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Best Shareware Program of 1996

HotDog Pro 4

hotdogpro.gif (7266 bytes)

Type of Program: Advanced HTML Editor
Supported Platforms: Windows 95/NT
Company Name: Sausage Software
Version: 4.56
Price: free to try/ $149.95
Installed size: 6.3M

Download/Homepage

There's no mystery why HotDog Pro is one of the most popular advanced HTML editors around, and with version 4.5, it's even more powerful and easy to use than ever. HotDog Pro 4 is really like an entire web authoring "system," since its enormous feature-set is complemented by an expanded array of SuperToolz plug-ins that add functionality -- plus its novice-oriented program, HotDog Express, is also integrated for an easy upgrade path. So whether you're just starting out with the Pro version, or upgrading from a pre-4.5 release, you'll find everything you want for creating professional-quality web pages and managing complete web sites. All from inside this one tremendous program.

HotDog Pro 4 has a wonderfully intuitive user-interface, plenty of wizards, tag-tool tips, and helps for new users; a fully extendable tag manager; site management features to automatically track all the pages at your site; color-coded tags, syntax checking, and error hints as you're developing a page; and its powerful editor recognizes just about every tag on the Internet. Anything you can do in HTML, you can do with HotDog Pro, and new with version 4.5, you can turn your web pages into Microsoft, Netscape, and Pointcast push channels.

Best of all, you fight no browser wars with the pages you develop. HotDog Pro 4 supports the "big two" browsers, and all the latest Web standards and extensions, so no big bad surprises when you put your pages up. And, advanced users will really like how HotDog Pro 4 gives you information on every tag, letting you know which browser supports which tag, right down to the attribute level. No guesswork or browser-testing.

Just pull down the HTML Property sheet on the Help menu to see all the Internet tags and attributes --allowing beginners to experiment, using the split window, and letting advanced users do a double check (or sanity check). The HTML Property Sheet is updated on an ongoing basis by Sausage Software as changes occur, so HotDog Pro 4 is always current.


HotDog Pro 4's integrated Auto Downloader will keep you current on all updates to the program and Property Sheet, plus upgrades to the SuperToolz plug-ins you've installed. When you buy HotDog Pro 4, these SuperToolz are included with your purchased download: HotDog Express (normally $49.95), JavaScript Editor (normally $49.95), Java Text Editor (normally $49.95), and the Java Animator (normally $49.95).

There are so many SuperToolz plug-ins available (some of them free of charge), they're covered in a separate review here at SharewareJunkies.Com. But you'll always be able to see their availability by doing an online check with the Auto Downloader, which is like a built-in update service. The SuperToolz include a button editor, push-channel wizard, gif movie animator, image mapper, java tools, and more. Even third-party tools are offered for your convenience -- like LinkExchange, Mirabilis ICQ, Real Audio/Video, and so forth.

I really like the table options of HotDog Pro 4 via the Layout Tool -- depending on how simple or complex your project, you can choose the Quick Table button on the toolbar, the Table Wizard, or the Visual Table Editor SuperTool.

Other new and improved features are its web-safe color picker palette; Rover program browser and autodetect of IE3 and IE4; HTML animations and effects; new HotDog macro capabilities; fully customizable toolbars, gutter and bookmark functions; a fully integrated FTP client with drag-and-drop; right-click image previewing, image tooltips, undo/redo manager, Resource Panel function improvement; syntax file manager to keep your syntax checking up to date; coloring preferences for document and syntax; and the ability to insert embedded or special items, and to insert publishing fields into your HTML document.

HotDog Pro 4 is free to evaluate for 30-days, fully functional. Purchase price is $149.95, with seasonal and volume discounts announced at the product web site.

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Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell rjaye@mail.inforum.net


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