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Adobe launches web design tool aimed at graphic designers

Adobe Muse is the latest in a line of new web tools launched as public betas from the creative software giant, following the launch of other including Adobe Edge a forthnight ago. Adobe Muse is a brand-new application that the company claims allows graphic designers to design and publish professional-level HTML websites without writing code or working within restrictive templates.

Featuring support for hot current web technologues including HTML5 and CSS3, Adobe says Muse combines precise design and creative freedom with innovative frameworks for adding navigation, widgets and HTML to include advanced interactivity on a site.

A free beta of Adobe Muse can be downloaded from muse.adobe.com. It's built in Adobe AIR, so runs on both Mac and Windows as long as you have the free AIR client installed (and chances are you have). The Muse site also includes a gallery of Muse-created websites, and tutorials.

Adobe says that it will launch Muse in early 2012, at which point it will start charging for the software as a monthly subscription. If you sign up for a year, Adobe says it expects to charge US$15 (around £9.20) per month for Muse. If you want a rolling contract, it's $20 (£12.20). The name Muse may change, as Adobe stresses that this a codename for the tool -- likely because Adobe hasn't performed (or at least completed) completed legal checks over its rights to release a program with that name.

Adobe says that Muse offers sitemaps, master pages, and tools to make it fast and intuitive to plan the website layout. Designers can combine imagery, graphics, and text with controls similar to InDesign.

Muse provides drag and drop customizable widgets like navigation menus. Users can also add customizable interactive elements including slideshows, tooltips and remote rollovers.Muse can embed HTML code snippets from sources including Google Maps, YouTube and Facebook.Sites created in Muse can be hosted by Adobe for testing and review purposes. Adobe says that when complete, a site can be sent to clients, uploaded to the company's Business Catalyst hosting service or exported for FTP to other hosting providers.

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