Join Bill Weinman for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing a text editor, part of XHTML and HTML Essential Training.
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Let's talk about text editors. As you're working with HTML and XHTML and CSS and other computer code kinds of things, you're going to want to be using a text editor and not a word processor. So here's the difference. A word processor formats text. It has italics and it has bold and it has columns and it has graphics and all kinds of stuff. So as you type in your text, it's not just saving the text.
It's also saving all of this formatting information what we in the biz call meta information along with the text. So when you're editing code like HTML or XHTML or CSS or a language like Perl or PHP or C or anything that's supposed to be just plain text, then you need a text editor that is not a word processor. If you use a word processor to do the exercises in this course, it will not work. You need to be using a text editor. Here are your choices.
If you are on a Mac, and I use a Mac at home, I happen to use BBEdit. BBEdit is a fantastic text editor. It is not free, but it has many, many cool and useful features and I personally love it. Like I said, it's not free. The same people that make BBEdit make TextWrangler and the TextWrangler is free and it has almost all the features of BBEdit. It's actually a great text editor and if you don't want to spend the money on BBEdit, go ahead and get TextWrangler and you'll find that it works great for you.
If you're on a PC and I work on a PC often and when I do I use Notepad++. I used to use another text editor that I'd paid for that was not free. That was a great text editor and over the years Notepad++ has eclipsed this other pay-for-it text editor and Notepad++ is free. It has many, many fantastic and useful features and the text editor that I'm using in this course on this video is Notepad++. Only bad thing about Notepad++ is the annoying animation on their homepage.
The rest of the application is really, really cool and works very well. So there you have it. You must use a text editor, a plain text editor. You cannot use a word processor for this purpose and here are a couple of good choices. For the Mac, you have BBEdit and you have TextWrangler, which is free and is almost all of BBEdit, and you have Notepad++ for the PC environment.
- Understanding the structure of an HTML or XHTML document
- Creating and using templates
- Controlling white space and line breaks
- Making effective use of tables and frames
- Flowing text around an image
- Formatting tables with CSS
- Creating web pages that work properly across platforms and devices
- Reviewing a case study of a complete web site