Product Type: Psylon webdesign software
Newest Review: ... amount of memory your computer has. I have opened 124 HTML files in one copy of LiquidFX on one occasion, and it didn?t even slow down ... more
Fast, Stable, Effective, What else can I say?
Member Name: thanatoszane
Date: 18/04/01, updated on 18/04/01 (107 review reads)
Advantages: Stable, not resource hungry, inexpensive
Disadvantages: Err..... no sitewide find and replace? That's all.
I got a copy off a computer magazine cover CD about a year ago, and I am still using it now.
It is nothing like most other applications available these days as it is not bloatware. It claims it needs 16Mb RAM to run, but I have had it running at an acceptable speed on a 486 DX 75 portable with 8Mb RAM!
Another great thing is that it doesn't crash. Dreamweaver 3 locked up on me a lot (less problems with Ultradev 4, thankfully!) but this lovely little program is simple and solid as a rock.
It is not a WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get.) editor - it only allows you to edit the HTML directly, but it does have some tools that make this easier for beginners. You can, for example, insert tables using a table wizard, and change text properties (such as bold / italic) using buttons on the tool-bar.
It also lets you insert scrolling status bar text, marquee tags and other hideous design mistakes, but you can?t blame them for that as they don?t MAKE you use it, do they?
LiquidFX has some advanced features - it will batch convert graphics and has a built in image map editor which is very easy to use.
It also has some good site management facilities (although not as good as the Macromedia Dreamweaver programs.) which allow you to set up sites projects, and make notes on it. The program notes when the site was last edited and other useful bits and bobs - a lot like the feature in MS Office that shows who created and edited a document.
The interface is slightly unusual in that when you open a new document it opens in a tab. You can open lots of separate documents (or even open every HTML file in a site in one go!) and you are only limited by the amount of memory your computer has. I have opened 124 HTML files in one copy of LiquidFX on one occasion, and it didn?t even slow down that much!
You can move between tabs very easily, c
lose them, save a single file or all unsaved files in the site, all with simple key combinations. For medium sized site management it?s ideal.
You can preview your pages in Internet Explorer and Netscape with a touch of a button (actually you have a choice of two buttons - one to preview in current window, and one to open a new one!) and can set up other browsers if you wish.
There are a few simple Java applets and Java Script snippets included to let you jazz up your site, and you can insert them very easily without having to know the coding behind it.
The help file is fairly good - not the most detailed I?ve ever seen but it does cover everything you need to know.
The biggest problem for LiquidFX is that it is lacking in a site-wide search and replace feature. You can look through individual documents, and you can jump between documents easily, but that is not as easy as using site-wide search and replace. I once changed the wording on a single menu option on my site, and it took several hours to change it on all the pages using LiquidFX. To do the same thing using the template option or the search and replace option of Dreamweaver would take only a few seconds.
That said, I still use LiquidFX now for the times when Dreamweavers? source editor is not good enough. Macromedia do bundle Homesite to perform this task, but I find LiquidFX a lot faster performance wise and I prefer the way it works. I can even do this when editing pages containing PHP, ASP and Perl - if you set the options right it will leave code it doesn?t recognize alone. This places it streets ahead of many of it?s WYSIWIG rivals such as HoTMetaL.
As a final added bonus you get a bunch of backgrounds, horizontal rules and other graphics thrown in to use on your site, and there are more to download from the Psylon website.
I find that LiquidFX strikes a good balance between being easy to use for beginners, and powerful enough for e
xperienced users. It has lots of extra features, but they are not all jumping out at you when you load it up, so it doesn?t intimidate you.
The version I use if 3.01, but it?s now up to version 4.5. You can still find 3.01 on some cover disks if you look hard enough, and even version 4.5 is worth a shot based on the strength of this one - it only costs $65, or $45 if you cross upgrade from another package (although you have to send in proof of purchase of the other package.)
I really recommend you give LiquidFX a shot. At such a low price point, what have you got to loose?