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FlexiMenuJS

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FlexiMenuJS Screen Shot

FlexiMenuJS Screen Shot

Screen shot by J Kyrnin

The Bottom Line

FlexiMenuJS is a great extension for those designers who don't want or need to learn how to build JavaScript menus. It takes the complicated parts of the menu scripting away and leaves you with just the task of building as complex or simple a menu as your site requires.

DHTML menus and JavaScript menus can be very compliated, and the programs that are created to build them can be very complicated as well. But FlexiMenuJS makes it a lot easier.

Pros

  • Easy to install and use as a Dreamweaver extension
  • Create vertical, horizontal, tab, and drop-down menus quickly
  • Integrate the menus into a dynamically driven (database) website
  • InBrowser editing to edit in your browswer and then test in another tab
  • Multiple menus per page, unlimited levels, 15 skins with several colors per skin

Cons

  • Doesn't seem to support CSS styling
  • Difficult to integrate into an existing style/site

Description

  • Create vertical, horizontal, drop-down, tabbed and animated JavaScript menus from within Dreamweaver.
  • Supports server-side languages and databases in the developer version.
  • Save and manage menu pre-sets to create similar menus in different locations.
  • Lots of in context help to explain what the different features are as you use them.
  • InBrowser editing allows you to edit the menus in your browser and not need to tab between programs.
  • Multiple menus can be inserted on one page, and every menu can have unlimited sub-menus and items.
  • When you make a change to your menu, you can then update it on every page on your site at once.
  • 15 skins with multiple colors for each as well as lots of different transition effects.
  • Menus can be text, text plus icon, image, or even your own custom HTML.
  • Put effects on each menu, including onclick and onmouseover effects for each item. And much more...

Guide Review - FlexiMenuJS

FlexiMenuJS is a complex Dreamweaver extension that allows you to build complicated hierarchical menus on your Web pages using JavaScript - with no scripting knowledge required. It is very easy to install, you just use the Dreamweaver extension manager and then choose to insert a FlexiMenuJS menu. Once you've got a menu you can then edit it, add levels, change the skin, and put it on every page of your site.

FlexiMenuJS uses JavaScript to define the look of your menu, and standard HTML (list tags) for the menu HTML. You can create horizontal and vertical menus as well as add in transitions, tabs, and drop-down menus. I couldn't find a limit on how many sub-menus you could make, which means you can create menus that are as complex or simple as you need. One of the features I like is that you can set a default look to the menus and then over-ride that look for one section (or more) if you want. This makes it easy to set up a menu where the most important menu is in a different color or has a different open state from the rest. You can also insert multiple menus on one page without a conflict.

FlexiMenuJS requires that you have Dreamweaver CS3 or CS4, but the menus it creates work in Firefox, IE (6 and up), Opera, Chrome, Safari, and more. The only problem I had with FlexiMenusJS was that I found it difficult to modify the skins with CSS to make the menus look like the rest of my site. But there are several different skins available in many different color schemes, so there is sure to be a combination that will work on your site.

FlexiMenuJS comes in two versions: Designer and Developer. The primary difference between the two is that the developer adds functionality to connect your menus to a server-side language (PHP, ASP, or ColdFusion) and database (MS SQL, Oracle, or MySQL). If your site is database driven, then you will want the Developer version to create dynamic menus from your database. But more static site designers can get enough functionality from the Designer version to suit anyone. There is a free trial so you can try before you buy.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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