People are loyal to their HTML editors – well, we are at least. Coda has been our tool of choice for quite some time, with its brilliant CSS support and easy to navigate interface.

So it was in the spirit of gentle enquiry, rather than change, that we tried PageSpinner. Our first impressions? This is a useful tool, but it’s in need of more than just a simple point upgrade.

There are useful features here – such as the built-in colour-coding and formatting to make code easier to read and edit; there are FTP tools and live previews driven by Safari. There’s also an option to see colours and formatting in pages reflected right there in your code.

More impressive are its range of advanced features that make coding across sites easier – such as support for ‘Includes’, which enable you to add snippets of code easily. You select the feature from the main menu and use a dialog box to select the code. The tool also integrates with Apache, your Mac’s built-in web server, allowing for live previews of server side code and Includes.

But PageSpinner 5 has its share of problems, too. The program – though recently updated and trailed as Snow Leopard-ready – feels old, and not just in terms of its interface. A Welcome setup screen invites you to pick a browser, for example, and suggests Netscape as its first choice – Firefox and Safari aren’t even mentioned. The interface itself is clunky and has icons that are crying out for a thorough overhaul.

OUR VERDICT

This is a pity, because PageSpinner is clearly a powerful tool – but it’s not freeware, even though at times it feels like it. It’s a commercial application, and you have to expect a little more from a program you’ve shelled out hard cash for, even if the amount you’ve paid wasn’t extortionate.