Adobe fleshes out Muse, Edge tools for Web publishing

The tool, designed to open Web publishing to those without Web coding experience, gets contact forms, better widgets, an alignment tool, CSS formatting improvements, and more.

Adobe Muse users now can drag a contact form into their Web page design and customize it.
Adobe Muse users now can drag a contact form into their Web page design and customize it. (Click to enlarge.) Adobe Systems

Illustrating one of its selling points for its software subscription plans, Adobe Systems has updated Muse three months after it first released the tool for designing and publishing Web pages.

Adobe released Muse along with the Creative Cloud subscription service , which lets people use the full panoply of Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) software along with some online services including Web hosting, Web fonts, and file synchronization. Part of the Creative Cloud sales pitch is that Adobe will update its components as new features arrive, meaning that subscribers get new abilities without having to wait for CS7.

The new version of Muse now works for Japanese speakers and lets users add contact forms and direct file-download links to their Web sites. "This is just the beginning of work the Muse product team is doing to bring more extensive content management capabilities directly into the product through tighter integration with our site hosting platform, Adobe Business Catalyst," Adobe said in a blog post last night.

Those aren't Earth-shattering new features, but they do illustrate that Adobe evidently is considering this software to be a constant work in progress rather than something that remains static once it's finished. That approach let Adobe release something workable when CS6 and the Creative Cloud were ready to go in May, but it also lets Adobe keep the software changing to keep better pace with the fast-paced world of Web technology.

Muse is something of an exception in the Adobe software suite. Where CS6 apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects also can be purchased through traditional software licensing, Muse is only available through a subscription plan. It can be obtained through the $50-per-month Creative Cloud or through a $15-per-month subscription just for Muse itself.

Among other features described in the release notes, Muse now has:

• An alignment tool for better layout options.

• CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) support instead of a reliance on images when adding effects such as glows and drop shadows.

• A variety of new keyboard shortcuts.

• New options for slideshow and menu widgets.

• The ability to drag and drop character, paragraph, and graphic styles.

In addition, Adobe released a new preview version 7 of Edge Animator, a new name for its former Edge software designed to add interactivity and dyanamic elements to Web pages.

Here's Adobe's list of what's new in the new version:

• Resizable Layouts: Enable your projects to adapt to different screen sizes.

• Creativity Tools: New ellipse tool, box and text shadows, more robust text editing.

• Stage Improvements: Rulers, guides, resizable stage, and positioning

• Timeline Improvements: Adjust snapping, time-based increments that emulate FPS, visible grid.

• Keyframe Improvements: Lots of improvements were made to make it easier and faster to work with keyframes.

• Usability Enhancements: Grouping, refreshed properties panel, new keyboard shortcuts, and more.

• Updated Code Editor: Re-skinned code tree, updates to symbols, error prompts. Accessibility: Publish screen-reader friendly HTML tags.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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