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What is HTML Editor Software?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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HTML is a markup language that was derived from SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). HTML is an acronym for HyperText Markup Language, a language widely used for creating structure for presenting documents on the World Wide Web, as well as for creating links between them. A set of rules and defined tags is what makes up HTML, which is often compared with XHTML (EXtensible HyperText Markup Language) and characterized as being less strict. HTML editor software is computer programs for creating and altering HTML. HTML editor software may be a standalone application or incorporated into a comprehensive web design software application, along with an XHTML editor, a JavaScript® editor, and a CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) editor.

HTML editor software presents with three different interfaces. One is a text editor, into which only HTML language is entered and in which only HTML is see, and this type of HTML editor software may include a syntax highlighting editor or have validation and other features available. Menus for tag insertion and spell checking are popular. The second type is called an HTML object editor, and it allows expansion and collapse of HTML properties and objects, among other features.

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The third type of HTML editor software is What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG), pronounced /WIH zee wig/. A WYSIWYG HTML editor has a graphical user interface (GUI) to make web development easier for people who don’t know HTML well or at all, as well as to let designers see the effects of their coding. Some programs have only a WYSIWYG editor, while others allow the user to switch between a WYSIWYG editor and a text editor. However, code created solely within a WYSIWYG interface may require editing to meet standards, and a user who doesn’t ever look at the code may end up with issues.

When working with HTML editor software, it’s important to choose the language that will be used, and to distinguish between HTML 4.01 Transitional and HMTL 4.01 Strict, for example. By 2010, while most HTML editor software catered to HTML 4, HTML 5 was beginning to roll out. This means that for the foreseeable future, those who use HTML editor software have to be particularly careful to choose the appropriate HTML version.

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