+8  Q: 

Html CSS Editor

I'm looking for a good editor for both HTML and CSS. I currently use the Firebug Firefox extension, and this is a great tool, but I'm looking for something I can use without necessarily firing up a browser. Ideally it would have a live preview of what I'm coding.

Edit: As a student, I have access to MSDN. also, i have access to Windows, Mac, and Linux. So any platform will do.

+3  A: 

Off the top of my head:

Non-free: Microsoft Expression Web

Edit: I see you're a student. You can get the abovementioned product (and many other Microsoft tools) for free - DreamSpark


The fact that you didn't specify the platform leads me to believe that it's Windows—because everyone runs Windows, right? Still, when asking for software suggestions, it's a good idea to include the target platform(s). (Maybe StackOverflow could have a bit of dedicated metadata for that, or would a tag suffice?)

John Siracusa
+1  A: 

Dreamweaver? I usually just use Crimson Editor or vi though.

+1  A: 

Notepad++, Visual Studio 2008 are both good choices for HTML / CSS, and currently what I'm using until I find some missing features I like in another piece of software. For previewing the HTML, I use Firefox, IE 6 & 7. Usually will give it a once over in Safari if its facing the web, as opposed to an admin section, etc.

Shawn Simon
+6  A: 

Aptana is rather nice if you want all the bells and whistles without paying for Visual Studio. If, like sasb suggested, you can get Microsoft products for free from school, then I would tend to lean towards Microsoft Expression Web or Visual Studio.

Brad Tutterow
Why should one have to pay for Visual Studio? VS Express Edition Web Developer is absolutely free.
Vincent McNabb

If you want complete control over your code with some syntax highlighting, I love edit plus. You can check it out here

  • Syntax highlighting for HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP, Perl, C/C++, Java, JavaScript and VBScript. Also, it can be extended for other programming languages based on custom syntax files.
  • Seamless Web browser for previewing HTML pages, and FTP commands for uploading local files to FTP server.
  • Other features include HTML toolbar, user tools, line number, ruler, URL highlighting, auto-completion, cliptext, column selection, powerful search and replace, multiple undo/redo, spell checker, customizable keyboard shortcuts, and more.

This is just for CSS, but if you're working mainly on CSS at some point and you're running OS X, CSSEdit is a great tool with live updating. Unfortunately, it's not free and as far as I know, it doesn't do any sort of HTML.

Rudd Zwolinski

NVU Lightweight, Open-source, cross-platform, WYSIWYG.

Issac Kelly

Textpad is what I used for years before switching to Aptana. Syntax highlighting. Integrates into your right click menu so you can right click > textpad to open file in textpad. I still have textpad for little things and for when I need macros (amazingly Aptana does not support macros).

Now I use Aptana. It integrates with my Subversion repositories, auto-uploads files on save to my server, controls my XAMPP server locally, has all JavaScript libraries integrated by default, does syntax highlighting. The only things it doesn't do are Macros (what???) and WYSIWYG. If you buy the license it will even do IE JS debugging (sweet!).

I've always had problems with NVU.

Dreamweaver is good if you want WYSIWY(hope to)G

Frontpage == horrible


On Windows, Webuilder is absolutely excellent. Lightweight, cheap and intutive. Handles PHP as well.

On the Mac, it has to be TextMate.


If you end up doing your stuff on the Mac, I've got to recommend Panic's Coda.

Brian Warshaw
+1  A: 

Agree entirely with Olly. TextMate is a gem. After using GoLive and Dreamweaver for years I finally buckled down and learned the syntax for CSS. Only took a couple days and I never looked back. WYSIWYG editors are far too variable with their use of spacing/fonts/colors/etc. And if you're gonna code, use TextMate. Its project functionality is extremely helpful in keeping all your files handy for cross referencing purposes.

Shady Studios

I have to agree with Brian Warshaw on using Panic's Coda if you're developing on a mac, especially with HTML and CSS - it has the live preview feature you mention. TextMate is also a good general coding tool however one thing I've noticed is that rails people love it and php people hate it!

+2  A: 

On Windows I've been using Editplus for years (www.editplus.com). It's a great notepad replacement with syntax highlighting, ftp, and lots of other goodies.


I like NotePad++ for my general editing on windows (great macros), but recently have found CoffeCup HTML editor to be very-well suited for my needs [Ctrl-b for bold, Ctrl-enter for paragraph break etc]. The free version gives you a previewer and an editor, but not the WYSIWYG.

+3  A: 

My vote goes to notepad++, it's free it's brilliant, there is a lot of plugins for this software. It's not so hard to write your own plugin.

+2  A: 

Komodo Edit rules! - It even allows you to create macros, writable in JavaScript!!


GVIM of course! No live preview but firefox and F5 work just fine. I have never been a fan of editors with a live preview. At some point you will need to make sure your css design is the same on all browsers. Live previews are just like having another browser your style must work with.


Notepad++ is definitely a great free tool to edit HTML+CSS.


Macromedia's Homesite 5.5 is, in my opinion the best web editor ever. Aside from color coding all your various web languages (perl, javascript, etc) it also has a built in FTP that allows you to edit remote files. fairly cheap and incredibly powerful


I have used Aptana and can verify that it is a pretty good IDE for web development. I have used it primarily for HTML and JavaScript and the auto-completion and intellisense is pretty good. I have also used Notepad++ and Komodo, and Aptana was the better out of these three for features.

Russ Cam

Assuming you can afford it, IntelliJ IDEA has excellent support for HTML, CSS and JavaScript editing - from personal experience I can say their support is much better than Aptana's.

Jani Hartikainen
And what about templates? Another problem with IDEA that we should always redeploy the project and it's annoying (or how can we avoid redeploying?)
Not sure what you refer to by deploying - I develop with a local webserver, editing the files in the webserver root. Templates are supported assuming I understood what you mean and there's a ton of plugins too.
Jani Hartikainen

http://www.rogergajraj.com/rwc has the best html, javascript and css previewer and it's free, fast, light and runs right in your browser OFFLINE. works nice for me and my students.

Roger Gajraj