Being a design-led agency, we’re always looking for nicer ways of doing things. Our intrepid designers who heroically wrangle with code to produce our fantastic websites have long-since wrestled with the over complexity and quirkyness of Dreamweaver but adopting a new piece of software is always a daunting prospect. However, after another Creative Suite licence manager crash, we took the grand leap into the unknown and downloaded the much-lauded Coda 2.

What a revelation, the software is intuitive, beautiful looking and refreshingly simple. After all, what more does a web designer need than a file browser, code editor with selector hinting and a robust inline preview pane?

From the outset, we are presented with an option to import our Transmit FTP favourites – bonus – no long-winded process of re-entering all the site data. All this usefulness is presented in an icon-based overview that automatically pulls in snapshot thumbnails of the site in question based on a URL.

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When you enter each site, you can edit content side-by-side and even set up the golden recipe of simultaneous editing of HTML and CSS alongside a preview pane that updates with each character you type. Magic.

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We’ve fallen in love with this piece of software so much, we are even using it for our Liferay 6.1 Template (.tpl) and Liferay 6.1 Theme development. With its fabulous code colouring, block collapsing and colour picking, it makes writing in any language a breeze, using our build software only to package the relevant .war files.

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Don’t get us wrong, there are a few annoyances (or features we are yet to find) such as being able to select a piece of copy in the preview window and it be highlighted in the code view but these can be overlooked, especially seeing as though that little warm feeling inside has yet to subside.

You can download Coda 2 here. If you are a Mac-based web designer, then we would highly recommend it. We recommend downloading it directly from the Mac App store to get built-in iCloud integration for site syncing.