Flash button generators
Another approach to buttons is to use the Adobe Flash animation package to create ineractive graphic files which are then 'embedded' into the web page. There are several websites which use this approach:
FlashButtons uses a different approach: the user enters a list of up to 30 button captions and the same number of hyperlink destinations, and specifies a Flash animated button style from a set of around 50. The site then generates a complete Flash-based navigation bar, along with the accompanying navigation text, which the user can download and add to their web pages.
FlashButtons - Step 1
FlashVortex has a limited range but some very attractive button designs. The resulting code can either be downloaded as a Flash file or run remotely off the FlashVortex site; but since the site is quite slow to respond this may not be an ideal solution.
DynamicDrive offers an online tool for creating images based on the familiar two-coloured RSS feed buttons, though the settings can be modified to produce other kinds as well. No code is available here – just a downloadable image file. There are many similar sites including BlogFlux and Ekstreme.
Advance Software has a page specifically for creating sets of eCommerce-linked buttons, although some of the captions such as ‘Edit’ and ‘Delete’ may be applicable elsewhere. Only one button of each type is created and no code is attached, but it supports several eCommerce packages.
DevDude is a neat tool for generating the <INPUT> tag CSS code to produce simple but attractive buttons.
In addition to all these, of course, there are many freeware and shareware programs for producing buttons, and some ‘buttonizing’ capability can be found in most good graphics programs. Among the specialised programs are Trellian Button Factory, 3D Button Creator Gold and Antssoft Ultra Button. Most major bitmapped graphics programs such as Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro now also come with some 'buttonizing' capabilities built in.
No shortage of options, then, for the designer who wants to incorporate some exciting button designs into his or her website!