Ottawa PC Users' Group,
HomeSite Version 2.5 for Windows 95
Build it and they will come!
by Alan German
So, you have read the learn-HTML-in-a-week
text book, and you have struggled, trying to cut and
paste between several text files in multiple instances of
Notepad, while remembering dozens of tags, and all the
numeric codes for French accented characters. Now you are
ready to move up to a fully-fledged HTML editor.
There are lots of choices on the store
shelves, in colourful boxes, at even more colourful
prices. An alternative is to check the pages of PC
Magazine (Vol. 16, No. 16; September 23, 1997) for
the winner of their 1997 shareware award in this category
- HomeSite for Windows 95 - then log on to The PUB and
download the software! HOMESITE ZIP
If any of the above sounds familiar, then
the HomeSite package may well be your web builder of
choice. It is an exceedingly well crafted product which
will allow you to efficiently build, expand, and modify
your web site.
The main screen offers a file list down
the left margin. Double clicking a file name loads the
HTML code into the edit window. A two-tab system allows
rapid switching between editing the source code, and
browsing the resulting page. You can use Homesite's
default browser, or configure the program to use
Microsoft's Internet Explorer internally in the browser
window. A single mouse click on the browser tab displays
the page using the code in the edit window - you don't
have to save the page first in order to see the result of
any changes. Even better, an undo button lets you
retrieve the original code if you don't like the effect
that your latest edit produces. You may also set up
HomeSite to view a page in several external browsers in
order to check the appearance of the code in the
Having multiple pages open at the same
time is no problem. Each open page has its own file tab.
Clicking on the tab brings that page into the edit-browse
mode. A really nice feature is that any coded page which
has been modified, but not saved, is flagged with a red
square on the file tab. Saving files is easily achieved
by clicking on a Windows-type disk button on the toolbar;
or you can use File - Close All, to shut down all
completed files at a stroke.
In common with many HTML editors,
HomeSite allows you to highlight a phrase, and then click
on a toolbar button to designate a heading level,
boldfaced type, the colour of the text, or to bring up a
dialog box for images and links. A nice feature of the
package is the major saving in screen real estate
achieved by nesting toolbars for such items as fonts,
lists, tables, and frames.
A number of different toolbars may be
optionally displayed. One particularly useful toolbar is
that for special characters. This gives access to such
characters as ampersand, the copyright symbol, and to the
special quotation marks used in French text (find those
in Notepad!). Tabs for extended lower and upper case
provide quick access to accented characters. You can even
add multiple customized toolbars.
If you type like I do, then knowing that
a spelling checker is included in the package adds
greatly to the appeal. Users of Microsoft Word will feel
right at home, as the icon and the dialog boxes for the
spelling checker in HomeSite are going to look very
Extensive help file
The package features an extensive help
file, and a quick reference on individual tags. HomeSite
is designed for those who are familiar with HTML coding;
however, the help file points to a number of useful links
Works your way
HomeSite can be extensively configured to
work in the manner which you desire. For example, you can
set the colours to be used for different HTML code
elements in the editor, auto-indent your code, and have
the program always insert ALT="" in image tags.
One item to check here is the default file extension --
the program initializes using .html rather than .htm.
There are many other special features of
the program, many of which I haven't tried yet, including
block indenting, extended replace (across entire
directory), support for style sheets, Active-X and Java,
rulers (screen resolution), validation of source code,
verification of links, creating and publishing "projects".
The opening splash screen indicates that
you may use HomeSite 50 times before having to purchase a
license. This gives you lots of opportunity to try before
you buy. If you have any interest in coding web pages --
easily -- give this program a try. At this price, you may
well become one of the buyers!
Shareware (Registration US $ 39.95)
from Allaire Corporation, Cambridge, MA
Release reviewed: Version 2.5 for Windows 95 or NT
Web site: http://www.homesite-now.com/
Homesite Version 3.0 is now available at a cost of US
Copyright and Usage
Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street,
Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
The opinions expressed
in these reviews may not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
Original HTML coding for this page provided by Alan
Page updated: 03-Apr-98