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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

  • Oscar Estrada   Oct. 6, 2011, 6:56 p.m.


  • BrianRowdy   Oct. 6, 2011, 6:45 p.m.

    Text editor? Notepad++  I also keep code snippets in evernote. That way they are handy if I ever get an idea to fix or improve something. Doesn't anybody like Aptana anymore? I'm suprised it's not listed more often. Is anyone else playing with Adobe Muse?

  • superhotpepperz   Oct. 6, 2011, 6:11 p.m.

    I installed notepad++, Blue Griffon, and Eclipse.

  • Yousuf   Oct. 6, 2011, 4:56 p.m.

    Right now I'm using NetBeans. Thinking to give BlueGriffon a try.

  • grab_n_go   Oct. 6, 2011, 2:40 a.m.

    hooray for notepad ++

  • Sudeep   Oct. 5, 2011, 9:52 a.m.

    Would be using kate an KDE tool and netbeans, as i m already using these for the my php projects

  • Teacherhax   Oct. 1, 2011, 2:54 p.m.

    I have really been falling in love with BlueGriffon for everyday HTML5 coding-- it's a great blend of WYSIWYG and nice quality code editing tools. I usually use Coda on my Mac for html, CSS and PHP, but I find myself using BlueGriffon as more of a word processor for writing blog posts and tutorials for work. It just makes it so much easier to send them up to the web. 

  • Anonym   Oct. 1, 2011, 5:32 a.m.

    Vim anyone?

  • Joan   Oct. 1, 2011, 2:05 a.m.

    I use gedit in my Ubuntu -  the default text editor. Works fine for me. Always has.

    On Windows, I use Notepad++ - got it from SourceForge.

  • sam   Sept. 26, 2011, 6:15 a.m.

    got notepad++, ready to go :)

  • Mr Brightside 66   Sept. 23, 2011, 11:50 p.m.

    I like to start with the layout (template) and CSS in Homesite 3.0. Then  I use Microsoft Frontpage 2003. I'm looking into Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express also.

  • Eilla   Sept. 23, 2011, 7:55 p.m.

    Using Dreamweaver instead. Was using TextMate but under Lion, it acts up a bit weird.

  • Anonym   Sept. 21, 2011, 11:35 p.m.

    i preffer to use nano the free editor used in bash under linux

  • Luca Serpietri   Sept. 21, 2011, 7:24 a.m.


    I'm on OSX and I'm testing TextWrangler. It seems fine and easy to use but maybe it's too soon to tell. Digging deeper into HTML will allow me to be more specific about it.

  • Claudio Pinho   Sept. 21, 2011, 6:33 a.m.

    I´ll go for Notepad++. I´ve already have it installed on my notebook and i´m used to it.

  • Logan   Sept. 21, 2011, 1:07 a.m.

    I downloaded Notepad++ for the Windows machine I will be using most of the time as that seemed to be what most people were going with, but I already had Text Wrangler on my mac. Hopefully going back and forth occassionally won't be too bad!

  • Michael Clark   Aug. 20, 2011, 1:38 p.m.

    I use Notepadd++, I've used it for Java as well. I also have eclipse, but I use Notepad++ more than anything.

  • Dar   Aug. 17, 2011, 5:24 p.m.

    I have notepad++ installed, I also have Dreamweaver, haven't used dreamweaver much. I'm hoping to change that soon. Notepad++ seems to be more convenient.....but bluegriffon looks tempting. Downloading now.

  • klaus   Aug. 17, 2011, 5:50 a.m.

    Until now I used Dreamweaver a lot (only in Code View). I have choosen now Blue Griffon. I am curious how it works for me.

  • Patrick Boyer   Aug. 15, 2011, 1:45 p.m.

    I use Notepad and WSFTP Pro. I've also used Word 2010 minimally. I have always thought that I want to learn HTML not some other program that does the work for me. Plus from my experience the editors always add more code then necessary and it's harder to figure out whats what.

    added: Oh yea I have DreamWeaver 11 came with my CS 5. I downloaded the Notepad ++. And my browser Opera does it also.