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Website Design






Finding a Good HTML Editor for website design.



Once you've decided to write your own HTML for your website design, and you've got some idea of how it all works, there's one thing left to think about: which program are you going to use for your website design? While you can use programs like Notepad or Wordpad that come with Windows, they don't have any specialized HTML editing features specifically for website design, and that can slow you down more than you'd think.


The choice of HTML editors out there for website design, though, is bewildering: there are literally thousands. Here's a guide to things you should look for when you're searching for your perfect HTML partner for website design.


Syntax Highlighting.


One of the most vital features for any website design editor is syntax highlighting. This means that it understands how HTML works, and will make tags a different color from text, making it easier for you to see what you're doing. Essential for website design.


You should try to find a website design editor that has up-to-date syntax highlighting and checks whether your tags are valid or not. Instead of just coloring anything you put between angle brackets as part of your website design, the website design editor should check whether what you're entering is valid HTML, and warn you if it isn't (usually by turning it red).


Another thing to look out for when it comes to syntax highlighting is what the website design editor supports that you might want to use with HTML: it's good to have highlighting for CSS and Javascript, as well as PHP or Perl (or whatever you use server-side). Some website design editors mark them in the same colour to indicate 'not HTML', while some website design editors highlight them in a useful way  this is what you want.


Tag Suggestion.


It's good to get a website design editor that knows about valid HTML tags and how they're structured, as that means it can let you know what you should be including and let you browse through tags to find the one you're thinking of. If you type '


Tag-suggesting website design editors can often save you typing, if they come up with a drop-down when you start typing and allow you to accept their suggestions easily by pressing tab or space. This can speed up your website design editing significantly.


FTP Upload.


It will save you quite a lot of time if the website design editor you choose has a built-in FTP upload facility, allowing you to enter your server, username and password, and upload the files you've just edited to the server. If your website design program doesn't do this, you'll have to use a separate FTP program and mess around finding where you saved your website design files.


Easy Text to HTML Conversion.


If you're making a lot of text content as part of your website design, one important feature to look for is easy conversion  otherwise you'll spend a long time putting

tags at the start and end of each paragraph. Ideally, the website design software should be able to spot pieces of text that are headings, lists and so on, and add HTML tags for you automatically. It won't be helpful for everyone and all website design, but for text-heavy pages it's indispensable.


You might also be able to find website design editors that can accept input in text formats that aren't plain text  Microsoft Word documents, for example  and turn it into sensible website design.


A Few Suggestions.


Metapad (www.liquidninja.com/metapad). A good drop-in replacement for Notepad, but lacks HTML- website design specific features.


SciTE Editor (www.scintilla.org) has excellent syntax highlighting, making it easier to be sure that you're writing correct HTML website design tags and you haven't made any layout mistakes.


Crimson Editor (www.crimsoneditor.com) is a popular website design tool, although you might find it a little technical. Its biggest advantage is that it has built-in FTP uploads.


HomeSite (www.macromedia.com/software/homesite). Has good tag suggestion features, although it might be a little bulky for some website design. Very good if you have trouble remembering tags.


As a final note, you might try editing HTML for website design in the 'code view' of one of the visual editors  Dreamweaver and Frontpage are especially good website design tools for this, if you have it. These website design programs let you switch back and forward easily to see what effect your changes are having.

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