I also love the little Digital Color Meter built into OSX for getting hex codes for colours anywhere on screen. What's your normal tools? Anything surprising?
We mock up in PowerPoint (because it's ugly and fast), design templates in Photoshop, code in Metapad / Notepad++ / Dreamweaver (sparingly, when we need the preview). And send with Campaign Monitor ;).
Generally Fireworks and Dreamweaver - I wouldnt have the foggiest where to start with tables otherwise and like to see what I'm doing while I'm on with it. I love the digital colour meter too - indespensible. Otherwise I use Textmate.
Photoshop for imagery and expression web to produce the email,
How do you find Expression Web Dan? I haven't heard much about it so far.
I use Illustrator to design, and either Textwrangler or Pagespinner to do the markup. In firefox, I couldn't survive without the CSS Viewer and Web Developer Toolkit extensions.
Firebug in Firefox
Xray in Safari
And not mentioned yet, PixelStick! A handy tool for the mac that lets you measure screen dimensions without cracking open a graphics editor. Useful for troubleshooting and other things.
Virtual PC for testing layouts in IE6 & 7
Apologies for the delay in responding,
I'm extremely new to using web design software & also to email marketing (& relatively new to photoshop!), so I simply design using a basic table layout, and after getting used to some slight peculiarities in Expression Web, I have to say it's pretty user-friendly. In a very short space of time I was able to knock-up a monthly newsletter for our company, http://computersinpersonnel.cmail1.com/e/232294/l/, (i'm afraid those are our company colours) - replacing a very ugly ms publisher effort we previously used. All in all, not bad - however, I think it's undoubtably easier to find assistance/examples and help on dreamweaver etc. Expression Web help & interesting examples are relatively hard to come by, however I'm sure this'll gradually improve.
I'm a Mac user in my real life, and I use Photoshop for design, BBEdit for coding. BBEdit is awesome for the hand-coder.
At my day job, I'm on a Windows machine using Photoshop (which is actually easier to use on a PC than on a Mac... weird) and good ol' Homesite for coding.
Also, thanks, damienbuckley for the post about the Digital Color Meter. I had no idea that I even had that utility, but you can bet I'll be using it from now on!
Being a PC user, I do my images in Photoshop, and code in text editors (Notepad/EditPad/occationally Evrsoft First Page 2006).
I also like using Color Schemer Studio when making new templates.
We use Photoshop to design the layout, we then email it to the client for approval as a jpg. After preparing the artwork (cropping images ect) We use Dreamweaver to create the html layout referring back to the Photoshop draft for table/cell dimensions and hex values.
A lot of our work is for retail (apparel & accessories) so it tends to be image heavy. We do not send out a single image! We try to convert all Photoshop text into html text when possible. If there is a large image section anywhere in the design we use Image Ready to slice it into smaller chunks and compress it. IM allows you to save out your large image section as an html table (Save optimized as html & images) then you can paste your table straight into your Dreamweaver layout. You can also create simple animated gifs in IM if you are inclined.
I love the website http://www.colourlovers.com for finding new color palettes...
OMG! Mathew, I use Firebug and just checked out X-Ray. I love it. I'll be using this a lot! I use Photoshop for layout comps & approval and then slice and dice it in Image Ready. I also do a lot of retail work, which is very image-driven. I'm currently coding in Dreamweaver, but am slowly moving over to Textmate.
Great to hear JC, sounds like you're moving in the right direction!
Thanks for the tips about Firebug and X-Ray I was just checking out their websites and they look like great tools. I am going to have a play with them next week!