Author Topic: New version of Xara Web Designer released!  (Read 7157 times)

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New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« on: April 02, 2010, 07:32:04 PM »
Ok.  My original review of this product was good but reserved.  Though I really enjoy working with other Xara products, and despite the FUN factor of using this software, I did not recommend version 5 of XWD.  Certain key elements, important for website builders were missing.

Version 6 is out and deserves a completely new review! 
All the complaints I had about the previous version of the software are supposedly fixed and a ton of NEW options have been added.  Read the What's New page for XWD 6:  xara.com/us/products/webdesigner/whatsnew
(built-in in menus, full featured publishing options, will upload files like CSB does, WIGITS (like the old Trellix WEBGEMS) and you name it...

Cost is good, options are excellent.  Responsive forum.... After I play with it a while I will give a formal in-depth review.  I expect that it will quickly become a favorite!!!

 :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 09:52:57 AM by Samrc »
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 03:47:49 AM »
Sami, thanks for the tip-off. I checked the new features and have already purchased XWD6. They seem to have listened to the feedback and from what I can see without trying it out yet, they have addressed most of the key issues.

I see XWD6 now as a truly modern version of CSB, and many long-term CSB users should find XWD6 a delight to use.

(BTW, I am still in China, but found a proxy server located in Australia, so now I can get Samisite, as well as being able to download and watch Aussie TV shows!  :) )

Rick
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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 09:14:25 AM »
Excellent Rick.

I have SO much to learn about it. I get so lost (you have actively used it while I have only dabbled).
It has the FUN factor (work becomes play).
It has simplicity factor (once you know HOW  ;)).
It has QUICKNESS on it's side.

Yes, other than the lack of TABLES, I think this new version is quite nice.
At this point, I THINK it is my only remaining grumble about the program. 
In CSB, I use tables 2 ways:
- designing. Tables hold images and text in usuable, stable blocks that remain the same from browser to browser for CSB built pages.  XWD6 can do this without tables, which is also the preferred way to design.  :TUP:
- data lists. Tables are the best way to display data. I NEED tables for this. Might be necessary to use something else to create tables then use the feature to include code on the page. Or copy/paste from Word, etc...will be testing this extensively to come up with the best solution.

Glad you found a way to connect. Tony and I missed you.
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 06:08:19 PM »
Does it use style sheets? Are templates easily manipulated to "make your own and are there lot's of them? Does it have a flash design option? Does it have a map option?

Hi Sami.. long time no see. :-)

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010, 06:43:16 AM »
FRED!! :hapscream: :hapscream: :hapscream:

Lotsa questions.  

Before I answer them let me tell you that I think that Xara Web Designer would be a great fit for you, for the kinds of sites you build and your creativity.
The image layering that you like to do OUTSIDE of CSB, you would be able to do DIRECTLY INSIDE this program! You can blend, shade, rotate, etc with the original images, and the program will export optimized images if you set that option!
The program is FAST and smooth. You can move things OFF the web page to the side onto the worktable to use later. YOU of all people, would go NUTS with the flexibility that it gives.

1. Does it use style sheets? YES

2. Are templates easily manipulated to "make your own"
You can do ANYTHING you want to them.
Easy?  Once you get the knack of it.  
You use Paint Shop Pro or other graphic software that uses layers which allows you to group pieces and move things forward and backward so you already understand some of the basic concepts of the Xara family of products (XX, XXP. XWD).

Each template comes with it's own flavor (curved, straight, etc). You can quickly change colors and leave the template as is, changing the title to what you need or remove/replace elements to fit your needs.  

3. And are there lot's of them?  I will let you decide if this list qualifies as a lot  :D
"...31 themed designs with 10 or more layouts each. The pages can be used individually, but each theme also includes a ready-built, ready-linked 8 page website. Web Designer also includes a wide variety of other individual graphic templates such as NavBars, individual buttons, icons, headings, speech bubbles, photo objects/galleries and text panels."
    Alpha - 15 layouts
     Beta - 13 layouts
     Broker - 12 layouts
     Butterfly - 12 layouts
     Ecostyle - 13 layouts
     Ex-associate 2 - 12 layouts
     Finance - 12 layouts
     Fire Storm - 11 layouts
     Fusion - 13 layouts
     Gear - 13 layouts
     Graphic Device - 10 layouts
     Holiday - 12 layouts
     Icon - 11 layouts
     Infrastructure - 12 layouts
     Innovate - 12 layouts
     Interface - 12 layouts
     Legal - 12 layouts
     Lightbox - 11 layouts
     Monotone - 12 layouts
     Music - 12 layouts
     Omega - 13 layouts
     Orbit - 12 layouts
     Photographer - 12 layouts
     Portfolio - 12 layouts
     Reflections - 12 layouts
     Serenity - 10 layouts
     Social Networker - 12 layouts
     Trader - 13 layouts
     Viewfinder - 13 layouts
     Writer - 12 layouts

You can see them here:  http://www.xara.com/us/products/webdesigner/templates/
You can click a link on that page to SEE them as published websites.

4. Does it have a flash design option? YES. Even the first version of the program had it. Take a look at my original flash sample tutorial made in XWD last year based on their default template
http://www.samisite.com/xwd/xwd_animation_sample.htm

5. Does it have a map option? NO, BUT like PSP layers, you can see each individual page listed on the right side, scroll up and down quickly to find the page you need.

Like CSB, it has a 30 free trial, full functions.
Lots of videos for training, nice forum.





-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 07:57:43 AM »
My deal is my sites have lot's of pages. 70 or 80 pages isn't unusual and I have some 300-400 pages. And that's without a store, forum or image gallery. I'm about to embark on one that is going to be 1200 or so pages. That being said, I'm looking for something that can handle the project without having to resort to subdomains to handle the upload and page layout. I find Dreamweaver to be cumbersome, it's hard to track massive amounts of work, I find myself writing tedious code and linking images and writing hover text which gives me a dang headache - and the software will let you rock on with lot's of invalid xhtml which is a giant pain in the you know what to go back and fix everything.

How's the kitty's cat lady? I've had a terrible year with pets and close friends and family.

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2010, 11:12:28 AM »
XWD is not designed for sites that big unless broken into many subdirectory files.
Shame. You would LIKE the features.

Have you considered Expression Web?  When I tested the first version, I found it quite interesting. You might like it better than Dreamweaver. And it is professional grade software.
Got v3 upgrade on sale but will have to wait to install when I finally replace the pc I have now, and that's on hold for a while.

Quote
How's the kitty's cat lady? I've had a terrible year with pets and close friends and family.
Sorry to hear you have had a rough year.   :hug:

My family fine, what is left of it.  ;)
Have only one kitty now.  :'( Still cry over the big cranky one. Miss her spunk and spit.  She was a good buddy.
Personally, I am in flux, on the verge of a major crossroad.  Will be bumpy for a while (dunno how long) but expect the end result will be satisfactory, eventually....  :luck:
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 12:32:39 PM »
Sub directories are ok. It's subdomains that kill ranking and double up the workload.

Hope your crossroad works out. My whole life has been an 8 way intersection.  :)
I just go with the flow.

BTW, I'm no longer the lake pirate. I sold all that. I guess I need a new username? Part of the arrangement was I couldn't use the name anymore and this will come up on search engines. Could you switch me over to goodtogo? Or should I just create a new username?

Anyone still use CSB? I still use it to create html so I can cut and paste into dreamweaver or CMS sites.  :yes:
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 12:39:34 PM by Lake Pirate »

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 07:05:39 PM »
I will see what I can do with the database and let you know.
Prefer to just change name rather than new....
Are you using the same email addy?  send me an email or PM to confirm so I can tell you after I work with the database....

Can't believe you sold all that! WOW.
Lots of big changes for you. Hope good overall??
So if you are not doing that, what ARE you doing these days?

I have had several very important crossroads in my life that have taken me down drastically different paths.
The last one worked out very well.
Like I said...will be rough for a while but with Work, Hope, Prayers and Fingers Crossed  :luck: I expect it will work out well!

Anyone read the book "WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?"
It is a tiny little fable about 2 mice. LOVED IT. Changed my life forever. Taught me I had more control than I ever realized. Quit my job right after reading it. My boss had given it to me and regretted it immediately! 17 years with the company and done.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 09:20:35 PM by Samrc »
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 07:31:39 PM »
Never read that. The life altering book for me was The Alchemist.

PM sent

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 09:12:03 PM »
Ok.  Changes made to member table! You are member #10 by the way.  :yes:  Email sent.

You can change your custom title and/or avatar any time you want.  If you have a preferance for something other than pirate these days, let me know and I will add it to the forum.
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2010, 12:36:39 AM »
FRED!!! I just saw this series of posts! Welcome back! Long time no see!

cheers

Rick
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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2010, 01:33:21 PM »
Pulling my hair out.   :banghead:

Working on a simple website in Xara Web Designer 6 (XWD6). Should be fast and easy.
BUT.... I miss a feature in my Xara Xtreme Pro 5 (XXP5).

Both have Layer gallery.
BUT...in XWD5 and XWD6, the individual objects on the gallery are NOT listed.   :'(
In XXP5 you can see each individual line, rectangle, shape, text box, etc and it makes it SIMPLE to edit only the item you want!

I keep clicking and loading a color, but it lands on something else on the layer, not the specific object I intend.   :'(

There are rumors on the Xara Talkgraphics forum that this feature will be available in the Pro version...XXP6 but not added to XWD....

Back to editing....
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 09:56:07 AM »
http://www.xara.com/us/products/webdesigner/whatsnew/

Web Designer MX is the latest version 8 for this lovely program.   :TUP:
Need a CSB replacement, never heard of CSB and want a great web builder with tons of features?  Consider the Premium version for most abilities.

Here's a first look at the new features:   http://www.xaraxone.com/tutorials/xara-web-designer-mx-premium-first-look/
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2012, 05:59:13 PM »
Hi Sami, I just updated to the new MX Premium. I have not had the chance to try it yet, but the new features look very useful. From tentative beginnings, this is becoming a very good product.

Rick
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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2012, 10:15:24 PM »
I agree!   :TUP: The product is really becoming hard to beat.  Can't wait till the designer pro gets the update.  Usually follows a couple months later with one or two extras.  Nice new features!  Just wish they would give us basic tables. There are times that a table is needed to display data.

Xara's web designer mx premium is easily my favorite csb replacement.
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2012, 10:05:14 PM »
And if you want a complete PHOTO software and WEB software in one, Designer Pro X (version 8 ) has just been released.
The Designer Pro program does everything that the Web Designer MX Premium does and more. It is my main design program for web, photos, anything.  Make great business cards, posters, you name it!
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2013, 03:45:15 PM »
WEB DESIGNER PREMIUM 9 is out.

From Xara the introduction email:

Introducing Xara Web Designer 9 Premium
There's a brand new version of Xara Web Designer Premium and it's available right now as an upgrade from your Web Designer at an introductory offer price!

Xara Web Designer 9 Premium is packed with new content (including 20 new web themes!) and features including:
•   Integrated support for 600+ Google Fonts
•   Retinaฎ screen compatibility
•   New web page background options & background collection
•   Auto object positioning & page resizing feature extended with smart page pull
•   MAGIX Online World ‘M’ hosting (2GB web space + top level domain) free for 12 months
•   64 bit Windows version
•   Easy drag & drop NavBar replacement
•   Improved HTML5 / CSS3 compatibility for faster page loading
•   A quick new method of re-coloring complex objects & page backgrounds
•   Easy integration of Google Analytics
•   20 new general web themes (see previews) + 1 free business specific theme (see previews)
•   New Widgets for tables, Google+, Google AdSense & photo sliders (see previews)

The upgrade price depends on which version you currently have.  If you have last year's MX version, upgrade is inexpensive!  $30USD for some really nice additional features.  Full program is $99USD for first time buyers.   

This Xara Web Design Premium easily remains my favorite CSB replacement.
(Expression Web and Site Spinner Pro are still very good alternatives)

In a few months, Xara will add these new features to the Designer Pro software.  I will wait until then and upgrade the bigger program. Usually Designer Pro gets all that they add to Web Designer plus a few extras. Looking forward to trying out the tables widget!!!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 03:51:19 PM by Samrc »
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2013, 01:21:20 AM »
I am not doing anywhere near as much website work these days, so I am wondering if it is worth the cost. On the other hand, I do like to keep my more important software up to date.

What do you think, Sami?

Rick
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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2013, 02:08:44 PM »
If you have the last version of the premium version of Web Designer, the upgrade to this version is cheap. $29USD.  The temptation for me is:
- Retina Display
- the recoloring option for complex graphics like nav bars
- ability to publish without LOCAL preview (finally) would save me time.
- there is now a table widget, though I can not find many details about it. I saw on talkgraphics forum where someone posted a table and the columns size could not be adjusted so this widget option may not be fully cooked.

The cost for Xara upgrades is getting steeper but not bad for WDP.  $29USD is 33% cost of program for Web Designer Premium upgrade.  And since it takes 3 years to "rebuy" the program, the update cost is decent. And each year you get new tools.  Web Designer Premium is a great package. But upgrading comes down to how important the new tools are and how much are you willing to pay to get them.

I stopped updating my copy of Web Designer version and only consider the Designer Pro upgrades which usually follow the Web Designer updates by a couple months and offer same new features PLUS a couple items. This is keeping the Designer Pro a stronger program (slightly).  Will wait to see if the update contains anything I REALLY want. I will be rebuilding aWebWench.com and might want the most up-to-date version when I do it...depending on options and cost.  The PDF/Illustrator compatibility was always a must for me but don't know that I need that going forward. But prefer to keep the XDP as my primary design software at this point.  Note: I am still on Adobe CS4 and see no reason to upgrade that any time soon!

But Designer Pro upgrade last time was 50% cost of program.  Too high, but at least it is a discount! Many software companies have discontinued the "upgrade" price completely and force you to buy NEW each time. And Xara ramps the upgrade price, depending on which version you are upgrading, last version is cheaper than 2-3 versions back. 

The version of Designer Pro I have now has always been quirky, but that might actually be my laptop. It has some intermittent "issues" with graphics. Videos/Youtube will sometimes just have no sound, crashes of photo software. Reboot and working again...
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2013, 09:12:34 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts, Sami. I think I will go ahead with the upgrade.

Rick
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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2013, 04:16:52 PM »
One of the things that I liked about CSB is that I can change text font, size and color within a sentence. Too many of the web builder programs on the market ask for a text box and the text can not be changed within  that box. Does XWD have that restriction or is it open like CSB? I also have many lists on my site which contain technical information, directories, etc. so I really do need Tables. Your thoughts please?

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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2013, 11:29:58 PM »
Xara Web Designer Premium and Xara Designer Pro both can use text boxes.
HOWEVER...
You can modify text within that text box or use individual sections of text as you deem appropriate. Bold, change font color, italicize just a little bit of text within the box or avoid text boxes completely if you prefer. YOU have control over the text in this program, even more so than CSB.  There are nice benefits of using text boxes.  You can make text flow around drawings, images, etc..  Styles/text boxes also make it easiest to change font of sections in seconds and keep text consistent from page to page. But if you prefer to not use text boxes , then don't. 

As to your lists, I would need to see how you are showing the current info, how much there is, etc.  How about a link to your site? 

There is a new table widget but I don't know how practical it would be for you. Might be best to build the tables in something else and paste into the program.  Or build the information into the site in a different way.  Need to see what you offer to suggest.
Even without a table builder in the program, if the information is fairly static, you can build a simple chart/table in Xara with lines.  I did that on this page.

Xara offers 30 day free trials with FULL FUNCTIONALITY. Allows you to play with the program, use all features, even publish your site with no limitations during that 30 days.  You can publish to a subdirectory of your current site so your existing site is not interrupted. 
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
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Re: New version of Xara Web Designer released!
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2013, 01:10:04 PM »
Xara Table widget is now included in the latest version of Xara Web Designer Premium (version 9) and Xara Designer Pro X9 (version 9).  It was mentioned when the web designer program was released but is not listed or promoted with XDP X9.  So that made me very curious.

I played with the widget and am quite pleased with the simplicity and ease.
I see this has some real-world use and is really needed to make these programs whole.  :TUP:

>> Take a look at 3 simple samples of the Xara Table Widget.
1) widget out of the box
2) widget with less rows causes a second page and set to match page format
3) widget has more rows, longer table.

Simply keep your numbers in Excel file and export to CSV to load to this table.
Editing would be a matter of either changing the CSV list in Xara's widget, or replacing the data with a fresh CSV from Excel. Either way, easy to edit.

The resulting table is sortable (ascending/descending in each column), is interactive (shows highlighted lines when moused over).  This is perfect for basic lists of people, places, phone numbers, scores, etc. 

But it is a widget so there are some limitations. 
Biggest is no formatting of columns. They are always left justified.  (Of course you CAN edit the resulting HTML code if you want to change left to right or middle, but you would have to do that same HTML edit every time you edit the page in Xara and republish).
Like most static tables, totals would need to be included on the last line of the CSV since there are no formulas in this table.

You can put a picture into the table. But you must be willing to upload your pictures separately to the web. I used FTP to upload a pic to my website then got the address for it and put it in my chart in sample 3. 
 - Upload pic to web with FTP or into photobucket, flicker, etc.
 - Get address for pic
 - Put the code shown below into the CSV list with YOUR image address.
Code: [Select]
John, <IMG SRC="h**p://www.yourwebsiteHERE.com/image.jpg">, 4notes about the sample code:
   john,   defines the first column
   <>,     defines the second column
   4         defines the third column
   http changed to h**p in this example and you would need to change it back to use code in your chart.

 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 01:33:56 PM by Samrc »
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )