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Mars Report:

SEEdit: A Pro’s XHTML Editor

Published February 19th, 2007

SEEdit XHTML Editor Covers CSS and Javascript Functions As Well As Website Management

SEEdit XHTML SoftwareOriginally downloaded 4/9/06. Having grown disillusioned with Dreamweaver over the last few years, I haven’t used it in a long while. But I’m also not pleased with using BBEdit “Bare Bones,” either. This looks like a nice upgrade from BBEdit’s built-in HTML/CSS tools and may be just what I’m looking for. It also has link-checking and Javascript coding tools that BBEdit doesn’t have, but it works as a BBEdit plug-in or on its own. At only $30, it’s way more affordable than Dreamweaver and may be a real bargain.

Update 10/14/06. SEEdit is now updated to version 5.0 and redubbed “SEEdit Maxi”.

Update 2/20/07. In a pique of naming confusion, the latest SEEdit Maxi is now referred to SEEdit Maxi 2007 and has no numerical version number. In testing the latest version tonight, I’ve finally concluded that SEEdit Maxi’s not the one for me. Even though the newest release is a dramatic improvement in user interface, as well as adding several very useful new features, over the version released just last October, it still has enough annoying traits and missing parts to keep me away.

Annoying trait #1 is its tendency towards window proliferation. SEEdit Maxi, like BBEdit before it, seems to think that the more windows you can open for the user, the better. I disagree. In my mind, the best Mac OS X applications are marvels of ingenuity that tuck discrete features in drawers or sliding compartments, or various other nooks and crannies that a modern Mac app is capable of. Part of the reason SEEdit doesn’t take advantage of these is that it’s a Carbon application, using the Mac’s older application framework rather than the new one Steve Jobs brought over from NeXT, called Cocoa. Since SEEdit doesn’t have a Windows counterpart, I can’t imagine why the developers aren’t rewriting this app in Cocoa…

Annoying trait #2 is that SEEdit doesn’t have a visual table editor. That’s one of the main things I really need to do visually, and I can’t in SEEdit.

Bottom line is that SEEdit is a great value if you’re not bothered by some of the things that bother me. At only $29, it does a huge amount… right up there with Dreamweaver, without the WYSIWYG editing capability. For a few other notes on SEEdit, see my short list of pros and cons below.



  • Latest version is much improved (2007).
  • Live preview works well, but doesn’t automatically refresh when you make a change.
  • The CSS editor looks very good.
  • Excellent site management tools.
  • Provides a useful example site to help orient beginners.
  • Can do color syntax highlighting for PHP documents.
  • Has support for Javascript coding.
  • A lot of windows open up on launch, which can be confusing if there’s no “main” window that also appears.
  • SEEdit is a Carbon app, so things like being able to customize the toolbar are missing.
  • Doesn’t use tabs, so all documents get stored in separate windows. This can lead to window chaos pretty quickly.
  • Has no visual table editor.
  • Doesn’t support live preview for PHP files.

If you’d like to see some screenshots of SEEdit, the developer provides a slew of them here.

One final note: SEEdit is still available in a freeware version, which is quite similar to the shareware one but lacks a variety of features that are explained on the downloads page. SEEdit “mini” is only available for private or educational use.

Version as tested: 2007 r4.

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