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Namo WebEditor 5.0 review:

Namo WebEditor 5.0

  • 1
MSRP: $149.00
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The Good HTML validation ensures that your code will work on certain browsers; database and script wizards make it easy to add functionality without coding; inexpensive when compared to GoLive.

The Bad Lacks a split-screen view to help you visualize your changes as you code; clumsy macro programmer.

The Bottom Line Although Namo WebEditor has a WYSIWYG view, its lack of HTML help and its strong site-management features make it more suitable for experienced Web builders who are looking for a cheaper alternative to Adobe GoLive.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

By Kim Wimpsett

Scoot over, GoLive. Not only does Namo WebEditor feature a Site Wizard and a Site Manager that rival those of GoLive, it costs about half as much. For less than $150, Namo WebEditor offers a click-and-drag visual-editing view, a source code editor, some page and e-mail templates, and HTML validation. Because this product doesn't provide its own site-management software, we must recommend GoLive to site administrators. But if you won't be working on your site with teams, WebEditor is as good as it gets for the price. By Kim Wimpsett

Scoot over, GoLive. Not only does Namo WebEditor feature a Site Wizard and a Site Manager that rival those of GoLive, it costs about half as much. For less than $150, Namo WebEditor offers a click-and-drag visual-editing view, a source code editor, some page and e-mail templates, and HTML validation. Because this product doesn't provide its own site-management software, we must recommend GoLive to site administrators. But if you won't be working on your site with teams, WebEditor is as good as it gets for the price.

Easy to navigate
Both hobbyists and expert designers will find a lot to like in Namo WebEditor. When you first open the program, you'll encounter a simple, intuitive work space complete with toolbars, menus, and small tabs at the bottom of the main window that let you access the Edit and HTML interfaces. You can click one of those tabs at any time to switch between the interfaces.

Hobbyists may gravitate toward the Edit view, a WYSIWYG environment that lets you design pages without touching the HTML behind them. For fine-tuning or greater control over the code, Web experts can opt for the HTML view. Both views are simple to use.

If you're in the Edit view, for instance, and you want to change the image or text properties, such as the width and height, simply turn to the new Inspector dialog box. Once you specify these attributes, you can flip over to the HTML view to make sure the code has changed. Unfortunately, there's no split-screen view to let you work in both Edit and HTML modes at once.

HTML, interrupted
If you want to tidy up and format your code, the HTML view sports several handy display preferences, including syntax coloring, word wrap, and line numbering. These options make it easier to distinguish tags from content. To access them, just right-click in the HTML view and choose Source Editing Options. Most of the other apps have a similar display.

Namo also validates your code against various HTML specs (2.0, 3.2, 4.0 strict, 4.0 transitional) and checks for browser-specific tags so that syntax errors won't muck up your site. Namo's validator isn't as extensive as GoLive's, which checks your site against specific browser versions and operating systems. But it's more than enough if you simply want to make sure you're writing HTML that will be supported by common browsers.

If you want to store often-used keystrokes as one command, save them as a macro by using Tools > Key Macro > Start Recording. To our dismay, the macro feature is a bit clunky, as there's no way to assign your own keystrokes for activating different macros. One keystroke (Ctrl-M) activates only the most recent macro you recorded. To activate additional macros, you must open the Key Macro Manager (Tools > Key Macro > Key Macro Manager), select a named macro, and click Play. But once you use the Key Macro Manager, you cannot use Ctrl-M until you record another macro. The process is quite confusing.

Alas, Namo's lack of HTML help is bad news for anyone just learning how to code. Other editors, such as CoffeeCup, supply lists of valid tags and all of their attributes. Even if you're an HTML guru, it's handy to have a code reference at your fingertips.

As for actual technical support, Namo offers an online knowledge base and user forums, free technical support through fax or e-mail, and its American publisher, Jasc Software, offers toll phone support (weekdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT).

Decent site management
If you don't want to create every page in your site one at a time, Namo's Site Wizard (Window > Site Manager) lets you create an entire site with ease. Just click through a series of dialogs and choose the template, structure, and theme that you want, such as Personal Site, Company Site, or Hotel Site. Once you select your template, the Site Wizard automatically creates all the site pages and the links between them. And you can easily customize the templates in the Site Wizard later, by editing the color schemes, adding your own photos or animation, and rearranging elements. However, these are not as attractive as GoLive's premade designs.

Namo also features several handy tools. For instance, the Database Wizard helps you connect to your databases (ODBC, MySQL, and JDBC) without any programming, and the Script Wizard lets you insert premade, precoded JavaScript effects, such as rollovers and floaters. The Local window displays your site in a Windows Explorer-like folder view, and the Navigation view shows your site as a map, so as you drag pages from one position to another, the links between the pages automatically update.

For serious site management, however, Namo falls short. It doesn't offer anything similar to GoLive's collaboration features. Those working in teams on large sites can opt to purchase Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (Namo integrates tidily with it). But unless you're willing to spend a few hundred bucks more, you're out of luck.

In sum, although Namo is a little less flexibile than GoLive, we heartily recommend it for experienced hobbyists and professional Webmasters who are on a budget. For advanced site management or for building collaborative sites, you'll want GoLive.

Take me back to the roundup!

While you're working in Namo WebEditor's Edit view, you select an image, then modify it in the new Inspector tab; you'll see input boxes for its SRC, ALT, width, and height attributes.

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