Espresso 1.0 review

An espresso is small and strong, so the marketing guys at MacRabbit got the name for their new code cruncher spot on. Espresso 1.0 is a compact text editor with HTML and CSS in mind. From the folks who brought you the well reviewed CSSEdit, Espresso gives you simple code editing tools in a single window.

You’ll find some useful features in this streamlined application. Line numbering is there, of course, but so is Code Folding, which lets you hide or show sections of script – great when you’re working your way through long documents. Autocompletion helps you add and edit tags quickly and there’s built-in spell checking too. And, as web design is a largely visual job, there’s a preview mode using Web Kit that shows your page in progress.

In addition to the tools in the main pane, you can see the semantic structure of the current document in a Navigator panel, selecting tags to go to them or copy them by drag and drop. Sections of handy code can be saved in the Snippets panel. Over on the left of the screen you’ll find an Organiser, listing open Workspace documents, Project files and your published documents.

Yes, we said published documents. Espresso may be light on design tools, but there’s built in FTP support, with Amazon S3 among the options.

For a version 1.0 tool, Espresso is remarkably complete – though we found the lack of HTML element insertion features a major omission. You have to manually add links to images and URLs – or drag from a web browser or the Finder. There’s no colour picker either – a handy feature to have when you’re coding styles. However, Espresso has an extension system called Sugar, which means that some of these features may be available later as bolt-ons.

OUR VERDICT

Overall, Espresso’s a lightweight coding app, ideal for editing code quickly – but not suited to building sites from the ground up.

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