What is a good text editor to type and learn HTML on a Mac?

Rob Zaleski September 3, 2011

I am trying to learn HTML, but TextEdit wants to add HTML code when I save the file as .html. I want a basic text editor (like Notepad on Windows machines) to work on learning how to type HTML code, but on the Mac, perhaps one with validation ability as well. Any suggestions?

  1. Paul D Pruitt
    September 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Notepad++ is what I use, but it doesn't have a WYSIWYG feature built in.  It is however free and the color coding it uses for the different types of tags, is very helpful. Otherwise there is the old standby Dreamweaver, the Microsoft's Expression and the free Sea Monkey, KomPozer and Nvu. I think the last three are all basically the same, based on the Mozilla platform.

    If you can get a hold of Microsoft FrontPage 2002 or 2003, which MS Expression semi-replaced. They are easy to use WYSIWYG editors that many people liked to use, but the purists liked to be snobby about.

  2. Anonymous
    September 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm
  3. Mike
    September 3, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Kod (freeware, only syntax highlighting)

    TextWrangler (freeware, only syntax highlighting)

    BBEdit (comm, syntax highlight and check)

    other commercial options include 
    Coda http://www.panic.com/coda/
    CodeBox http://www.codeboxapp.com/

    Personally I would go with (any) one of the free products. 
    Syntax highlighting usually is sufficient to detect errors other then that no option will replace or spare you the part of painfully learning how to program (X)HTML and testing it in (different) browsers.

    Actually TextEdit is capable of saving as a HTML file but since it's default format is Rich-Text you will have to make it plain text before you save it (Format > Make Plain Text) or for a more permanent settings go into it's preferences and select "Plain text" as format.

    • Rob Zaleski
      September 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks Mike. Maybe I messed something up when I tried to change TextEdit to plain text. It actually removed all of MY html language. It was weird. I like the idea of something checking my syntax for me though, so I will have to check out some of the above and see which I prefer. Thanks for the quick response!

      • Mike
        September 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm

        It is possible that TextEdit stripped your own HTML code after converting it to plain text ~ mine is set to plain text by default via Preferences so I never came into that situation. If you set plain text beforehand it does work.

        Syntax checking sure is a nice feature but it should always be used with certain caution. Personally I'm satisfied with syntax highlighting because you usually spot errors right away via the color coding.

        But I do suggest to check out as many editors as possible and as you can find.

    • Rob Zaleski
      September 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Jeffery. I have checked out the second link already. It is just kind of difficult to tell which of them will try to do the formatting for you from their descriptions. I want to actually learn this stuff and not have a program do it for me until I actually understand it better. I'll check out the other link too. Thanks again!

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