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The shareware program skEdit is my replacement for Dreamweaver

skEdit program logo

So why do I use this shareware program called skEdit instead of Adobe Dreamweaver for my freelance web design?

This all goes back to about 3 months after I started at Hitchfinder.com. The other designers were using Dreamweaver as a text editor for HTML and CSS and I was too. In college I had 2 semesters on how to use Dreamweaver.

It’s a great program, but at a certain point I got to the skill level that I no longer needed all the extra help Dreamweaver throws at you (most without your asking) like the design view, flash text, integration with Fireworks and so on.

So I decided to check out this little shareware program called skEdit, by stki Software. The programmer, Sean Kelly, is a young software engineer working at Apple, Inc. I guess that’s where the “sk” in the name came from.

This program is made and designed for Mac ONLY. I use Macs, so I thought it would be a perfect fit.

Well, I really love this program. I have only opened and used Dreamweaver a few times in the past 2 years. I have not needed it. The only times I have used it has been when I had 2 clients that used Dreamweaver and I needed to use it in their office because they were familiar with that program.

So what does this program do that Dreamweaver does not? Wrong question.

It simplifies the design process by letting you focus more on the code. It actually does a number of the same things like code completion, auto closing brackets, snippets, design view (previews in browser, not in skEdit), search, syntax aware indenting, find and replace and autosave.

There are features I don’t even use like edit files on remote server, HTML tidy, subversion integration and user scripts.

What I think are killer features are projects and the code navigator.

The projects let you tie a project to a local folder and you can have a number of different projects or sites open at the same time. That way you can copy and paste code from one site to another quickly and easily. Try having 2 index.html files from different sites open in Dreamweaver at the same time and feeling real confident you are copying and pasting the right pages. In skEdit you are sure because the files are open in different windows at the same time.

The code navigator is a pull down menu for the CSS related codes on the page. If you open your CSS file, in one easy place you can quickly see all the rules by name that you have created. It makes jumping down to that CSS ID “center_column ul li” a very painless task.

This program just does what it needs to effectively and quickly and it is not a ram hog like Dreamweaver.

You have to try it to really get the feel of how it works and what it can do. There is a free 25 day demo, full online documentation and it’s only $34.95 to purchase.

Sean is very good at getting back to you with requests and problem resolution and is a nice guy.

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