Superflex 3 Stack

Superflex 3 | Nick Cates Design | $39.00 | $19.00 if upgrading

Superflex 3 is a powerful new responsive slider from Nick Cates Design that allows you to mix and match different kinds of content in the same slideshow. In this way, for example, you might start with a ‘Hero’ slide complete with animated title, some text and a call-to-action button, follow it with a couple of product shots, then a video from YouTube or Vimeo, a snap from Instagram, then a Google Map before conluding with a Stacks-based two column bullet list summarising the content of the slideshow. You probably wouldn’t want to do all that in a single slider but the point with Superflex 3 is that if you wanted to – you could.

Superflex 3 comes with a hefty annotated PDF which describes each of the stack’s settings (there were 106 at last count, so you’ll be glad of it) and that gives you an idea of how powerful and flexible Superflex 3 is. We’re not going to cover all of them here (Phew, thanks – Ed) but to give you a flavour, the Hero slide allows you to set both thumbnail and background image (the image can carry a tint or be blurred to focus attention on the overlaid message) together with individual animation controls for the heading, text and button, font size, text colour, line-height, padding together with a link for the button. Other slide types – image, stack, YouTube, Vimeo, Google Map and Instagram – have their own individual settings and are similarly well documented.

Of course if you want, you can just drag and drop some images into the Superflex 3 stack, leave it at that and you’ll get a professional-level slideshow that fades or slides between each image, with thumbnails ranged along the bottom like a film strip. From there you can add a simple caption (usefully, this can be hidden on mobile devices) define the thumbnail size ratio, the loading icon size in pixels, the speed at which it rotates, initial opacity of the direction arrows, horizontal spacing between thumbs, the outer padding between, and all manner of other things. In fact, if there’s something you’d like to configure within Superflex 3, you can probably do it.

Although set up to allow you to add images by dragging and dropping them into position, you can also specify a URL for warehoused images; and if you’re building a site for a client who’d like the option to change the images without coming back to you (or if you simply want to be able to change them without having access to Rapidweaver) it’s possible to set up a remote folder. This is a special extra item which you’ll need to download separately and then upload to the domain where your slideshow’s going to be stored; there are a couple of settings in the stack that need to be activated in order to link the slideshow to the remote folder but after that, you can add or delete images using an FTP client. In this way, Superflex 3 can be used to create a simple slideshow CMS. (If it’s for a client, just make sure they understand enough about image dimensions, sizes and formats so as not to do any damage.)

For a stack, Superflex carries a hefty price tag (though owners of the previous version get a deal if they upgrade) but don’t let that put you off. This is a sleek, powerful, solid-as-a-rock, multi-format slider which can show off your content to good effect in an impressive variety of different ways.

Rob Beattie

Rob Beattie is a freelance copywriter who designs sites using Rapidweaver. He's been reviewing computer hardware, software and web services since 1981. Yes...that long. And he's also the author of 101 Things to Do in a Shed , Fishing: A Very Peculiar History , and The Bluffer's Guide to Fishing