Espresso Editor Replaces Dreamweaver, Transmit and CSSEdit

Espresso – It’s no longer just a tasty bean.

In the past years as a web developer, I have used a combination of Adobe’s Dreamweaver to edit my HTML, PHP, and Javascript, and MacRabbit’s CSSEdit to edit my CSS. It took me a little bit of time to come to the conclusion that it would take a joint effort between the two programs to work as efficiently as possible.

Because of my love for CSSEdit, I decided to investigate to see if MacRabbit had come out with a new version. As it turns out, they decided to couple the functionalities of a new CSSEdit 3 with a killer new user-friendly text editor. They called it Espresso.

I tried a variety of other text editors including Coda, BBEdit, Dreamweaver, and TextWrangler, and none of them could meet the clean user interface/experience combined with the productivity and tools of Espresso.

Espresso X Ray Inspector Letter Eye Media

CSSEdit really changed my workflow on style sheets. The X-Ray function in combination with the Inspector allows you to quickly and easily pinpoint the element you are looking for and edit its properties.

Espresso also has an auto-fill function and an auto-closing of tags. And just like CSSEdit, there is a toolbox for those who need some help with making their CSS their statements. Plus they added a whole bunch of CSS3 items to the mix.

Espresso Main PreviewAndCSS Letter Eye Media

Dreamweaver has also been my main HTML, PHP, and Javascript editor. To be completely honest, I have never liked the look for it or how complex it makes things. It is an extremely powerful tool, but there are so many options that I never use and just take up space on my screen. It definitely made my life easier with the code auto-filling, but most editors do this now, so its no longer a novelty.

Espresso Main Projects Letter Eye Media

Another thing that Espresso does is save a project metadata file to remember your workspace and server settings. To make things simple, I save the project file locally with a copy of all the website’s files and publish as needed. When I open up my Espresso project file from my Dropbox, there is the same setup and files I was working on like I had never stopped. Because I use Dropbox in combination, I can do this from any machine or device with access to it and Espresso installed.

Last but not least, if you are wondering how you will publish your changes to your server, stop worrying, because Espresso has a very cool Syncing Tool for this. This is like FTP combined with the power of a cloud synclike Dropbox. Choose to browse your server, or, in sync mode, you have three options that can “Sync” to push, “Merge” to combine, and “Download” to get. Every option will analyze changes before making any sudden moves.

Espresso Main Publish Letter Eye Media

The publish tab/window will show you which files have been modified latest based on date modified data (or file size if you so choose in the settings). It even initially takes into account the location of your server so that time zone is factored. Review your changes, and sync away!

There is even a feature to “Quick Publish” meaning when you save locally, it pushes the edit to the server as well, just like I do with mounting my FTP servers as disks with Transmit. And with that usage, that makes the third program in my chain of workflow that Espresso would eliminate. : )

Adobe tries to charge $400 for a full version of Dreamweaver alone, which explains why they are plagued with piracy problems. If you price something too high, people will try to get it illegitimately, or they will get something else.

Transmit is $34 and CSSEdit is discontinued, but I believe it was around $40 at one time. So if you add that all up (400 plus 34 plus 40), you get $474. Espresso goes for just $75, so it was a very justified business expense in my mind. I still use Transmit intermittently as I transition, but I am well on my way. I have been slightly disappointed with the inability to sync my favorites nicely in Transmit, and Espresso now offers me this via project metadata that I can save on my Dropbox (which, in turn, syncs!).

I am about halfway through my trial, and will definitely be purchasing. If you are in web development or are looking to get into it, I would suggest trying Espresso as your go-to editing application.

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