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Tools of the Trade

If you use a visual editor to create web pages, several tools and plug-ins can simplify conformance with access guidelines:

  • SSB Insight LE and GoLive

    This free SSB Insight LE plug-in for Adobe GoLive automatically identifies many (but not all) accessibility violations.

  • http://www.adobe.com/products/golive/ssb.html

  • UseableNet LIFT and Dreamweaver

    Mentioned earlier in this chapter, UsableNet's $249 LIFT for Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 offers numerous features in addition to assisting with conformance. LIFT automatically identifies many (though not all) accessibility violations. There are also standalone versions of LIFT, and two recent versions incorporate the usability guidelines recommended by the Nielsen Norman Group.

    http://www.usablenet.com/lift_dw/lift_dw.html

  • Dreamweaver MX

    Many of LIFT's capabilities have been incorporated in Dreamweaver MX, including a built-in 508 validation checker, a 508 Reference Guide, and tools for adding accessibility features to images, tables, and frames. Remember: No tool catches all problems or offers a fail-safe substitute for your judgment and experience. Like a hammer and nails, tools only help those who know how to use them. Like eggs, milk, and flour… okay, never mind, you get the picture.

  • Microsoft FrontPage Gets LIFT

    UsableNet announced on July 9, 2002 that it had integrated its LIFT product into Microsoft FrontPage, the widely distributed authoring tool: http://www.usablenet.com/frontend/onenews.go?news_id=45

    LIFT won't stop FrontPage from generating proprietary, nonstandard markup, but as in Dreamweaver MX, the inclusion of LIFT will enable FrontPage users to check for access problems and guide them toward including accessibility features in images, tables, frames, and so on.


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