Stylizer is a free CSS editor which is designed to let non-coder people wrestle the CSS of their site into shape using an on-screen menu system. The heart of the software lies in its real time preview which lets you manipulate and tweak the page right before your eyes, which makes the whole process of alignment and beauty much easier for the brain.
There are a fair few freebie CSS editors around, but none as ambitious as this one, and there are indeed some impressive parts of the program. Like the automatic integration with a live site, just enter in the URL and the program will suck up the relevant CSS files for you to mess with. It makes it easy to get started, although the interface is a little too cluttered to make for a pleasant experience once you’ve got going with the actual editing.
The program is definitely something that can be used effectively, but you’ll need to take the time to learn the controls and how they all work together. Luckily the devs have included a comprehensive video tutorial which makes it all understandable, but there’s still a learning curve so be prepared. What would be cool is if there was a stripped down mode or something, where you could learn with a reduced menu set, so you could improve bit by bit, instead of having to wade through a zillion different options from the get-go.
One very cool feature is the Bullseye, which lets you select elements on the page just by mousing over them. It’s a boon for fast CSS editing of page components. Unfortunately you’ll need to upgrade from the free version to use that feature (try Selector Gadget for a free alternative!)
Nonetheless, carping aside, it’s a valiant effort by the Canadians, and definitely worth a look. The Ultimate version with all the bells and whistles is $79.00.
Why You Need a Dedicated CSS Editor It’s true, you don’t need a separate text editor that automatically completes and highlights parts of your CSS code. Stylizer however, is wildly unique in it’s ability to make you work faster. Once familiarized, you’ll be hooked because it’s simply not possible to be as productive any other way. Learn by Watching It’s much easier to learn when you can see what’s happening! Stop throwing seemingly random CSS at the browser and hoping for a certain result. With Stylizer, the design is manipulated in real time, so you get to see how CSS works!