Could Expression break the tedium of CSS design?

I’ve been dealing with CSS layout quirks and bugs for seven years and, frankly, by now the thrill of designing an elegant style sheet by hand has worn off. The process of choosing the right lengths and font-sizes, and setting all these properties by hand (even with autocomplete) is just unacceptably tedious and just bogs you down. The “CSS panels” various apps have just don’t save enough time; I can almost always edit the rules by hand faster than scrolling through lists of properties and clicking in value boxes. Yes, a 2nd monitor auto-refreshing the page would help, but I’m still guessing at values, saving, repeating endlessly.

I just want to drag and drop elements into place, maybe in a DOM tree view in a side panel, then zoom in and adjust layout properties like margin and padding by dragging handles or using the mousewheel, same with font-sizes in %/ems. Even if it stores these properties in inline style attributes, this would be a huge time-saver. Just also give me a wizard to take all inline styles and merge them into my external files intelligently, maybe let me pick the ids or choose when to use various contextual selectors.

It looks like Microsoft’s Expression designer has some of these features. Dreamweaver has a nice page zoom and yeah, you can stretch tables around like it’s 1996, but it doesn’t cut it. Right now DW8 is my primary editor, but as I do less front-end work I can forsee it losing ground to more capable PHP editors (if they could just match DW’s site management tools).

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