HTML Editors

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In this article we're going to go over some HTML editors, some very popular and some not so popular.

There are more editors made to create web pages than Carter has liver pills. If you're the typical non professional user then you are probably familiar with the more popular ones and have absolutely NO clue about some of the obscure ones that are available. We'll cover a few of each.

Probably the most popular HTML editor is Microsoft's Front Page. The first version of Front Page came out in the mid 90's. If you're interested you can actually find an article online that talks about the first Front Page beta. You can find the article at [http://www.byte.com/art/9607/sec13/art10.htm]. The first Front Page had limited functionality and needed a server extension to work it. Today, Front Page has come a long way. It is one of the most powerful editors you can get and can do just about anything. It is also probably the one used by more people than any other.

Of course users of Macromedia's Dream Weaver would say that Front Page is not anywhere near as good. The company and the software haven't been around quite as long as Microsoft but what it lacks in a track record it makes up for in functionality. Supporters of Dream Weaver will claim that the interface is more user friendly and that those who have limited HTML experience can get more out of it than with Front Page. Technically, Dream Weaver doesn't do anything that Front Page can't do. Some functions are handled differently and of course if you've been using one and try to go to the other you're going to get lost when it comes to the hidden functions. The help index alone of each is massive. With great power, which both have, comes a big learning curve. There is just no way around that.

But what if you don't need all that functionality and only want to design simple web pages that don't require extensive Java and PHP capabilities? Fortunately, there are plenty of simple HTML editors out there and most of them can be downloaded free right off the Internet.

One of the most popular ones today is HTML – Kit. To date, this editor has over 1.7 million downloads. Obviously they must be doing something right. And the editor itself does have some neat little features that you might not expect in a free download like the ability to convert RSS and XML files to HTML. And it does have some limited functionality by way of plug ins to handle ASP, PHP, SQL and other scripting languages. Not too shabby for a free download.

Even America Online, probably the largest ISP, has their own HTML editor called AOLPress. Now this is what you call a bare bones editor. It doesn't do too much. Just your standard creation of tables, lists, insert images, etc. If you're looking for anything serious then you can forget about this thing. But for somebody who just wants to put up a page with photos of their wife, kid and dog in a table layout, AOLPress will work just fine.

This is just the tip of a huge iceberg. The list of HTML editors includes the likes of Hot Dog PageWiz, Hot Dog Professional, Tidy, Web Notepad, Ultra Edit, BBEdit and the list goes on and on. There are as many editors as there are companies that make them. Some are good and some are not so good. The only way to really know is to download one and try it. That alone should keep you busy for a very long time.

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