1. Computing

Discuss in my forum

The 10 Best Free Web Editors for Macintosh

Free HTML Editors for Macintosh

By

I have evaluated over 20 free HTML editors for Macintosh against over 40 different criteria relevant to professional web designers and developers. The following editors are the 10 best free HTML editors for Macintosh, both WYSIWYG and text editors, in order from best to worst.

Each editor below will have a score, percentage, and a link to more information. All reviews were completed between September and November 2010. And this list was compiled on November 6, 2010.

If you’re still not sure which editor to choose, then fill in my questionnaire: Web Design Software: Which One is Right for You?

See all the free Web editor reviews.

1. Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Komodo Edit is hands down the best free XML editor available. It includes a lot of great features for HTML and CSS development. Plus, if that isn't enough, you can get extensions for it to add on languages or other helpful features (like special characters). It's not the best HTML editor, but it's great for for the price, especially if you build in XML. I use Komodo Edit every day for my work in XML and I use it a lot for basic HTML editing as well. This is one editor I'd be lost without.

There are two versions of Komodo: Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE.

Version: 6.0.0
Score: 215 / 69%

2. Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Aptana Studio is an interesting take on web page development. Instead of focusing on the HTML, Aptana focuses on the JavaScript and other elements that allow you to create Rich Internet Applications. One of the things I really like is the outline view that makes it really easy to visualize the DOM. This makes for easier CSS and JavaScript development. If you are a developer creating web applications, Aptana Studio is a good choice.

Version: 2.0.5
Score: 183 / 59%

3. NetBeans

NetBeans
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

NetBeans IDE is a Java IDE that can help you build robust web applications. Like most IDEs it has a steep learning curve because they don’t often work in the same way that web editors do. But once you get used to it you’ll be hooked. One nice feature is the version control included in the IDE which is really useful for people working in large development environments. If you write Java and web pages this is a great tool.

Version: 6.9
Score: 179 / 58%

4. Bluefish

Bluefish
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Bluefish is a full featured web editor for Linux. And the 2.0 release adds a lot of great new features. There are also native executables for Windows and Macintosh. There is code-sensitive spell check, auto complete of many different languages (HTML, PHP, CSS, etc.), snippets, project management, and auto-save. It is primarily a code editor, not specifically a web editor. This means that it has a lot of flexibility for web developers writing in more than just HTML, but if you’re a designer by nature you might not like it as much.

Version: 2.0.2
Score: 166 / 54%

5. Eclipse

Eclipse
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Eclipse is a complex development environment that is perfect for people who do a lot of coding on various different platforms and with different languages. It is structured as plug-ins so if you need to edit something, you just find the appropriate plug-in and go. If you are creating complex web applications, Eclipse has a lot of features to help make your application easier to build. There are Java, JavaScript, and PHP plugins, as well as a plugin for mobile developers.

Version: 3.6.1
Score: 157 / 51%

6. SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

SeaMonkey is the Mozilla project all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a web browser, email and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and composer — the web page editor. One of the nice things about using SeaMonkey is that you have the browser built-in already so testing is a breeze. Plus it's a free WYSIWYG editor with an embedded FTP to publish your web pages.

Version: 2.0.8
Score: 139 / 45%

7. Amaya

Amaya
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Amaya is the W3C web editor. It also acts as a web browser. It validates the HTML as you build your page, and since you can see the tree structure of your web documents, it can be very useful for learning to understand the DOM and how your documents look in the document tree. It has a lot of features that most web designers won’t ever use, but if you’re worried about standards and you want to be 100% sure that your pages work with the W3C standards, this is a great editor to use.

Version: 11.3.1
Score: 135 / 44%

8. KompoZer

KompoZer
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

KompoZer is a good WYSIWYG editor. It is based on the popular Nvu editor — only it is called an “unofficial bug-fix release.” KompoZer was conceived by some people who really liked Nvu, but were fed up with the slow release schedules and poor support. So they took it over and released a less buggy version of the software. Ironically, there hasn't been a new release of KompoZer since 2007.

Version: 0.7.10
Score: 127 / 41%

9. Nvu

Nvu
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Nvu is a good WYSIWYG editor. I prefer text editors to WYSIWYG editors, but if you don’t, then Nvu is a good choice, especially considering that it’s free. I love that it has a site manager to allow you to review the sites that you’re building. It's surprising that this software is free. Feature highlights: XML support, advanced CSS support, full site management, built-in validator, and international support as well as WYSIWYG and color coded XHTML editing.

Version: 1
Score: 125 / 40%

10. TextWrangler

TextWrangler
Screen shot by J Kyrnin

TextWrangler is from the same company that makes BBEdit. If you can’t afford BBEdit, you might want to look into TextWrangler. It's a text editor, but it does work well for web page editing. It's not specifically an HTML editor.

Version: 3.1
Score: 125 / 40%

Do You Use a Free HTML Editor?

For many people the only feature they look for in an HTML editor is price. But price isn’t necessarily everything. Why do you use a free editor? Or if you don’t use one, why not?
Related Video
How to Pick a Free Web Editor for Macs

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.