HTML Editors for web designers


Are you a web designer or are learning to customize your web page? If yes, read this article to find about some free and cheap HTML editors which can make your life easy by hiding the details of code and controlling the complexity through syntax checking or other intelligent 'helpers'.

An HTML editor is a basic tool of a web designer. It can make your life easy by hiding the details of code and helping you to control the complexity by syntax checking or other intelligent 'helpers'. This article gives a review of the commonly available HTML Editors in market.

HTML Editors for web designers


There are plenty of HTML Editors available and it is really tricky to choose one. Some of these editors are free and their difficulty level is also low. So, not only experts but even novices can try their hand at these tools.

Microsoft FrontPage 98

This is a WYSIWYG editor/site manager with wizards that take you through setting up your first web pages. Be sure to check your code after using this editor as WYSIWYG editors frequently change HTML code when files are loaded into them. This feature-rich Microsoft product takes up a lot of space on disk but it gives some very cool gadgets like Active Channels. It also offers some Microsoft proprietary goodies and database wizards to grab content from existing databases. It is well integrated with Microsoft products but the designs it offers can be a little less on pedestrian side. Having said this, let me clear that these designs are much better than half the pages you see on internet. It has decent site management tools too (though not as good as NetObjects Fusion). Thus, we can say that FrontPage 98 is an excellent choice for beginners or those with not a clear style sense. This editor supports Win95 and Macintosh platforms. It is available on the official Microsoft website.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for novice to intermediate users

  • Netscape Composer

    This is a semi WYSIWYG editor that lets you include arbitrary tags by typing them into a special tag element on the page. It is perfect for quickly throwing a page onto web but it is outgrown for serious work. The editor is very easy to use but is limited in scope. It supports Win95, UNIX and Mac platforms. The version 4 is available on the official Netscape website for free.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for novice users

  • Adobe PageMill 3.0

    This WYSIWYG editor is completely commercial. It automates the process of putting up a good looking site with as little hassle as possible. Its step by step drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a 'museum quality' website very quickly for novice users. 'Museum quality' website is a decent looking website with few features. PhotoShop LE is included for manipulating graphics directly. PageMill is a good starting point for people already committed to Macintosh platforms. The editor is not very powerful. It supports Win95/ NT and Mac platforms. It is available on the official Adobe website.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for novice and intermediate users

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver

    This editor lets you work with the code directly and drag & drop dynamic HTML elements like a multimedia authoring package. It is built from the ground up to support HTML 4 and Dynamic HTML. It supports Win95/ NT and Mac platforms. It is available on the official Macromedia website.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for novice and intermediate users

  • HotMetal Pro

    This code based WYSIWYG editor is the mother of all HTML editors. It appears in a new incarnation that includes many goodies and built-in support for Microsoft and NetScape style Dynamic HTML. It ensures that you get easy accessibility to tutors to build pages via Braille, text and audio browsers. AdaptAble Technology, including a Visual Dynamic Keyboard to allow people with limited dexterity to access the entire program's features, provides an interface for differently abled users to design and code their own web pages. I have not yet seen any other editor that serves such wide markets. The editor includes website overviews and management, syntax and link checking, tag icon editing, raw code editing and automatic conversion from major word processors and spreadsheets. I can say that this editor has everything a web designer can think of. It has less power though. It supports Win95, UNIX and Mac platforms. It is available on the official Softsquad website.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for intermediate users

  • Hot Dog Express

    This WYSIWYG editor is designed for beginners. It offers an extremely simple drag and drop interface to let you quickly develop a home page or perform other straightforward tasks. It can't edit HTML directly but offers a quick way to try a layout or look. It supports Win95 platform. It is available on the official Sausage website.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for novice users

  • Hot Dog Professional 5

    This code based WYSIWYG editor is a must in any professional web developer's tool kit. It comes with 'Supertoolz' that create everything from real/audio video from .wav or .avi files to even Java applets. Tag colors by HTML level, Netscape and IE extensions, syntax and link checking, extensible tags and other goodies make this editor a great choice. An automated update facility keeps track of latest revisions. Codes are licensed for each individual machine and this may become a potential problem for users who use multiple devices or hop a lot. Site management, inline macros, automated update of a finished site and other such features make it easy to manage a website. It supports Win95 platform. It is available on the official Sausage website.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for intermediate to expert users

  • MicroEdge's Visual SlickEdit

    This code based WYSIWYG editor is also a must in any professional web developer's tool kit. It comes with in-built support for HTML as well as for all major programming languages like Java, JavaScript and Perl. It includes direct access to API Apprentice for figuring out difficult API calls, syntax checkers and compilers. Users can view their code 'in-progress' as they get direct access to web browser. Some enhancements to HTML features include full color coding and smart spell-checking. It supports Win95, UNIX and X Windows platform. It is available on the official Slickedit website.

  • Difficulty level - Apt for intermediate to expert users


  • Read Which is the best programming language to start with?


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