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What are the best MAC HTML editors?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by YMC, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. #1
    I plan on making the move from a PC to a Mac. I'm finding tons of conversations about graphics software options but very little on HTML and CSS editors. I currently use HTML-Kit and it seems they have a pseudo Mac version that requires emulation software that makes a Mac act like a PC. I really don't want to do that.

    I'm hoping to hear from some folks who are actually using the programs rather than someone who has written a round-up post without actually using the stuff they are talking about.

    The features I hope to find are...

    - using colors to mark code and plain text
    - some sort of utility that "tidies" or otherwise checks the code (HTML-Kit's Tidy has often led to finding that missing /DIV from thousands of lines of code)
    - multiple windows
    - spell check would be nice
    - basically those things that are common in a true HTML editor that are not available in a plain text editor.

    Oh, and nothing that's WYSIWYG. I've found they add way too much crap to the code that's totally unnecessary.
    YMC, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  2. nicoo

    nicoo Member

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    #2
    dreamweaver works pretty great on mac.
    nicoo, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  3. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Isn't Dreamweaver one of those that adds a lot of unnecessary code?
    YMC, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  4. SubediK

    SubediK Active Member

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    #4
    I use both mac and windows and Dreamweaver is my primary tool for both platforms.

    There are a lot of code editors that are mac exclusive.

    If you are looking for something free and simple, http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/ is the best one. I use notepad++ in windows and this is the best mac alternative to that.

    If you are looking for something paid, try https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coda-2/id499340368?mt=12 . Coda is the best looking web editor i have used. It's price is $74 but i think it is totally worth it.

    There is also espresso http://macrabbit.com/espresso/ that is really good but its priced a bit high.

    Just do a search on the mac app store and you should be able to find more. Good luck! :)

    Edit: I just realised you said no WYSYWIG, Coda is WYSIWYG but i rarely do anything visually.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
    SubediK, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  5. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #5
    I was just looking at the Coda website. I didn't really see where it was WYSIWYG. Maybe I'm missing something or I used the term incorrectly here.

    I was referring to the editors that allow to to basically create a word processing document and then they translate it into HTML. Great tools for non-programmers but horrid at actually generating decent code. I know with MS-Word, the font declarations alone take up about half the file's size.

    I would rather not get into a monthly subscription service for software like Adobe is doing. Their stuff has always been amazing but so very expensive.

    SubediK, I've been looking at both Coda and BBEdit. Have you used both and which do you think is better? That code collapse thing on Coda would make things so much easier.
    YMC, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  6. SubediK

    SubediK Active Member

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    #6
    CODA is not WYSYWIG as in dreamweaver where you can drag and drop to make changes, but it has live preview which means if you make any changes to the html or css the changes will appear instantly.

    I did try to use CODA as my primary tool but i am used to all the shortcuts and the UI from dreamweaver so it was hard to switch.

    I haven't used BBEdit but i would definitely recommend CODA. It's pretty widely used and it has tiny little features that make it stand out from other editors. One other thing i like about CODA is their built in database editor, saves me a lot of time while working on some things. Code hinting is great and they constantly add new features.

    I use dreamweaver for any big projects im working on (i have everything setup as Sites), but if i have to make a quick html page or a quick script, CODA is my go-to tool. I am sure it could replace dreamweaver but im just too used to it to move.
    SubediK, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  7. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #7
    It seems the most talked about are CODA, BBEdit, Sublime Text and Dreamweaver. Not interested in DW, so that leaves the other 3.

    From quick looks at their sites, CODA and BBEdit appeal to me the most.

    Thank you SubediK for your feedback.

    Any other Mac users here willing to share their faves and why?
    YMC, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  8. Noticed

    Noticed Active Member

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    #8
    I'm using Coda 2 and love it, I don't think there is anything out there that can beat it. It's a really solid program.
    Noticed, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  9. kk5st

    kk5st Well-Known Member

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    #9
    I'm just old school; I prefer Emacs. It runs on any OS/platform you've ever heard of and a potload you haven't. It is simply the most powerful text editor ever. Some folks say it has a steep learning curve, but that's not true. It is simple to learn what you need when you need it. It runs in the shell or in the GUI. See the manual.
    kk5st, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  10. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #10
    Looking at the link you provided kk5st, Emacs sounds like an old command line editor type of program. If you are used to using it, it is probably killer fast. But, for the rest of us, we would essentially have to learn a new programming language. Marks? Rings? Hard-coding next line characters and having to remember commands to move forward one character?

    I admit to being a bit old school and preferring keyboard commands to mouse clicks but eeek. Last time I saw anything that complicated, I was writing Assembler code.
    YMC, Jan 5, 2014 IP
  11. kk5st

    kk5st Well-Known Member

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    #11
    It is maybe 30+ years or more old, but is fully GUI integrated so mouse and menus work just like everyone else. The kill-ring is very very worthwhile. Maybe other editors have it also, I don't know. The benefit is being able to paste from multiple blocks that you've copied or cut to the clipboard.

    Emacs will open multiple buffers (files) at a time just like any tabbed editor. Where Emacs has added value is in being able to display and edit multiple files at a time. See Emacs windows. My simplistic use is to have a notes file, an organization file and the file I'm working on for references. Then I can scroll these files to where ever needed for info on what I'm writing. Thus, four windows open within Emacs at the same time. No switching applications or tabs; all files are visible all the time. (When I edit the working file, the ref version of the file is updated)

    Don't bother to learn more than you need to know for what you're doing. If you need more it will be simple to pick up, and the more key shortcuts you get in the habit of using the faster you'll work. Every time you touch the mouse, it slows you down.

    cheers,

    gary
    kk5st, Jan 6, 2014 IP
  12. deathshadow

    deathshadow Prominent Member

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    #12
    Unless you're editing LaTeX, I don't get it either. Never have, and I'm old school enough to have started out entering code one bit at a time on a row of nine toggle switches and a pushbutton.

    In many ways to me emacs is just more proof that some people want programming to be hard. It's like the people still promoting the use of needlessly impossible to use editors like vi/vim, which are so bad you might as well go back to using Edlin... though that mirrors my entire *nix experience, even today. I can't help but think every time I deal with it "IF I wanted to dick around on the command line in SH with pointlessly cryptic command line options, I'd grab the Trash-80 Model 16 out of the garage and boot up Xenix!"

    Though to me, developing on a Mac is also making life harder than need be -- and the solution to your question would be to install virtualBox or Parallels Fusion in seamless mode with a copy of XP; you should have that installed anyways so you can test IE, so it means you can also install damned near anything you want for an editor. Of course at that point, you could always just bootcamp into Windows.

    Which is why I'd suggest Flo's notepad2. None of that tabbed BS, pretty feature complete, and lets you turn off the annoying crap... it being Windows only isn't an issue since you pretty much need access to Windows anyways to actually TEST what you write.

    If I REALLY had to suffer through a native OSX program, I'd go with text wrangler. Simple, effective, and one of the first things I install (along with Fantasktik) on OSX.

    Though it sounds like you want some of the annoying crap like the illegible acid trip of colour syntax highlighting bull... but that's just me. Never understood how things like that, code folding, autocomplete, and so forth actually help -- for me they just make things harder. Same goes for things like tidy -- if you bother using tabs and carriage returns properly, use an editor capable of block indent and de-indent, it should be a total non-issue.


    But then I'm also an Opera 12 user (instead of the pathetic crippleware that's Opera15+) so I can just hit ctrl-alt-v to send my markup to the W3C Validator.
    deathshadow, Jan 6, 2014 IP
  13. deathshadow

    deathshadow Prominent Member

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    #13
    Oh and for *** sake stay the god blasted blue blazes away from anything that can even be used as a WYSIWYG, or even has any sort of preview pane BULL. That ignorant halfwit asshattery is nothing more than a sleazy shortcut that will bite you in the ass sooner than later... unless of course you never learn enough to realize it; which is part of what DW and it's kine promote, ignorance and half-assed broken ways of doing things. By the time you learn enough to use Dreamweaver to build a website properly, nothing it has taught you or provides you is of ANY real value over anything provided by a flat text editor and simple FTP client.

    As I often say, the only thing about Dreamweaver that can be considered professional grade tools are the people promoting it's use. Web developers are dumber for that bloated overpriced steaming pile of bull even EXISTING. Anyone telling you otherwise doesn't know enough about building websites to be flapping their gums on the topic, and need a quintuple helping of sierra tango foxtrot uniform.

    For those of you who disagree, the dunce caps are over there.
    deathshadow, Jan 6, 2014 IP
  14. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #14
    Lots of great stuff to ponder deathshadow.

    Color codes? If I'm typing a command and the right bits don't colorize, I know I misstyped or missed something. The one with HTML kit highlights ampersands in light gray - gentle reminder to fix them. It also makes it easier to find and edit text that needs changing in an old file.

    Tidy? Granted, it often takes compact code and spreads it out too much, but it can be extremely helpful in spotting missing closing tags that aren't so obvious. Missing header tags? easy to spot. Missing closing div, sometimes not so easy to even realize one's missing. Tidy would tell me one was missing. Didn't always get the location right but at least I knew what to look for. Sure I could use the W3C validator but having an offline option is sometimes more convenient.

    Never used code folding before, I don't think HTML Kit offers it. I could see it being very useful to make files appear smaller and make editing quicker and easier. Close up all the stuff between the first line and the beginning of the body that's rarely changed. Close up sidebars or main content if you're working in the other. A gadget/gizmo for sure but one that I can see as something nice to have.

    Install a Microsoft operating system on my Mac? Oh dear, I hope not. Why not just buy a PC then? I'm tired of using their bug-infested, insecure stuff. And I'm even more tired of paying for the privilege of software that should have been scrapped and rewritten from scratch 15 years ago instead of being updated and patched to death. (Sure, I may come to eat those words. But, I just don't get buying a Mac and then turning it into a pseudo-PC.) There's still a working PC in the house, so any IE testing can be done on it.

    Back when I bought my first Adobe Suite, there was so much buzz about Design. I tried it. Did use it once for a complicated table design (yes, it was for a layout, but in my defense, it was never used). It was great for ensuring all the colspans and rowspans were right but the code it produced was an utter mess. All I saw was a way for yet more folks to hang out their shingles as "web pros" who had no business doing so. DreamWeaver, just seems like another variation on that theme.
    YMC, Jan 6, 2014 IP
  15. deathshadow

    deathshadow Prominent Member

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    #15
    For me I find my eyes can't focus on what anything actually says when it's all different colours. It's just completely illegible nonsense... It's also like most people who use it seem to spend more time looking at the colours than what the code SAYS... the times I've been in the room with people using it, I'll say something like "insert it right before the contentWrapper DIV, and it takes them a year and a half to find it or they resort to search because it's lost in the rainbow.

    I've never needed any extra tools for that, at least for structural/template stuff, but I'm RABID about using tab, enter... selecting an area and hitting tab or shift-tab to indent or de-indent code blocks... If you have good habits and a decent style guide to follow, it should be a non-issue... which is why for me things like Tidy are what I use to clean up OTHER people's code, not my own. I kinda feel the same way about Firebug and dragonfly -- they're tools I use when cleaning up other people's messes, not working with my own stuff.

    For me since I write a section, then test in the four engines, the code a section, then test in the four engines, then code a section, then test in the four browsers, hitting ctrl-alt-v when I test in Opera isn't really any more or less of a step.

    To me hiding... anything is a mistake. I remember it being a bad thing when people started splitting their code into multiple files so they could 'black box' unchanging parts in the '80s in Cobol, DiBol, Fortran and the like, and to me it's just modern coders making that same mistake over again... admittedly this dislike for 'hiding' things extends to just about all aspects of computer use, which is why I think the whole 'personalized toolbars' crap where programs hide options you 'haven't used lately' is some of the most idiotic halfwit trash you could do to a UI. (Yes, WinXP/later, I'm looking at you)

    Since I test IE at every stage -- after markup is complete, during header CSS construction, during column construction, during footer construction, after media queries are added, and so on/so forth -- that would be awkward getting up every few minutes to go another computer to do something that should be a simple alt-tab F5. It's part of why I wouldn't do web development on a Mac in the first place (even though I have a few, I used to be an Apple Certified tech) or if I were to, I'd get myself over to Windows. Apart from the death of anything I consider a useful application, the goofy crippled UI (I know, matter of taste), overpriced re-re hardware that leaves me asking "What quality" -- there's the simple fact you SHOULD be testing IE a lot... NO, A LOT -- at EVERY step... as well as Firefox, Chrome, and legacy Opera since so many users are staying with Opera 12 given what pathetically useless crippleware Opera 15 is by comparison (admittedly, I think Chrome and Safari are pathetically useless crippleware too -- hence my disappointment with what is effectively Chrome with the Opera logo just slapped on it any old way).

    Fusions or VirtualBox's seamless mode is the best for that if you end up stuck on a quackintosh. It's a VM so it's sandboxed, in seamless the apps look like they're running on the desktop and are easy enough to switch to. I still run IE 5.5 and 6 under virtualbox on Win7 for that reason; just as I test Safari and Firefox on Mountain Lion in a VM on the same machine since both behave VERY differently on OSX than Windows. Yes, I run OSX under windows in a VM for testing

    We all start somewhere. Hangs head in shame... Nyetscape Composer 3... -- the difference is how soon you get your wakeup call and realize that what such tools have the unmitigated gall to call markup is so embarrassingly bad, it's shocking how anyone could consider them for production use.

    But then you look at the trash many so called 'professionals' call markup, and it becomes clear. Even most of the successful crap like turdpress has such disastrously bad markup you wonder just what the hell is wrong with the halfwits making these systems. ... there's something in the water.
    deathshadow, Jan 6, 2014 IP
    YMC likes this.
  16. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #16
    I have seen some of the colorized code that looks like a rainbow. That would drive me crazy. The one I'm using now uses four colors...one for protected words (think that's the right term, I mean things like div, href, etc), one for ampersands and other similar things, one for parameters and black for text. I like it. When I'm working on changing a page's text, I can essentially scan through and visually ignore the code or vice versa.

    I don't generally tab indent things. While it makes for prettier code, it seems to add a lot of unnecessary spacing. If a fix seems elusive, I may go back and indent to find the problem. Probably would be smarter to just do it right the first time. sigh.

    I can remember when Excel first made it possible to hide rows and columns. Sounded like a great idea at the time. Too bad it usually corrupted the file or made it impossible to make the hidden stuff visible again. I hear what you are saying about hiding things. Though, other than changing the meta title, description or keywords; I can't think of too many times I've had to go back and edit that stuff.

    Speaking of Opera...I loaded it this morning on my PC. I visited 4 pages on 3 different sites and it crashed. (one of my sites, Yahoo! and a newspaper site) Can't say that was an impressive showing. You use it for code validation?

    Oh, what did they call that when they did that separate code stuff in the 80s? There was a name they used, but it escapes me at the moment. It's funny. I'm seeing php programmers recommend doing it and Wordpress themes are built completely around the concept - both seem to think they've invented something new. I like the idea in general but loathe the way WordPress implements it. Too many opening tags in the header - one closes in the main body/index file/category page/and others and the other closes in the footer. Heck, here's an idea, make the header file just that, what displays the page heading and nothing more. Nasty stuff to debug. If you're going to compartmentalize code then it should truly be independent of each other - or at least only be dependent on 1 other file.

    I have never understood how programmers who could create something as useful as WordPress can create such a terrible theme structure. All of those style definitions you never use that seem to come out of nowhere. You edit the template, load the page and then there's this weirdo class, id or style reference that doesn't appear in the theme but comes from some function or the core code. Have to edit core files or add inline styles (yuck) just to get things the way you want. Silly, foolish and a real nuisance.

    Oh I test IE A Lot. You have to. Thank you Microsoft for thinking you are smarter than the rest of the Internet community. Sigh. Did I mention how tired I am of dealing with those folks and their software? I generally work on laptops, so having two running at the same time isn't a big issue. I long for the day that everyone stops using their buggy, insecure and ill-behaving IE or they actually start following the international standards. Yeah, I know a pipe dream if there ever was one.

    Oh, I had been doing web programming for years before playing with Design. Notepad anyone? I was truly shocked how badly the code was interpreted by Adobe and Word the first time I used either. Word put font declarations on every sentence even when only one font was used throughout the document. What a mess to clean up.

    I had a writing client who had pooled money with some other professionals in her community to hire some "top-notch web programmers." To say the code was crap was to insult a bull. They used H1 tags all over every page. They used heading tags anywhere they wanted something bolded. Had another client tell me that their programmer told them it was impossible to add a WordPress blog to an existing website designed in pure HTML.

    That's the problem with anything that has a low barrier to entry - the schiesters and wannabes can easily take advantage of good people.
    YMC, Jan 7, 2014 IP
  17. kk5st

    kk5st Well-Known Member

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    #17
    @ds: Not sure what you mean by bringing up LaTeX, it's just a markup language no different from any other. Do other editors not recognize LaTeX markup, or let you compile from within the editor?

    Everyone seems to make a big deal out of the keyboard shortcuts and "Ooh, they're so hard to learn." Emacs is just like any other text editor, except for its ultimate power. Open it up, and use your mouse to click from the menu, navigate or what have you to your heart's content. When you want to go beyond the capabilities a GUI, or you want to work faster, learn the keyboard shortcuts for the commands you most commonly need. How hard is that?

    g
    kk5st, Jan 8, 2014 IP
  18. deathshadow

    deathshadow Prominent Member

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    #18
    LaTeX is one of the few that's so needlessly and pointlessly complex emacs alleged "features" serve any legitimate purpose -- though that's why nobody in 2014 is likely to give a flying purple fish about LaTeX.

    You said that more than once, and my brain was having a bit of a disconnect so I went and installed it after about a decade of giving a flying **** about it... Since when has it been a graphical app with a menu?!? Last time I saw emacs there was no menu, it was text mode/terminal only... and about as annoying to use as vi/vim... to the point it didn't recognize even the arrow keys on a keyboard, much less the concept of a numeric keypad. Hence the comparison to Wordstar... ^K-b, ^K-c, ^K this!

    Though I see it still has one of the things that annoys the ever living piss out of me -- I hate any editor where I open a file and can't simply start typing, and instead have to go hunting to find out what it is you need to hit before you can actually use it to edit text... I don't understand why like 90% of the 'big name' *nix editors do this... I see they still call a window a frame and a frame a window... Oh yeah, trying to use this train wreck would piss me off instantly... How do people use that crap to do anything? It's a poster child for taking something simple (editing text) and making it needlessly and pointlessly convoluted. I've had it open for about a minute and I still can't seem to figure out how to create a empty document or type text -- THAT'S bad design. IT REALLY suffers badly from "For **** sake I just want to open a blasted file and start typing!!!" -- hence my comparison to the pathetically useless EDLIN as it seems to be the same type of outmoded pre-IBM 86 key asshattery. See BASH or ZSH until the past few years where they FINALLY fixed the keyboard behavior...

    TRS-80 ScriptSit was better than this -- Hell, my first computer was more useful than this pile of ****, and all it had for a UI was nine toggle swiches, a push-button and eight LED's. (since I was too cheap to spring for a two digit eight segment display). Ok, that last part was an exaggeration...

    ... though it's entirely what I would expect from Stallman, FLOSS-Tard dirty hippy bull and the people who see *nix as the be-all end all. Given my attitude towards that community, my dislike for the only piece of software that's been the least bit relevant from said socialist is hardly a shocker.

    Probably has to do with the fact I've been computing since 1977, but never encountered a real *nix until the mid '90's, then went "what the hell is this backwards half-assed ****?!?"

    Well, unless you count OS-9, and it made fun of Unix too.

    Reeks of "if I wanted to dick around with this ***, I'd drag out one of my 1980's computers".

    Even sadder, I've got more useful editors for that C64... much less the SE/30 or T1K-SX.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
    deathshadow, Jan 8, 2014 IP
  19. deathshadow

    deathshadow Prominent Member

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    #19
    Oh, and cute that the windows version didn't bother including the noconsole option when built, so it leaves a shell window open in the background. QUALITY work. Of course given Stallman's rah-rah rage against the machine hatred of anything non GNU and outright lies and bunk his organization sleaze out and try to call truth (windows7sins much?) -- intentionally making it suck on specific platform is right up his alley.

    Entirely typical of the back room *nix geeks who got left behind by the real computer revolution of the '80's and '90's.
    deathshadow, Jan 8, 2014 IP
  20. kk5st

    kk5st Well-Known Member

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    #20
    I have no idea what you're talking about. In Windows since v98 (I didn't try Emacs in Win2 or 3), click on the desktop icon or go to the start menu. If there is a background terminal, who cares? It dies when you kill Emacs. If you want to run in the terminal, open emacs.exe with the argument -nw

    Are you confusing Emacs with Vi? In Emacs you are always in edit mode unless you specifically put yourself in the mini-buffer. Just open a file and start typing. Is it too much effort to name a new file? E.g. "file". You can always give it another name when you save.

    I think you got yourself wrapped up in your own prejudices, including those toward Stallman, who hasn't been involved with Emacs's maintenance in years, without any understanding of actually using Emacs.

    Re LaTeX: I don't have a lot of use for it any more, but for letters, reports and articles, it is clearly superior to a word processor. It's like writing a web page. Mark the content for what it is, and let your style sheet (LaTeX theme) handle its rendering. Compile and you're off to the races.

    In TRS80, I ran Electric Pencil with a modified keyboard buffer that added a 1kb mem chip for bit 7, allowing upper and lower case.

    g
    kk5st, Jan 8, 2014 IP