Anybody new to Sparkle from PC world?

Well, there’s some great people on this board. Thank You all.
I guess I’m a bit overwhelmed. I’ve got two learning curves going on.
From PC to Mac and I’ll get there. I made that decision based upon design and photography and glad I did. Sparkle is a great program, but I think I’m thinking too much.
I look at some of the great work on the ‘show us’ thread and can’t imagine how I’m going to get there. I guess it starts with an image, a box, and a nav bar; then I get stuck and weigh asking a dumb question on the board or memorizing the documentation.
I open Sparkle everyday and try to learn something new.
Duncan runs a polite board, with a ton of patience for newbies.
Anybody at where I’m at presently?

@Woodrow, You’ll get there - time is on your side! :slight_smile:

A website is made from basic elements which Sparkle uses well. So a good idea is actually sketch out your site design layout on paper to give you a visual of what you want to create and then use that as your guide. You can even label on your sketch (knowing the basic elements you have in Sparkle) “this is an image”, “this is a widebox”, etc…

A guide is not to overuse colour unless that is the aim, and stick to 1 or 2 font styles and define your font and colour styles before you start your project.

Overall this will get you engaged into the “design process” with Sparkle being the extension! :slight_smile:


Hello @Woodrow

As @greenskin said: You’ll get there …

I know that feeling, when software can be overwhelming in the beginning, when everything is new and we have to figure out how it works. I’ve had that feeling with all kinds of software that I had to learn or wanted to learn. And sometimes my head was spinning. :woozy_face: I remember my learning curve with Photoshop, and then many years later, I switched to Affinity and I had to learn again …

We have probably all experienced similar situations. :slightly_smiling_face:

And you transitioned from PC to Mac, so that’s another “jump” you made, but good that you’re happy with your decision.

The bright side is: Sparkle is easy to learn. :+1:

You said: “I open Sparkle everyday and try to learn something new.”

I think, that’s the best you can do. Keep experimenting.
That’s what I do as well … because I believe in the end it’s “learning by doing” for all of us.

Anyway … great tip from @greenskin to sketch out the site design on a piece of paper!
Start in the real world and then transfer it to the virtual canvas in Sparkle.

And you can always ask questions on this board. :+1:
There are no dumb questions. The only dumb question is the one that is not asked. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Strange you mention Affinity. I had my PS layers down, then Switched to Affinity. Completely lost. Lol.
Thanks for the response appreciate it. Presently I’ve got 2 sites working with PC and 2 sites with Sparkle.
With SPCAs at the moment it’s cat and kitten season. Lots of changes.

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I have mentioned this in a previous post of mine and I think it’s overlooked, especially when purchasing your Sparkle copy from the App Store, on the Sparkle website there are awesome templates that will give you an idea of what can be done with Sparkle. The best would be to download one that you like and take note of the elements ands effects used to create that site ( so a bit of reverse engineering if you will). That is the best place to start as someone who is new to Sparkle. And all you need to do is download the Sparkle file for the site you like, you can then open it in Sparkle and see how it was all made.

Being someone who was a new Sparkle user not too long ago I found this to be pretty useful.

I hope this helps.


Hello Woodrow,

I made the switch to Mac at the end of 2009 so I’m a normal average user now. Very comfortable with it and I’d never go back. Feel free to run anything fast me that puzzles you. Everyone says “Macs are easy” and “They just work”.
It’s not quite true. They do things differently and that is definitely NOT easy. Once you get the hang of the Mac way of doing things, then it becomes easy. I was lucky enough to have a personal friend who sat with me and showed me things. There’s no substitute for that, but if I can help remotely I will.

Regarding websites, I’m a complete amateur. I started a few simple pages using a program called Claris Home Page many years ago. I changed to Microsoft Front Page after a good few years. Then, a few years ago I discovered Sandbox, but it stopped working so in desperation I searched about and found Sparkle.

It has taken some learning and what I do is very basic, but again, if I can help I will.

That original site is still my website. It had pages that date back pretty much to the beginning. Many more that were page with MS Front Page. The current look is mostly Sandvox. But the Coaching section is 100% Sparkle. Please note that it has dozens of typos and other errors, including formatting and all sorts. I’ve got waylaid into making it into a book. When that’s done I’ll go back to tweaking the web pages.

The great thing about Sparkle is that you can have different layouts for different devices. Google has become hot on this and marks your site down if it doesn’t cater for at least desktop and mobile phone layouts. At present, the coaching section only had these two, but I learned a lot trying to make five different layouts simultaneously.

Oh, and all the advice is to design your site and then create it. Needless to say, I was creating the site from scratch, even writing the text and making pages and sections as I went along.

The main site is (that look is Sandvox)
The coaching section (which is linked from the home page) is here: (this is entirely Sparkle).

Good luck and keep going.

Best wishes,

Brian Smith
Stamford, UK

PS. to see the two different layouts, point to the right hand edge of the website window and drag it left to narrow it. If you do it to my home page you can make it as narrow as it will go and the layout doesn’t change. If you do it on any of the coaching pages, you’ll see the layout change when the screen gets narrow. This is the mobile phone view. Clever eh


Moving from PC to MAC in 2012 was the best thing I ever did! On PC, I used the excellent Serif WebPlus and lamented the lack of a similar tool on the Mac, using Freeway, until switching to Sparkle.

Incidentally, one of features of Safari you may find useful is the Responsive Design Mode, which is effectively an emulator for various devices. To access this you may need to enable the Develop menu. To do this select Safari, Preferences, Advanced and then check “Show Develop Menu in toolbar”.

When viewing a site in Responsive Design Mode you may see a yellow warning triangle (circled). This does not mean there is anything wrong with your page it simply indicates you need to refresh the page.

To change from a portrait to landscape, and vice versa, just click on the selected device.

Chrome has a similar feature located under View, Developer, Developer Tools.



Great tip Steve. Thanks so much. So many great people on this board. Very, very friendly.

Brian. So great to meet you. I’m a retired broadcaster of 49 years, and now I’m in learning mode.
Over time I used most Adobe products on PC. InDesign, Fireworks, Flash, Dreamweaver. I then settled on Xara.
I picked up a PowerBook and found the screen very small, and picked up a high end monitor. I’m in transition. I use a PC and Mac then switch modes back and forth for the websites I design. I work with a number of non profit SPCAs and their websites. At the moment I’m duplicating
I’m learning Sparkle and Affinity Designer. Our summers are short, so most of the learning will be this winter.
I’m overwhelmed by the kind people on the Sparkle board! Sometimes I can’t believe it. People like you and many others.
I usually take my own pictures and a new camera is coming soon. I’ve an extensive background in film and now digital photography. Developed my own film etc and now digital. Usually I’m working with low grade iPhone images of different animals.
I’m getting more familiar with the IOS UI. I’m of course missing many shortcuts and getting used to navigating the finder. My wife often smiles when she hears me say “okay I saved that, now where did it go?”
I think I’ll have to buy a Mac keyboard. My MS keyboard often does not translate to the shortcuts on a Mac.
I’ve learned that I’m a designer, not a coder. I respect coders a great deal, but at this stage of 66 trips around the sun, age has told me I’m a designer first.
Again many thanks for the kind offer. I’ll be in touch.
-Bill Wood

Thanks Steve,
I had no idea that Safari had that feature It’s brilliant.
I can see it being very useful in future.

Thanks for your message, Bill,

It’s great to meet you too.

Given your experience with Adobe products, you’re way ahead of me on almost all counts, so I think my contribution to your learning will probably be infinitesimal. However, if I spot something that I can contribute, I will.

When I switched to Mac, I bought Parallels and ran Windows XP as a virtual machine. There were so many things that were far quicker for me to do on a PC because I knew the software and the whole way of working in Windows. I didn’t have a separate PC, so virtual machine on my Mac was the answer. Incidentally, I still use Parallels, now running Windows 10, partly to keep tabs on the Windows world. Parallels isn’t as fast as an actual PC but it’s pretty impressive and allows me to see what PC folk are working with. I don’t envy them.

By the way, I looked at your NorthEast SPCA site and I like it. And the cats are so beautiful!

I actually bought Affinity Photo and Publisher. Then, in lockdown, they had a half price on Designer so I completed the set. In fairness, I only use Photo but I have the other two to learn during the 300 years of life that I need to fit everything in! (Actually, at 74, I’m acutely conscious of the fact that I don’t have enough life left to do a fraction of the things I want to!) You sound as if you’ve had a most interesting and creative life. Good for you.

I would definitely recommend getting a Mac keyboard. I haven’t actually tried using a PC keyboard with my Mac, but an Apple one has always behaved perfectly for me.

Like you, I’m a designer. Also like you, I admire coders and I’ve dabbled, but I need to see the look and feel of the end product. One reaches an age where one accepts certain unalienable facts about oneself.

Stick with the Mac. It does things differently but once you get the hang of it, you’ll prefer them. I found it to be a nicer OS all round.

With very best wishes,


Stable as heck.
The common thread of volunteers in retirement is …
“ you’ve got nothing to do, you’ve got all the time in the world!”
We’ll be in touch Brian. Thx.