Terry Morse Myrmidon 2.0

Terry Morse Myrmidon 2.0
Company: Terry Morse Software
Estimated Price: $59.95

Myrmidon Picture

Terry Morse Myrmidon, by Terry Morse Software is
a product that I had never really explored. But I had heard about it and what it claimed to do, so I was fairly excited when I received my review copy. You can “Turn any Mac file into a Web page with one click,” as Terry Morse Software says, but that resulting Web page may turn out differently then you expected.

An Application? Nope!
Yep, that’s right. To my surprise, Myrmidon was not an application. In fact, it is a simple Chooser extension that is utilized by using the “Print” command in any application. You select the Myrmidon extension in the Chooser, and then use the “Print” command just like you would if you were going to print a document.

After selecting “Print,” you are then presented with a dialog box to choose your conversions. Here you can set preferences for the conversion. Then you click on the “publish” button and the new HTML document is saved on your desktop and your default Web browser is launched.

Quirky Conversion
Myrmidon’s conversion is very simple and straightforward, but does not always convert the document the way you would expect. All bold, italics, indents, paragraph spacing, hyperlinks, and other formatting are all converted into HTML with ease; it’s when the document contains graphics that you run into problems. If you have text wrapped around a graphic, Myrmidon takes that whole block of text and the graphic and makes it one big graphic, making a much larger GIF file then you actually need. I tried to convert the email page from issue #34 of My Mac, and instead of singling out the graphics from the text, it decided instead to make the whole page one big graphic!

Fortunately, Myrmidon is highly customizable. It is only when you tweak the preferences to your desire that you can get what you want, and even then it’s still a gamble. You can specify all sorts of options, from how much space you want between paragraphs to whether or not you want your images anti-aliased.

Unfortunately, like most WYSIWYG editors/converters, Myrmidon creates gobs of excessive HTML. For example, I took a WordPerfect document with a few graphics and then did it in HTML by hand, as I am accustomed to doing. I also took that same document and used Myrmidon to convert it. My file ended up to be 4Kb when uploaded, while the Myrmidon file was over 6Kb. Now, while this isn’t an overwhelming difference, it could add up when more and larger documents are converted.

Frequent readers of my reviews know how much I like a well-written, comprehensive users manual, and that is exactly what Myrmidon has. Myrmidon has a HTML-based users manual that is very easy to navigate through, with images provided for almost everything covered. And this is definitely needed if you want to adjust those preferences!

You need to have System 7.1 or greater to use Terry Morse Myrmidon. It is compatible with all Macintosh computers, except the Macintosh Plus, SE, Classic and the PowerBook 100. Myrmidon is fully PowerPC native for improved performance on Power Macs.

The Summary
Myrmidon did meet my expectations, but its weak points do show. If you have lots of patience and time to read the users manual and adust the settings to your preference, Myrmidon can convert documents with acceptable results. But if you are impatient and like to use programs straight out of the box without reading or adjusting anything, you will probably be disappointed.

I do recommend Terry Morse Myrmidon, but only if you absolutely do not want to learn HTML, and simply want to make a quick Web page. My Web publishing experience notwithstanding, it is simply easier to use a real HTML editor to convert your documents. Remember, as with any of the WYSIWYG-type editor/converters, you can never be really sure that what you see is what you’ll get.

Adam Karneboge (webmaster@mymac.com)

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