[Contest] Button Shop [Forum Exclusive]

Overview

In case you are a web or software developer there always comes a moment when you need to put some buttons over the frontend you are working on. Although in most cases there are standard buttons available for the environment you are using, there often comes a need to use something better so that you can make your work look fascinating and unique. That is where Button Shop comes.

Installation

Installing the application is pretty straightforward process. As in every self-respecting installer there is a possibility to select the destination directory and a possibility to start the application right after installation is complete. Finishing the installation pops a browser window offering optional newsletter subscription.

Interface

Button Shop interface is well-arranged and has four main sections – the menu bar, the project window, the preview window and the library window.

The menu bar takes advantage of the modern ribbon interface that offers four main tabs. The first tab is for the main properties of the button like text (caption) and its font and style, shape and size, color and texture. Using the color properties it’s easy to create buttons with gradient overlay in the desired direction or you can simply use an external texture as overlay. Another thing you can do is use your own image for a button making it of any shape and size.

The second tab offers additional effects like gloss, button icon, light, mirror, glow, stroke. Obviously the icon feature offers great possibilities for customizing the button giving it more personality and explanation. The mirror effect easily ads a pale reflection under the button – another cool feature that could be quiet useful when you have to create some kind of a shiny or reflecting interface.

Next is the Background tab. There you can add a background that can be made of selected colors or from an external texture.

In the middle of the main window is the button preview area offering a normal and a preview tabs. Interestingly there is a functionality to automatically add “Mouse Over”, “Mouse Down” and “Disabled” variations for the button you are working on sparing you some time again.

Although Button Shop gives infinite possibilities to model your buttons it also offers a rich library of premade button templates divided in groups that can be additionally modified according to your needs. A nice set of icons and textures is also included.

After finishing the design you can export your work in all the formats that you may need – BMP, JPEG, PNG, GIF, GIF animation, ICON, EMF, TIFF, TIFF animation, WMF.

Here are a few simple great looking buttons made in seconds using Button Shop:

After finishing a button creating a relevant HTML code to use it in a webpage is also very easy with Button Shop. Simply put the images that have to be used then set the target link and it’s done.

Button Shop even includes a Menu Maker that fast and easily creates for you a button with a pop-up menu with the desired items and their corresponding links and saves it as an HTML file with its CSS that without any effort can be used in a webpage.

Using the Options window you can define the default saving parameters for the final images like JPEG quality, number of frames in animation, filename suffixes. There is also a set of predefined interface color themes to choose from.

Conclusion

Button Shop offers a lot of options when it comes to button design and its interface is very intuitive and user-friendly. Of course there are a lot of free image editors that also can be used when it comes to design, but if you are a developer or a web designer trying to spare some time and you want to give your work a great and unique look and feel then Button Shop could be the right choice for you. The business license seems a bit pricey but you can try the demo version for free.

Reviewed by Phobic

 

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