Free tools for creating webpages
To create Web pages and documents such as handbooks that you want to put
on line, which free software to use?
From text processing with HTML saving to online editors, solutions are various!
It is possible to open two windows, one for the HTML editor, the other for a browser that can view rendering by refreshing the page after each change. But WYSIWYG editors go further, they can edit content on the page as it is presented to the user.
One of the rare free Wisiwyg software for editing HTML pages, NVU has been created by the Linspire Linux distribution (formerly Lindows) but translated for Windows too. Kompozer is a fork of NVU for improving the software, its functionalities are complete and go even until uploading files on the server (superfluous with a ftp synchronizer). Kompozer is a fork of NVU created to correct its flaws. However, it retains a drawback: when we switch from design display to source code display (or conversely), you return to top, there is no contextual relationship between the displays.
From the creator of NVU, BlueGriffon has a WYSIWYG ability like dreamweaver. In fact, the Gecko rendering engine is built into the software to present the pages as does Firefox.
The software offers the rare ability also provided by Dreamweaver to switch between the view and the source code while keeping the position of the cursor in the document.
But it also has its flaws. Loading a page for instance is rather tedious and accumulates unnecessary steps. When using PHP files, you have to select this option every time you load a new file, and one wonders why.
Visual Web Developer 2008
After Dreamweaver, Visual Web Developer Express is the most comprehensive HTML editor. Manages style sheets, using of a database, multiple views. When you select a part of text in design mode and switch to HTML source display you remain at the selected part contrary to what happens with Kompozer.
In the starting configuration, VWD does not recognize pages with .php extension as HTML pages. You must add this extension, and to do that, go to Tools -> Text editor (open it) -> Extension file. Add .php and associate HTML editor to it.
The download includes .NET 3.5 if necessary and so may take a while.
Live Writer has a restricted use since it works only with Windows and .Net installed, and that it relates only to blogs, to which it is connected (it supports the majority of the formats), it excites bloggers, because it makes it possible to create the pages off line, with a better Wysiwyg interface than what any integrated editor has, and it transfers then the post on the blog once realization completed, with images or videos.
The last time I tried it, I found that every time an article was updated, the images were posted online under a new name, which means that after several editions, the hosting is saturated with images in duplicate.
So check that this defect has been corrected.
WYSIWYG web page editor, standards-compliant and produced by the W3C. Amaya is also a browser and allow to edit pages directly on line and shows errors in the HTML code.
Several tools are incorporatedamong other a command to change the DocType.
It is also an XML, MathML, SVG and CSS editor.
HTML editor from Mozilla included in the Seamonkey suite. It works locally and has a complete interface.
To access the editor:
- Click the Setup icon in the top right.
- Click Web Development.
- Click on the first icon in the bottom left to get a separate window.
- Click the fourth icon, "Sources", then in the working window, the icon on the top left, and select Program.
- If your code is not editable, click at bottom on "Pretty Print" twice.
Code changes are visible in the current page.
This extension for Firefox and Chrome lets you edit posts from the browser, so to add pages to Wordpress or other software more directly.
Scribefire shares the screen with the pages you visit and allows you to view documentation while writing an article.
Browser Turns Editor
Browser Turns Editor is another Firefox plugin that allows to edit the page, whether local and in development or on any site, in WYSIWYG.
When you click the "Toggle Design Mode" in options, a toolbar appears at the top of the page.
It may be a good way to test changes on a page in wysiwyg beside a code editors that does not have this mode ... But there is no interaction with the source code.
CMS, CKEditor and Tiny MCE
Contents managers have an online editor, often rather poor, which justifies the existence of Live Writer. For the price of a limited look, with uniform page-setting, one profits from an automatic management of the site with classification of the articles in categories, generation of RSS feeds. The Pligg software which makes it possible to create its own digg-like and obtains a great success, the number of such sites increases exponentially!
Two open source online editors. The two software has a complete editing toolbar. It is possible
however to interface them to a CMS and two tutorials show how to use them on your own website to make online static HTML pages.
They may be used locally too.
In the same style as the online WYSIWYG editors above. Based on jQuery, Redactor offers an attractive design and portability on all types of devices. Editing table is fairly close to what has DreamWeaver.
As with all these tools (but BlueGriffon), it still lacks the ability to switch between HTML source and view, while keeping a selection.
LibreOffice and CMIS
LibreOffice contains a complete text
processor which can also create lightweight HTML files that are acceptable
as Web pages.
In the HTML format the documents lose a part of their visual quality also the software is better appropriate for documents such as handbooks, which will have a Web version and a printable PDF version, which preserves the quality of the original document.
Since version 4, LibreOffice is compatible with the CMIS standard for communicating with a CMS such as Wordpress, providing it supports it (for Wordpress 3.5 a plugin is required).