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What is a Web Content Editor?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The phrase web content refers to material created for or on the World Wide Web. It can refer to individual files made for the web, such as a Flash® video, to text prepared for web viewing with HTML (HyperText Markup Language), or entire pages. A web content editor is a software tool that may provide features that allow users to create, organize, mark up, layout, and post web content, as well as edit it. That is, the term web content editor can refer either to a program in which one simply creates and edits content and exports a file or to a full-blown WCMS (Web Content Management System). A Content Management System is a software program to create and manage website content.

A software program that is billed as a web content editor and that is designed for individual file creation and editing is often an online tool. It may be designed for creating and editing music, screen captures, audio, vector images, PNGs, or Flash®. The features vary with the type of content, so, for example, a music editor may allow the user to create tracks using a variety of instruments, adjust tempo and beats per measure, and control volume. With pitched instruments, samples of distinct pitches may be offered, and the user can solo or mute tracks.

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With a web content editor for images, on the other hand, there may be the ability to import an image or to create an image using drawing tools such as shapes, lines, and brushes, with a greater or lesser tool selection being available, depending on the program. Color and pattern selection, too, may be limited or broad. Some programs may have rotate and flip capability.

A web content editor that is a WCMS is likely to feature a number of tools for text creation and editing, tools for text markup in HTML, XHTML (EXtended HTML), or some other markup language, and may also include layout capability for text, images, and — in some, but not all, cases — table capability. A WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor may be the main window or an alternate view, sometimes called a ‘Preview,’ but some web content editors do a very poor job of accurately showing page layout. For text editing, a web content editor of this type will usually include basic tools that are recognized from word processing programs, such as ‘Cut,’ ‘Paste,’ ‘Indent,’ ‘Center Text,’ ‘Justify Text,’ ‘Bulleted Text,’ ‘Numbered Text,’ and font, format, and style choices, and the software will render these as HTML or another chosen language. Hyperlink insertion, button insertion, frame insertion, and box insertion may also appear. Web content editors of this type are often used for sites that have collections of similar material, for example, blogs, chat rooms, forums, web encyclopedias, wikis, and more.

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