Using a Text Editor to Create and Edit Web Files

If you’ve previously only used a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver to create a Web site, it’s time to take off the training wheels and get your hands into the code!

All you need to create HTML, CSS, JavaScript or PHP files is a basic text editor.

  • Don’t use Microsoft Word or other word processors, you’ll end up with extra hidden characters that are used by the software for formatting.
  • Do use TextWrangler (free, and installed on all lab computers), or the even better paid version BBeditCoda is also a popular editing environment that adds file management and the ability to upload and download files from your Web host. If you are a more advanced developer, you can also try an IDE (integrated development environment) like Eclipse but frankly this is probably overkill for what we are doing in this class. Here’s a list of popular editors for Mac, take a few for a test drive and see what you like.