25 Useful WYSIWYG Editors Reviewed

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When it comes to coding editors, it’s damn hard to a get a clear overview of all the benefits and functionalities different editors have to offer. However, in the end everybody needs one, so it’s important to know which editor is best tailored to your personal needs.

WYSIWYG-editors are often criticized by real coding ninjas for bloated, dirty and not standards-complaint source code they’ve been producing over the last years. However, WYSIWYG-editors have become much better recently. Some of them even produce valid and elegant code.

Sometimes you need to provide your clients with some simple tools to edit or update their web-sites. And this is where the utility of WYSIWYG-editors comes in. As a web-professional you need to provide your clients with some sophisticated advice and offer a simple yet effective tool — e.g. a WYSIWYG-editor.

We believe that it would be wrong to recommend you some “best” editors, because the choice always depends on your requirements, primary goals, skills and experience. Therefore in this article we’ve tried to give you an overview of both useful and deprecated WYSIWYG-editors.

Hopefully, you’ll find some editors you’ve never heard about before. Or maybe you’ll find some features you miss in your current editor and risk to experiment with some promising alternatives to improve your workflow. Besides, you can learn what editors you could use and what tools you shouldn’t use.

What does WYSIWYG mean?

The somehow cryptic abbreviation WYSIWYG stands for “What You See Is What You Get”. In such editors you edit not directly the source code of your documents, but its presentation as it (hopefully) will appear in the final document. So instead of writing blocks of code manually (as you e.g. would do it in Word or Latex), you manipulate with design components using an editor window. This means that you view something very similar to the end result while the document or image is being created.

Notice: this post reviews only desktop-based WYSIWYG-editors which run on Windows, Linux or Mac. It doesn’t provide an overview of JavaScript-based WYSIWIG-editors — you can find an extensive overview of JavaScript-based WYISWYG Web Editors in the post Through The Web WYSIWIG Web Editors — The List1 or WYSIWIG Editors Test2.

Adobe Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver3 (Win / Mac)
Previously Macromedia Dreamweaver, this tool is one of the commonly used editors which can support developers, improve the workflow and save you a lot of time during coding. While previous versions of Dreamweaver sometimes produced rather quirky source code, the last version is able to generate (mostly) quite clean markup.

Dreamweaver also offers numerous helpful tools such as the library of code snippets, ftp management, server debug and an integrated coding development. E.g. you can view CSS information in a single, unified CSS panel that makes it easy to see the styles applied to a specific element, identify where attributes are defined, and edit existing styles without entering Code view. See also our List of Dreamweaver Tutorials4. Price: $400 (version CS3).

Screenshot5

Some of Dreamweaver’s endless features:

  • Advanced CSS Editing
  • Integrated coding environment
  • Spry framework for Ajax
  • Browser Compatibility Check
  • Integration with Photoshop CS3 and Fireworks
  • Code snippets (e.g. CSS Layouts)
  • FTP management
  • XML support
  • FLV support
  • Learning resources (e.g. Adobe CSS Advisor)
  • Numerous Dreamweaver add-ons, e.g. SVN for Dreamweaver6 ($59).

Amaya

Amaya7 (Win / Mac / Linux)
What really makes Amaya different is the fact that it is a hybrid of a web browser and a web-page editing application — thus you can browse in the Web and edit your pages in the same application. Created by the WWW-concorcium, this allround-tool allows you to manipulate web-sites, change or update their content, insert new images or links. Of course, if Amaya can display these pages.

Screenshot8

The last version of the editor, Amaya 10, was released in February 2008. It is able to work on several documents at a time (several (X)HTML, native MathML (.mml) and SVG (.svg) documents can be displayed and edited at a time). E.g. you can insert mathematical formulas using a pop-up: Amaya converts them via Math-ML on the fly.

Amaya also includes a collaborative annotation application (annotations are external comments, notes, remarks that can be attached to any Web document or a selected part of the document) and it has support for SVG, RDF and XPointer. Open-source.

Rapidweaver

RapidWeaver349 (Mac)
RapidWeaver is a powerful template-based website creation tool which can generate pages of different kinds, such as styled text, weblog, contact forms, image galleries, Flash slideshows, and podcasts; it also has a built-in FTP uploader, and integration with iPhoto and .Mac.

Screenshot10

The editor includes podcasting, inline comments, RSS feeds, custom permalink and tag support. RapidWeaver has also been finely tuned to be SEO friendly. It also has many powerful features such as modifiable themes, live php rendering, mix and match WYSIWYG and HTML, smart publishing, XHTML and CSS based site output, viewable source code, built-in error checking. All templates are XHTML and CSS based. What is remarkable is that all the code RapidWeaver generates is valid. Price: $49.

Adobe Contribute

Adobe Contribute11
The main purpose of Adobe Contribute is to allow editing web-sites and blogs for users without any technical expertise. Contribute CS3 enables content authors to update existing websites and blogs while maintaining site integrity. Contribute offers a Dreamweaver integration, enables posting from Microsoft Office and editing from IE 7 and Firefox.

Screenshot12

With a WYSIWYG authoring environment, content authors and contributors can edit or update any website or blog without having to learn HTML. Price: $169 (version CS3).

Adobe Golive

Adobe Golive13 (Win / Mac)
Once Adobe’s flagship, now GoLive is an editor which even Adobe isn’t really happy with. In April Adobe has stopped development and sales of GoLive 9, which makes GoLive a legacy web authoring application. Adobe recommends its GoLive users to switch to Dreamweaver which is why you probably shouldn’t recommend GoLive (actually a remarkably powerful editing tool, see features below) to your clients.

Screenshot14

Some of Adobe GoLive 9 features

  • Designer styles
  • Visual CSS layout
  • Place command
  • Adobe InDesign® integration
  • Color management
  • Platform support
  • Site management tools
  • Publish Server
  • Smart Objects

Microsoft Expression Web

Microsoft Expression15 (Win)
Once being severely criticized for its really bad web-editors (Frontpage), Microsoft’s recent editor, Expression, seems to have learnt a lot from its predecessors. Expression attempts to comfort web-users with features which are remarkably similar to Adobe Dreamweaver. However, in a direct comparison Dreamweaver offers more and produces a cleaner code. Nevertheless, Expression does produce decent standards-compliant code and knows how to deal with CSS and CSS-layouts.

The Studio edition with further software applications (graphic design tool, video encoding tool etc.) costs ca. $500. Single Expression package costs $350. You can get Expression by updating Frontpage and thus save some money. A 60 days trial version16 can be downloaded for free, however a registration is required.

Please notice: Expression isn’t a successor of Frontpage, rather a different development tool. Microsoft Expression, which bears striking similarity to Microsoft SharePoint Designer, is rather designer-oriented, aimed at general web development. Microsoft SharePoint Designer which reflects the emphasis on designing and customizing SharePoint-based sites, can be considered as Frontpage’s big brother.

Screenshot17

Some of Microsoft Expression features:

  • ASP.NET 2.0 Integration
  • Advanced CSS rendering
  • XPath Expression Builder
  • Build and format views of industry-standard XML data
  • Tag Property Grid
  • Accessibility Checking
  • Real-time Standards Validation
  • Full Schema Support

NVU

NVU18 (Win / Mac / Linux)
This editor should once become a real alternative to dominating products: an ultimate WYSYWIG-editor for Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac which could rival FrontPage and Dreamweaver. And in some aspects Nvu indeed offers more features than one would expect from a completely free software.

Nvu (pronounced as N-view, for a "new view") offers integrated file management via FTP, powerful support for forms, tables and templates and it is indeed very easy to use. CaScadeS, the well-known CSS editor add-on, is integrated into Nvu and enables you to create and manage stylesheets easily and see your style settings applied ‘”live” to the document you’re editing.

Screenshot19

Nvu is open source and released under the Mozilla Public License (MPL). Unfortunately, the development of NVU hasn’t been continued over the last years. An advanced, improved version of NVU is KompoZer2120.

Some of NVU’s features:

  • Site manager allows you to review the sites that you’re building
  • XML support
  • Built-in validator

Kompozer

KompoZer2120 (Win / Mac / Linux)
This tool is a branch of NVU which has been developed further after the development of NVU has slowed down. KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and WYSIWYG-editing.

KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it a feasible solution for users who want to create sites without obtaining technical knowledge. Compared to NVU, Kompozer produces a cleaner markup and has visible marks — visible carriage returns and block borders.

Screenshot22

The last version was released in August 2008. Kompozer can be considered as a sound alternative for small projects and for users without technical knowledge. But it’s definitely too weak for professional web-development.

Namo WebEditor 2006

Namo WebEditor 200623 (Win)
Namo WebEditor combines almost all tools which are necessary for creating web-sites in a simple and user-friendly interface. The interface elements are remarkably intuitive, simple and easy-to-use. You can switch between a design-editor, HTML and browser-preview. You can also use a number of wizards to automate your workflow. Namo is powerful, however its WYSIWYG-features are limited. The editor wasn’t updated since 2006 which is why the producing source code is sometimes extremely quirky. Namo Web Editor Pro comes with a Flash editing program as well as a graphics program. A test-version is available. Price: $99.95.

Screenshot24

Some of Namo Webeditor features:

  • Code Helpers for speedy auto tag completion
  • Quick Tag Editor
  • Tag Selector
  • HTML/CSS Reference

Evrsoft First Page 2006

Evrsoft First Page 200625 (Win)
Actually, this editor is highly underrated. It’s not that popular and it hasn’t been updated since 2006, but it has some quite useful features one wouldn’t find in advanced WYSIWYG-editors. E.g. Auto History feature remembers all the attributes and values commonly used and suggests the “right” value automatically.

Dual Preview Engine enables you to preview your web documents in multiple browsers within First Page 2006. You can preview your work in Internet Explorer, Mozilla or view your page in both browsers side-by-side (horizontal/vertical pane swap). And a real-time visual source rendering engine offers document editing and previewing without the typical code tampering usually seen in WYSIWYG editors.

A number of integrated tools produce decent standards-based code, quickly and easily. First Page is freeware. Similar freeware alternative (also not updated since 2005): Selida HTML Editor26.

Screenshot27

Some of First Page’s features:

  • CSS Class Support & Auto Detection
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Tag Document Selection Tool
  • Tag Auto Completion
  • Tidy HTML Power Tools
  • Preview in IE as you type
  • Image Mapper
  • CSS Style Sheet Designer
  • Server Side Includes Support
  • Highly customizable Toolbars and Interface
  • FTP client
  • Advanced Find & Replace In Files

Microsoft SharePoint Designer

Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 (Win)
Microsofts Frontpage successor. SharePoint Designer is a standard WYSIWYG-editor. Apart from support for interactive ASP.NET pages it doesn’t offer something revolutionary. Free trial is available. There is an online-version which requires Internet Explorer and a large potion of patience.

Screenshot28

Screenshot29

Some of Sharepoint’s features:

  • support for interactive ASP.NET pages
  • create Data Views from RSS, XMl, Office XML
  • collaborate with the built-in Workflow Designer
  • CSS tools
  • track customized pages
  • spelling checker
  • SharePoint Server 2007 integration

NetObjects Fusion

NetObjects Fusion30
This editor was once probably the worst yet extremely popular WYSIWYG-editor. It produced horrible source code (only MS Word produced worse source code), but was often given away by web-hosting companies and ISPs. NetObjects Fusion allows you to create web-sites without any technical knowledge. Particulalry if you’d like to create a business card, you may get it done in minutes. But if you want to create professional web-sites, NetObjects isn’t an option worth considering.

Currently NetObjects Fusion is available in its 10th version. The quality of the produced source code might have changed, but it doesn’t really matter. There is a trial-version which requires you to register in a shop. Which is why we have no screenshot for the product. Price: €100.

Quanta Plus

Quanta Plus31 (Linux)
Quanta Plus is a stable, very comfortable and feature rich web development environment. Quanta has created an editor designed for efficient and natural use and with maximal user extensibility.

The editor is capable of both WYSIWYG and handcoding interface. It features tag completion as you type and tag editing through a dialog interface, script language variable auto-completion, project management, live preview and a PHP debugger. It also has a visual CSS editor, autocompletion for CSS, offers high extensibility and integrated preview.

Screenshot32

The editor has also nice features for project management, including support for local and remote (through the network) projects. Project files can be uploaded to many servers using various protocols. CVS support is integrated, Subversion support is possible through external plugins. Quanta is based on KDE. Released under GPL.

Freeway

Freeway33 (Mac)
Freeway (originally Uniqorn) comes in two flavours, Freeway Pro and Freeway Express. Freeway 5 Pro can be used to create CSS page layouts using absolute positioning. Advanced procedures (like connecting to a MySQL database using a scripting language like PHP) are done through plug-ins called “Actions”. Several Actions can be downloaded for free on several websites, but there are also commercial 3rd Party Actions.

There is a trial-version which requires you to fill in a quite long web form. Freeway has been nominated for the Macworld 2008 Awards in the Creative Web Product of the year section. If you use Mac, FreeWay is together with RapidWeaver349 probably first option worth considering.

Screenshot35

Some of Freeway’s features:

  • Multiple Master Pages
  • Layout Tools
  • Link Map
  • Link Styles
  • Integrated .Mac upload
  • Internet Explorer Compatibility
  • Support for Sliced Background Images
  • Built-in preview within Freeway (Safari/Webkit)
  • Full EPS (Panther & later), Illustrator, Photoshop layered file import
  • Freeway Shop
  • Work with Blogger Templates

Seamonkey Composer

SeaMonkey Composer36 (Win / Mac / Linux)
This editor is a simple yet powerful alternative for large commercial applications. Being a successor of Netscape Composer, SeaMonkey Composer doesn’t really have anything common with it.

Screenshot37

The editor is powerful yet simple and offers dynamic image and table resizing, quick insert and delete of table cells, improved CSS support, and support for positioned layers. The WYSIWYG-editor is built into SeaMonkey, an all-in-one web application suite.

Create

Create38 (Mac)
Create combines the major features of applications like Illustrator, InDesign, Pages, GoLive, Canvas, DreamWeaver, QuarkExpress, Streamline in one easy-to-use, low-cost, OS X native application. Among other things you can add links to text and graphics with drag-n-drop, the tool automatically creates navigation bars and index and you can produce PDF and web-sites from one document.

WYSIWYG Web Builder

WYSIWYG Web Builder39
Web Builder is a highly customizable and extensible application with numerous features, scripts and templates. New design elements are added via drag’n’drop, many scripts. Image editing is available within the software.

Screenshot40

The PayPal eCommerce Tools are integrated; RSS Feed object with podcast option, blog with built-in RSS feed option and Google compatible sitemap generator are available. The editor also has numerous extensions such as password protection, RSS feed, RSS parser, photo album and lightboxes.

Editors for non-professionals, newbies and small companies

iWeb41 (Mac)
iWeb is small, compact and simple. You can switch the theme of any page with the click of your mouse. Mix themes in a site if you wish. You can place Google Maps and Google AdSense ads on your web pages and simplify navigation by dragging your photo albums to a sleek, animated index page. Web widgets, live content from other sites, like video, stock tickers, and headline news can also be added with few clicks. Price: $7. No trial-version is available.

Screenshot42

Sandvox43 (Mac)
Sandvox features drag-and-drop website assembly, live editing without a preview mode, over 40 designs, and 17 different pagelets. It’s an easy and elegant website creation tool for people who don’t want to spend too much time developing their websites.

Drag and drop content, watch your site take shape as you create it, and make it available to others with Sandvox’s publishing assistant. Pricing starts at 49,- USD.

Screenshot44

Sitegrinder45 (Win / Mac)
SiteGrinder is a Photoshop Plug-in that converts Photoshop designs to web sites. It is smart. It has many many features. It is easy to use. Trial-version is available. Pricing starts at $129.

Screenshot46

Studioline Web347 (Win)
The results of Studioline can be observed only if Javascript is activated — otherwise you won’t see anything at all. The source code doesn’t contain tables, but it has a very low quality and is extremely bloated. Don’t try this at home.

Bluevoda48 (Advertising)
BlueVoda is offered as a free download but requires a VodaHost account to publish the website to. BlueVoda looks very similar to Microsoft Office’s interface, like most WYSIWYG editors HTML code is hidden allowing the user to create websites without knowing code and having components such as tables, text formatting and the rest.

Website X549 (Win)
WebSite X5 is a completely visual software: web-sites aren’t coded but “clicked” together. Remarkable: the results are standards-conform. Price: $60+.

Screenshot50

<oXygen/>51 (Win / Linux / Mac)
Actually, <oXygen/> is an advanced XML editor, but it also offers a number of useful tools for both newbies and professional web-developers. In fact, you can exploit the tool for editing (X)HTML-web-documents. E.g. it makes easier the document sharing between content authors by including a Subversion (SVN) client. The SVN client allows you to browse repositories, check for changes, commit changes, update your working copy and examine the revision history. The editor is available as standalone desktop or Java Web Start application, or as an Eclipse plugin. Price: $59.

No code and text-editors? Wait, there will be more. Tomorrow.

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://geniisoft.com/showcase.nsf/WebEditors
  2. 2 http://www.standards-schmandards.com/2007/wysiwyg-editor-test-2/
  3. 3 http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/04/04/adobe-dreamweaver-tutorials/
  5. 5 http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver
  6. 6 http://www.dreamweaver-extensions.net/index.php/SVN-for-Dreamweaver--Windows-and-Macintosh/
  7. 7 http://www.w3.org/Amaya/
  8. 8 http://www.w3.org/Amaya/
  9. 9 http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/index.php
  10. 10 http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/index.php
  11. 11 http://www.adobe.com/products/contribute/
  12. 12 http://www.adobe.com/products/contribute/
  13. 13 http://www.adobe.com/products/golive/
  14. 14 http://www.adobe.com/products/golive/
  15. 15 http://www.microsoft.com/expression/
  16. 16 http://switch.atdmt.com/action/mrtyou_FY07ExpressionWebFreeTrialDownloadLinkDe_9
  17. 17 http://www.microsoft.com/expression/
  18. 18 http://net2.com/nvu/
  19. 19 http://net2.com/nvu/
  20. 20 http://kompozer.net/
  21. 21 http://kompozer.net/
  22. 22 http://kompozer.net/
  23. 23 http://www.namo.com/products/webeditor_professional.php
  24. 24 http://www.namo.com/products/webeditor_professional.php
  25. 25 http://www.evrsoft.com/1stpage3.shtml
  26. 26 http://selida.camelon.nl/features.html
  27. 27 http://www.evrsoft.com/1stpage3.shtml
  28. 28 http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/default.aspx
  29. 29 http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/default.aspx
  30. 30 http://www.netobjects.com/
  31. 31 http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/
  32. 32 http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/
  33. 33 http://www.softpress.com/
  34. 34 http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/index.php
  35. 35 http://www.softpress.com/
  36. 36 http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
  37. 37 http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
  38. 38 http://www.stone.com/Create/Create_Overview.html
  39. 39 http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/
  40. 40 http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/
  41. 41 http://www.apple.com/ilife/iweb/
  42. 42 http://www.apple.com/ilife/iweb/
  43. 43 http://www.karelia.com/
  44. 44 http://www.karelia.com/
  45. 45 http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/
  46. 46 http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/
  47. 47 http://www.studioline.biz/EN/products/overview-web/default.htm
  48. 48 http://www.bluevoda.com/
  49. 49 http://www.websitex5.com/en/index.html
  50. 50 http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
  51. 51 http://www.oxygenxml.com/

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Co-Founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories and looking for a publisher ...

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  1. 1

    I agree with Ed, I am a Rapidweaver user and fully believe that is the best. From being able to create custom templets, to the great plugins. Its easy for non-experienced users, and great for some who are advance in html, css, php, or whatever you want just about.
    Hands down it is the best app for web design!

    1
  2. 52

    I’m of the opinion that just because I can’t write the DOCTYPE or meta info from memory doesn’t mean I’m not close to being a professional. It means that I have templates set-up with these things already in place to maximize my time and be able to make more money.

    I agree. I used to use a text editor for all my work but even then I didn’t type out doctypes out by hand – the editor came with its own inbuilt templates which included doctypes etc.

    Now I use Dreamweaver and again, it lets you create templates with the doctypes already included. I still only use DW in code view though (sometimes use split view for quickly adding content like lists, anchors etc) and wouldn’t recommend anyone to try and work with CSS using DW in design view as it makes a mess of how it displays positioned elements.

    But as a tool that saves the amount of characters you type, I think it’s great and anyone who thinks they’re a better coder because they actually type every single byte of code they produce, rather than using tools that speed up that process and reduce production time, is misguided.

    -1
  3. 103

    Darren Cornwell

    May 6, 2008 11:55 pm

    You forgot a couple of good mac editors – skedit and Coda – the latter being a pretty good all in one application with code / preview / ssh / ftp / and a library function to look up references.

    I use skedit on a daily basis and would be lost without it. It all comes down to your style of editing I suppose.

    -1
  4. 154

    is there any list out there to read trough for photoshop plugins, what they do or photoshop actions to make the life easier?

    my editor is notepad++. i switched from dreamweaver after a loving relationship for more then 4 years. notepad++ looks good, gives me everything i need, can be pimped with new colour-shemes and make it unique ( for design-lovers only ) but too use and handle this free tool is outstanding.

    again a great and useful article. and maybe someone can hel me with my question from above ;)

    -1
  5. 205

    I’ll have to 2nd Zend, as a user that moves between M$, Linux, and OS X. Zend is the ideal editor.

    0
  6. 256

    The perfect coding is made by hand with a text editor. A web site should be first drawn in photoshop or similar platforms and then hand coded. it is more flexible and the code will be clean and simple. Of course after that you can use integrating software for PHP or Ajax/JavaScript if you are working at a very large website, for example an on-line store or something like that. :)

    -1
  7. 307

    Up next week, “25 WYSIWYG Word Processors Reviewed”

    Of course, we all know that real writers use LaTeX. Hand written in Notepad. :)

    -1
  8. 358

    What Dreamweaver needs is a better way to work with dynamic websites. Not just plug-ins like this one but it should truly incorporate ways to work with CMS’ like WordPress and Drupal

    0
  9. 409

    What does “concorcium” mean?

    -1
  10. 460

    some professional web designers just use a good non WYSIWYG editor like UltraEdit and page opnened in several browsers to cut the design coming from PSD or AI but this is about WYSIWYG :)

    -1
  11. 511

    Really helpful information.

    I still remember when i use to design websites using Microsoft Frontpage, as that was the only WYSIWYG software trained by most of the Computer Training Institute in India those days. Now there are lot of Web Page Editos presents and you’ve covered most of them.

    But I think when it comes to WYSIWYG software, Dreamweaver rules all of them. It has everything a newbie / advanced Web Designer / Developer look for.

    Why don’t you do Voting for the most used WYSIWYG software. I know Dreamweaver will win it.

    -1
  12. 562

    Funny… I always thought Nvu was pronounced “envy you” – as in the end product/design. Apparently I hadn’t read up on the package before briefly using it.

    0
  13. 613

    In sum, WYSIWYG are just for beginners. And when it comes to front-end web development, its always best to use Code Editors (Coda, PsPad, Notepad++, etc.) for advance developers.

    I use Dreamweaver and always on the Code View, most of the time I only switch in Design View when locating DIVs for long coded pages. DW snippets are useful too and so I use them. Together w/ DW I use PsPad for more of the coding part, where line highlights are very much useful for me.

    1
  14. 664

    I’ve used FirstPage for a while, which is IMO a great editor, but recently I discoverded HTML Kit, which is now my weapon-of-choice. It has add-ons that allow to preview in both IE and FF which proves very helpful in testing your designs.

    Download from download.com: http://www.download.com/HTML-Kit/3000-2048_4-10035302.html

    0
  15. 715

    IMHO the best WYSIWYG editor for web is a set of Photoshop + Aptana/Eclipse + browsers’ dev tools.

    -1
  16. 766

    I can’t believe Coda got mentioned so many times. I used Dreamweaver for years until Mac got their intels and I didn’t feel like spending the money to upgrade Dreamweaver as well. I ended up with Coda and I was worried that I would get stuck with the code, but I didn’t and I wouldn’t want to switch back now. I really like Coda!! It’s not a WYSIWYG, but that preview mode is great . Why don’t you guys make a list about apps like Coda, Rapidweaver, CSSEdit etc. I don’t think there are many designers that read these posts that don’t have a single clue about html or other code and I feel like this post is a little too basic. Even those that are using Dreamweaver are most likely using the code view for work not design view.

    0
  17. 817

    I use a yellow Legal pad for my xhtml and a stenographers notebook for my CSS And always use a pen!
    AJAX = Rolodex.

    Your mac’s don’t impress me. I use mine as a paper weight.

    0
  18. 919

    “Im a geek i code by hand and refresh. wysiwyg is for lazy. real developers use .net and need intelisense…” man why do people get so edgy about this stuff. obviously some tools work better for others. I use dreamweaver to manage files, and quickly edit pages. I code by hand or use there tools when its faster. Code a table by hand vs a wysiwyg (and before you go on about tables I mean for tabular use you standards compliant nazi freaks).

    At the end of the day- for PHP, Ruby or .net programming or whatever you need a different tool. for whipping a up a quick 10 page website that you charge $5K for and want done in 2 days- you need a streamlines approach, easy tools, and XHTML&CSS knowledge. not this tool or that tool.

    I was hoping to read about a wysiwyg editor that:
    – warns me of problomatic CSS- ie bugs, x-browser rendering differeces. Not because i don’t know, but because i have a life outside of work and forget over the years all the bugs. monday after a big weekend and a websites due nothings worse than looking at some code knowing you’ve solved the problem before and can’t remember.

    – has intellegent CSS design. has lightbox and sifr and grids and ajax stuff inbuild, and updatable from their website like an rss feed or something. I read and keep up to date on the latest and greatest ninja code techniques but i got other things on my mind too, im trying to learn motion design, get out of the house more and I can’t keep on top of new knoweldge forever. – maybe thats why some people get so anus over discussions like this, they have invested so much time into the knowledge its become part of their identity and they feel the need to let everyone know what they know. I know someone else who was bursting to express himself: Seung-Hui Cho. yeah. didn’t work out so good.

    I think some of you need to go for a walk and calm down. Just because someone doesn’t develop/code/design/build the same way you do doesn’t mean you’re right or they are right.

    we can all be right.

    except frontpage/sharepoint designer lovers. Can you believe that I can’t even force MOSS to be standards compliant and SharePoint Designer has the nerve to tell me I’m writing bad code.

    0
  19. 970

    Where is CODA? :)

    -1
  20. 1021

    How about a review of web based WYSIWYG editors for developers to install for their clients? We have more and more requests for CMS so would be good to know what is preferred, whats popular, problems, etc etc..

    -1
  21. 1072

    Those who use Dreamweaver or other WYSIWYG editors are ussualy: lazy or noob. If you want a clean cut design with clean tableless code, you need to know your xHTML very well along with CSS.

    I haven’t seen one WYSIWYG editor capable of displaying my hand-coded xHTML correctly. Visual editors are only good for simple website or web pages without any real obstacle…

    Moreover with the web 2.0, alot of website use bits and pieces of AJAX and javascript which ussualy need a hand job. This is the reasons why I use notepad++

    1
    • 1123

      Why such snobbery. And this goes to all of you in this group.

      I am looking for a wysiwyg software. I am not a web designer or developer and have no intention of becoming one. I’m a photographer and I want a simple website to show my work and I don’t want to pay to have it designed because I want to be able to update the images and text myself.

      This article has nothing to do with professional web designers using wysiwyg – start your own forum! The rest of us, I believe, are interested in receiving positive information about wysiwyg software.

      2
  22. 1174

    Notepad is the only way to edit any web content. If you aren’t fluent with HTML, XSLT, etc, you have no business doing any kind of web design. Learn your server model languages and get bck to us actual web professionals. Syntax coloring and dynamic validation is for ignorant pussies.

    -1
  23. 1225

    Just because you use Dreamweaver does not negate the use of being able to hand write code. I have only ever used DreamWeaver (ok HomeSite for 6 moths over 6 years ago… but that’s just DW without the wysiwyg… was bundled together as I recall).

    However, i can write all my HTML and CSS in code view and simply look at the way the divs balance, etc, in split view. Just because a true professional wouldn’t *design* in DW’s “design view” … doesn’t mean it’s not the best balance of form and function.

    Because I cut my teeth on HTML and CSS long before I learned PHP, Eclipse is not a comfortable environment to do my HTML/CSS… and certainly the FTP management of accounts via “Sites” is far superior to other wysiwyg editors.

    0
  24. 1276

    Coda for Mac+CSS Edit=Amazing. Please include these programs next time!

    0
  25. 1327

    It seems my previous post was prevented from being posted.

    To touch upon Toni Marie’s comments, if you are going to “use DreamWeaver correctly” as a web designer and hand code the XHTML and CSS, what point is there in paying for an application primarily developed to be a WYSIWYG editor? Surely using any aspect of the latter, such as the much-despised Designer View, clearly contradicts the point (and much of the markup) of clean, compliant handmade code, no?

    And to touch upon my first comment, where did it go?
    Where ever did that fishy go?

    0
  26. 1378

    Agree it would be nice to see a review of text/code editors. And I’d love for you to find out from Adobe why one of the best editors out there – HomeSite – has been left to rot. I believe it’s because they put all their eggs in DW, but it would be nice to know for sure.

    -1
  27. 1429

    Who are really using the Microsoft Expression Web???

    -1
  28. 1480

    maybe Aptana is the best editor too.

    0
  29. 1531

    don’t care what anyone says… i love the GoLive.. and i was happy with at least a v. 9 that did come out with some really great tools that i hope one day would make it into dreamweaver. until my golive 9 dies i refuse to make the switch the interface is so much easier than dreamweaver.

    goliver since 6.0!

    -1
  30. 1582

    I am trying out SiteMasher, which I was introduced to during Interop 2008 here in Las Vegas.

    0
  31. 1633

    As i said, i use notepad++ to code everything, sintax highlight helps to seperate the vars and it’s quick to find specific code. I feel sad that some people says that coding is professional and using wysiwug software is for newbies, it has nothing to do with it. Being professional is all about the final result, not the tools you use to reach the goals. Even coding could demonstrate a bigger knowledge than someone using software, it doesnt mean the final result will be better ;)

    1
  32. 1684

    Hey Jimmy, wow, I think it is time for you to get off your high-horse and deflate that ego of yours. “Professionals” find a way to code and develop in whatever platform that fits them best. I been doing web design and development in a “Professional” environment for over 15 years now and you can use whatever program it takes to create code. There is nothing wrong with using Dreamweaver along side Microsoft Visual Studio or whatever other programs the “Professionals” use. A “Professional” developer knows how to work around .net, asp and php, all of which Dreamweaver supports and works very well with. So Jimmy boy, go get a “Real Job” and become a real “Professional” and you will see the light.

    -1
  33. 1735

    dreamweaver for me is the best! ^^

    -1
  34. 1786

    Nice list, but hardly a review. A review would actually compare, whereas this is only a list of features… Not even a comment on what’s missing in a editor or what makes a specific editor worse or better.

    -1
  35. 1837

    whoops another one: Flux 1.2
    http://www.theescapers.com/

    0
  36. 1888

    Edilson de Souza

    May 6, 2008 8:47 pm

    I use Quanta Plus, it’s not really WYSIWYG editor. I like it because it offers a comfortable code editor for XHTML and CSS, and syntax highlight for JavaScript. However, sometimes a prefer using Aptana for JavaScript and PHP.
    I think if a developer cares about web standards, accessibility etc, handcoding will be his/her natural choice, even with Dreamweaver (argh!!!).

    1
  37. 1939

    Fernando Trasviña

    May 6, 2008 8:48 pm

    For the guys that say no professional web designer/developer uses something else than dreamweaver.

    No one calling himself a professional (being a professional) would rely on dreamweaver’s WYSIWIG hability, they code, and why pay for an overpriced product, adobe just came to destroy good old macromedia rising the price of the software and 0 improvements.

    Ok guys. now Web Development professionals should use good old text to create this (this goes for designing and programming). except for grapchis.

    Personally i use Gedit on LINUX (free and reliable). I used to work with dreamweaver till it was sold, still used the coding feature which still are great but not so much for the price. there are some other amazing ides like some guys comment here, but for the WYSIWIG part the article does a really good job, this comment is directed to all the people who cant see beyond WYSIWIG for web development.

    0
  38. 1990

    Wow, I’m surprised at the rancor that this review/list has brought up. I’d just like to add for those working/thinking about Linux-only web development tools, Quanta Plus is the most full-featured DW-like one out there, with a handy split code/design view to help you find your way on the page; it can be tweaked to your liking. For those who want a text-editor only, Bluefish and Screem are great for web development. Of course, you can run Aptana too.
    I agree, a list of text-editors is now called for! Let the games begin!
    BTW, thanks Smashing Magazine. You guys consistently bring quality content.

    -1
  39. 2041

    Thibaut Allender

    May 6, 2008 11:36 pm

    Sorry, I real don’t get the point of this post…
    Smashing Magazine aims professionnals, right ?

    0
  40. 2092

    Tim you are a twat

    0
  41. 2143

    I use dreamweaver at home and notepad++ at work…
    Dreamweaver is cool, but i don’t even user 10% of the software, and it slows down my computer when i open photoshop or flash or when i have 20+ files opened…
    Notepad++ is so quick, and gives many useful shortcuts…
    i think too that the real wysiwyg is alt+tab and F5…

    0
  42. 2194

    The problem with WYSIWYG is adaptability. For those happy to build formulaic, generic , tabled , “I’v seen it somewhere before ” pages/ sites WYSIWYG delivers. If you want very clean code, WYSIWYG generally won’t. Not only that, but you face the real possibility of not be taken seriously by many top level employers. For beginners that’s not a problem but what happens when you need to integrate Ajax, PHP, Flash into a CSS/ HTML page? Wait for a plug in? Those who know code have already written that application. The worst thing about WYSIWYG is it puts those dependant on it at a TOTAL DISADVANTAGE in terms of abilty to code. I learned html/ css the so called “hard way” and saved myself several hundred diollars but most importantly if I see something I like I use view source and I know what I’m seeing. If I look at some interesting effect on a tutorial and code is given, again I know what it means and how to customize it. Most importantly learning humble html/css has allowed me to learn other languages rather than rely on a translator… (WYSIWYG) and that makes you more innovative than relying on a plug in or others to do things for you…

    0
  43. 2245

    Oh!….

    Why Still some of the developers to develop thier pages without using the WYSISWYG editors.
    Its waste of time & Energy

    Choose better WYSIWYG editor suitable to your project. save your time.

    0
  44. 2296

    Thorvald Neumann

    May 7, 2008 2:30 am

    I am using TextWrangler and CSSEdit mostly; I am using Dreamweaver only when I have to create quick’n’dirty website previews or when I have to support old, badly coded websites.

    0
  45. 2347

    I started web design in 1997 using notepad. Moved on to Hotdog pro (anyone remember that?). For the last 6 years I’ve been using dreamweaver simply because it cuts out a lot of the gunk and the speed I create pages is so fast. I can hand code HTML and CSS with my eyes shut but I would never hand code simply because it takes too much time.

    Good post but looking at this lot I’ll still be using DreamWeaver (Visual studio 2008 has got a lot better for the front end designer but still DW is the best imho).

    0
  46. 2398

    It has been mentioned but would love a run-down of the best and worst code editors to use (including IDE platforms), I think it’s more of a minefield than WYSIWYG editors and some guidance would be nice.

    0
  47. 2449

    25 editors and you miss Coda, how dare you!

    0
  48. 2500

    Yuriy, you are off target on a few points.

    A) DreamWeaver does not have a “real” code folding algorithm at all, and does a pathetic attempt at doing such. For instance, you have “code fold” anything you can highlight. So, I could, if I wanted to, code fold “DreamWeaver” to “+D..R”. Yeah, that’s not what code folding is.

    B) DW is a huge memory hog. Running files up to 600 lines of code or more seriously begin to choke the system you are running. Having color syntax highlighting and “code folding” even adds more salt to this wound.

    C) It requires a hefty 800mb to install and most of this is for the WYSIWYG aspects of the install. So, if you are claiming that you only use it for the basic features of projects and FTP because you code by hand, why would you go through all of this rather than switching to one of the ridiculously fast and light weight alternatives that include these features? Maybe you are a masochist? I don’t want to assume.

    D) Perhaps you are using the DWT template feature? If this is so, don’t get me started about how flawed that is.

    E) Well, to be honest I lost track of all of the reasons I have come up with over the years as to why DW is bad. And yes, I have used CS3 and none of these issues have been addressed.

    In summary, if you claim to use DW like a “real designer” should (who knows anything about standards and proper web design), then you are either a masochist or really are using some aspect you are not claiming to when you consider that any decent aspect that the “IDE” offers you is available in various free software that runs 100% faster and more reliably.

    0
    • 2551

      Since when is 800 MB hefty? If you can’t even save up 800 MB of space, then sad to say you have poor disk space management for your workstation.

      As much as DW hogs memory, it can’t be worse than games, no?

      -1
  49. 2602

    I use Dreamweaver (after Netscape Composer) when started coding 10 years ago but it didn’t take me long to forgot the WISWIG feature because of the horrible code produced. At least I learn HTML and then CSS.

    Nowadays I use Textpad for HTML/CSS/PHP but Notepad++ looks great I’m gonna try it.

    I’m also on a ASP.NET project right now so I use Visual Studio 2008. For sure the event-driven programming feature is great, and the new AJAX extensions seems really cool but I don’t really consider the WISWIG editor. I’d like to test Zend for its support of Zend framework, and I saw that Delphi for PHP which seems to reproduce the VS event stuff. But I’m off topic because all these aspects are related to programming related and not webdesign.

    0
  50. 2653

    Potential Client

    May 7, 2008 7:12 am

    lol! ACK!! k guys. I’m what you’d call a “potential client”:)

    To quote a part of the article; “Sometimes you need to provide your clients with some simple tools to edit or update their web-sites. And this is where the utility of WYSIWYG-editors comes in. As a web-professional you need to provide your clients with some sophisticated advice and offer a simple yet effective tool — e.g. a WYSIWYG-editor.”

    Seems some of you are missing the point here! Might not be about what editor YOU use as a professional but what you can provide your clients to use to update and maintain their own sites. Times are tough as I’m sure we all know! I for one as a potential client couldn’t really afford to hire a designer/coder much less purchase software such as DW!! Throw your clients a bone now and again and they’ll refer you to their contacts which could very well = some good income for you;)

    BTW…being someone that needs a site done but due to the lack of any extra funds…PERIOD. I appreciate this list! As a potential client speaking IF I were to be able to pay someone to do a site for me I sure wouldn’t care HOW on earth they did it as long as it was functional, I loved it AND I got some more bang for my buck by being introduced to one of these wysiwyg editors by my web guy to make changes and updates on my own, whenever I found the need to:)

    1

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