Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Software » Internet & Intranet » Authoring » Web Editors

Commonly known as an HTML editor, a web editor is a software program designed to create and edit web pages, generally creating in HTML, the markup language for web pages.

There are three types of web editors appropriate for this category. These are WYSIWYG editors, non-WYSIWYG editors, and template-based editors. A newer form of WYSIWYG editors, known as WYSIWYM editors, may also be listed here.

WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get, and the goal of a WYSIWYG editor is to allow a user to design a website visually, allowing its content to be edited in a form that resembles what it will look like when displayed online in a web browser. A WYSIWYG editor features a user interface that allows the user to view something similar to the end result, and to do so while the web page is being created. Although many WYSIWYG editors also allow for direct HTML coding, the focus of the editor is to allow the user to create or edit the page without expertise in HTML, often using drag-and-drop features or by selecting components from a menu.

Examples of WYSIWYG editors include Adobe Dreamweaver, BlueGriffon, NetObjects Fusion, and Sandvox.

A newer alternative to WYSIWYG editors are WYSIWYM editors, for What You See Is What You Mean. Rather than focusing on the format or presentation of the web page being created, a WYSIWYM editor preserves the intended meaning of each element. With this type of editor, elements such as page headers, sections, paragraphs, and so on are labeled as such in the editing program and displayed appropriately in the web browser.

In a WYSIWYM editor, the user writes the contents in a structured way, marking the content according to its meaning and its significance in the document, leaving its final appearance to one or more stylesheets, in effect allowing the user to concentrate on the content.

At this point, there aren't very many dedicated WYSIWYM editors, although some vendors have integrated WYSIWYM featured into their WYSIWYM products. The WYMeditor is an example of a WYSIWYM editor.

Although most web editors, particularly the WYSIWYG editors, include galleries of templates that can be used to help users get started with their products, some web editors are template-based. An example of a template-based editor is RapidWeaver, produced by Realmac Software.

Non-WYSIWYG editors require users to code the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and any other languages or scripts required by a web page, although many of these editors will provide shortcuts and other featured designed to make the job easier. Editors designed for the creation of web pages will usually provide syntax highlighting, and may also include keyboard shortcuts that a user can use to quickly insert HTML elements and structures. Other features may include wizards, prompts, auto-completion functions, and tools such as version control, link-checking, validation, code cleanup and formatting, and uploading of the completed product via FTP or another means.

Well-known examples of non-WYSIWYG editors include Arachnophilia, Coda, CoffeeCup, and UltraEdit.

Some web editors are more of a hybrid, requiring users to supply the code, but including a facility that allows the user to view the page as it would appear in a browser. In these editors, there will usually be a field for the insertion of HTML code, and another window that displays the page as it would appear in a browser. Other features might include palette windows, dialog boxes, or widgets for selecting various options.

Not every piece of software that can be used to create a webpage is appropriate in this category, however.

Webpages may be created in a regular text editor or in an editor designed for programming. Unless the editor is designed specifically for HTML or website creation, a more appropriate category would be the Text & Code Editors category.

Similarly, a significant portion of the websites on the Internet was created through a content management system (CMS) or blogging platform. However, the Content Management Systems category or the Blogs category would be more specific for these types of applications, and online editors, such as Weebly, are listed in the Web Design & Development category. The most appropriate category for any resource is the one that is most specific to its content.

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