write HTML documents with a text editor or any word processor. Recent
versions of word processors allow saving in HTML format. Using HTML
editing software can make page authoring much easier. HTML editors
allow you to use tags and attributes without knowing the code. Advanced
HTML editors tend to be updated more often to support the latest Web
Not all HTML editors create code exactly the same. Some applications allow you to set preferences that effect code writing options. Clean code, without an unnecessary tags, is preferable. An interesting exercise is to create an identical HTML file in Dreamweaver, Composer and Word, then compage the page source. The cleanest code is written by the HTML editors, while pages saved in word processors have excessive or imperfect HTML, or they add all the code requires to convert back. Some editors add a line advertising the fact that their product produced the page, others do not. Different editors use different encoding as their default; some use a proprietary character set as the default. Advanced HTML tools alow user-control of character set encoding.
The serious Web author will eventually need to know HTML code. If you begin creating pages with an HTML editor is is very useful to view the page source so you develop an understanding of what code is being created in response to what page elements and attributes you are inserting and formatting. In many HTML editors, a split screen view allows users to observe both the code and the WYSIWYG window simoutaneously. For those beginning web authoring, this feature is very instructive. A reasonable place to begin is by using Netscape Composer, a part of the free Netscape Communicator suite of Internet applications. Several advanced HTML editors now provide 30-day free trial downloads of their software (i.e. Dreamweaver), and enrolled students may purchase educational versions at a savings. One academic software reseller is CCV Software.
Some HTML Editor Links (in alphabetic order and infrequently updated):