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21st Aug 2013
New Approach to Web Design with Macaw

An Introduction to Macaw

Macaw is a powerful new free-standing application for web designers. It has an interface reminiscent of Photoshop for writing semantic CSS and HTML code. Macaw is an application for Mac, and is used in web browser page design as a web native code. It will run in HTML and CSS natively, offering excellence in export to clean CSS and HTML. Introduced as a “code-savvy web design tool”, it was created by Adam Christ and Tom Giannattasio, who had an idea to find a way for you to draw your code instead of write it.

It’s similarity to the Photoshop interface becomes obvious when you find that Macaw is as flexible to use as an image editor, while at the same time writing succinct CSS and HTML. It helps to simplify the difficult process of designing for varying device sizes. If you have been wishing for a design tool that really gives you more, Macaw may just be what you have been looking for.

Why Create Macaw?

The creators of this application have some big goals in mind for it, and an intention to make it relevant to improved design workflows. Its output is a well-defined code that is tidy, and it works with responsive breakpoints, rich typography and fluid canvases. It is able to morph from mock-ups to wireframes and offers reusable components. The development of Macaw was begun to eliminate insufficient tooling, and improve on existing tools which just do not satisfy modern design needs.

Does Macaw Succeed Where Others Fail?

Macaw is destined to be a success story. For many years, designers and developers have used the amazing array of tools which Photoshop has to offer, and that is all fine and well, as far as it goes. However, there are many limitations to designing with Photoshop, such as the ability to write code. Macaw solves those issues.

An Application Which Speaks the Language of Developers and Designers

Macaw’s designers felt that what was needed was an application which spoke the language of developers and designers, and they were right. What could be more convenient than being able to draw your code instead of writing it? The designer’s portion of a project and the developer’s portion are two entirely separate issues, which Macaw effectively addresses in one application.

Could this be the Front End Web Design Tool We’ve been Waiting For?

Macaw succeeds where others fail, because it is relevant to both the developer’s and the designer’s tasks. It streamlines the entire process on both sides, because a project can now include everything it needs, all drawn from the same place. Visual design of code which takes the place of writing code, a simple to use interface, interactive capability, drag and drop options and resizable canvasses make this an intuitive and innovative application which takes the place of any number of other tools combined. In addition, it greatly speeds up the entire process from start to finish. Currently, the creators have in mind to develop the same application for Windows.

Macaw is Built for Today’s Designer

Take for example the following Macaw advantages:

Fluid Canvas and Grid means that you can resize canvasses to your desired width and all of your elements and grids will update to those specifications.

Responsive Breakpoints can be added anywhere you like and then you are able to move your elements around anywhere on your canvas. Macaw handles static layout calculations and creates the needed media queries.

Rich Typography is offered in an extensive web font library and rich text editing. Macaw automatically gives you characters per line.

Best in Macaw

Speed is easily achieved with Macaw, by using its wireframing. The application allows prototyping and the production of mock-ups in one application. Alignment is faster and the intelligent engine helps you get the perfect code for your task. This is only a partial list of all the time saving features of Macaw.

Responsive Pattern means that Macaw auto generates a style guide to help with abstracting the details of grids, classes, typography, colors and shapes of your website design and makes them available across the board in your design.

Code Outlay is useable, neat and tidy, with a formula that is well-defined, instead of being like “soup.” Code is very tricky, and Macaw makes it much less so.


It is easy to see how advantageous Macaw was intended to be to both designers and developers of all skill levels. This may very well be just what is needed to offer a great number of options, simplify the design and development tasks, and help produce beautiful and unique web designs quickly and easily.


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I am willing to read this write-up. I must say that it’s time to expect more from a web design tool. Thanks for sharing wonderful info.


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