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SoftQuad has released an update to its HoTMetaL PRO 3.0 HTML editor that offers some necessary and well-designed site-management features. This new version, which bundles the existing HoTMetaL editor with a utility called Information Manager, replaces its predecessor on our WinList.
Aside from some bug fixes to the editor, the key changes in HoTMetaL are wrought by the addition of Information Manager, which lets you view the structure of an entire site. The Tree view presents a hierarchical picture, while the Cyber view offers a two-dimensional map depicting relationships among files, centered on the file of your choice. Information Manager can also produce a map of an existing Web site. In our tests, Information Manager correctly represented sites coded by hand or built with other design tools, such as Netscape Gold.
It's easy to grasp Information Manager's navigation style. A highlighted file, such as an HTML page or graphic, makes it the central focus of the map, with all other pages radiating from it like spokes around a hub. Clicking and dragging page icons reveals hypertext links and relations. Information Manager competently handles most other standard site-management tasks, such as external link verification and management, searching and replacing across multiple HTML files, and one-click publishing to your Web server.
The powerful combination of site-management and file-creation tools enables HoTMetaL PRO users to perform unique tasks, such as editing and applying Cascading Style Sheets throughout a site via CSS files, or converting existing files into HTML files in batches. In addition, this revision brings HoTMetaL into compliance with the current HTML 3.2 standard.
With these improvements, HoTMetaL PRO 3.0 has grown from an excellent set of tools for making single Web pages into a handy toolbox for designing entire Web sites.