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Xyle scope - A tool to 'look behind' web pages Pick of the Week
Xyle scope icon The macosxhints Rating:
8 of 10
[Score: 8 out of 10]
Xyle scope is one of those applications that's tough to categorize, but immediately useful if you match its target audience. For Xyle scope, that audience is anyone involved in building or maintaining web sites, or even those just curious about how sites are put together. Probably the best description comes directly from their site:
Xylescope has been designed and developed for looking underneath the surface of web pages as you surf the web ... Using Xylescope you can look forward to analysing complex CSS designs with incredible ease and experimenting with third-party sites, without having to download them onto your own computer first.
Using a resizable multi-paned window, you can view all of: any given web site (using WebKit, I believe), a hierarchical view of the CSS/HTML tags used on that page, the source code (in a number of different styles -- or add your own CSS for displaying the source), and the page's style sheet. Xyle scope's browser works in a "normal" mode, or (the really useful bit) in block mode. In block mode, you click on an element in a page, and the remainder of Xyle scope's panels change to show the relevant CSS and HTML. Want to see what a change will do? Just go ahead and make the change in the CSS area and hit return; you'll see it reflected in the browser pane immediately.

To get the most out of Xyle scope, a big monitor is a definite plus -- displaying a full-width browser window plus the associated info panes takes a lot of horizontal pixels. And since Xyle scope is doing a lot of analysis and formatting when you load a page, it can be somewhat slow. But it's the first tool of it's type that I can recall seeing. You can do similar things, of course, by downloading an entire site to your hard drive and then opening it in GoLive or DreamWeaver. But Xyle scope works with the pages as they exist on the server. I've only been using it for a few days, but I've already decided to send in my registration fee -- it's saved me some time on changes on my blog site, and I'm using it to increase my CSS knowledge by studying the CSS behind things I find interesting.
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Xyle scope - A tool to 'look behind' web pages | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Or, use FF + Web Developer toolbar
Authored by: danielmark on May 23, '05 08:02:25PM

Make sure you install the Developer tools when you install Firefox, and you've already got the third piece of the puzzle, the DOM inspector. The Web Developer toolbar is an absolute necessity for me, I'd go insane without it.

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Or, use FF + Web Developer toolbar
Authored by: rockman2023 on May 24, '05 01:08:38AM

I agree. Although I use Safari on a regular basis at home, I use Firefox with the Web Developer toolbar at work 100% of the time; it's the only way I write CSS before placing it in on a webpage.

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Or, use FF + Web Developer toolbar
Authored by: Jon Hicks on May 24, '05 03:52:13AM

I find Xyle Scope much faster to drill down the DOM tree than FF's Dom Inspector. It works like the Finders' column view, and its so fast to find the element you want to analyse.

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Xyle scope - A tool to 'look behind' web pages
Authored by: gateone on Dec 23, '05 09:21:22AM

Xyle Scope cannot be recommended enough for any serious xHTML/CSS web designer. I have been using FF and Web Developer Extension (and I am still using it). This pair is great, but Xyle Scope goes way beyond it. If you are a programmer/designer up to designing web sites purely styled by CSS and especially in combination of using CSS techniques with the brilliant Drupal (, or any other CMS that is up to xHTML and CSS, you're gonna love the easiness of finding problems in a cascade, when style rules are outruled by a higher level rule.


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Xyle scope - A tool to 'look behind' web pages
Authored by: agentbullvi on Feb 11, '10 08:43:47AM

I'm struggling to find what Xyle offers that Firebug does not? Firebug's ability to view, network trace, and javascript debug any webpage seems to be all i've ever needed.

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Xyle scope - A tool to 'look behind' web pages
Authored by: jackhart on Feb 13, '10 06:59:03PM

Where I can download the software Xyle scope?

Edited on Feb 13, '10 06:59:45PM by jackhart

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Xyle scope - A tool to 'look behind' web pages
Authored by: robg on Feb 14, '10 09:57:28PM

Click the Product Page link above.


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