My Sparkle Wishlist

Background: I haven’t written a website for years as I used the excellent ‘FreeWay’ from Softpress. This app died with Apple going to 64 bit apps, so any of the following suggestions must be seen in the light of using that app and the inevitable ‘one likes what one is used to…’

However, this is my ‘Sparkle Wishlist”

  1. An area other side of the main page where one can drag and drop items for later use. Duncan says they are considering this for a future update.
  2. A “Save As” function so I could save previous attempts at my webpages in case of wishing to revert. Duncan has explained that this is a (lack of) function of MacOS other than Sparkle.
  3. An easier way to place a border around text boxes (and images) with shadow functions etc AND the ability to have individual background colours for different boxes on the same page.
  4. I would prefer “on click” to have an additional menu item…’add new pageI’ rather than having to go to the submenus at the toolbar. Duncan says he may consider this.

No doubt I’ll think of more…



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I like these. I used to know the Freeway team and met them several times. With regard to number 2, go to Mac OS settings, then scroll to ‘Desktop and Dock’ (I’m in Sonoma), then scroll to the ‘Windows’ section and turn on ‘Ask to keep changes when closing documents’. This will allow you to ‘save as’ in all applications. Hope that helps a little!

Thanks for that; appreciated…

Suggest that before you do more work on a project, you duplicate the Sparkle file in the Finder and rename it with a date or version.

Then, open the original to begin today’s work.

If all is well at the end of the day, you can delete that copy you made. (Or wait for client approval for that sexy new background you cooked up:)

This has saved my bacon more than once!


Thanks; good idea.

…But wouldn’t it be easier to do this within Sparkle?

Not a BigDeal though.


Hi @Bonky, as you will see from my user name I’m also ex-Freeway, welcome to Sparkle!

To anyone reading this who is not aware of the quirks of Apple “Save as…” is there, just go to the File menu and hold the option key and lo and behold Save as appears. To be fair to Duncan and Daniele this is an Apple thing and nothing to do with Sparkle.

At least in Sparkle you have multiple undo, Freeway had just one, so this is why Freeway users made liberal use of Save As…! Your very best friend here is Time Machine!

Initially, coming from Freeway I found some things missing (this was back in the days of, iirc, Sparkle 2). However, I could do nearly all that was needed and doing it the Sparkle way always resulted in a better designed website.

I, in common with many Sparkle users, have a template page, which is not published, with commonly used items, styles, etc, which I can use for copying items to an active page. This saves a lot of time, especially if you have defined your template widgets and styles at all breakpoints because their attributes at different breakpoints copy across with cut and paste.

wrt point 3, I’m not sure what the problem is with different background colours for boxes on the same page - it works for me!

Hi FreeWayFugitive!

Thanks for the full response.

I should have added to my list another thing I miss:
(5) The ability to design a ‘master page’ with fonts, sizes, colours, a navigation bar etc. I think there is a way around it - but can’t see it yet.

I CAN put borders (with shadows) around boxes - but not text boxes (unless I put the text box within a ‘hard’ box. (Freeway, if I recall, didn’t like this). In other words I would like the ability to have borders around a text box directly from the menu on the RH side.

The Americanised spellings are a minor irritation -esp when it’s active in the spelling checker. Merriam-Webster has a lot to answer for!

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Yes! Now we are talking @Bonky! :slight_smile:
A place where we have global control over the website’s colours, fonts, light/dark mode, etc… would be an ultimate fantastic addition to Sparkle! :slight_smile: :man_dancing: :rocket:

For SEO purposes I would love to be able to title my active text links and buttons. This will also keep the website-readers happier for the blind and partially blind.

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You do have the ability to design a “master page” in Sparkle! I use it all the time. The trick is to have items (like the menu and footer) that are shown on all pages. The “master page” itself is not published. See the following for an example:

The greyish blocks are my spacers for use between various other page elements. So that I can remember what my styles are I use these as example in the H1 and H2 headings!

In this way you can create a “master page” for the whole site, or if you use sections “master pages” for each section, too.

Text is not really a box but an html <p /p> tag, which does not have a border attribute, so Sparkle is honouring HTML standards. Text can be wrapped around other objects so a border makes no sense.

However, if you want to emphasise text then lay it over box and apply the border to the box. The group object function is your friend here (and the layers panel). Later versions of Freeway had no problem having layered boxes and neither does Sparkle.

Do check out some of the Sparkle supplied templates, Spring is an example of using text, etc. in blocks.

(if you do not see the templates when opening a new document then go to Sparkle, Preferences, and check the Show Template Picker…)

Sparkle does things differently to Freeway and it does take a little getting used to (about a week for me). I now happen to think that Sparkle does things better than Freeway ever did!

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Thanks very much; very useful. I’ll try it today!