Saturday, 22 March 2008

TIP - Tools Of The Trade

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I have touched on the subject of the tools you should try to use in a previous post, but I wanted to introduce another 'clever' little script and decided that it was worth resurrecting the advice so that I could '... kill two birds ...', in a manner of speaking!


A screenshot of EditPad Pro in use
A screenshot of EditPad Pro in use.
The thumbnail on the right is a screenshot of my favourite text editor. If you mouseover the image you will see the effect I am introducing you to in this post. Like 'Thickbox' and 'Lightbox', this is JavaSript, and it provides one way of displaying your graphics without costing you much in the way of overhead. The actual image is a large(ish) 912px by 710px display, and I have set the parameters for this display to show the image at its full scale, because I have textual matter in the image that I want my visitor to read. In practise, especially if you only want a photograph to be displayed at a larger size than the thumbnail, the larger image can be set to any reasonable size that can be accommodated within an average viewers browser window; probably 800px by 600px would be sufficient to showcase any image you post. The script also has a hidden function that allows the viewer to go to the full-sized raw image when clicked. This is good for Blogger, where clicking on an image usually takes the viewer to the raw image in another window.


EditPad Pro displaying 'syntax coloring' for an HTML document.
EditPad Pro displaying 'syntax coloring'
for an HTML document.
Similar screenshot, but this time with the HTML document tab selected. Here you can clearly see the colour coding or 'syntax coloring' of the HTML document (stop squinting at the back - mouseover the image!) which makes it a breeze to check all the different lines of code. It also helps if you activate the line numbering feature. Most of these features are available in the 'Lite' version which is FREE for personal use. You really should visit the EditPad Lite homepage (it will open in a new window!) to check out the many features.

I was an avid user of EditPad Lite for years, then one day I realised I used it so frequently that perhaps the Pro version was something I ought to be investigating. Not one to part with my money easily, I checked (and double-checked) the features page and realised that there were some Pro features that would make my life a whole lot easier. So, out came the credit card. And being an impulsive sort of guy, I also bought AceText at the same time. I will introduce you to the author, Jan Goyvaerts, in my next post. Suffice it to say that he writes small utilities that do exactly what they say they will do, and you get lifetime updates and support. What's not to like about that?

BTW, I composed this whole post in EditPad, copied it and pasted it into the 'Edit HTML' window, NOT the 'Compose' (or WYSIWYG) window of the post. I previewed it, tweaked anything that didn't appear to display as it should, and then hit 'PUBLISH POST'. Done!

So much for the 'clever' thingy I promised to introduce you to. Now you have an idea how it works. The 'mouseover' effect enlarges a thumbnail without the visitor having to leave the page. And, if they really want to see the raw image, all they have to do is click the enlarged image to be taken to it.

Cool, huh? But you'll have to wait for the next post to read the full 'skinny' on the 'how to' ...

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