View Full Version : What is your favorite HTML editor?

08-03-2001, 12:44 PM
Introduction: Polls are not a perfect yardstick but they can lead to quality discussions. This Poll attempts to list the major tools used to create sites. It would also fit in our new Coding Forum but seems a more likely fit in this Forum because of the design considerations. Please only vote once. If you use two or more editors, please vote for the one you use the most. Please tell us why you prefer a given editor over the others. If your editor is not listed, please vote "Other" and then tell us why you use it. Details will help all of us learn.

I use Dreamweaver 4 and TextPad. Dreamweaver for it's WYSIWYG feature and common UI and integration with Fireworks and Flash. I don't like some of the proprietary technology which FrontPage uses and the zillion little files it leaves on your server. I also like Dreamweaver's "split screen" view of the code and the page for quick edits. Dreamweaver doesn't change my code like FrontPage does. I even used it to modify dozens of the vBulletin templates you are using.

TextPad is great for little snippets of HTML code and has some features that a bulky HTML editor does not. My favorites: join lines, a zillion documents open at the same time in a single window, line numbers, a fast search and replace, and compare files. I also use this tool to edit scripts.

TextPad ---> http://www.textpad.com/
Dreamweaver ---> http://www.macromedia.com/

08-03-2001, 12:54 PM
DreamWeaver4 :)

Its pretty easy to use, but also has some pretty advanced features. I like the split screen too, plus it usually doesn't change code around and add useless stuff like some other programs I know of :)

I also like the DreamWeaver/FireWorks integration, and the use of templates. They are a bit tough to learn, but once you do learn them, you can create some nice-looking sites in no time.

Also, it now has a nice Find/Replace features which will take care of everything in that page, or in a group of files or a whole directory even. Makes updating those ad codes or changing text ads pretty easy.

Overall, its an excellent program, I don't know what I'd do without it. I'm tempted to go out and buy another copy for my new iBook, since my PC version won't work on it :( There is its only downside - it costs more than most or all of the others.

08-03-2001, 01:09 PM
I use First Page 2000 available for free at http://www.evrsoft.com . First page is definitely an advanced editor, but has lots of options that help write the code for you. I've also been known to open textpad, netscape communicator, notepad and anything else I can get my hands on.

08-03-2001, 08:36 PM
Now what kind of HTML guy would I be if I said anything other than notepad ;)


08-03-2001, 09:03 PM
In every poll i've seen the best HTML editor has been left out:




Reasons: Color Syntax, fast loading, not a memory hog, extend HTML syntax coding to other languages (PHP for example) and the lovely time saving buttons :)


08-03-2001, 09:35 PM
DW2.01/Homesite/Notetab Light :D

08-03-2001, 10:56 PM
I use Netscape Composer for the basic outlay, and Note Tab Lite for the nitty gritty stuff like adding codes etc.


08-03-2001, 11:21 PM
I use Front Page 2k for designing pages and notepad for maintanice from that point forward.

08-04-2001, 12:16 AM
My vote goes to Dreamweaver--simply the best of the crowd. It does everything I need. The biggest problem is speed and ram hoggage

In terms of TEXT editing, I'd go with Arachnophilia. It was small and had the speed and function of notepad, but also had colour coding and other useful tools. But meh, haven't used that in a while now.

08-04-2001, 12:48 AM
Dreamweaver all the way! I've tried most of the other editors. After you learn Dreamweaver it's the easiest, and in my opinion, the best. 4.0 is my preference.

08-04-2001, 01:08 AM
Just to stir things up a bit...

Couldn't it be said that someone who uses a WYSIWYG editor(dreamweaver, FP, etc) is not "coding" in HTML? (its a markup language but you get the idea)

The code may be touched up in the "pure HTML" mode of the program but the meat of the page is being done by the editor, not the "coder".

I suppose the same could be said for C++, VB, and everything except coding to the chip itself, but lets not get into that :angel:

No one please take this the wrong way, it's just meant to stir discussion! :D

08-04-2001, 01:21 AM
Any WYSIWYG editor will have glitches in the code from time to time. I always scan the source to pull any obvious mistakes.

Editors really just save alot of time. I'd recommend to newbies to learn to type html in notepad. After they have a very good grasp of it, and are able to notice little errors quickly, move on to a powerful editor. Which will save countless hours.

I have a couple of friends who only use notepad. Maybe I just have way too much other stuff to do. :)

08-04-2001, 01:24 AM
I learned HTML by correcting errors that AOLs WYSIWYG editor made :)

08-04-2001, 09:12 AM
I agree with most of the arguments posted here on the WYSIWYG vs text issue. When I first learned HTML, I didn't have the know how to do anything special. I created http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/8973. (Please don't laugh! This was like 5 years ago, and my personal page doesn't even reflect me now! Ughhhh!!!! So ugly!!!!!!! And I can't remember my login info so I can just delete everything!!!)

Next came Frontpage, then Dreamweaver.

My little sister is trying to make her own website on the net, but she seems perfectly happy with Yahoo's pagebuilder or whatever it's called. I wish she'd try out HTML first, it really is good for just understanding what the WYSIWYG's are actually doing to your site.

But in general, I like the WYSIWYG's the most for their ability to generate tables before I can even say it. And always knowing HTML tags at late hours when my brain can no longer actively remember them all

08-04-2001, 01:37 PM
I use Notepad. Always have.

I dislike editors because I am not in control of the code. Most that I have seen generate ugly, bloated code that is unnecessarily difficult to debug or change. A very simple layout will be coded as a table within a table within another table, and lots of stupid things like establishing the font size and face twenty times when once will do.

You almost never start entirely from scratch when you are designing a new page or site. Copy/paste from previous work, change some things, and you have a new page.

08-04-2001, 03:04 PM
All this talk of Notepad, FrontPage and Geocities is bringing back memories of several years ago when I first started this stuff :)

I remember when I first found GeoCities I was like "Wow, they just give you free space!?!".

RE: NotePad - I use a variant of NotePad - EditPad a lot for PHP Code. I don't ever use it for HTML - You can do manual editing of HTML in the panel in DreamWeaver :)

DreamWeaver is actually pretty smart about not making dirty code. There is also a thing you can run in it (Clean Up HTML) that will clean up any messes it did make. It makes creating complex tables a snap and is several times quicker than coding manually.

A lot of people find out I use DreamWeaver and tell me how dumb I am, I should be using NotePad and doing it "Old School". That may be fine at a geek contest for getting you a nice pocket protector or something, but in my book, if you can create a site in 1/5 of the time that looks relatively close and isn't unreasonably bloated, you're coming out ahead :)

Yes, DreamWeaver and others like it are expensive. But DreamWeaver has more than payed for itself by now. Also, someone mentioned its a resource hog - Pick up some more RAM :) I think you can get 256 MB for under $40, and that will more than do the trick. I have 768MB in my desktop and 384MB in my iBook right now :) DreamWeaver runs great, and doesn't slow down my system at all, even with a few IE sessions open, Outlook Express open, Excel, FireWorks, ICQ and a slew of other programs.

Just some thoughts :)

08-04-2001, 03:47 PM
A pocket protector is a little plastic device you stick in your shirt pockets, then stick your pens in so you don't get ink all over your shirt from leaving the caps off :)

You can't necessarily build nicer looking sites with a WYSISWYG editor, but I've found I can do a better job with them. Also, when you use FireWorks and DreamWeaver together, you can create nicer stuff than you could before (at least thats how I was).

The main issue is time, and I guess that depends on every persons own definition of how long a page should take :) Also, when coding with NotePad, complex tables can get a bit confusing, I always end up with a page that looks like a 4 year old's work when I try and make complex tables in NotePad.

08-04-2001, 05:31 PM
I use EDIT (yep the DOS program) mostly

Microsoft Developer Studio (In text mode) is nice, but I tend to kick off the editor from a DOS command line, and it takes too long to load for my taste.

So I use both

08-04-2001, 09:17 PM
I have always been a notepad user but since my accident that left me a quadriplegic with one half decent finger inputting text is hard enough so hand coding HTML is too much work. Ok I know I could still breakout Notepad and hand code a site but it would take me a year to get out 1 page. LOL

I now use Adobe Golive to lend me a hand. (no pun intended) LOL

I have always been an Adobe guy and when they came out with a WYSIWYG editor it seemed only normal to with it. I really enjoy using it, especially sine the newest version is pretty integrated with all my other Adobe products I have. :)
The one bad thing about using this type of editor is you sometimes forget some hand coding. Yep it's true, if you don't use it you will lose it. LOL

Golive is pretty good in not messing with code you input manually and it's pretty good with HTML. I have only had to go in a couple times to have to add a little extra to a script that it makes.
It also has some really cool actions that really help do things faster.

OK, I will get off my sales pitch and just say I use Golive. LOL


Spidey Lee

08-04-2001, 09:33 PM
I code by hand and have always used a program called PFE -- Programmer's File Editor.

08-06-2001, 03:14 AM
When I started learning HTML, I started in notepad. There is a funny reason why...

I knew absolutely NOTHING about design, and I didn't even know what HTML was, and I just thought thta all pages were made with notepad. I am not joking! I read somehere that all you have to do is save the file as .html and it will load as a web page.

All my coding was done this way, and I honestly learned from looking at the source of other peoples sites. I never bothered to look up tutorials. I just didn't think of it, but I eventually cottoned on *ROFLMO*

That was only 12 months ago.

About 6 months ago, I started looking at tutorials. I found out about tables and frames, and I was hooked

Four months ago, I found Arachnophelia. WOW! I thought... I was running around my chair! Look at this GREAT new technology! I am actually laughing now as I am typing.

That is when I started actually searching the net, and finding out about everything that I can get my hands on. I am very good with most aspects of basic design, and I am also hosting 4 ikonboards for FREE for members of my website. I just love to help people :)

Now I use 1stPage and I have never ever used a WYSIWYG. I have downloaded them, but I just deleted them after fiddling for 1/2 an hour or so. It is SO annoying when you can just load 1st page and start writing HTML right off the top of your head.

I usually cut and past code that I have written, from previous pages that I have made. This saves heaps of time. I really like to start with a fresh clean page, and create my sites keystroke by keystroke. I enjoy it very much. Once I get one complete page, the others just need to be adjusted, because I use the first one as a template.

1stPage also has many options. I am able to click once, and a good table layout is set. I just add all the cellspacing, heights widths etc... and it has some great javascripts, and even CGI scripts.

I would recommend 1stPage for ANYONE, even people that started HTML yesterday afternooon. I would also recommend it to an professional web designer.

It also runs pretty well on my ancient 150MHZ that I have grown out of BIGTIME! It was fine for what I was doing with it 12 months ago...

IRC and a strategy game by Sid Meier, called Civilization!

(Is anyone waiting for Civ III) !!!???

I still love IRC, I host a chatroom on bigpond from my site.

If anyone has mIRC, maybe you wanna say hi?

The details are:
port 6667
and go to #computers.ez0ne :D


08-08-2001, 07:02 AM
EDIT is for wimps, WC - tough guys use EDLIN.

08-08-2001, 08:58 AM
I use Front Page 2000 to get a layout.
Once the layout/design is finished I only use Notetab.
Apart from that I also use my own software to maintain my HTML code on all my sites.

08-08-2001, 09:33 AM
Sounds like I'm the only UNIX editor guy around here, huh?

I use emacs (a standard editor that comes with UNIX systems, but is also available for Windows) to edit my HTML. It is a text editor with pretty advanced functionality, e.g. regular expression search and replace. I also like its keyboard shortcuts for rapid movement, e.g. Ctrl+Down to go down one paragraph, Alt+Right to go forward one word.

One disadvantage of emacs is that it was designed by UNIX geeks for UNIX geeks---it's not easy to learn. I had to sit down at with the tutorial for an hour to become basically functional in emacs. One would have an easier time getting started with TextPad.

I haven't really tried out WYSIWYG editors before; I do believe that there are good ones, but there's two reasons why they're not so useful to me:

(1) My websites are dynamically generated (e.g. from a MySQL database). I program in Apache::ASP, which has HTML embedded with the programming logic. So, I have to use a text editor to edit it. (If I used a template based system such as Template Toolkit, maybe I could edit the HTML using an HTML editor. I've never tried template systems before, but lately I've been developing websites with non-programmers so I'm thinking about learning it.)

(2) My web designs are minimal; I don't bother with fancy graphics because a. I'm not an artist, b. fancy pages load slower; the visitors are here to see my content, not my design, and c. the time I save by not making fancy graphics is time that I can spend on improving the content of the site. Since my web designs are simple, I won't get confused as to which TABLE tag ends where, etc. The most complicated design I've ever made is http://www.animewallpapers.com/

08-08-2001, 11:23 PM
Yup, I use SiteAid 1.3, I tried it out because it was free, but never found anything better, and I've tried just about all the more popular programs over the years.

08-10-2001, 07:40 AM
I like to use Frontpage 2000 for my site because it is very simple and I am still a newbie at web design , so maybe in the future I will try something else :)


08-11-2001, 04:58 PM
I was just a humble plumber when I learned HTML. I first liked coffeecup then found 1st Page 2000. These wsywigs taught me how to read HTML. After I learned how to read HTML I figured out how to write in HTML. Now I only use wysiwigs for design layout and I use notepad with WS_FTP pro to edit and update my pages.

1st Page 2000 is free and it comes in three or four modes


I like the expert but get lost in hardcore mode!

08-11-2001, 07:56 PM
I chose "Other" to represent UltraEdit Pro. I'm surprised that wasn't listed on the poll, as it's one of the top-rated text HTML editors out there. It's similar to TextPad from what I hear (but better of course ;)


08-11-2001, 10:51 PM
The time is spent on the overall look and feel, and creating the graphics. Can a WYSIWYG help with that?

Uh, yeah. Designers who are used to working in print like Dreamweaver because it frees them up to concentrate on the design, without worrying about the code.

08-13-2001, 07:53 AM
Excuse me guys for being a little rude, but I find it silly to use Notepad to built a big site nowdays. I am not saying that WYSIWYG editors is a gift from god and everyone should use them.

Personally I use Dreamweaver CAREFULLY. I know HTML and can handle most tasks either writing the code or using DW. I always check my pages for mistakes and when something doesn't work the way I want it to, I always read the code.

It is a lot of pain to write :
<table width="90" border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="2">
when you can do it by pressing 2 buttons in an editor.
Again, code is the power but why not use a program to make our life easier. It's like not using a debugger because you want to do it the "old way".

08-13-2001, 11:44 PM
I can relate to that. I managed a site that required me to table stats for sports teams. There were about 22 tables - 12columns - 10 rows each. I'd have to update the stats - weekly. You can't image how tedious it was! Fortunately, I asked here, and found out I could cut my labour drastically in Dreamweaver.

So, sure, I'd do simple page layouts in notepad - but for complex or nested tables (especially those you plan to edit), Notepad just didn't cut it. I use the two together.

08-20-2001, 06:41 PM
Hello fellow geeks,

I am new to geek talk and trying to get a feel for the group. I must say I am rather surprised at the number of folks using WYSIWYG editors!

I am a hand coder - always have been always will be. I am also a part-time teacher for a university's continuing ed program and have to explain frequently to my students why they shouldn't use WYSIWYG editors if they wish to become professional web developers. Most notably, FrontPage is not something a professional web developer should use : it is something that only your grandparents parents should be using to create a little homepage for themselves. My teenaged daughter even codes by hand so if she can ....

Before I start a war though, please let me clarify my role - I am a web programmer (aka web systems developer) and not a web designer. I implement what the designers want and add in the functionality to allow sites be database driven or any other cool stuff that isn't implemented with straight html. For smaller, static html sites I do think that some of the WYSIWYG editors are capable of doing a relatively decent job of coding BUT in my 7+ years of experience in the field, I have seen various editors through the years and have never been satisfied with their ability to create code that is clean (light weight), cross browser compliant, able to make working in a team environment easy (especially of issue for fusebox applications) or generally easy to work with.

First leaned to code pages using pico on a Unix box in 1994. Continued in that environment until 1997 (yes, I do know how to use vi but I really prefer pico). Now I use a combination of HomeSite (home and consulting) or Cold Fusion Studio (work place) or sometimes even Notepad when I teach.

Whenever I have tried to use DreamWeaver to get the tight layout and control that I need I always end up more frustrated (new job wanted me to use it - fortunately that ended quickly and I got my Cold Fusion Studio). I have always wanted to sit down next to another coder who was profiecient at using DreamWeaver and have us both try to code the same complicated page to see who could do it most quickly AND end up with a page that was rendered equally cross browser/cross platform and light weight with no extra goobly-gook.

Just my two cents

08-21-2001, 09:46 PM
Well, I voted for Dreamweaver. But, I don't use it that much after I mastered PHP. But I still use it to make the layout. :)

08-21-2001, 11:49 PM
1st Page 2000, it's great :)


08-22-2001, 01:10 PM
WOW perlgurl :)

Great thoughts and welcome to the Forum and BB :)

Don't miss our Coding Forum where I'm sure we can all learn from your exstensive experience.

08-24-2001, 05:19 PM
I use NoteTab Pro.

I'd never even tried a wysiwyg editor until recently... the funny thing is that I couldn't figure them out, too many buttons, too hard to find the code snip I wanted.

I tried a couple different ones and after many frusterating hours I ended up giving up and going back to my original way... draw the design on a piece of paper (Pencil crayons are helpful here), draw lines where tables should go to hold the layout, make notes about color, fonts etc... then open up NoteTab and start typing it out.

Believe it or not, this is still the easiest way for me. LOL!

I've had a LOT of people laugh seeing me sitting on the floor with my pencil box, doodling like a 5 year old.... but to tell the truth, I enjoy designing more this way!

08-27-2001, 09:45 PM
Thank you PerlGurl! You at least mentioned vi, I was going to post earlier, but did not want to get laughed off the block :)

08-31-2001, 02:20 AM
I actually learned to code HTML via a text editor (notepad), then jumped to Frontpage :D when I started messing with larger web sites.

Now, almost 6 years later (I'm 25 now), I use Frontpage 2k/2k2 for overall maintenance and keeping track of the navbars in my 350+ page humor site, but won't hesitate to code by hand if I need extra precision. (I'll actually spend about 25 - 50% of my time in the HTML mode of Frontpage or using notepad.)

Dreamweaver is a nice program, as well, but the fact that I'm a college student (and need money for minor things like bills, books, and food) keeps me from buying it. :D

I'd also have to say that newbies should definitely learn to code by hand first before jumping to an editor like Frontpage or Dreamweaver. It's not the easiest thing to do, but you'll be able to find and correct coding when (not if) WYSIWYG editors do strange things to your pages. :rolleyes:

08-31-2001, 12:27 PM
Homesite 4.5 rocks!!!! :) :angel:

Dreamweaver is okay, but I still controlling the html. I don't like the way Dreamweaver adds extra code either. That is wrong. :mad:

08-31-2001, 04:08 PM
Coming out of the computers area and not the design I also (off cource) prefer the good old ways of raw HTML.
My first tryls on HTML were before there even was a thing like Notpad. when it came I have triad netscape composer but ddin't like it.
Now I am working with AceHTML.
It is a text based like good Ol' Notpad (that I still use from time to time) but also mark the text in colors like in the programing editors upon I have learnd Pascal and C++.
It also have some nice options to Incert and modefiy stuff on the editing area what make it very fast to work with.
One of it's nices things is a preivew window to see the page. This preview page can be made to simulate diferand screen sizes and is very easy and good to work with.
O yes - It's FREE !!!

09-04-2001, 12:38 PM
I use EditPad for both HTML and PHP/MySQL.

Some of my upcoming classes will be using Dreamweaver so maybe I'll make the switch.

09-04-2001, 11:11 PM

Tried just about all of them - just can't seem to get *exactly* what you want unless you hand code.