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Install an HTML Text Editor

Learning Objectives

  • Identify desirable features in an HTML editor.
  • Compare two or more HTML editors.
  • Report your comparison to other participants of this class
  • Select an HTML editor for your personal use
  • Summarize the reason(s) that led you to choose your specific editor
  • Use your editor to produce a simple HTML page

Task Materials

For this course we need an HTML editing tool. There are many to choose from. We do not need many advanced features for this basic course so pick a simple text editor with syntax highlighting.

Online HTML editors

There are several HTML editors that you can use in your web browser:

  • Mozilla Thimble - Recommended to use on this course. Provides direct visual feedback, syntax highlighting, and easy publishing.
  • HTML Pad (Mozilla online HTML editor)
  • JS Fiddle (JavaScript, CSS, and HTML editor online)

Free/Open Source Text Editors

The following text editors have syntax highlighting and are Free/Open Source tools:

  • Bluefish (GNU/Linux, Mac OSX, Microsoft Windows)
  • Geany (GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows)
  • gEdit (GNU/Linux, Mac OSX, Microsoft Windows)
  • jEdit (GNU/Linux, Mac OSX,Microsoft Windows)
  • Notepad++ (Microsoft Windows)

Advanced Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

Task Discussion

  • Aaron Hanson   May 8, 2012, 5:31 p.m.

    I plan to use Notepad++. Excellent program and would recommend it to any beginner for basic HTML or programming. Simple to use!

  • levis   May 7, 2012, 9:14 a.m.

    I am familiar with Notepad + +. I will use it.

  • C.hamiltonjohnson   May 6, 2012, 5:40 p.m.

    Notepad++ looks basic enough for a beginner, and bluefish looks a bit more intricate. I will be sticking with Notepad++ and likely switching to bluefish or some other editor when I become more advanced.

  • Anonym   May 6, 2012, 12:09 p.m.

    Once you'll gain more experince and get into some advance level with HTML, you wouldn't be thinking about the look or the name of the text editor.

    Besides, there's no need to buy an html text editor just to play around, while there are a bunch of free available text editor for every operating system.

  • WolfGirl   May 6, 2012, 1:05 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Anonym   May 6, 2012, 12:09 p.m.

    Thank you very much for the good advice and the guidance. Noted.

  • WolfGirl   May 6, 2012, 8:27 a.m.

    hm, well mac notepad you also have to i'll playaround with Gedit and Bluefish...

  • WolfGirl   May 6, 2012, 8:08 a.m.

    yes, that's the only think is you have to pay for the license.  I am on a Mac OSX, Gedit looks quite nice, and i'll try Bluefish.  I see there is something called Mac Notepad for Mac.

  • Anonym   May 5, 2012, 8:05 p.m.

    I think the most used one is probably Notepad++ . It's a powerful too besides of being free, with the feature of changing the theme, which helps for eye friendly.

    Sublime is getting populare, but you need to buy a licence for that one.

  • WolfGirl   May 5, 2012, 6:28 p.m.

    Sublime Text 2 for me!

  • Siulka   May 6, 2012, 10:56 a.m.
    In Reply To:   WolfGirl   May 5, 2012, 6:28 p.m.

    I couldn't agree more. Sublime Text 2 is by far the best text editor I tried out.

  • WolfGirl   May 6, 2012, 11:10 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Siulka   May 6, 2012, 10:56 a.m.

    yes, I must say having played around today with gedit, which is nice and bluegriffon - i still like Sublime Text 2.

  • Hibby73   May 5, 2012, 2:19 p.m.

    I will be using Notepad ++ mostly.  It has all the features needed for markup and coding and I've been using it for years.  For comparison I tried gededit and liked it. Fewer features than Notepad ++ but has a simpler UI and there are plug-ins to add useful line numbering and a file manager amongst others.  I can see myself using it for for quick editing purposes.

  • jacobbundren   April 28, 2012, 2:10 p.m.

    It seems like Notepad++ is the most popular, so I checked it out and liked it a lot! 

  • Gala   April 28, 2012, 9:40 a.m.

    Couldn't decide between Notepad++ and Aptana. Time will tell.

  • Pau Company   April 19, 2012, 4 p.m.

    Utilizare Notepad++. Siporta html5, javascript, php, css3, perl ...

  • Anonym   April 12, 2012, 9:32 p.m.

    I'm sticking with Text Wrangler for its ease of use and awesome looking user interface.

  • Jeremiah   April 11, 2012, 7:39 p.m.

    I'm going to stick with notepad++. It's what I've been using so far and it seems to work fine for the things I'm doing.

  • Antonio   April 6, 2012, 6:16 p.m.

    I believe for me the best choice for a HTML Text Editor would be to use Bluefish as i am using a Linux OS. i do have Windows 7 installed but, decided to give Linux a try.

  • Alex   April 4, 2012, 9:31 p.m.

    I've found that the interface for Bluefish is incredibly easy to navigate and grasp. I'm using a Mac right now and have also used Textwrangler...which I didn't find as intuitive. Both are really good free editors though! I don't think you could go wrong either way, but for me Bluefish is the winner.

  • lynne stuart   April 4, 2012, 12:03 p.m.

    it seems syntax highlighting is a must

    and maybe cross platform performance is desirable/essential

    also cost

    so many choices: i'm working on a mac so i downloaded Gedit, which seems pretty intuitive (good design!)

    HOWEVER realised that since i'm working in adobe creative suite 4, i aslo have dreamweaver, which, shamefully i've never opened

    i'll be using dreamweaver since it probably works well with the other programmes in the same suite. (plus my brief consultation with a developer i've designed some sites for said this was the way to go)

  • BobChao   April 4, 2012, 9:37 a.m.

    I'm familiar with Aptana so I think I'll just use Aptana for the tasks. Sometimes (for small, public demo / testing) I use, it's pretty fast since you don't have to "upload" anything and everyone can see your work online, and even remix it!

  • Hibby73   March 29, 2012, 2:39 p.m.

    I am familiar with Notepad ++ so I will continue using it on my PC.  It has the features needed for writing HTML such as syntax-colouring and the ability to collapse sections of code.  It is also good for CSS and Javascript coding and editing.