HTML editor : Java Glossary

HTML editor

You can create HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files with an ordinary text editor, even Notepad, however if the editor has special features it can greatly speed up the process of creating, editing and validating files.

I tried out perhaps a dozen HTML editors. All were, to be kind, incompetent, even the preposterously overpriced Dreamweaver. There is a market here for someone to create even a half-assed HTML editor to corner the market.

An ideal HTML editor would have the following features:

Some of the editors I have used include:
HTML editors
Editor Advantages Disadvantages
Blue Griffon

What I am using now more and more myself.

See the Blue Griffon entry.

Each new version seems to be getting better behaved.

Adobe Dreamweaver Gold standard — the most commonly used editor my web professionals. Many advanced features for handling server side tags as well as ordinary HTML. Very picky validator. When you are keying it is always guessing what you will key next. When it guesses correctly, it saves you untold keystrokes. Expensive. Slow to start up. A bit overwhelming if you don’t need the advanced features. Lame beautify. Cannot configure the validator to ignore minor errors. Abominable entity support. Does not even highlight them.
Amaya free, opensource. Many different ways of viewing your source. Virtual keyboard for entering entities. Small and quick. Unpolished buggy renderings. Clumsy and slow to enter CSS span tags visually. No beautify.
Aptana Studio free No CSS style-applying or entity-entering features. It is essentially a text editor with syntax colouring.
Best Address very accurate rendering in visual edit mode. not suitable for applying CSS classes to selections.
BlueFish free and open source. General programmer editor. not suitable for applying CSS classes to selections. Missing many standard features.
Coffee Cup well done code cleaner. No visual edit. Crashed. not suitable for applying CSS classes to selections.
CSE HTMLValidator Primarily an HTML validator. The source code listing is nicely colourised to highlight tags, entities and comments. Does not display rendered HTML simultaneously, however, you can save and render without leaving the program. You cannot edit the rendered view. The default tidy program inserts breaks around equals. Reputedly there is a way to write a scripts to handle tidies the way you want.
Evrsoft First Page It has beginner, intermediate, etc. modes to simply the program to make it easier to learn. Too slow to use.

HTMLPad

inexpensive, configurable. It can convert chars to entities and back. No visual editing. No CSS style-applying or entity-entering features. Salts your text with  s that you have to manually convert to plain spaces.
IntelliJ Idea General programmer editor with special features for specific languages including HTML. Can write plugins in Java. The source code listing is nicely colourised to highlight tags, entities and comments. It has a decent, fast reformatter. Expensive, but free for open source projects. Does not display rendered HTML simultaneously. You must save and render in a browser. Somewhat slow navigation. No specialised features for HTML editing. It is more potential that actuality since you can write plug-ins.
MicroEdge Visual Slick Edit very quick, general programmer editor, arbitrarily elaborate macros, highly configurable beautify. After trying out all these other specialised HTML editors, I think SlickEdit is the fasted for inserting links and applying styles. This is because it has user-written macros you can invoke with a single mouse click or keystroke. Expensive. Does not display rendered HTML simultaneously. You must save and render in a browser.
PageBreeze free, very good renderings and visual edits. No CSS style-applying or entity-entering features. Discards your end tags. Salts your text with  s that you have to manually convert to plain spaces.
SeaMonkey free, open source, part of a browser, mail reader, news reader. Quite primitive. It was written before CSS, and has not been properly updated to edit modern HTML.
Amper: converts stray & to &
Compactor: removes excess white space
CSS editor
CSS editors
editor
HTML tidiers
HTMLValidator
QEV: helps you balance left/right single/double quotes in your HTML
Wikipedia comparison of HTML Editors
Wikipedia on HTML Editors

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