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12 HTML web page editors for linux

There are many many different ways to create a website and the tools range from simple text editors that enable you to enter HTML code from scratch all the way to point and click website designers that simply require you to type in the text and paste in the pictures. They cater for everyone from the novice simply creating a home page on the web, to a professional developer creating a large and complex website.

Some editors and designers are free of charge, while others can cost quite a lot of money, but whatever you are looking for, there is bound to be something that fits your needs.

Websites can be designed on all operating systems including linux, Windows and Mac OS X. In this article we will take a look at some of the tools that are available for linux. As is often the case with linux, there a lot of free programs and some of them are very good.

Komodo Edit

Komodo EditKomodo Edit is a superb HTML editor that has a wide range of features.

It is not a point and click wysiwyg (what you is what you get) designer than novices can use to create web pages, but providing you know a few basic HTML tags you can create a web page.

A nice feature is the code completion. When you start typing in an tag like <img it displays a list of parameters like align, src, border and so on.

Firstly, this reminds you what parameters are available with a particular tag, and secondly, you can quickly select one and it's entered for you, saving you the bother of typing it. Komodo Edit free, open source, and it should run on most linux distros (and Mac and Windows too).

This is an excellent program and it has a lot of advanced features for expert and pro developers. Installation is straightforward if you follow the instructions in the install.html file in the archive.

Price: Free. Size: 38Mb


ScreemFor basic HTML editing Screem is almost as good as Komodo Edit. Komodo has a lot of advanced features for experts that novices won't need, so it's worth considering Screem if your needs are quite simple. It's an HTML editor for Gnome and it works with a wide range of linux distros like Ubuntu, Mint, Debian and so on.

Instead of downloading it direct from the website, you will probably find it in your distro's Synaptic Package Manager or Add/Remove Applications whatever the program is called that lists the software available for your distro. This allows you to select it and automatically download it and install it.

It's a text editor and not a wysiwyg point and click designer, however, like Komodo, it offers code completion, so if you type a < a list pops up with all the HTML tags. Select one and then hit space and another list showing all the tag's parameters is displayed. This makes it easy to enter tags and you don't need to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of HTML. Closing tags are automatically entered too.

Useful panels can be opened at the sides and bottom to show the files you're working on, tag parameters, errors, resources, and so on. There are useful colour, form, link and table wizards, and other tools.

Price: Free. Size: 4Mb


ScreemKate is a text editor that comes as part of the KDE desktop. If you use KDE and can't find it on the menus, you can download it using the Install Software feature of your linux distro (get the extensions too).

Kate is probably the simplest web page creation tool you can use. Well, maybe not, there are some pretty basic text editors for linux. Kate is quite a sophisticated text editor and it has a good range of features, although they are for text editing in general rather than web pages.

A panel on the left enables you to browse the disk or view a list of the files that are open - you can open multiple documents. The main window is clear and simple and Kate will colour code the syntax of a wide range of programming and markup languages. This makes it easier to view HTML tags (there isn't a wysiwyg mode).

You do need to know your HTML very well because its code completion feature is very basic indeed. It's a great text editor and it's possible to edit HTML code if you don't have anything better to hand.

Price: Free. Size: 5Mb.


BluefishBluefish is a general programmer's editor that is available in the package manager of many linux distros. For example, you'll find it listed in the Synaptic Package Manager in Ubuntu. You should be able to get it running in other distros if you download the program and the files it needs (see the downloads page at the Bluefish site).

In some ways it is similar to Screem and it is a useful program for novices because it takes a wizard and form-filling approach to certain features, such as forms, tables, CSS, and so on. Quite a lot of common HTML tags are on buttons in the tabbed toolbar and you can point and click to insert them into the page. However, it doesn't have code completion (type a tag and it lists all the parameters in the drop-down list for easy selection).

A large number of HTML tags are on menus and the sidebar at the left can display an HTML reference guide. Tags can be entered by clicking them and a list of parameters is displayed when the mouse hovers over a tag. The file browser in the left sidebar is also useful for browsing files on the disk too.

Price: Free. Size: 2Mb.


AmayaAmaya is an open source software project hosted by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), and there are versions fo Ubuntu, Redhat, Mandrake and SUSE (plus Windows and OS X). One of the nice things about it is that it's a wysiwyg editor that works in a similar way to a word processor. You can type text on the page, choose the style, create bullet points, insert images and so on, all without any knowledge of HTML. You can even insert shapes like rectangles, circles, lines, and more.

It's not the most intuitive wysiwyg web page designer, but it's not bad once you get used to it. It's from the W3C, so as you might expect, it's hot on the latest standards. It offers a number of views in addition to wysiwyg and you can split the windows to show the HTML, document structure, links, and table of contents. Themes can be applied to the page and there is a choice of classic, modern or no theme. You can easily do things in Amaya that would be very difficult in a plain HTML editor.

Price: Free. Size: 18Mb.


ArachnophilliaArachnophilia is a Java program, so it runs on any operating system - provided you know how to install Java and run Java programs. In Ubuntu you can install Java from the Synaptic Package Manager, so look for it in the equivalent utility in whatever distro you use. Arachnophillia can then be started by typing in a command at the Terminal window.

The editor doesn't have code completion (a feature you'll really miss once you've tried it), so you need a good knowledge of HTML tags and parameters. However, you can enter lots of HTML tags by pointing and clicking in the panel on the left or by selecting items in the menus or toolbars. You can then edit the tag that's inserted. Nearly everything you need is on a button or menu somewhere. There is a table wizard, but generally, the program is a bit light on features compared to Komodo and Screem.

Price: Free. Size: 1.5Mb.

Others worth considering

  • SciTE: A general programmer's editor
  • XEmacs: A customizable open source text editor
  • Komposer: Features wysiwyg web page editing
  • Aptana Suite: Very powerful HTML editing software
  • Quanta Plus: A web developmkent environment based on KDE
  • JEdit: A programmer's editor written in Java suitable for HTML

This list will be updated as more web page editing tools for linux are discovered, so come back soon.

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