This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

A bit of background

Find out the basics of text editors

Text editors come in all many different forms, but at their hearts they all do the same thing - allow you to edit files that are composed of straight forward, everyday text. HTML & CSS files are like this, their contents are simply plain text.

Your computer may already have a text editor on it. If you're using a Windows based computer then you'll likely have Notepad (Programs > Accessories > Notepad). If you're using an Apple computer then you'll have VIM already installed (Applications > Utilities > Terminal and then type in VIM and press return). Finally, if you're running Linux (bonus points if you are) then you'll certainly have one of either VI/VIM, emacs, Kate or gedit. 
Not all text editors are created equally and whilst VIM is a truly splendid text editor, it has a steep learning curve. Unless you can already use it, then we'd recommend something else for now. You can always come back to VIM later on.
If you're running windows then Notepad has the opposite problem to VIM - it's too simple. You'll be fighting with it all the way to use it to do serious webcraft work.

Task Discussion

  • Andy Crowe said:

    I haven't done any HTML coding before, so enter this world with a clean slate. Will be trying out different Text Editors that people have mentioned in the comments below.

    on Dec. 12, 2012, 3:18 p.m.
  • Victor said:

    I'm was using PSPad for Windows and gedit Linux.

    But now I'm using Komodo Edit for both of them.

    on Dec. 11, 2012, 6:35 a.m.
  • Borzislav said:



    Over time used different text editors. I had Akel pad for quite a while as replacement for default Notepad. I like the initial simplicity of Akel that can be easily tweaked with a few plug-ins. And, I like the ability to return to "bare" settings just after a couple mouse clicks.

    Notepad++ comes with a multitude of features and looks more potent, when it comes to simple coding.

    However, I installed a trial of Dreamweaver for this course, as I think this "monstrosity" will become handy along the way.

    on Dec. 8, 2012, 11:59 a.m.
  • Soraph said:

    Notepad, VIM, VI, gedit, everything is fine to do simple things, for code writing VIM all the way (:syntax off)

    on Dec. 5, 2012, 2:41 p.m.
  • Bartuuin said:

    I personally use notepad++

    on Dec. 1, 2012, 7:14 p.m.
  • Kris said:

    Got Crimson Editor, read some good stuff about it so I'm gonna give it a whirl.

    on Nov. 30, 2012, 4:31 p.m.
  • Some Guy in Baltimore said:

    I've used many different text editors. Each have their own useful features. But they all pretty much do the same thing and that's write text to a file. On windows I use Notepad++ because it's powerful and pretty low resource. On linux I've always used gedit it works and it's always there. I've never gotten used to vim or emacs. They may be powerful but they aren't the most user friendly. 

    on Nov. 29, 2012, 9:38 p.m.
  • preclectic said:

    I've been pleased with Aptana Studio so I'm going to keep using it. It's fast and reliable. I also like that the program is open-source.

    on Nov. 28, 2012, 12:51 a.m.
  • ILMostro said:

    emacs all the way! very powerful, and you can find a lot of helpful documentation about it, including at
    on Nov. 24, 2012, 1:53 p.m.
  • Aaron Marshall said:

    I used to be an HTML-Kit user, but changed over completely to Dreamweaver. (Note: I'm not one of the WYSIWYG people.)

    on Nov. 9, 2012, 12:22 p.m.
  • p3m4la5 said:

    Some time I am usng Geany in my Linux

    on Nov. 9, 2012, 10:01 a.m.
  • p3m4la5 said:

    I love Notepad++

    Recently used portable version

    on Nov. 9, 2012, 9:59 a.m.
  • Sonny_D said:

    I have windows on my pc and ubuntu on my laptop and media station. So I ll be trying out the notepad, I also got a trial version of dreamweaver, so I ll be checking it out

    I have Kompozer on my laptop and PC too, I have given it a little bit of a go and I think its easy as to use

    on Nov. 1, 2012, 11:11 p.m.
  • CoderGirlDesign said:

    I use Coda as my go to text editor. I love it. Back when I was a Windows user I used the notepad that is built in. If you are a Mac user, Coda is a great choice.


    on Nov. 1, 2012, 2:47 p.m.
  • Anonym said:

    Personally a big fan of TextMate on my Mac, although it does have a cost involved, it's worth it for me. I haven't done much development on a PC, but in the rare instances I have, notepad++ has worked well, and is free.

    on Oct. 29, 2012, 6:34 p.m.
  • Mr Brightside 66 said:

    I've been using Frontpage 2003 and Homesite 5.5. You can edit in plain text in Frontpage also.

    on Oct. 22, 2012, 8:22 p.m.
  • Kasuko said:

    Sublime Text 2. With the VIM key bindings enabled!

    on Oct. 17, 2012, 2:19 p.m.
  • Keven said:

    I like my Dreamweaver, but I have also used Notepad and HTML Kit.


    v/Respectfully, Keven

    on Oct. 13, 2012, 6:38 p.m.
  • fruitymo said:

    Personally, I'm a Scintilla "Scite" Text editor, but I have to admit that Notepad ++ smashes it.

    on Oct. 13, 2012, 3:49 p.m.