1. Technology

Komodo Edit 5.1

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit

Screen shot by J Kyrnin

The Bottom Line

Komodo Edit continues to be my favorite editor for writing HTML and XML. In fact, I use it for nearly every site I build. It is offered with a GPL license which means that there are lots and lots of add-ons and extesions for it as the community builds tools to help make it even better. I couldn't live without my snippets in Komodo Edit, and I love how easy it makes writing XML. This is not an ideal tool for visual designers, as there is only a preview feature and no real WYSIWYG. But if you program Web pages or write code in PHP, JSP, XML or other programming languages, this is a great tool.


  • Built-in HTML, CSS, and Accessibility validators
  • Color coding and tag completion for HTML and XML
  • Search and replace across multiple files in tabs
  • Validates XML and HTML as you type
  • Also handles PHP, JSP, and other programming languages


  • Special characters support only with extension
  • Site manager functionality is limited, more like a file viewer
  • No built-in FTP
  • No WYSIWYG or preview functionality
  • No link checker, image editor, or connection to image software


  • Free text editor based on the Komodo IDE programming environment
  • HTML, CSS, XML, and other languages validated as you type
  • Color coding and tag completion for both HTML and XML as well as other languages
  • Search and replace in selection, current page, open pages, or files in a specific directory
  • Customizable with many different add-ons
  • Spell checker
  • Code snippets, macros, and other tools

Guide Review - Komodo Edit 5.1

When I found Komodo Edit for free I was amazed. I'd been looking for an XML editor that was not extremely expensive, and I still find it very hard to believe that Komodo Edit is free. There are so many features to this editor that I keep expecting the licensing terms to change or some other "catch" to show up. But I've been using it for over two years and it just keeps getting better.

I love that it auto-indents, color codes my XML and HTML, and even does tag completion so I don't nest my tags incorrectly. Before I had Komodo Edit I could spend hours searching for an error in my XML. Now, I see them before I even save the file.

I don't recommend Komodo Edit to designers, as it is a text editor only. There is very little visual capability to this tool. You have to save and test your pages in browsers manually and it doesn't have any image capabilities.

But Web developers should love this tool. It has features you're used to seeing in IDEs like recognizing functions, auto-completing braces {} and parentheses ().

The project management system is basic. It is more like a file manager/viewer than a real project manager. You can define new projects, but they are based on folders on your system rather than projects you define.

What's New in Komodo Edit 5

Some of the features I've come to appreciate in Komodo Edit 5 include:

  • Navigation buttons for moving through documents that I've been editing.
  • Fast open feature to filter the files in the directory to find exactly the one you want
  • Search highlighting that shows you the search terms in color

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