With an uncommon blend of word processing, design, and navigation tools, Trellix is a valuable utility for creating all types of hypertext documents. Still, Version 1.0 was hindered by having few layout options and only rudimentary text import tools.
Trellix 2.0 overcomes the first-version jitters, concentrates on producing intranet content, and is much easier for inexperienced users to operate. For example, Trellix 2.0 faithfully converts Microsoft Word documents and lets you drag and drop OLE objects into pre-made framed layouts. In addition, the software produces finished HTML that webmasters can easily integrate with other sites.
The Jump Start option eliminates miscues, especially if you're new to Trellix. This wizard started by explaining the components of a document, then led me through 13 short steps that resulted in a functional article. Moreover, the enhanced Word converter worked well in turning long documents into linked HTML pages.
(The Trellix version to be included with Corel WordPerfect Office 2000, due in the second quarter of 1999, will also import WordPerfect documents.) Trellix 2.0 includes 10 new document designs, but you are not limited to these prefabricated looks. I used the Page Layout Editor (which operates much like Microsoft Office applications) to customise borders, background colours, and text formatting. Changing one page automatically updated all related pages in the document - and Trellix let me apply my new design to other documents.
Tables are yet another new layout aid. The software let me import a Microsoft Word table, paste in an Excel spreadsheet, or create a table from scratch.
Each Trellix document includes an innovative, customisable visual map to help users navigate the document. Version 2.0 makes it easier to organise and update the map and to import content into the document. I easily dragged and dropped Word documents, Excel files, and URLs right onto the map; Trellix then automatically created pages and linked to the external Web site.
Within documents, I used navigation buttons that Trellix placed and updated automatically to help readers move from page to page. Version 2.0 adds still more hyperlink options. Using a properties sheet, I quickly specified links to locations on a page (anchors) or jumped to pages in another Trellix document.
Besides standard publishing options that automatically post files to a Web server, Trellix also includes the unusual Trelligram utility, which copies all HTML files and graphics into a single file for easy delivery via e-mail.
Trellix 2.0's usability and automated features go beyond customary Web design applications. As such, Trellix 2.0 is a very good choice for organisations that need to post and organise documents on intranets but don't have extensive technical resources.
The Bottom Line
This unusual application brings the simplicity of word processing to designing and organising online documents.
Pros: Tables and a layout editor that improve the look of pages; capability to embed OLE objects in documents; new start-up options for novice users; improved Microsoft Word importing; additional document designs; capability to publish documents to HTML or email or for viewing with an off-line reader.
Cons: None significant.
Platforms: Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.0 and later.
Price: Available on application from Web site.