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Web Design Reference Guide

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The Lesser Known Tools

Last updated Oct 17, 2003.

We've covered the basic tools that are in a typical Web designer's toolbox. This is a list of additional applications for those who work on Web sites needing more applications as well as small, but powerful and useful tools for validating the Web site.

  • Macromedia Captivate (formerly RoboDemo) — Create Flash-based tutorials, presentations, and demos without using Flash's interface or scripting language. After creating the movie, Captivate can save the file as an .html file with a .swf for online viewing or as an executable. It's easy and fun to use.

  • RoboHelp — Create help systems and documentation for Web-based and desktop applications similar to the help files you see in any program when you click F1.

  • Omni Products – Offers applications for the Mac that do diagramming, charting, outliner, and Web browsing.

  • Crystal Reports – Generate different report types that are flexible and integrated with Web and windows applications.

  • The QA Toolbox - Validate XHTML, HTML, CSS, links, RDF, P3P, and logs with this free online service.

  • Liorean @ - Grab the bookmarklets to view a Web site's style sheet and scripts. Drag them to your bookmarks / favorites and click on them whenever you want to put it into action. The bookmarklets have full comments for understanding how they work.

  • HTML Tidy - Clean markup with this fast and powerful tool, which can be integrated into some HTML programs.

  • Bobby – Test Web pages using WAI (Web Access Initiative) and Section 508 guidelines. After running a Web site through Bobby, it reports problem areas needing fixing before considered compliant with the guidelines.

  • Cynthia Says – This is another Web content accessibility validator for identifying errors relating to Section 508 and WCAG (Web content accessibility guidelines) guidelines.