Macromedia has announced Contribute 2, a Mac OS X-friendly version of its Web -content maintenance solution that allows users without HTML skills to update complex Web sites.

It allows such users to update text and images, publish new content, and link pages and documents to any existing HTML site.

New features include support for SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), and a tool to create buttons for automating payment on Web stores using PayPal's online payment system.

Windows users also benefit from Flashpaper, a way of transforming graphics from other software applications into Web-ready Flash animations by sending them to a virtual printer; although the virtual printer driver needed to create such graphics will only work with Microsoft's Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems.

Delegation Designers who create Web pages using Web-editing tools such as Dreamweaver can delegate responsibility for maintaining text or images to colleagues using Contribute 2. Contribute uses the same access control and file check-out, check-in system as Dreamweaver.

Contribute users can link any document to a Web site - including Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents - and these can be edited later. The software "maintains text formatting while preserving HTML code standards", said Macromedia.

Contribute uses the same code generation engine as Dreamweaver MX, meaning any changes applied won't also furnish extraneous code, it also includes a versioning system which holds a live history of page changes and lets users return to previous iterations of pages with a single click.

Contribute 2 also introduces a product activation system to curb software piracy, users will be asked to enter a serial number from the product packaging. The application will then calculate a unique ID number based on the serial number and the machine's hardware configuration, including information about the hard disk and processor, which must be sent back to Macromedia to activate the product, tying it to that machine.

Macromedia is piloting this product activation system in Contribute to test whether to roll it out to other products.

Contribute 2 costs £69 for an individual license, the same as the existing version. A pack of five licenses will cost £269, a pack of 10 will cost £509. Windows users can upgrade from the previous version for £6.99 until August 31, upgrades will cost £39 thereafter. Prices exclude VAT.