Posted November 7th, 2006 @ 10:59am by Erik J. Barzeski
CSSEdit 2.0 was released yesterday and, though I was technically a beta tester, I didn't spend much time with the application, instead opting to edit my CSS files manually in BBEdit. I reasoned that I was too busy doing actual work to learn a new application.
That was a mistake.
Having spent a few hours with CSSEdit 2.0, I've come to regret the time I could have saved using MacRabbit's wonderful app for what would have amounted to only a few minutes of actual learning. Though I don't have the time to fully review the app, I'd like to point out a few highlights.
CSS editing has always been a brutal cycle of "edit, upload, reload, repeat as necessary." I couldn't preview files locally because some URLs didn't work or my web pages were split over a series of files. CSSEdit solves this problem by offering a preview window that displays remote web pages. It also allows you to override the remote stylesheets with local copies, facilitating rapid development of CSS without any of the headaches caused by more traditional methods.
The X-Ray feature, seen in the strip above, allows you to click on any element in a web page - bold text, an image, or an ordered list, for example - and have the complete DOM and CSS path to that image displayed. Above, the screenshot shows where my sidebar random image exists within the hierarchy of my CSS files.
"Milestones" is a lightweight version-control system for data, though I'm not entirely sure how the data survives across editing in multiple applications. Even if your milestones were completely lost, the "saved states" functionality this offers within a single work session is worth noting.
One of my favorite features, oddly enough, is the code formatting (or "Default Spacing") offered within CSSEdit 2.0's prefs. I like to write code like you see above, and with CSSEdit 2.0, defining my own general coding style is as easy as making two blocks of code look like I want. The style is then applied to stylesheets I open. Gone are the days of clicking checkboxes labeled "Begin each block on new line" or toggling radio buttons beneath "Indent attributes with:". The manner in which this is handled is perhaps one of the most elegant things I've ever seen in software.
CSSEdit 2.0 is fast, it's elegant, and packed with features to make my life easier. I'm sorry I waited so long to use it!
P.S. The title is in reference to this entry.