I liked CSSEdit 1 back in 2004 when I’d just switched to the Mac, but some erratic, hard-to-reproduce problems, the nature of which I can’t recall now, prevented me from using it.
Now two years later, CSS Edit 2 is out, and I decided to spend the $15 on an upgrade. You can’t really test it if you can’t use it on a real project and save your changes.
Turns out, it still doesn’t beat TextMate. Here’s why:
When you’re doing dynamic web development locally, you can’t preview on the source files, only on the final HTML. So you’ll use Save As in your browser. But then you have to jump through hoops to get CSS Edit to show you the saved HTML file with the CSS file that you have open in the editor. Here’s all the steps you need to go through:
- Save as in browser
- Switch to CSS Edit editor window
- File > Apply to HTML
- Click +
- Locate file
- Check the “Remove existing stylesheets”
- Click Apply to files
- Switch to the preview window
And you need to do this each time you’ve made a change to the HTML. That pretty much does it in right there for anything but CSS for static pages.
I also have two minor gripes. First, X-ray really cool, but why can’t it then open up the relevant style(s) in the CSS file? I click on something, realize it has too much margin, and then I need to go hunt-and-peck in the CSS file to find the style. It would be cool if it could take me directly there. It would probably have to be a menu of all the things being inherited by this element, but even so.
Finally, I really miss auto-save when losing focus that TextMate has. Once you get used to it, it’s indispensable. I already have version control, so there’s never a situation where I don’t want it to save my file. With auto-save when the app loses focus, I can just quickly switch back and forth between editor and browser without having to worry about saving.
All in all, though I had my hopes up high, I can’t really use this version, either, mainly because of the first issue above. Now I have to go see if there’s a money-back guarantee.
UPDATE: Jan, the author of CSSEdit, responds, and explains why I was mistaken. I’m now a happy convert. Thanks, Jan!