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Also known as a hypertext markup language (HTML) previewer or HTML editor, an HTML viewer is a web design tool. It usually allows a web designer to view his or her work in real-time by splitting the screen with code on one side and the webpage-in-progress on the other. This tool is often designed to reduce or eliminate broken or inefficient code; insert pre-written, frequently-used bits of code; and highlight certain lines of code to better keep track of it. In addition, depending on the software program, an HTML viewer might include much more than the basics, such as pre-made templates, free graphics, and file transfer protocol (FTP) to quickly upload and publish the finished product. This type of program is usually either free or purchased for a one-time fee.
A popular HTML viewer feature is the ability to split the screen between the webpage code and a preview of how the code will look once uploaded to a server. With this feature, broken links, misplaced images and other mistakes can be corrected before the website goes live. This feature is often included in even the most basic HTML editors, and is used by both novice and expert web designers alike.
An HTML viewer also helps the web designer to pinpoint mistakes, either by using the split-screen preview or outright telling the designer that the code is broken, outdated, or could be better written in some other way. To further reduce mistakes and speed up the process of creating a website, the software program might come with numerous bits of pre-written HTML, so that the designer does not have to repeatedly rewrite or copy and paste certain lines. It is also common to include a highlighting feature that can be applied to any line, enabling the web designer to quickly dissect his or her own code.
Some extra features of an HTML viewer might be pre-made website templates and free, no-royalty images. These extras make it simple for novice web designers to build a website without manipulating much or any HTML code. Even professionals might use these extras to build the basics or act as placeholders for a client’s own images. Once the website is complete, the designer can sometimes upload the finished project using the HTML viewer’s own FTP program. If an FTP program is not built-in, the designer usually must turn to a third-party FTP program to make his or her website live.
@Logicfest -- a lot of people do wander into that HTML view and a good number of people learn the basics of working with HTML by tweaking things when necessary. That is a great, hands on way to learn basic HTML.
And, if there's something you don't know how to do, there are plenty of forums where HTML pros will post tips and tricks.
Good idea mentioning these things were once used by HTML pros and are now increasingly used by novices. Take an Internet based HTML email editor, for example. Those generally pull up a dual screen -- one shows how your email will look when sent while the other is the place you compose it. The composition side usually looks like something you would see while working with a word processor, but it can be changed over to an HTML view if you need to tweak the code a bit to get things to look just right.
The same go for online-based blogging systems and a whole host of software set up to help just about anyone build something online that looks professional.
Believe it or not, a lot of people venture into the HTML view and do make adjustments.
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