Web designing is often considered as an art. A website is the first thing which a potential user encounters related to any product or service and it depends on the design of the site to turn that potential into reality or otherwise. There are different tools and software available on the internet and combined with rich doses of inspiration and innovation, web designers can go a long way using some of them.

Firebug is one of the most popular applications. This open source, in-browser web development tool for Firefox has many options such as on-the-fly HTML as well as CSS editing, a logging, analyzing and debugging Java console and a Document Object Model inspection application for quick verification of the elements, as well and their co-relations. It has become quite a rage, developing its own extensions like YSlow and FirePHP. Adobe Photoshop comes next in the popularity meter, for both Windows and Mac users. This graphic editor is useful for tweaking images, development of web graphics. What sets it apart is the wide array of tools and options this software has on offer. A designer can extend his imagination to the widest possible realm and Photoshop has the tool for his needs. Filters Brushes, Actions, Scripting and advanced features like Layer Comps and Revert are some of the most famous tools.

Another of Adobe’s masterpieces is the Dreamweaver, available for both Windows and Mac. A complete package, it includes syntax highlighting, an excellent code hinting, an FTP client, project and workflow manager and lastly, the Live View which is used for previewing the codes. A shareware tool for Mac OS, Panic Coda is an alternative which reduces the amount of applications required for website development, such as FTP client, CSS editor, etc. It has a one window system using a tabbed layout for editing, file transfers, SVN, CSS, and a highlight called ‘Books’, which embeds searchable books on the website. The simplicity and efficiency of the design ensured it bagged the Best Mac OS User Experience by Apple in 2007.

Coming from the Adobe’s stable, Adobe Fireworks is a useful vector graphics editor, available both for Windows and Mac users. Unlike Photoshop, this is developed specifically for web designing and makes the task of web layout prototyping and raster editing very easy. It has an option of ‘slicing’ the mock design to rapidly create prototypes and allows packaging of the design as a PDF file and optimization to make the entire process lightweight. This is of course, not an exhaustive list. Depending on one’s style and preferences, the tools’ choice can vary from person to person.

Mark