HTML Assistant Pro97 is a text based editing tool for creating HTML documents. It provides a tidy, uncluttered interface with only one main toolbar, unusual in HTML editing software. A quick sweep of the mouse across the icons confirms one thing immediately - despite this neatness they have thought of everything! Every function, tag and feature currently incorporated into Web sites is there, with several helpful wizard programmes for more complex things like tables and forms. Extra toolbars are available at the click of an icon, and the facility to import text or RTF files and have them instantly converted to HTML is built in to the menus.
The Help is good for beginners at HTML, and includes information on both using Pro97 itself, and HTML tags in general. The software has built in FTP, customizable new tags for updates to HTML coding, and an image mapping module. The frame wizard is certainly easy to use, with the aid of the browse function I was able to create a frameset in minutes. But the target attribute was not used and the resulting HTML committed the heinous crime of trapping the viewer in a frame. (I understand however that Brooklyn are working on this.) Although it does not appear to be possible to edit the template, in fact you can edit the Startup.templ file in the Pro 97 directory using notepad or wordpad. The changes, once saved, should be effective the next time you open the program. Brooklyn are looking at making this accessible from within the program next time.
Pro97 is kind to complete beginners, and yet feature rich enough for experienced webmasters. Not being WYSIWYG is an advantage as the user will eventually learn control of the HTML and there are none of the usual compromises WYSIWYG insists on, like poor construction and redundant tags. As a tool for the creation of web pages by beginner or experienced user, it is a friendly, well presented programme with some nicely designed extras at a very good price.
HTML Assistant Pro97 is fully functioning shareware, which lasts for 30 days and then "self destructs".
The two problems I had with their product - the frame wizard did not use the target attribute, and it was difficult to edit the template.
I am amazed, and impressed. They have issued an addendum, included in the documentation for the product, and an upgrade which corrects both these faults. They Listen! Maybe not just us, but it is still very good quality control.
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