Welcome to Adobe BrowserLab
It was just a week ago when I blogged about Acrobat.com Presentations, an online service for creating presentations. And today, I am here to introduce a new online service named Adobe BrowserLab, which truly is a designer’s dream come true. At the various MAX 2008 events there was a lot of buzz about a project code named Meer Meer (article published last November), and here it is.
Adobe BrowserLab is an online hosted service that lets you test the pages of your web site across a variety of web browsers and operating systems. The service works by taking screen shots of your web pages in different browsers, and then displaying them in the BrowserLab application window. This is awesome, because this means that you don’t have to create the various set-ups locally to test your pages!
You can use BrowserLab as a standalone service, or integrated with Dreamweaver CS4. The standalone service lets you test pages that you've posted to a server within the context of a web browser. If you use BrowserLab as an integrated service with Dreamweaver, you can test your pages from within Dreamweaver without publishing your pages to a server.
Note: as I am writing this, Scott Fegette (Adobe Product Manager) wrote on his Twitter stream that "Wow- the response to BrowserLab has been incredible! We've reached our initial capacity limit already- amazing", and "Apologies if you didn't get into BrowserLab in this first round of the limited free preview- we'll be adding more folks soon, keep posted!" - Which basically means that if you cannot access the service now, be patient, as we are adding resources.
BrowserLab creates previews for the following browsers:
- Firefox 2.0 - Windows XP
- Firefox 3.0 - Windows XP
- Internet Explorer 6.0 - Windows XP
- Internet Explorer 7.0 - Windows XP
- Safari 3.0 - Macintosh OS X
- Firefox 2.0 - Macintosh OS X
- Firefox 3.0 - Macintosh OS X
BrowserLab lets you compare how your pages look in various browsers or operating systems.
You can even choose to see your page rendered in various browsers side by side, or onion skin (which overlaps both previews, and helps see differences faster).
If you want to use BrowserLab from within Dreamweaver, you'll need the following:
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS4
- Adobe Extension Manager 2.1
- 2 MXP files specific to BrowserLab
- Install Dreamweaver CS4
- Download and install Extension Manager 2.0 if your copy of Dreamweaver does not have Extension Manager installed. You can download Extension Manager 2.0 from the Adobe Exchange
- If you already have Extension Manager 2.0, or if you've just completed installing it, install the Extension Manager CS4 2.1 Patch from the Adobe Exchange.
- Download and install the 2 BrowserLab MXP extension files here.
The Adobe BrowserLab extension for Dreamweaver CS4 lets you preview local web content from within Dreamweaver, without requiring you to post it to a publicly-accessible server first. The extension gives you the option of previewing files from your local Dreamweaver site, or from a remote or testing server.
More about BrowserLab right here: Adobe BrowserLab Help.