SuperPreview with Microsoft Expression Web 3

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 4/19/2009, in Category Expression Web
Views: 18800
Abstract: Previewing your web pages in different browsers, different platforms and different resolutions is important to web development since you need to know that your web site performs well to reach out your varied audience.
SuperPreview with Microsoft Expression Web 3
 
I remember waiting for 2 hours for an online tool to debug my web page in multiple browsers in different resolutions. If not that then debug those pages on virtual or multiple machines and wait till they rendered my pages. But finally my prayers are answered and Microsoft has introduced a feature called SuperPreview which would be integrated with Microsoft Expression Web 3.
Why is it important to check my web page in multiple browsers?
 
Besides IE and Firefox, today we have got multiplatform versions of Safari, Opera, Chrome, Navigator and such others. In addition there are multiple versions of these browsers which also have different resolutions to render. So a developer has to create a web site that is compatible in all such major browsers including different versions. Although it is practically very difficult to cover all, he must aim at few leading browsers and most used resolutions by his viewers. This is a painful job. Microsoft Expression Web 3 would bring relief to the developers in form of SuperPreview. Let us take a sneak peek at this feature.
What is SuperPreview?
 
What were the initial issues faced by developers to preview their pages in multiple browsers? We’ll go through them:
1.    Most browsers cannot have multiple versions of a browser installed on the same OS. You can have virtual machines for the same.
2.    Some browsers render well only on their respective platforms. For instance, IE renders on Windows and Safari renders on Mac, but Safari doesn’t render well on Windows.
So SuperPreview has been built to ease the process of debugging any layout issues across different browsers and platforms. SuperPreview is designed to integrate with Microsoft Expression Web 3 to test your pages right from their stage of being developed. It lets you preview your web pages in multiple browsers simultaneously. You can load up any number of different browsers into it. You can also choose to render browser preview horizontally one besides another or vertically one below another, or also overlay them to identify differences. Rulers and guides give you an additional advantage to measure and highlight any visual issues with your layout.
Why is SuperPreview better than other browser comparison tools?
 
Though we have been relying on these tools all this while, SuperPreview claims to solve following issues we faced with other tools:
1.    You need to provide them a public URL that means your web site needs to be published before you check it. This makes it difficult for developers to preview the pages that still underdeveloped. With SuperPreview you can preview your pages at any stage of your web site development.
2.    They then render the pages in the specified browsers on a set of remote servers and then send you the results. Therefore the output is slow. Since you are launching SuperPreview on your local machine the result is faster.
3.    Other browser rendering tools give you the images of the different browser renderings leaving you to only visually compare the output. SuperPreview gives you a detailed element information and DOM data, showing you the differences across browsers.
NOTE: SuperPreview will be available as a part of Expression Web 3; the date is yet to be announced. A demo version is available as SuperPreview for Internet Explorer. This free download will let you compare your site rendering of IE 6 with any higher version of IE you have installed on your local machine.
I hope this article was helpful and that SuperPreview makes your web development process easier and comfy.
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This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Author
Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Foodatarian.com. Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke


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Feedback - Leave us some adulation, criticism and everything in between!
Comment posted by Demiurg on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:53 PM
There is a new web browser screenshot application (www.browserseal.com) that you may find useful which is not limited to IE. It currently supports FF, IE and Safari. It is still in beta, so more features and new browsers will be added in the new future.

Fully functional free beta version is available for download from www.browserseal.com
Comment posted by Nicholas Llewellyn on Thursday, June 10, 2010 5:47 AM
I have found this a useful tool as far as viewing a static page, but if the content is Ajax and hidden behind a default login screen then you don't have the browser functionality required to access the content you wish to view.

Looks like I'm going back to a VPC.

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