Macromedia has announced Macromedia Contribute, a desktop application that allows simple Web-site editing for non-professionals.

The company will release a Mac OS X version of the application in 2003.

Contribute, which costs £69, lets users update, add to, and publish content to Web sites with no technical skills other than word processing, Macromedia claims. Administrators can set up privileges for this to limit what individuals can and can't do.

Workload Macromedia believes the product will alleviate the burden on Internet professionals of having to make every requested change to a site themselves, with those requests often coming from many people.

"This allows people to contribute changes themselves, so if you're a business professional, you can actually put content onto the Web site," said Kevin Lynch, chief software architect at Macromedia. "It's just like using a word processor."

Contribute works with any HTML Web site, such as those coded with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX or Microsoft FrontPage.

To update a site, users browse the Web page they wish to change, edit the page, and publish their updated page to the live site. Contribute is integrated with Microsoft Word and Excel to enable the drag-&-dropping of files from those applications.

Users can email draft pages for review before publishing, and pages can be updated offline and published afterward.

An update for Dreamweaver MX will soon be released to enable the administration of Contribute from within Dreamweaver.