I’m going to help you choose the best HTML editor for your needs. The basic thing in web design and development is that you need to switch on your monitor…. well, not exactly just that. 🙂 In fact, if you’ve decided to mess around with HTML and become a web design guy or a web developer, you need to start from learning HTML. Sure thing, not just that either, but you’ll need foremost HTML in the very beginning. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can go further and learn CSS, PHP and some other good stuff.
So, you decided to learn HTML or just want to make a site real quick. You need a tool that allows you to do that. You can basically just use Notepad that comes bundled with every Windows installation (or Text Wrangler if you’re on a Mac), but in most cases you’ll need something more user friendly. And that is exactly where the post that you’re reading right now comes in handy.
I’m going to list a few free HTML editors that you can use either for learning HTML or actually creating a site.
In case you just want to learn HTML, you can go for a standard and hardcore HTML editor like Notepad++ or something else that has a code mode only, but if you actually want to get the visuals of what exactly you’re doing (adding a table, an image or the like), your best bet is to try an HTML editor that has a WYSIWYG feature build-in. What is really awesome about that is the fact that such a feature (by the way, WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get) is available not only in paid software, but you can just select from a pretty decent amount of free HTML editors. I’ve created a list of the best from the crowd. Just select the one to your liking and you’re good to go. Keep on reading the article and I’ll show you what the Web has got for your kind consideration. Now let’s get the ball rolling.
Free HTML Editors
The CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor
This is a pretty decent WYSIWYG HTML editor that can easily take the first place in the list of free software for HTML. It installs pretty nice and easy without any hassle or issues. The thing that you’ll definitely enjoy is that it supports snippets that make editing really convenient because you can re-use your own code (chunks of code are called snippets). You can also use the code tab, which is integrated in the “Resource Browser” panel along with the Snippets tab. The Code tab makes it possible to make use of ready codes in HTML, CSS, PHP. So, even when you’re done with your HTML studies or you decide to add some really neat functionality to your site, you still can use the same software.
One more feature that will grab your attention is that you can either create a site from scratch or you can just use one of the templates that come bundled with your CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor installation. You can use the template option in case you’re pressed for time because of a tight deadline or something like that. From my own experience, this only feature can be a game changer. Which way to go really depends on your aim. It goes without saying that it is always good to realize that either option is at your disposal.
What a bit disappointed me is the thing that, though it is called a free HTML editor, some features are not available in the standard version. For instance, when you try to use the Visual Editor tab, it suggests using the Premium version.
Among the other cool features, I should mention the fact that the piece of software also has a built-in FTP manager, which allows you to upload your site right on the Internet.
You can download the Free HTML Editor from the official site. By the way, the site has a similar design as the piece of software itself. Kinda neat.
And here’s a great video from a rather young dude who shows the benefits of the HTML editor in his YouTube video:
Nvu Web Authoring Software
In my opinion, it is a bit old style, but it still does the job. You’re going to like this free HTML editor if you don’t actually think that all those bells and whistles are necessary in a piece of software that one should use for creating a clean and efficient website. Anyway let me warn you that after starting the software, you may be back in the nineties. At least, you’ll feel like that. 🙂
On the other hand, its minimalism makes it really easy to concentrate on the actual code that you decided to put into practice rather than checking some classy icons like it can happen in other software in the industry.
So, I suggest using this HTML editor only if you’re really into coding. Frankly, I would not recommend this as the best free HTML editor for the average Joe. Though it has line numbering and code highlighting, but really … it is not enough to make it that easy in terms of editing as some say. The learning curve can be pretty intimidating. As a matter of fact, I’ve read on a few sites (pretty reputable ones) that it is extremely easy to use the software for creating sites. I really disagree with that. In case you have something to support that idea, feel free to leave a comment and prove me wrong.
You can use this link for downloading the editor. Once you’re on the redirected page, select the option that is good for you: Microsoft Windows (.zip), Apple Mac Leopard OS X (.dmg.zip), Linux and Other Misc. Versions.
You may want to check out the following video as for using the HTML editor in question. Ethan explains how to use the software and gives his opinion about it.
AceHTML, a Free HTML Editor
Another pretty basic free HTML editor although it is really worth of checking out to see if it fits your needs for mastering HTML or creating a website for yourself or your business. First things first. What really falls in the eye right off the bat when you install and start the software is the fact that it is actually a 30-trial, but on the site it says that it is free. Is it me or they are actually messing with us? 🙂 Anyway, the interface looks pretty neat and has all the tools and panels for basic editing.
Not too fancy but really enough to get you going and create a simple site.
Some of its most prominent features:
- code coloring (code highlighting);
- quality assurance;
- project management;
- access to more than 40,000 graphics via GOgraph.
GOgraph does not provide free images but it can be of huge value when you need some images for a project and you don’t have all the time in the world to waste on searching for the right image you need.
Use the following link to download your copy of the HTML editor. The site looks a bit like a 3rd party one but it’s Ok to download from there. I checked. 🙂
PageBreeze Free HTML Editor
Though the interface seems to be pretty basic, it has all the tools that you need to create a basic page in HTML. I have not found any exceptionally awesome features, but you definitely need to consider the option of using this software as a free tool for creating a site of your own or even a site for a company.
I’d like to point out that this free HTML editor has a set of default templates that you can use as a basis for your future site. You can also switch over between the code and the design view much like in Adobe Dreamweaver, but the game changer is that the PageBreeze Free HTML Editor is actually a free one (unlike Dreamweaver). By the way, they actually do have a professional paid version, but it is not really highly likely that you’ll need it any time soon or at all.
You can download the software using this link. Just click the “Free Download! Never Expires!” link when on the site.
And a really nice and self-evident video (with a kick-ass intro) as for how exactly you can use the piece of software:
As it usually happens, last but not least. For starters, it is free as well. This software is definitely not for WYSIWYG folks, because it does not actually have any handy preview option that allows you to view your future site right in the editor, but you can just use your favorite browser for viewing the results of your coding.
This “beast” has a lot of features that only a hardcore developer can appreciate. So, unless you know HTML/CSS enough to be dangerous, better stay away from this piece of software. If you’re really into coding and you really want to mess around with mere (or mostly so) code while creating your site and become a pro web designer/developer) , it is the way to go.
As its name suggests, it has something to do with the Notepad that you have in your Windows. That is actually right, but it is more like Notepad on steroids. So that you can get the picture, let me highlight some of its really awesome (for a code guy) features. Unfortunately, specifying a whole lot of its features would be too cumbersome for the post, but I’ll mention only the most head-turning things that you can do in the best free HTML editor. Some call it so. What do you think?
First off, you can open multiple tabs much like in a web browser (all major browsers have that feature nowadays). You can also click on a particular tab and select (after right-clicking on the tab) the “Close all but this” option. Doing so will close all the other tabs so that you can conveniently work just with the one you currently need.
One more feature that I really dug was the one that you can set a specific tab to read only in order not to be editing something in that file if you did not really intend to edit it and actually did so accidentally. Simply put, it is a fool-proof feature for safe developing. It goes without saying that color highlighting is available as well. Otherwise calling the editor a robust one would be unfair. And the last feature that I’d like to note here is that you can double-click on a word in your file and it’ll highlight all the other occurrences of the word in a given file. I’m not exactly sure that it’ll be of great help while working with HTML, but it’s a really demanded feature for programming with PHP or other languages.
Feel free to download this robust and free HTML editing software using this link. I should point out that I also like the site that is home to the software. Kudos to the designer! 🙂
And an amazing and comprehensive video about using Notepad++. The screencast is rather long, so you may want to grab a cup of coffee before watching it:
So, the best way to see what works best for your needs would be to actually download and check them out because there’s no accounting for taste and I was just trying to give you some info so that you can just get the general picture of what is for you out there.
You can also find more info on HTML editors (and download links) on SoftwareSolution.Informer.com. You can register and get regular updates about new software that appears out there on the web.
In case you know about a decent free HTML editor that I’ve not covered in the post, please let me know in the comments below. I’m also open to any ideas what you’d like to have improved in the post. I really feel like talking 🙂