has added three additions to its Freeway family of Web-authoring products: Freeway Pro, Freeway Express, and the FAST Pack technology.
Freeway Pro is targeted to, as the name tells you, professional users. With a suggested retail price of US$249, the application writes the code automatically so that users don’t have to be HTML experts, according to Softpress Managing Director Richard Logan. You can drag and drop a variety of content types directly on your Web page. You can use native Adobe Illustrator 10, Photoshop 7, GIF, JPEG, QuickTime, MPEG, and SWF (Flash) file formats. MP3s from iTunes can also be dropped into your Freeway page. To re-create an existing Web site, you can drag the elements directly from your browser into Freeway.
Freeway Pro provides access to all of the active fonts on your Mac. You can set headlines and create graphics, using type of any size or color, and adjust leading, letterspacing, range kerning, baseline shift, and more, according to Softpress. When you’ve got the design you want, Freeway Pro will convert the text to a GIF or composite it with other elements of your design.
All graphical text remains editable. You can spell-check it, use find-and-replace to update it, or change the font, color and size site-wide using Freeway’s automatic Style Sheets.
Images in Freeway Pro can overlap, even if they’re of different image types. When published, you can decide whether to combine them into a single merged graphic, or to automatically slice each part into a separate graphic — allowing for different compression settings and image types in each slice. You can even composite a transparent PNG over an animated GIF, and the resulting GIF will still move. When you decide to move things around or scale images larger or smaller, your graphics are all re-optimized for Web display.
Freeway 3.x can upgrade to Freeway Pro 3.5 for US$63. The pro version comes with one FAST Pack.
Freeway Express, at $79, is targeted to the consumer market with a simplified interface and dozens of built-in Web site templates. It offers the same WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach to Web design as Freeway Pro. Each time you change your design, Freeway Express completely re-writes the HTML code and re-compresses all the graphics. Freeway Express will be available as a download only from the Softpress Web site.
FAST (Freeway Advanced Site Tools) Packs let you manipulate photos, generate artwork, create drop-down menus and automatic site maps, and more, all from within any version of Freeway. Each FAST Pack offers a different set of tools.
Softpress has introduced two FAST Packs with more to follow. FAST Graphics lets you make adjustments to graphics or create new versions of original art. FAST Navigation automates the creation of drop-down menus. They’re available at $63 each or $95 for both.