The talented folk behind Macaw (released in 2014) have announced the follow up called Scarlet. It looks very promising and offers many features never seen in this genre of software. Let’s take a look at what is coming…

Scarlet is being promoted as a Live Design Environment (LDE) and is being placed as a separate tool from the original Macaw. They mention that the original Macaw is best suited for mockups and prototypes and Scarlet is being made to help people create fully-fledged design systems.

Scarlett PanelIt will feature breakpoint visualisations with arbitrary breakpoints rather than set breakpoints based on the current generation of devices to help future-proof design.

Media queries in Scarlet will go beyond just maximum and minimum width breakpoints with the promise being able to target resolutions, orientations and capabilities.

Two features that stand out for me are Parallel Browsers and Remote Preview.

Parallel Browsers will allow users to open multiple views of the same document to see how your CSS changes will look in an instant (there is also a built in text editor now giving you full control of your documents!)

Remote Preview is going to ship with its own auto-refreshing server which will update any device on your network!

Looking towards the future, Scarlet will offer up many advanced CSS3 features such as filters, transforms and blend modes while making it easy to keep everything semantic with their new outline panel. You’ll be able to drag and drop elements easily like in the original Macaw.

It all sounds great and I can’t wait to try out a beta copy when it is released (no set release date has been announced yet). I thought the original Macaw offered a great way to put together simple websites or prototypes for clients very quickly and easily once you’ve learned the interface. Although there were some early bugs the later releases make it a very easy tool to use so I’m looking forward to Scarlet taking their software to the next level for more advanced designs.

You can learn more about Macaw Scarlet at




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