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Inspect element > export changes - workflow?

3 years ago from

not sure if Im asking for software solutions or advice on a better workflow...

heres a typical situation for me: Design a web thing > give to devs > devs fire over html/css version of web thing > I start poking around in Inspect element to refine/tweak elements to make them as they should be > sometimes screenshot css modifications to send to devs... sometimes copy a bit of the styling and send to dev with long explanation of what it does and where... general frustration that I can tweak 25 css rules on a page but have no means of showing these changes to the dev (remotely)

what I want: Design a web thing > give to devs > devs fire over html/css version of web thing > I start poking around in Inspect element to refine/tweak elements to make them as they should be > hit export > opens a text doc of all the css rules i've changed > give doc to devs

Is this already possible in Inspect?? Is there a better tool for designers to refine styles and send back to devs? Should I be approaching this from a different angle?

19 comments

  • Ronnie NielsenRonnie Nielsen, 3 years ago

    I would try to get access to the styles file on GitHub (or where ever), branch off and directly change the CSS values yourself, then pull-request it back if they'll let you. (You might need some GitHub push/pull training though, but it's very easy to pick up)

    3 points
    • Philip A, 3 years ago

      +1 to this. If you're spending time inspecting and changing CSS values, not a big step to just opening a CSS file and writing it ;)

      1 point
    • , 3 years ago

      Thanks Ronnie - I'm sure im not alone in being a designer thats a bit scared of the GitHub push/pull world...do you have any recommendations on places to start with Git training?

      0 points
  • Josh Sanders, 3 years ago

    My strongest suggestion would be that if possible, obtain access to the repo so that you can pull/push changes as you work on them.

    If the devs are cautious about giving access, or requirements of any other nature deem access is not available you, could always set up a workflow with your devs so that you can submit pull requests that contain your CSS edits, and the devs can either accept the request or take your code and implement it how they see fit.

    This would be plan A and B for me.

    If either of those are not available options, there are solutions that exist as people have already pointed out in other comments. Personally, I used to have a workflow very similar to what you have currently, as I empathize with your frustrations. I long to see the day where this is implemented in broswer dev tools, but I just don't know if that day is coming anytime soon...or at all :(

    2 points
  • Igor StumbergerIgor Stumberger, 3 years ago

    I haven't tried it yet, but by your description, it looks like you're searching for something like Finch.

    My workflow is basically the same as yours though, but I worked on one project where I was given access to the git and pushed my changes as I did them...not the usual practice though, as most devs I worked with didn't want to give access to non-dev people ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    1 point
  • Kemie GuaidaKemie Guaida, 3 years ago

    Another option: Stylizer

    Inspector-like css editing capabilities, with ability to save the changed css and even load external css files into a remote site.

    0 points
  • Eric York, 3 years ago

    Just wondering from the folks who say dev people don't want to give access to the repo, what is the rationale they supply for that?

    0 points
  • Thomas Lowry, 3 years ago

    Checkout Track Changes https://trackchanges.mikerogers.io/

    0 points
  • Ryan MiglavsRyan Miglavs, 3 years ago

    I'm very intrigued by Finch, as recommended in a previous comment. Looks like it could be a good option for a designer who doesn't want or have access to the git repo.

    That said, if you're willing to put in a bit of learning, the git workflow is actually quite fantastic, and might not be as big a step as you think from what you're already doing (modifying CSS code in the inspector).

    Apps like Sourcetree and Tower help make git visual, though you'll still need to know the concepts.

    For coding, I use Espresso, because it lets you make changes in the code and see those updates in real-time in your browser, no need to copy changes back from the inspector. So much faster, especially for responsive work. This would be a good option to consider if you're using git.

    Basically, with git + Espresso (or any other editor), you would:

    1. Pull the latest copy of the repo
    2. Make your changes
    3. Commit the changes to your copy of the repo
    4. Push or make a pull request, so devs could review the changes and merge

    Good luck, friend!

    0 points
  • Dexter W, 3 years ago

    Pinegrow does this (you can load any site from the web) and loads the site into the app as if it's a locally stored site. It's actually full feature development tool and once you buy it, you own it unlike Finch. I'm surprised that's a subscription model. For $12 / month you could almost pay for Webflow's entry level version.

    0 points
  • Martin Mark, 3 years ago

    I have a very similar workflow - really helps to speak the same language on revisions.

    I use a Chrome extension called Stylish. Create a new style, write some CSS which can persist for editing later.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/stylish-custom-themes-for/fjnbnpbmkenffdnngjfgmeleoegfcffe?hl=en

    0 points
  • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, 3 years ago

    You should definitely checkout visual inspector by CanvasFlip - https://www.canvasflip.com/visual-inspector/

    Might be exactly what you need. Let me know if did help.. :)

    0 points
    • , 3 years ago

      just messaged on commet below - I did try it a little while ago, but didnt work responsively (when shrink browser to mob size - no space for the canvasflip UI) - perhaps this has changed now?

      1 point
      • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, 3 years ago

        Mobile and other multi resolution support is part of public roadmap and should be there by March-end.

        Is there anything else that you would like to improve in Visual Inspector?

        Thanks to trying.. :)

        0 points
  • Jesse MartinJesse Martin, 3 years ago

    As Igor says, Finch is a good option. As is CanvasFlip. This is what I tend to use. https://developers.google.com/web/tools/setup/setup-workflow then I send over the raw CSS and the developer is able to diff the file. If you are comfortable editing the code, you might also just ask them to give you access to the repo so you can make changes in your own branch.

    0 points
    • , 3 years ago

      I've tried CanvasFlip - seemed pretty cool but didnt work at mobile sizes (perhaps thats changed now). Wow that workspace solution you use is intense! all just to ping over some css changes. I guess I'm in the middle ground - too much of a lazy designer to wanna get hands dirty with repos, branches, workspaces etc but just enough knowledge of how to make code changes to want to fix the problem. Must say havent tried Finch as it seemed to add too many features to a simple solution (and also a pay wall - I literally just want an export button on chrome dev tools so I can send a css file to a dev to diff).

      0 points
  • Daniel PapeDaniel Pape, 3 years ago

    I have exactly the same workflow and problem, currently in Safari Inspector you can right-click on the rule and select "Copy Rule" then I paste it into a text editor and send over the doc to the developer, but any way to automate that would save me a lot of time.

    0 points