Carl Davis's -- HTML Editor Reviews
Definitions and Background Information
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This document contains basic information about the review page. It gives
some of my thoughts on why this page is better than other review pages and
defines the terms used in the reviews and tables.
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This document contains detailed reviews of the HTML editors I've used.
This site is different from many others primarily in the depth of
coverage. On other pages you will find a brief description of an editor
and a rating. Hardly enough for anyone to make an informed judgement.
"Carl Davis's HTML Editor Review Page" includes much
- Detailed reviews which point out major features in each
editor and how they operate. Also, if there are any major problems,
you'll find them as well. However, this information is organized so
you can scan it quickly and read the details if you want.
- Comprehensive comparison matrix compares all the editors
side-by-side. This table helps you see how all the packages compare at
a glance (OK, you'll need to scroll sometimes!). I haven't seen any
other reviews on the web which gives you this depth of information.
- An Editor Selection Helper Applet (Java based) provide you
a way to compare the editors using your criteria. A intuitive
interface steps you through the steps to define what is important to
you. When your done, the helper will rank the editors for you.
I've attempted to be as impartial as possible with each package. I
attempt to use each package for at least 8 hours performing some typical
tasks. These included--multiple formatting techniques, using compound
and simple tags, creating different lists, inserting in-line graphics,
using table/form/frame/etc. editors, and composing links. However, it is
possible that I've missed features that were present, or made some other
error. With this in mind, I invite readers to offer corrections
Also, if you have used any of these programs, and have a different
perspective on them please send me your comments. Thanks to all the
individuals who have pointed me to many of these packages.
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Currently this document covers mostly MS-Windows applications. I am
actively looking into stand alone programs and templates for MS-Word.
However, I've set the document up so that other platforms can be
discussed and I am open to including reviews of other packages on this
page (or links to other reviews). Anyone who offers a review will, of
course, receive full credit.
The reviews do not cover every detail of each package. It's rare to
see a package that does not support most of the basic HTML constructs.
For this reason, the reviews focus on how each package excels and falls
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Document | Editor List ]
This section defines the phrases used in the overview section for each
editor. All possible values are enumerated.
- Platforms types:
- The possible platforms supported:
- UNIX (See Editor Publisher for Flavors)
- Macintosh (Mac)
- Software types:
- The type of program or environment needed to use:
- stand alone
- MS-Word Macros
- Representation schemes:
- How the user interacts with the HTML language constructs:
- WYSIWYG -- Graphical anyway.
- Unique -- Not a traditional editor.
- Syntax Checking:
- Does the program check for valid HTML.
- HTML Checking
- NO HTML Checking
- How stable did the software run on the test environment (A DX4/100
with 16 Megs of RAM for MS-Windows based editors)
- Very Stable -- never crashed my system or made the system act
- Stable -- did not crash my system, but caused strange activity
(continuous disk access, very slow performance, etc...)
- Somewhat Stable -- Did crash (general protection fault)
- Not Stable -- Software made system crash or caused some harm
- Overall Score:
- The overall rating based on a 5 star scale, where 5 is the highest.
The star's color is used to provide more visual cues (gold is best,
green, blue, red). Some older reviews may have the overall rating of the
software on an A-F scale. Where "A" is best and "F"
is the poorest score possible.
- Screen Shot
- A screen shot of the software running. Typically the link or in-line
image dialogs are shown.
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Document | Comparison Matrix ]
- Matrix Values
- Yes - Supports, contains, or is consistent with the listed item.
- Some - Contains some elements, partially supports, or only
contains a portion of the entire item.
- --- - Does not support or comply to this item.
- N/A - This item is inappropriate for this package
- ??? - Unknown, evaluated copy may be missing but promised,
package is crippled, or I simply do not know or could not determine
- Version - The current revision of the package. This might be
higher than the detailed review because I wanted to place the latest
information on the page.
- Score - Number of stars I give the package, if reviewed.
- Platform - What platforms is the package available for. (In most
cases the review is performed on the Windows/95 version).
- W - Windows 3.1
- M - Macintosh
- U - UNIX (note: there are many variants of UNIX, refer to the
editor publisher's homepage
- N - 32bit Windows (NT or 95)
- A - Amiga (wishful thinking)
- Type - The kind of editor and interface.
- T - Text based (like an greatly enhanced text editor)
- G - Graphical (often refered to WYSIWYG). Tags are normally
hidden from user.
- Combination (T/G or G/T) refers to editors which are
primarily one type, but incorporate elements of the other. (for
example, HoTMetaL, a typical tag insertion editor, uses the tags
to change text appearance to mimic a browser view somewhat)
- HTML Tags - Tag supported by editor
- HTML 3.0 - Support HTML 3.0 tags (for example, tables and math
- Netscape 1.X - Early Netscape enhancements (for example,
centering and extra image attributes)
- Netscape 2.0 - Latest Netscape enhancements (for example, frames
and Java applets)
- MS Explorer - Additions such as marque and avi image support
found in MS IE.
- HTML 3.2 - Does the editor handle the proposed 3.2 specification
(Note: this overlaps some previous extensions).
- Style Sheets - Cascading Style Sheets. (I'm not that familiar
with these yet, so I can claim level 1 or how well the editors
- Tables - Includes support for table (TD, TABLE, TH, TR and
- Forms - Includes support for Forms tags
- Frames - Includes support for FRAMES, FRAMESET, and NOFRAMES
- Applets/ActiveX - Maybe these shouldn't be lumped but I did
anyway. Supports the embedded application tags (embed and applet).
scripts in template documents, automatic script generation, or
- Ease of Use
- Full Link/Image Dialogs - Has full featured dialog including
browsing for files, and URL builder.
- Intelligent Menu Structure - Menu structure is well laid out,
including related elements are grouped together under buttons or
- Single Click for Common Tags - Includes tool buttons or floating
tool boxes to give fast access to tags such as HR,, LI, DT, etc.
- Easy and Useful Button Bars - Use of tool boxes or button bars is
obvious and improve editing efficiency
- Home Page Wizard - Includes a wizard or helper dialog to step
through creating a basic page for new authors.
- Drag/Drop Links and Images - The package allows document and
image links to be added by dragging filenames into the editor window
(or something similar).
- Power User - Features to help an advanced
- Right Button Menus - Includes pop-up menus when the right button
(or button held on Mac) is pressed.
- Attribute Dialogs - Attributes are included in dialogs or can be
selected (for example: image dialog includes align and spacing
- Mult-file Find/Replace - Editor can search and replace text
across multiple files (project, wild card, etc.). How else do you
change all instances of your old email address on the entire site?
- Color, Background Dialogs - Includes dialogs (or other mechanism)
to quickly pick colors from a pallet.
- Designers - Editor or dialogs to simplify and
speed up using advanced HTML constructs in a document.
- Table Designer or Editor - Contains a dialog to simplify table
creation and/or an editor for populating table (does not imply
tables can be modified using dialog after creation).
- Forms Designer - Contains a WYSIWYG design tool or an advaced
dialog for laying out or creating forms.
- Frame Designer - Tool or dialog is included to simplify creation
- Image map editor - Contains built-in tool (or included as part of
package) to create image maps. Some editors support automatic
creation of client side, but not server side image maps.
- Full Help - Help file contains generous information and examples.
- HTML Help - HTML syntax or tutorials are included in package's
- File Size
- >40K Bytes or >100K Bytes - Package can edit at least this
- Rich Text - Can import Rich Text Format (RTF).
- Word or WordPerfect and Others - Can import common word processor
file types .
- Validation - Checks for valid markup use.
- On Demand - Will validate document when menu item is selected.
- Rule Enforcement During Editing - Will not allow user to violate
HTML syntax while editing document.
- HTML 3.0 - In addition to 2.0 DTD, system will check against 3.0
- Netscape - Can validate correct use of Netscape extensions.
- Explorer - Handles explorer specific HTML extensions.
- Spelling - Includes Spelling Checker
- Thesaurus - Not really checking, but an appropriate place to list
if a thesaurus is included.
- User Text and Tags -User can save own text to insert or new tags
for quick recall.
- Add New Button or Tool Box - User can add new buttons to the tool
bars or own text or tags to a tool box.
- Keystroke Macros - Package includes ability to create macros to
- Other - Other useful features not appropriate
for other categories.
- Project Management - Provides tools to track and organize groups
of files into logical working sets (projects).
- Site Management - Provides tools to verify links, look at layout
of a site, or otherwise manage the layout of a site.
- Image Editor - Includes the ability to edit images (or has a
package included to do so).
- Built-in Previewer - Include the ability to show the document as
seen in a browser so a user doesn't need to load a browser for quick
checks of a page. Graphical editors normally include this by
- Tag Color Coding - The editor colors or displays tags differently
from normal text.
copyright © 1995,96 Carl Davis
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Last Update: 22-Sep-97 19:45
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