Free HTML Editor: The 10 Best Editors for HTML Developers

All set to play with HTML? HTML Editor is the first thing you need to start creating web pages with HTML and CSS. There are many free HTML Editors available out there in the wild and selecting one can be a daunting task.

HTML is simple, and for that reason, you can start off with your web page design with simple text editor like a Notepad, WordPad or any other basic text editor. You can also go ahead with a feature rich Editor like Coffecup, Notepad++, Brackets, Notetab or BlueGriffon, the advantage of going with advanced and full featured editor is that you get many tools for speed web design and content creation.

Irrespective of whether you are looking forward to creating blogs or articles, well formatted for browsers, or planning to build a fully functional website using HTML and CSS, selection of the right editor greatly influence your productivity. Professional web page designers invest significant amount of time to figure out the editor and tools that fit best to their needs and help boost productivity.

Which Free HTML Editor is Good for You?

This is the question that totally depends on your requirements, product you planning to build with HTML, simply planning to learn HTML, your current skill level etc. Since most of these editors are free, you can narrow down to 2-3 editors, try out the basic features, and then finalize the one you like the most.

Furthermore, almost every editor listed in this article is supported on multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac, so compatibility is not much of an issue here.

Talking about the options, for most of your editing needs Notepad++ for Windows or Brackets for Mac (supported on Linux and Windows too) or Coffecup and Notetab etc. would do the job for you. However, if you are planning to create a complex website, then heavyweight full featured development environment like Eclipse too is an option.

On the other side, if you simply want to play around with HTML and CSS, then there are many online HTML editors where you can write HTML code and see the results live.

Let us look at the 10 best free HTML Editor that are easy to use, offer drag and drop features (not all), are feature rich and popular among the community of web developers.

1. Notepad++ (Best Free HTML Editor Windows)

This one is only for windows users, so if you are looking for html editor Mac or Linux then skip past this one. Notepad++ is the best free HTML editor that you can install on your windows PC. On the surface, it looks very basic, but it is one of the most sophisticated and easy to use editor.

Notepad++ gets most of its powers using third party plugins that include plugins like PreviewHTML, HTML tag plugin for html tag highlighting, Tidy2 plugin for indentation, and there are many more.

Key features of Notepad++ include Tab interface to work with multiple files together, Syntax folding and highlighting is an absolute breeze, Configurable GUI including minimalist option, tab with close button, vertical tabs, multilingual environment so that you can setup the interface in English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese and 80 other languages.

Notepad plus plus was developed by Don Ho and released back in 2003, it is available free to use for personal as well as commercial use under GNU general public license.  For Mac users, a great alternative to Notepad++ is Brackets, coming up next.

Check out more about Notepad++ here at – Notepad++ HTML Editor

2. Brackets (Mac, Windows and Linux - Free)

Brackets is another popular and solid tool for web design and HTML editing in general. Unlike Notepad++, Brackets is supported on MacOS, Linux Ubuntu, Debian Linux and Windows. Brackets is also available free to use under MIT license, for both personal as well as commercial use.

Brackets Editor come with many extensions for functionality enhancements and ease of use, some of the popular extensions include –

  • Emmet – Emmet is a popular extension for speed CSS and HTML coding
  • Beutify – It formats HTML, CSS and JavaScript files
  • W3C validation – This is useful extension and validates your HTML for compliance and correctness

Like I mentioned before, Brackets is a perfect HTML Editor Mac machine can get, it is also a great choice for Linux users as well, it replaces HTML menus with native Linux menus to keep the user experience of Linux.

Brackets is based on modern minimalist design and keeps the clutter away from the editor. The changes done in the code are reflected real time in the browser, change in CSS or HTML and see it live.

Check out more about Brackets here at – Editor for HTML: Brackets

3. Coffecup (Free+Paid versions)

Coffecup is arguably the best HTML editor (Commercial) out there in the wild and offers free as well as commercial versions of the editor. The free version lacks few features but is sophisticated enough to be listed in this list.  

Some of the key features of free version include customizable toolbars, code completion for elements, attributes and selectors, ready to use themes and layouts, HTML markdown support, FTP/SFTP support, drag and place images, preview option, syntax highlighting, thesaurus to find word alternatives and much more.

The paid version too is not that costly and comes at $29 one time, it includes few additional features like html and CSS validation, tag library, code cleaner, dynamic spell checker etc. and more.

Coffecup also offers few advanced modules to create mobile friendly experiences without the need to write any code, just with drag and drop features and configuration. The modules include Foundation framer, Bootstrap builder and responsive site designer.

Coffecup is available in the market since 1996 and used by freelances, Startups, small business houses as well as by web developers from large enterprises. It is a perfect tool to create websites, web pages, newsletters, HTML formatted blog posts, social media content and much more.

You can download Coffecup here at – Coffecup Free HTML Editor

4. NoteTab (Free and Paid Versions)

NoteTab is another HTML, CSS editor that offers features for fast development. It is the product of company named Fookes software, which is operating since last 20 years, and making tools to help speed up development.

Popularity of NoteTab can be gauged form the fact that its customers include names like NASA, FBU, VISA, CIA Hewlett Packerd, MIT and many more.

NoteTab comes in three versions including Light, Standard and Pro. The light version comes free of cost and can be used by individuals free of cost. While it doesn’t carry all features of Pro version but it supports HTML5, CSS3 code libraries, bootstrap, HTML autocomplete, many templates, files organization with projects, HTML Tidy support, HTML to text and much more.

NoteTab can run directly from your USB or portable media and doesn’t need to be installed on your machine. For bloggers and content writers, it supports real time word count and SEO statistics.

Check out more about Notetab here at – NoteTab editor

5. Eclipse (Free Editor for HTML)

Eclipse is a heavy weight here and probably an overkill just for HTML and CSS development, though can be used well and productively if you don’t mind installing and setting up this beast. A great tool in case you are planning to create complex websites with databases and that integrated with other data sources etc. Setup might take a bit of time and it need installation of relevant plugins to make it work the way you like.

Talking a bit more about Eclipse, it is the most used open source integrated development environment and is used heavily for Java, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Android and many other programming languages.

Check out more about Eclipse here at - Eclipse

6. HTML-Online

When it comes to editing HTML code online, in the browser, nothing can beat HTML-online.com. you can start off right away, without downloading or installing any program, and that too, free of cost.

Some of the power features include Word to HTML conversion that helps you copy your content from Microsoft word files and auto apply the HTML mark up around the content. It also supports Google docs, PDFs, Excels, PowerPoint and many other document types.         

Aa solid visual editor that lets you create your web page and see the code change in the adjacent window, real time. Few other features include auto cleaning of the HTML code, conversion of table to div elements, find and replace options and much more.

Check out more about HTML-Online here at – Online HTML Editor

7. BlueGriffon (Free, Basic and EPUB license)

BlueGriffon comes from the house of “Disruptive Innovations SAS” and is built on top of Mozilla’s rendering engine named Gecko. BlueGriffon is a powerful editor and inherits most of its powers from Netscape, Composer, Nvu and Mozilla.

BlueGriffon also comes in three variations, the first one which is free, then there is the Basic license and the most powerful one comes with a EPUB license.

The free version is powerful too and comes packed with features like Black and light themes, HTML5 audio, video and forms, CSS3 features editing includes transitions, columns 3D and 2D transformations etc. SVG authoring, WYSIWYG Authoring, google fonts manager, font squirrel font manager, markdown support, user interface in 20+ languages, DOM explorer panel and many more.

You can download and install BlueGriffon on Windows, Linux Ubuntu and OS X on your Mac. Check out more about BlueGriffon here at - BlueGriffon

8. Emacs with Plugins

Emacs is one of the most loved editors of all times and is available free to use as GNU, it is a general-purpose code editor and can be customized as per the needs. Emacs gets all its powers from the freely available plugins.

Talking about HTML editing, Emacs offers HTML-mode that makes HTML editing an absolute breeze, there are also many plugins available out there in the wild that can be used to transform Emacs editor into a feature rich and capable free HTML editor.

Check out more about Emacs here at - Emacs

9. Atom

Atom is a configurable text editor from the house of GitHub developers. It is one of the fastest growing editors that is free to use under MIT license, for both personal as well as commercial use. What I like the most about Atom is its great community that keeps it updated with new features on a regular basis.

How to turn Atom into HTML Editor Free?

Atom comes with all the basic features required to do code editing, however, you need to install few packages to make it a fully functional HTML Editor. Some of the packages you required include Emmet, atom-html-preview, Autocomplete-plus, Atom-color-highlight, Autocomplete-CSS, linter, minimap, haml and jade etc.

Atom is supported on windows, Ubuntu (Debian Linux), Fedora 22+, Mac and Red Hat Linux. It is more for web page developers rather than content writers since it is more code oriented and needs a bit of setup.

You can read more about Atom here at - atom.io.

10. Visual Studio Community

Visual Studio Community is a full featured development environment from Microsoft, and it is free for everyone. Visual studio offers out of the box HTML and CSS editing features that can further be enhanced by downloading extensions from the marketplace.

Some of the popular extensions for web development include HTML Snippets, HTMLHint, HTML CSS support, Intellisense for CSS class name and much more.

Like Eclipse, Visual Studio community too is a great option for creating complex and large-scale websites that involve working with multiple technologies.

Check out Visual Studio Community here at – Visual Studio Community

Conclusion – HTML Editor FREE

HTML is the language of the web and is used in everything that we see in our browsers from simple blog posts to corporate websites to high end animated content.

There are many HTML Editors available since the beginning of time that are keeping up with the pace of changing landscape of technology and web development to be specific. However, many have gone obsolete or lack productivity features and many new editors like Brackets and Atom have emerged that are promising and aid efficient editing.

Most of the Editors covered in the article come with different flavours with a common goal of developing the web pages with speed, organization and keeping maintenance and scalability in mind.

Take a closer look at options mentioned in this article, list down your key requirements, narrow down couple of editors, do a bit of hands on and then finalize the one that you really like. I am sure you will find at least one good HTML Editor for Linux and HTML editor Mac and HTML Editor for Windows for sure.

Let us know your experience with HTML editing and the best HTML Editor of your choice via comments, cheers!!

Further Reading - 

Python Editor and IDE for Programming

Online Java Compiler and Editor

About The Author: noeticsunil

Sunil is the founder and contributing editor at noeticforce.com. He writes about anything and everything that makes modern mobile apps, web apps and websites possible. Passionate about coding in any language including Python, Swift, JavaScript, PHP, Java, Android & iOS dev, not excluding CSS/HTML. 

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