MS Expression Web 4 SuperPreview – Big Disappointment

I just downloaded Expression 4 and expected to see some improvements in the Web4 SuperPreview application.  The one main function I was expecting to be in this release is the ability to enter data and click on links so pages of the sites could be assessed.  There a many use cases where this functionality is needed and there were quite a few people vocal about it when MS first released the application.

1) Where you have to login to a site to access either all the content or some of the content on the site

2) Where you have to enter date in a certain order and cannot go to next page until the previous pages data is filled out (payment process, storefront, etc).

3) Where you just want to make sure things are displayed correctly based on data entered (validation messages, etc).

4 ) You need to make sure the links go to the page in all the different browsers.  I have seen scenerios where links worked fine in all but one browser, or for some reason the text showed on screen but it was not a clickable link.

IMO this application is a great idea, but until MS fixed the above issue and add the functionality above the SuperPreview is totally worthless unless you need it to test a totally static site that does not require any user input at all to get access to the content.  There is no reason this feature should not have been in this release, and it should have been a priority to make sure it was.

Let me know how you feel about the new version of the Web4 SuperPreview application.  Did MS really miss the target on this by not adding this functionality, or do I think it is a bigger deal that it really is?  If you are actively using SuperPreview, please post how you are using it and the type of sites you are using it on.


  • Good observation....This should be fixed by Microsoft

  • I Agree too

    This should be fixed by Microsoft

  • there is one way to fix this problem use Visual Studio 2010 I could never understand why you would use Expression web when there's a choice to use VS

  • Rickj1: SuperPreview is a separate program so you can test your web site in different browser versions (including side-by-side comparisons). It has nothing to do with whether you should use VS or Expression Web for editing html/aspx files.

    But since you brought it up, Expression web is a great HTML/ASPX editing tool and is very useful if all you are creating/updating is some simple HTML/ASPX pages. Also Expression Web is a great tool for designers to use who do not need all the functionality of VS, but still need to design pages using asp.Net controls.  They can then turn the pages over to .Net developers to add the code-behind to tie it with the Business Logic.

  • Totally worthless? Aren't you overreacting a bit? It allows you to look at a page in several browsers at a time, particularly IE versions that tend to suck. There's a lot of value in that alone. I feel like you're saying that you're disappointed that your car doesn't fly. It does what it was designed to do.

  • Jeff, yes it does let you look at a page in different browsers but only static pages. If you have to login to get to the page, or enter data to get to the next page (ex: Shopping cart, etc) this application is worthless. So therefore, for most sites this application is completely worthless.

    The really sad thing is that MS with all it's resources cannot get this change made even though there are a lot of developers who think the feature is needed. The fact is it can be done and there are applications that actually do have this feature ( But if I am going to buy into the expression Suite and SuperPreview is part of that package, then it should have these features (plus some) and I should not have to download another application to get them.

    SuperPreview could be a killer developer/testing tool but until it can handle interaction within the pages (clicking on links, logging in, filling in forms, etc) it will never reach it's full potential.

  • +1 from me, a big let down.

  • I think you are missing something... did you see it's name? It's called SuperPREVIEW for a reason, and it is to preview the page in all browsers from one application and see the difference. The features you expect would be there if the application was called SuperTESTER, not SuperPRECVIEW.
    With regards,
    Rado R.

  • Application is next to useless for any type of site that renders pages dependant based on user input and circumstances as described. And the last tester post just looks like a troll. If you cant get to a page to preview it then you are snookered.

  • Rado, how can you preview a page in it if you cannot get to the pages? Unless all your site are totally unsecure (not login) and, you just have static content, or you can get to all pages without some form of action/entry by the user then SuperPreview is fine. But as stated earlier, most sites nowadays are more complex than that, thus making SuperPreview worthless.

  • The super preview isn't such a big deal. What I am upset about is that after spending 10 hours trying to get my updated site (from front page to EW 4) that preview means nothing if the published site does not look like the preview. Yes I published the CSS Style sheet and it looks fine from my computer but w3c says it's missing. So where did it go? I published it and it's online in the folders but no banana. Super frustrating. :( I'm sure something is making it invisible or something else is over riding it but what? Anyone else having this problem or know what to do about it? Thank you.

  • I reached this page looking to buy the software without the rest of the suite.

    I am normally against MS software simply because it causes us all headaches when developing websites due to the lack of standardisation in the early days of the web. For this reason this tool should be free with all it's features as an apology from MS for IE6's existence.

    However I am so impressed with the accuracy of this tool I would be willing to pay. I agree it is a shame that the pages have no interactivity, but I don't agree that this renders the software useless. At least the preview matches that of the original browser unlike the free tools such as IEtester.

  • Update:

    Although the latest version does give you a way to interact with the pages, it is not very user friendly. So I have found just testing my sites in the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and IE10 works the best for me.

    To test previous version of IE, I use the web developer tools, which allows you to change the which IE rendering engine to use. IE10 allows you to test 7, 8, 9 and 10. And this way you can access your pages just like the user does. I wish that Firefox and Chrome offered this same functionality in their browser.

    So the only use I see for the SuperPreview is to test previous versions of Firefox and Chrome.

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