This newsletter issue was sent out to 30,899 newsletter subscribers on June 8th 2010.
Every other week our editorial team works on short, entertaining and (of course) relevant articles for the upcoming issue. The newsletter is sent out on Tuesdays, and contains unique tips and tricks for designers and Web developers, written by us exclusively for our email subscribers. You can subscribe to the e-mail newsletter1, of course.
When you need to modify a picture but don’t have your favorite software on hand, online editors can be very useful. The all-in-one image processor MugTug’s Darkroom is special because it was created for photographers. So, it contains only basic but essential image processing-oriented functions. You are able to adjust levels, white balance, exposure, contrast and saturation and apply a few photographic effects. In addition, Darkroom allows to upload pictures from Picasa and Flickr.
In case you need a more elaborate tool, don’t forget about other solutions such as Pixlr8 and Sumo Paint9. They are the most popular online image editors for a reason: by recreating a lot of Photoshop features, their interfaces offer quite a wide range of options. Even though they can’t replace dedicated software, these alternatives are worth knowing about… just in case. (jb)
2. CSS3 Button Maker
With the new possibilties offered by CSS3, such as gradients and rounded corners, we are needing graphics editors for fewer and fewer things. Why spend an hour creating a series of buttons in Photoshop when you can just specify them in the CSS files? The only problem is that styling buttons directly in CSS can still be time-consuming, especially if you don’t do it on a regular basis. Obviously, CSS3 code doesn’t work in IE yet, but in some situations making the page looks exactly the same in IE as it does in modern browsers may not be necessary.
Button Maker11 from CSS-Tricks lets you use sliders and simple color selection tools to create CSS buttons with a live preview function. You can choose from many options: top gradient color, bottom gradient color, top border color, hover background color, text color, hover text color, active background color and font (although the only options for font are Georgia, Helvetica and Lucida Grande). There are sliders to control button size, text size and the roundness of corners, too. Then just click the button to grab the CSS. (cc)
3. AltFontPrev: View the Font Stack of Any Website
Web typography can be one of the most restrictive parts of designing a website. Solutions out there expand our options beyond the standard Web-safe fonts, but they all have drawbacks or major flaws. Complicated font stacks are often an option, but it can be a pain to test websites with big font stacks to make sure the text appears adequate if the primary fonts are unavailable. Sure, you could use a plug-in like Firebug to comment out or delete fonts one by one in a font stack, but depending on how the website is set up, that can be time-consuming and a pain.
The Smashing Editorial prepares bi-weekly newsletter issues with lots of love and appreciation for the good ol' web with the latest tips and tricks for designers and web developers. Vitaly Friedman, Smashing Magazine's editor-in-chief, started this project back in early 2010. Today, we can't imagine a better way of informing and communicating with our fans and readers!