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Alternatives to the Creative Cloud

New Here ,
May 07, 2013 May 07, 2013

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With Adobe's decisions to force users to go to subscribe to the creative cloud, I thought it might be a good idea to get a list going of some alternative programs. I'm a designer working mostly in print with some web - anyone know of some good alternatives for these?

Photoshop -> Gimp

Illustrator -> ?

Indesign - Quark

Dreamweaver - ?

Flash - been moving away from that anyway

What programs are you going to look into to replace the creative cloud?

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Community Beginner ,
May 11, 2013 May 11, 2013

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I cannot really fault Adobe for wanting to increase profits (they are a publicly-traded company, after all, ADBE), but do feel sort of left out, as a very, very long-time user. That pain might well pass?

Agreed. I really feel like collateral damage here, but honestly think we aren't going to change anyone's minds.

I only really needed a couple of Adobe products...Photoshop and After Effects. By the time they added video editing to PS I began to wonder if they were running out of ideas for serious improvement and just wanted to add something to call it a new release. For me, Premiere died years and years ago. It's just been too clumsy and slow to use now. Been using SpeedEdit from NewTek for years and that product helps me finish products much faster. Never used InDesign and Illustrator still can't hold a candle to CorelDraw, IMO.

All in all, I don't understand why Adobe won't continue offering both solutions. Some people love the cloud, some hate it. I've said this in another thread, but why not push out new features to the cloud first to incentivize people to subscribe, then roll them out a year or so later to the downloaded versions for the rest? It seems to make better sense to offer your products to more consumers rather than fewer.

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Community Beginner ,
May 11, 2013 May 11, 2013

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And let's not forget something critical about the pricing: $49.99/month is for individuals. For businesses, Adobe is offering "special pricing" of merely $69.99/month. That won't hurt Disney or other giant companies, but us freelancers and small business owners can't afford another $70 bill every month.

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Mentor ,
May 12, 2013 May 12, 2013

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If they want to provide subscription service that want it. Fine.

But they should be forbidden by law from abandoning people that would rather have a DVD version with a Permanent license.

They don't reliaze that the subscription thing only works in the US and most other countries forbid such actions what do they do in those cases. Request that they all move to the US if they want to use Adobe products.  I wish the EU would slap them silly like they have Microsoft.

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Community Beginner ,
May 13, 2013 May 13, 2013

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Outside of my day job, I consult for a small firm that specializes in the design and development of training materials for healthcare providers. We will not be moving to Adobe cloud based software and have been in the process of identifying alternative software. This was more of a philosophical decision by the owners and designers as opposed to an economic decision; we actually want to see Adobe knocked down a few rungs to facilitate customer patronage and competition.

Over all, and with the possible exception of Dreamweaver and perhaps InDesign, and for what we need and do, we are working smarter, will be working cheaper in terms of overall software costs, are no less productive using alternative software thus far; we are definitely less complacent in terms of what can be done, and we have access to some new rapid e-learning development tools. Pragmatically speaking, there is ample time to transition away from CS6 products (platinum collection in my case), and I would encourage everyone to give it a shot to the extent that is possible.

Adobe alternative software solutions will undoubtably vary greatly based on individual needs. I have pasted one of our original working lists below and there are many more options out there.

  • Acrobat - PDF-XChange Viewer, Nitro Pro, Foxit, and Formulate Pro
  • After Effects - Blender, Wax, Jahshaka, and Motion 5
  • Audition/Soundbooth - ProTools, Audacity and Cubase
  • Captivate - Articulate Storyline or Presenter, Camtasia Studio, Snagit, ActivePresenter and iSpring
  • Dreamweaver - KompoZer, SeaMonkey, Amaya, Flux, Aptana, CoffeeCup HTML Editor, NetObjects Fusion, NetBeans IDE, and Expression Web 4
  • Encore DVD - DVD Architect Studio and Bombono DVD (we have no had a training DVD request in over two years).
  • Illustrator - Inkscape, Corel Draw, Xara Xtreme, Sketch, and SketchUp Pro
  • InDesign - Scribus, iStudio Publisher and Swiftpublisher
  • Media encoding and basic editing - Sorenson Squeeze
  • Photoshop - GIMP, Xara Xtreme, Pixelmator, PaintShop Pro, Painter 12 and Inkscape
  • Premiere - Lightworks Pro, VideoStudio Ultimate, Final Cut Pro, Avid, and VideoPad Video Editor (ideoLAN Movie Creator and Avidemux for basic work)

I hope this helps…

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Community Beginner ,
May 13, 2013 May 13, 2013

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Great list. I'd also add Vegas and SpeedEdit to the video editors. SpeedEdit kicks butt.

And, seriously, do not use any MS product for web development. It's as nasty as you can get. I actually charge more for cleaning up after it. EW included. Stay away.

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Engaged ,
May 17, 2013 May 17, 2013

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f_donald wrote:

Outside of my day job, I consult for a small firm that specializes in the design and development of training materials for healthcare providers. We will not be moving to Adobe cloud based software and have been in the process of identifying alternative software. This was more of a philosophical decision by the owners and designers as opposed to an economic decision; we actually want to see Adobe knocked down a few rungs to facilitate customer patronage and competition.

Over all, and with the possible exception of Dreamweaver and perhaps InDesign, and for what we need and do, we are working smarter, will be working cheaper in terms of overall software costs, are no less productive using alternative software thus far; we are definitely less complacent in terms of what can be done, and we have access to some new rapid e-learning development tools. Pragmatically speaking, there is ample time to transition away from CS6 products (platinum collection in my case), and I would encourage everyone to give it a shot to the extent that is possible.

Adobe alternative software solutions will undoubtably vary greatly based on individual needs. I have pasted one of our original working lists below and there are many more options out there.

  • Acrobat - PDF-XChange Viewer, Nitro Pro, Foxit, and Formulate Pro
  • After Effects - Blender, Wax, Jahshaka, and Motion 5
  • Audition/Soundbooth - ProTools, Audacity and Cubase
  • Captivate - Articulate Storyline or Presenter, Camtasia Studio, Snagit, ActivePresenter and iSpring
  • Dreamweaver - KompoZer, SeaMonkey, Amaya, Flux, Aptana, CoffeeCup HTML Editor, NetObjects Fusion, NetBeans IDE, and Expression Web 4
  • Encore DVD - DVD Architect Studio and Bombono DVD (we have no had a training DVD request in over two years).
  • Illustrator - Inkscape, Corel Draw, Xara Xtreme, Sketch, and SketchUp Pro
  • InDesign - Scribus, iStudio Publisher and Swiftpublisher
  • Media encoding and basic editing - Sorenson Squeeze
  • Photoshop - GIMP, Xara Xtreme, Pixelmator, PaintShop Pro, Painter 12 and Inkscape
  • Premiere - Lightworks Pro, VideoStudio Ultimate, Final Cut Pro, Avid, and VideoPad Video Editor (ideoLAN Movie Creator and Avidemux for basic work)

I hope this helps…

Those may all be reasonably good alternatives for Adobe Products. In fact some are better, Audacity is definitely better than Audition/Soundbooth. But when it comes to Dreamweaver I have looked at most of those alternatives and they do not cut the mustard. For web work it looks like the best model is to learn code and be independent of the application.

At the bottom of this page you will find lists and links to practically every existing HTML editor past and present http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_editor

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Mentor ,
May 17, 2013 May 17, 2013

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f_donald wrote:

Outside of my day job, I consult for a small firm that specializes in the design and development of training materials for healthcare providers. We will not be moving to Adobe cloud based software and have been in the process of identifying alternative software. This was more of a philosophical decision by the owners and designers as opposed to an economic decision; we actually want to see Adobe knocked down a few rungs to facilitate customer patronage and competition.

Over all, and with the possible exception of Dreamweaver and perhaps InDesign, and for what we need and do, we are working smarter, will be working cheaper in terms of overall software costs, are no less productive using alternative software thus far; we are definitely less complacent in terms of what can be done, and we have access to some new rapid e-learning development tools. Pragmatically speaking, there is ample time to transition away from CS6 products (platinum collection in my case), and I would encourage everyone to give it a shot to the extent that is possible.

Adobe alternative software solutions will undoubtably vary greatly based on individual needs. I have pasted one of our original working lists below and there are many more options out there.

  • Acrobat - PDF-XChange Viewer, Nitro Pro, Foxit, and Formulate Pro
  • After Effects - Blender, Wax, Jahshaka, and Motion 5
  • Audition/Soundbooth - ProTools, Audacity and Cubase
  • Captivate - Articulate Storyline or Presenter, Camtasia Studio, Snagit, ActivePresenter and iSpring
  • Dreamweaver - KompoZer, SeaMonkey, Amaya, Flux, Aptana, CoffeeCup HTML Editor, NetObjects Fusion, NetBeans IDE, and Expression Web 4
  • Encore DVD - DVD Architect Studio and Bombono DVD (we have no had a training DVD request in over two years).
  • Illustrator - Inkscape, Corel Draw, Xara Xtreme, Sketch, and SketchUp Pro
  • InDesign - Scribus, iStudio Publisher and Swiftpublisher
  • Media encoding and basic editing - Sorenson Squeeze
  • Photoshop - GIMP, Xara Xtreme, Pixelmator, PaintShop Pro, Painter 12 and Inkscape
  • Premiere - Lightworks Pro, VideoStudio Ultimate, Final Cut Pro, Avid, and VideoPad Video Editor (ideoLAN Movie Creator and Avidemux for basic work)

I hope this helps…

On Mac end of things for Adobe Products I use:

PDF - PDFpen Pro

Captivate - Snagit Mac, Snap Drag, Ondesoft Screen Capture, Voila, SnapX Pro, Skitch

Premiere - Camstasia 2, ScreenFlow, Screenium

Indesign - iStudio Publisher Swift Publisher 3, Flux

Photoshop - Gimp, Pixelmator, Painter 12, GraphicConverter

Illustrator - Corel Draw

DreamWeaver - only one not a Good substitute is Rapid Weaver

Lightroom - Aperture, Corel AfterShot, ACDSee Pro 3, Photo Mechanic, DXO

Encore - iDVD, iMovie

Items not named there is no Mac equivalent

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New Here ,
May 24, 2013 May 24, 2013

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Hi,

Has anyone got advice about a good alternative to Framemaker please? I know it's not in Creative Cloud, so maybe not 100% relevant here, sorry, but...

You are all moaning about the price of CC, but a subscription to Technical Communication Suite 4 which includes Framemaker is more than half as much again than a creative cloud subscription and there are a quarter of the applications in it. Can't get my head around that at all. Also ideally I would like that plus a couple of apps from CC but even if I had the money to subscribe to both things I wouldn't be prepared to because it would mean that I was paying twice for Illustrator and Acrobat etc. as they are in both. This goes completely over Adobe's head.

I'm not actually against a subscription format. We rent a lot of things, like office space that over enough years we would have paid way beyond enough to own, but its the restrictiveness of Adobe's sales practices. It just means all their potential customers feel like victims and I hate doing business with a company that I have such a complete lack of trust for. I think that is what is behind a lot of people being against subscription. At least when you 'buy' you only feel that pain and anger once every two or three years.

Adoe need to learn, fast, that if they want people to feel ok about subscriptions then they need to grow up and behave like a nice customer friendly orgainsation that inspires a bit of trust. They are the most pirated software company because of their attitude and restrictive rip-off ways. You don't steal from organisations you respect.

And also to accept that we all have different needs. I'm actually sitting around willing to subscribe, I love new and shiny and keeping up with latest versions all appeals, but I can't see a way to do it sensibly and acceptably. So that is driving me to look for competitors, which I wouldn't have considered doing before.
So they are not only driving away subscription refusniks but the ones that are ok about it too. Definitely have been allowed to get too big...

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LEGEND ,
May 20, 2013 May 20, 2013

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From about Painter 2.5 (Fractal Design in those days), I have used it alongside Photoshop, through many versions. My plan is to upgrade my Painter 10 to 12, and use it with my PS CS 6 perpetual.

For any new Camera RAW cameras, I will just upgrade my ThumbsPlus, or use the Nikon NEF utility, with perhaps Adobe DNG?

For the rest, I have my perpetual license versions of the Adobe programs, and see little need to go beyond CS 6.

I just have not justified the Adobe CC program, though may change my mind. Time will tell.

Hunt

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Participant ,
May 28, 2013 May 28, 2013

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f_donald wrote:

Outside of my day job, I consult for a small firm that specializes in the design and development of training materials for healthcare providers. We will not be moving to Adobe cloud based software and have been in the process of identifying alternative software. This was more of a philosophical decision by the owners and designers as opposed to an economic decision; we actually want to see Adobe knocked down a few rungs to facilitate customer patronage and competition.

Over all, and with the possible exception of Dreamweaver and perhaps InDesign, and for what we need and do, we are working smarter, will be working cheaper in terms of overall software costs, are no less productive using alternative software thus far; we are definitely less complacent in terms of what can be done, and we have access to some new rapid e-learning development tools. Pragmatically speaking, there is ample time to transition away from CS6 products (platinum collection in my case), and I would encourage everyone to give it a shot to the extent that is possible.

Adobe alternative software solutions will undoubtably vary greatly based on individual needs. I have pasted one of our original working lists below and there are many more options out there.

  • Acrobat - PDF-XChange Viewer, Nitro Pro, Foxit, and Formulate Pro
  • After Effects - Blender, Wax, Jahshaka, and Motion 5
  • Audition/Soundbooth - ProTools, Audacity and Cubase
  • Captivate - Articulate Storyline or Presenter, Camtasia Studio, Snagit, ActivePresenter and iSpring
  • Dreamweaver - KompoZer, SeaMonkey, Amaya, Flux, Aptana, CoffeeCup HTML Editor, NetObjects Fusion, NetBeans IDE, and Expression Web 4
  • Encore DVD - DVD Architect Studio and Bombono DVD (we have no had a training DVD request in over two years).
  • Illustrator - Inkscape, Corel Draw, Xara Xtreme, Sketch, and SketchUp Pro
  • InDesign - Scribus, iStudio Publisher and Swiftpublisher
  • Media encoding and basic editing - Sorenson Squeeze
  • Photoshop - GIMP, Xara Xtreme, Pixelmator, PaintShop Pro, Painter 12 and Inkscape
  • Premiere - Lightworks Pro, VideoStudio Ultimate, Final Cut Pro, Avid, and VideoPad Video Editor (ideoLAN Movie Creator and Avidemux for basic work)

I hope this helps…

@f_donald - that's great - thanks for all the info! I've copied your post and added links for everyone for quick access.

PS: Please let me know if any are wrong and I'll update them.

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New Here ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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Thank you! I'd love to have this in a blog post to share with friends!

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Advocate ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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Almost 40,000 folks have signed.They don't like Adobe Creative Cloud licensing.Show @Adobe how you feel. https://www.change.org/petitions/adobe-systems-incorporated-eliminate-the-mandatory-creative-cloud-s...

Another more fiscal way to show @Adobe you dont like the CC licensing scheme.http://adobe2014.tumblr.com #adobe2014

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Explorer ,
Sep 16, 2013 Sep 16, 2013

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Interesting graphs in that second link. While I don't wish ill on anyone (as a personal practice) I do wish that the almighty "Market Forces" so many crow about teach adobe a lesson about how not to treat people who helped build them into a giant company.

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Contributor ,
Jul 22, 2013 Jul 22, 2013

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I cannot really fault Adobe for wanting to increase profits (they are a publicly-traded company, after all, ADBE), but do feel sort of left out, as a very, very long-time user. That pain might well pass?

I heard this so many times, but in my opinion this is wrong. We are dealing with so many problems in society nowadays, because companies justify their parasite behaviour with being a stock-company. Adobe is threatenting and hurting a complete industry. They don't understand that the whole system depends on each component. If a virus runs havroc it kills the host and itself at the end, too. Look at the banking system and many other examples. Somehtbng is wrong, if we let this system dictate our live and then even excuse it.

I don't think that Adobe was founded just to make money. The founders had a vision to make live better. This is missing totally now. Adobe says it makes live better for us, but they ignore all complains completely. They just use empty phrases, without any meaning. I whished them to be successful, beause they created great products, but now we are just cows to be milked to have the CEO be able to play with the big boys. Not with me.

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Explorer ,
Jul 22, 2013 Jul 22, 2013

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Beautifully stated, Marcus.

There is an unhealthy tendancy for people to submit to the profit motive when confronted with something unpleasant.

"Oh, greater profit is at stake?? Well, in that case they should do whatever they need to!!"

Why?

We aren't brainless little insects… we're having a life here and a society and "making a profit" should be a minor feature of modern life, not the sole, driving motiviation, regardless of the consequences.

If somebody ran you off the road, endangering you and your family, would it be OK if you learned they were in a hurry to try to make more profit?

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Contributor ,
Jul 22, 2013 Jul 22, 2013

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> "Oh, greater profit is at stake?? Well, in that case they should do whatever they need to!!"

>

> Why?

  That's starting to touch on broader questions like "Is Capitalism an end in itself, or a means to an end?", etc. Almost everyone benefits from society in some way, so how best to divide up the costs and benefits of it?

   When there's decent competition in play, companies are usually limited in what they can demand. Without some limits (and perhaps a broader perspective), things can become more extreme and destructive. Like Wall street almost blowing up the worlds economy (with 'help' from many other players of course )...

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Explorer ,
Jul 22, 2013 Jul 22, 2013

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That's starting to touch on broader questions like "Is Capitalism an end in itself, or a means to an end?", etc. Almost everyone benefits from society in some way, so how best to divide up the costs and benefits of it?

No doubt, but so's the question of why these products were produced in the first place. Feels like serious mission creep and the cows to be milked analogy really hits home for me.

I resonate with your comment about competition keeping things healthy for everyone.

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2013 May 07, 2013

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davedunlap1 wrote:

With Adobe's decisions to force users to go to subscribe to the creative cloud, I thought it might be a good idea to get a list going of some alternative programs. I'm a designer working mostly in print with some web - anyone know of some good alternatives for these?

Photoshop -> Gimp

Illustrator -> ?

Indesign - Quark

Dreamweaver - ?

Flash - been moving away from that anyway

What programs are you going to look into to replace the creative cloud?

The good alterative to Dreamweaver is Expression Web 4 (EW4) and it is free from Microsoft.

<http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36179>

Personnaly I have always liked EW products and when version was released, I bought a suite and soon after that it became free.  So I spent about £150 for nothing!!!

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Mentor ,
May 11, 2013 May 11, 2013

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mytaxsite.co.uk wrote:

davedunlap1 wrote:

With Adobe's decisions to force users to go to subscribe to the creative cloud, I thought it might be a good idea to get a list going of some alternative programs. I'm a designer working mostly in print with some web - anyone know of some good alternatives for these?

Photoshop -> Gimp

Illustrator -> ?

Indesign - Quark

Dreamweaver - ?

Flash - been moving away from that anyway

What programs are you going to look into to replace the creative cloud?

The good alterative to Dreamweaver is Expression Web 4 (EW4) and it is free from Microsoft.

<http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36179>

Personnaly I have always liked EW products and when version was released, I bought a suite and soon after that it became free.  So I spent about £150 for nothing!!!

Exclusively Windows only.

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Mentor ,
Aug 21, 2014 Aug 21, 2014

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Actually I have found an excellent replacement for DreamWeaver.  From Rage Software called EverWeb and It HTML5 Compliant.

With the aid of sets of widgets you can do just about anything, More than DreamWeaver.  I still keep Dreamweaver to maintain a Website I've had for years.  Anew one I have created  I used this software and it took no time to do it.

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Explorer ,
Aug 22, 2014 Aug 22, 2014

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Sounds prety good I will check it out. Do they have pro level tec suport?

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Mentor ,
Aug 23, 2014 Aug 23, 2014

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Here is the website I created with Everweb:

http://www.phillipjones-cet.net.

This by far, is not all Everweb can do.  This is just a Basic website I  created for a specific Purpose. The pages for Photography and Recipes I just added.

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Mentor ,
Aug 24, 2014 Aug 24, 2014

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Everweb might be "HTML5 compliant", but that does not mean anything. I checked the html and css code generated by Everweb (the customer's examples), and it truly is abysmal looking code. Absolutely unusable from the view point of any self-respecting web developer.

Why is it so hard for these visual web layout tool developers to understand this is no longer acceptable nowadays? Macaw does output nice looking manageable code, so it should be possible for Muse, Everweb, etc. as well. What a shame.

Then again, I suppose if you just want a static website it's not that important. But steer well clear of "Everweb" if you intend to even glance at the code for further development.

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Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2014 Aug 25, 2014

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ok, I spend allot of time in the code side of DW. Not being a designer or programer I teach my self as the need arises and I keep it very simple. www.carlmayfield.com www.architecturalphotographerhouston.com.

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New Here ,
May 11, 2013 May 11, 2013

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You can also try:

Indesgn -> Scribus

Illustrator -> Inkscape

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