By Terry Currier
Note: I noticed a number of searches for clip art being led to this page since I mentioned the program gives a lot clip art. So I made up a page listing of clip art web sites. If that is what you came here for click here.
The hype of Namo is that you can create a web page with no experience. Well, I never have created one before and after reading what it could do I was interested in trying it. As it turns out it lives up to the hype. Namo is sold and supported at http://www.namo.com/ (they just took over from Jasc which did the marketing first). I went on a business trip to Detroit and thought I would first install Namo on my notebook to practice with it. The notebook has Windows ME which turned out to have a problem with the installation. The MFC42.DLL which is used by many programs for installation was blocking this installation. I had to rename the DLL as a BAK for it to finish. Turns out though even after the installation it will not come up with the MFC42.DLL. I have to leave it as a BAK or Namo will not come up. On my desktop system with Windows 98SE there were no problems. Note - I have since, updated my notebook to Windows XP and it has had no problems.
Namo can create some great looking pages including adding professional features. While I did start out with the WINNERS web pages, even if you donít know what to start with, Namo can help. It has over 200 customizable templates and themes. The layout is consistent while the theme is followed throughout with the background and buttons. Many of them are very well done. For a person just starting out I recommend looking at them for ideas. Using the theme makes it easy to start with, but I would have like a drag and drop capability for the buttons and bars. From the circuit theme I really liked the buttons that looked like computer chips. To get them I had to click on Insert, Site Element, Theme Objects, then select the element I wanted to be inserted. To get the button I had to bring up the theme and then export the button. After that I could bring it up under ďMy Resource.Ē As for images to use as buttons, background, banners, bars, or labels there are plenty to keep you busy just looking at them. Namo includes animated gif files for each of the aforementioned. They also include some cool animated flash buttons, and a lot (thousands) of clip art for you to use.
You have three modes to work in. Edit, HTML, and Preview. With the Edit mode you layout the page the way you want it to look like. It is of course What You See is What You Get. In the Edit mode you donít have to know HTML, you just work it like a desktop publisher. Use the Layout table to line up the graphics and text. You can also import a web page you have loaded from your web browser, or load up one youíve saved. In the HTML mode you can type code directly making up a page or modify it. Namo lets you do code validation, browser compatibility checks, and tag clean-up. With Preview you will see it just like you would on the Internet.
You can put in clipart, or import
pictures. There are great tools to work with the graphics. When inserting
images you can put them right in and resize directly if needed. From that
function you can also add a hypertext, or taking two images you can create a
rollover. If you have a large picture you can resize it, or use the Image
Slicer. The Slicer actually divides up the image so that rather than waiting
for one large picture to download, it does it in sections. That way you still
get to show the large image you want, without the long wait the viewer hates.
Right clicking on the image you can bring it into Image Effects. There you can
lighten or darken, rotate, crop, work contrast, resize, or change the
background color. You can also add a bevel, frame, or drop shadow.
If you have a number of pictures you want to publish on the web use the Photo Album feature. Its so easy youíll be amazed. Choose the pictures you want, if you want the picture names, or frames added. It then creates the album. You see it on the page in thumbnail format and clicking on a picture takes you to a blown up version, very cool.
Want more than just static images? Well you can insert movies in either QuickTime or Windows Media format, vector based Flash or ShockWave animations, and sounds in MIDI and RealAudio are supported. I did not try it but Namo will let you build a database driven web site. They have a Database Wizard to help you set it up. Choose dynamic document format (ASP, JSP, and PHP are supported) connecting to the database using ODBC, JDBC, or MySQL.
Their Site Manager helps you to keep control of various aspects of making a web site. Using it helps with designing (Site Wizard), file management, and publishing. The report part will let you sort the files by their types, and checks whether there are any broken links or orphan files. For publishing they include an FTP program.
Making up or adding a table is as easy as doing it in MS Word. Tell it the number of rolls and columns and it adds the table, or you can draw what you want. Namo will let you make or add frames to a web page - easy as clicking on a button, or like the table function you tell it how many and which way you want them to be.
Two other programs are included with Namo. Capture is a screen capture program. With Gif Animation you can create a Gif animation very easily. Just be sure to adjust the delay time between frames or they switch very fast.
The Script Wizard may be the most useful, from it you can do many things. You can create menus including Text, Navigation bars, or a Drop-down menu. Add special effects such as a fade in/out upon entering or leaving a web page. Have a marquee flow text from one side to another, or in a text box. Replace images with another creating a rollover, or apply animation to a paragraph or image causing it to move in a certain way when loaded. Create hyperlink buttons or animated banners. For utilities it can show the current time on your web site in a text box, or a Pop-up (which I will NOT do.)
Remembering that I donít claim to be an expert with lots of experience of creating web pages. Thatís the point of working with Namo, you donít have to be. It truly helps a beginner create great looking web pages. Iíll give it 4.5 points out of 5.
Price has been reduced from $139 download price to $99 (size is 133Mb) or $119 boxed from http://www.namo.com/ until December 31, 2002. If you want to try it out, you can download a 30 day trial version.
Winners is a member of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG) is an international, platform-independent, nonprofit corporation (incorporated in Washington, DC) devoted to helping user groups throughout the world. Almost 400 user groups are members of APCUG. http://www.apcug.net/