Macromedia has announced Contribute 3, the newest version of its tool to help non-technical Web publishers update site contents.

Macromedia Contribute 3 adds granular administrator control, flexible approval workflow, editing enhancements, and Dreamweaver MX 2004 integration to its product for Mac OS X and Windows.

Contribute 3 is also a key element of the new, enterprise-ready Macromedia Web Publishing System for organizational deployments to business users. A preview version of Contribute 3 is available for download.

The product does not require complex workflow definitions, and will edit existing HTML sites. Site administrators must define individual users' publishing permissions.

Macromedia general manager Tom Hale said: "Every organization benefits from sharing information via cost effective Web and intranet sites, but the power to publish has often been restricted to a few technical gurus.

"Contribute empowers individuals to edit and publish, while giving organizations the control they need to manage their publishing process."

The company revealed it already has 200,000 Contribute users, including teachers, students, government employees, project managers, sales and marketing professionals, administrative assistants, intranet administrators, and small business owners.

"So much organizational information remains hidden on desktops and networked servers because non-technical users don't have the time to learn complicated Web-publishing tools in addition to their full-time jobs," said Joshua Duhl, research director, content technologies, IDC.

"There is a desperate need for no-learning-curve, complementary solutions that tear down technical and institutional walls, and make Web publishing available to everyone."

New features include increased performance, support for editing a wider range of sites, integrated image editing, Microsoft Office integration, and automatic electronic-document publishing in PDF and Flash file formats.

For Web designers and developers, Contribute 3 adds WebDAV support and incorporates the engine for Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) rendering from Dreamweaver MX 2004. A new external editing feature enables technical review and editing of Web-page source code in an external HTML editor before publishing.

Contribute 3 is expected to ship for Windows and OS X in English worldwide in August. Pricing is $79 for upgrades, $149 for new users, and $699 for a Contribute six-pack. UK pricing has been requested.