good HTML editors but we’ve been there and done that.
Just as Comic Life creates a new metaphor for comic book design that integrates into iLife, Rapidweaver creates a new level of simplicity for creating rather complex web sites and HTML presentation pages, without having to know about HTML, XHTML, CSS, and all the other mind-numbing items you have to remember to make it all come together.
The developers at RealMac Software “get it,” as Tera is fond of saying (along with choice phrases like, “Watch your carbs, Bambi.” And, “Another helping? Getting a new wardrobe?”).
When you open Rapidweaver, you’re greating with the QuickStart Tour. Try it. It could not be much simpler to create all the goodies you’d like in your web pages or presentation pages.
Rapidweaver operates on an underlying code that puts all those bells and whistles into options you select when creating a page. The first and most important (though you can change it later) is Themes. A theme is what makes the page look the way it looks. Header, logo, color, menus, etc.
Themes can be selected when you start a new site or presentation, or can be changed later. Start with one of the many included, or check out a few dozen more from Rapidweaver Themes. You can thank me later.
Adding a new page is nothing more than clicking on the Add Button (a “+” plus sign). From there you can choose the type of page you’d like. A web log. Contact form. File sharing. Plain old HTML code. iFrame page. A movie album. Photo album. A QuickTime page. And a styled text page (HTML that you manage).
Selecting each page type brings up a description of the page and a different set of menu options. For example, the web log page also provides an RSS link so readers can find out the latest update on your site.
” If you want to build pages, you’ll want choices. The Themes metaphor means you’ll like the use of Themes. Click. The whole web site or all the presentation pages can change and have a completely different look.”The photo album page option is integrated with, you guessed it, iPhoto. The movie album lets you pull up a QuickTime movie into an album format. iFrame lets you integrate other pages within your web page or presentation page.
You’ll get the idea rather quickly. Pages come together in minutes, not hours. They look professional. The use of Themes means you can try different looks with just a single click.
Tera first did a lengthy review of Rapidweaver 3 late last year. Click Here for the details, and Click Here for the sample web site she put together in just minutes. It’s a whole web site just waiting for new content. Awesome.
That was then, this is now. No, Rapidweaver’s on version 3.1.2 and adheres to strict XHTML and CSS standards for design. There are more options for different kinds of pages. There are more Themes now, too.
Tera was right. These developers “get it” and continue to produce an improving product that’s already re-defining the class. For less than $35 (try it out for free) you won’t find a better bargain except TextEdit and an XHTML/CSS For Dummies book.
Did I mention that I like Themes in Rapidweaver? If you want to build pages, you’ll want choices. The Themes metaphor means you’ll like the use of Themes. Click. The whole web site or all the presentation pages can change and have a completely different look. If you’re like me, you’ll be collecting Themes.
My favorites are the variety available at Rapidweaver Themes. Why? Variety. Flash. And a whole megapack of 49 different Themes for $19.95.
Enough gushing. What’s missing? Regions. It would be nice to define a section of a web page to carry different kinds of content. Yes, that’s a tall order. It’s what Tera does with Mac360, and how many professional, database-driven web sites are constructed.
The level of complexity to achieve that might meet with diminishing returns. Still, I dream.
Try Rapidweaver and compare it to what you’ve been using to make web pages or browser-based presentations.