Online Design II: Inspiration Log 2-22

Tired of paying a monthly subscription fee to access Adobe Dreamweaver CC? This post looks into Microsoft’s Expression Web 4.0, a decent alternative to Adobe’s Dreamweaver. In 2012, Microsoft decided to make Expression Web 4.0 free for use. The software is available for download directly off of Microsoft’s website. However, technical support is not offered to users of the free version of Expression Web 4.0. A few reasons are outlined as to why Expression Web 4.0 offers a respectable alternative to Adobe Dreamweaver CC.

For one, Expression Web’s overall user interface and work space resembles that of Dreamweaver’s. Essentially, designers who feel comfortable using Dreamweaver will be able to easily transfer over to working on Expression Web’s interface. The UI layout appears to be quite similar. The code view and design view is available as well as the split screen view showing both. This is extremely similar to Dreamweaver’s layout and even employs similar placement of all the panels and tools available. Additionally, HTML5 capabilities are available through Expression Web 4.0’s software. Furthermore, Expression Web 4.0 contains “intellisense” for the complete HTML5 specification. You are equipped with Intellisense CSS3 draft and support for all CSS properties in the CSS Properties Palette. Panels including Apply Styles and Manage Styles enable Expression Web 4.0’s easy maneuverability throughout the complex world of modern CSS.

Lastly, Expression Web 4.0’s web graphics are up to par with current trends and standards. You are able to create graphics within the image editor of your choice and apply them to your documents within Expression Web. Custom work spaces are also supported much like Dreamweaver’s canvas space and layout of work spaces. You can also customize toolbars to better suite your specific needs and work ethic. This program is available for free download through Microsoft and provides a noteworthy alternative to Dreamweaver’s expensive platform. However, Expression Web 4.0 offers most of the same features, bells, and whistles. Expression Web 4.0 is most definitely something that budgeting designers should consider if the cost of Adobe’s CC is too high.


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