The other day one of my friends told me about this StyleSpread software that he came across while looking for a tutorial on using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). He wasn’t very familiar with how CSS worked but he was very willing to learn. I took a look at the software and my first impression is that it is great for both beginners and experts!
Anyone that is into Web design knows how large the CSS files can get and eventually they start to seem unmanageable. StyleSpread conquers that problem by making the various elements of a Style Sheet collapsible so that you aren’t overwhelmed at the length, but that isn’t even my favorite feature.
The best thing with StyleSpread is that you can have it use variables for the different values located throughout your Style Sheet. For example, if your background color for several objects is blue you could create a variable called “bkgrnd_color” (or anything you would like to name it) and assign the color of blue to it. Use that variable throughout your CSS file for buttons, containers, or anything else you want to have a blue background. Then if you ever decide that you want to change that color it is as easy as changing the variable’s value. The variables (or expressions) can be taken even further than that…just checkout here for what you can do.
StyleSpread can use the variables because they aren’t actually implemented into the CSS file. They are only used from within the program and each time you save your StyleSpread project it will generate a new CSS file that contains all of the updates. The CSS file that it outputs looks very professional as well with perfectly tabbed parameters, which is what you would expect a professional Web designer to do.
Now for the bad part. StyleSpread is free but they limit you to 300 minutes of use per week. I really wish it was freeware but if you want to use the software for an unlimited amount of time you’ll have to fork out the $80 for it. I think that the free 5-hours a week is plenty for most people just doing casual Web design though.