Stone Design Create 12 review

A page layout program that tries to do the web too

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Our Verdict

Create tries to be all things to all users, but it's bad at just about everything

For

  • Page layout and drawing capabilities

    Simple interface

    Offers some source code options

Against

  • HTML produced is awful

    No options for interactive content

    Can't import HTML

Stone Create has been around for years - it's been available since the days of NeXTStep. Unsurprisingly after all that time, it's up to version 12, yet it still has the feel of a version 1.0 program.

Create is essentially a page layout and drawing program, designed to compete with the likes of QuarkXPress. It has all the usual tools you'd expect of a print layout program, but it also has the option of exporting layouts as web pages, making it look at least a little attractive to designers who'd like to do both.

Exporting web pages is relatively simple. You simply put together your page in Create, then save it as a web page. Create will export both web pages and web graphics to a folder of your choosing.

You have some options for tweaking the code, with Create offering Web Options for things like head tags, code that should be appended at various points, and preferences for the navigation bars and tables of contents that Create will add to pages if you produce more than one. You can also add hyperlinks to your documents using the somewhat clunking Web Resources palette.

Good idea on paper

Compared to the capabilities of InDesign and XPress, Create is anaemic as a page layout program. It lacks many standard capabilities, making it a cut-price alternative at best. As a web page creation program, it's even worse.

More often than not, your entire layout will get exported as a single image. Despite claiming in its initial HTML declaration to be producing "HTML 4.01 Transitional" content, output is stylesheet-free, span- and fonttag happy and table-layout bound, making it HTML 3.2 at best. It also can't import HTML, meaning that you'll be starting your layout from scratch.

Create sounds like a great idea on paper, but in practice, it really isn't. Rob Buckley