Adobe Updates Muse and Edge Animate

Posted by at 9:25 am on August 21, 2012

Adobe has announced updates to two of its lesser-known programs, both of which are aimed at web designers. Adobe Muse, its HTML5-based WYSIWYG website creation program, now features built-in support for contact forms among other changes. Meanwhile, the web animation program Edge has been changed to Edge Animate and updated to Preview 7.

Adobe Muse lets users create websites without writing code. The app integrates both HTML5 standards as well as Adobe Typekit, which offers access to more than 400 web fonts. Users can create, preview and publish sites from within the application, and it offers website analytics tools as well.

The new support for built-in contact forms lets users add and configure contact forms in website designs, avoiding having to embed HTML code from third-party form providers. The program now also features tighter integration with Adobe’s own Business Catalyst site hosting platform.

In addition to including contact forms, the new version of Muse also adds the ability to link to downloadable files of any type, Japanese language support and performance improvements with HTML5/CSS3 output as well as new auto-generated site maps for search engine optimization. The program gains an Align Palette, font improvements, FTP uploading, Adobe Edge support and many other minor improvements.

The new features are automatically updated in Muse, which is available to Adobe Creative Cloud members for no extra charge as well as existing Muse subscribers. The program is available for $25 per month on a month-to-month subscription or $15 per month under an annual subscription. A trial version is also available.

Adobe Labs’ Edge Animate has reached Preview 7, changing its name from simply Edge as well as making many new features and improvements available. The program now offers resizable layouts for different screen sizes, new creativity tools, improvements to Stage, Timeline, Keyframe and general usability improvements, an updated code editor and better handling of screen-reader-friendly HTML tags.

Among the creativity tools now included are a new ellipse tool, box and text shadowing and more robust text editing. Stage now offers rulers, guides and resizing and positioning controls, while Timeline now lets users adjust snapping, FPS-like time-based increments and turn on a visible grid for better alignment. The resizable layouts offer users the ability to let compositions adapt to different screen sizes, such as for tablets and smartphones, with percent-based layouts.

Preview 7 adds grouping, more keyboard shortcuts and a redesigned properties panel, with many overall improvements focused on making keyframes easier and faster to work with , e.g. keyframes can now be manipulated independent of transitions. The Code Editor now offers a new-look code tree, updates to symbols and error prompts. The new version also now features asset management directly from Finder or Explorer, custom CSS classes can be defined on elements, and a handful of keyboard shortcuts have been added.

The program is free to try out while in preview, and can be downloaded from the Adobe Labs website.

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