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A Beginner-Friendly Guide on What Is an HTML Editor and How to Use It

Reading time 2 min
Published Mar 22, 2019
Updated Sep 27, 2019

TL;DR – An HTML editor is a specific software in which you can write your code.

First Steps with an HTML Editor

While technically you can write your HTML code in any text editor, a good HTML editor can make your job a lot easier. Not only it's more convenient, but most of them also offer extra functionalities. The problem is, most professional HTML editors (such as Sublime Text) are pricey, which makes them not the most attractive for beginners.

If you're looking for the best free HTML editor, check out TextEdit (Mac) or Windows Notepad (PC) that come inbuilt in the operational systems. They are rather simple, but that's not a disadvantage: a ton of additional features might confuse a coding rookie.

In the following sections, we will demonstrate how to use a basic HTML editor step by step.

Open the HTML Editor

In Windows

The steps you need to take to open Windows Notepad differs slightly according to the version of Windows you are using:

Windows 7≥ Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad
Windows 8≤ Start > Type Notepad > Press Enter

See how it looks like in Windows 8:
HTML Editor

In MacOS

To open the TextEdit editor in MacOS, follow these steps: Finder > Applications > TextEdit:
HTML Editor

Modify the preferences so your application could save files correctly:

  • In Preferences, choose Format and select Plain Text.
  • Under Open and Save, check Ignore rich text commands in HTML files.

HTML Editor

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Write and Save an HTML File

Open a new file using the chosen HTML editor. Copy or write a bit of HTML code.

HTML Editor

Example
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>
  <h1>First Ever Heading</h1>
  <p>First Ever Paragraph</p>
</body>
</html>

Save the file on your computer. Make sure that your file extension is .html - otherwise your website won't work. Use UTF-8 encoding so the browser can display any character without a problem:
HTML Editor

View Your HTML Page In a Browser

Open the saved HTML file in any web browser:
HTML Editor

Tip: you can do this by just dragging and dropping in most browsers.

HTML Editor: Useful Tips

  • If you want to try something more and then choose the best HTML editor for yourself, check out Atom or Notepad++. These are the best free HTML editors you'll find online.
  • Don't want to limit yourself to an editor that only supports HTML? Practice online with BitDegree's Best Code editor which supports HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

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