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HTML Editor for the Macintosh

This editor, one of the first Macintosh editors to make its appearance, could best be described as solid. Not only that, but it is a close to a WYSIWYG editor available.

The interface to HTML Editor is remarkable simple consisting of a menu bar with few options, a windows containing your text and a row of buttons, and optionally, the palette window. The menu bar consists of the usual File and Edit menus. The Search menu provides full find/replace features. A Windows menu provides access to the presently open windows. A unique menu to HTML Editor, the URL menu, is used to create and export a database of URLs included in your document(s). To use it you first choose New and enter URLs into a simple dialog box. After that you can edit or export them to a file. Unfortunately, there seems to be no smooth way to integrate this simple database of URLs into your HTML editing procedure.

To add markup to your document you simple select or click any one of the button from the button bar. Each button, as well as every menu item, is well documented with Balloon Help. Creating hot link using the anchor button can be accomplished in two ways. First you can simply enter your desired URL. Second, you can go through a dialog box that will construct the URL for you. If you have selected the a root directory option from the Preferences menu, then all you will have to do to link to files on your own computer is select them from a standard dialog box. HTML Editor creates the URL for you.

When you add tags to your document, the tagged items are formatted in a pseudo-WYSIWYG way. Headers are made big and bold. Items marked as CITE are italicized, etc. The tags themselves are displayed, by default, in an unobtrusive shade of gray. To enhance the WYSIWYG effect you can hide the tags. Unfortunately you can not continue editing in this mode and must show the tags to continue.

There are a number of things that could be improved. For example, there could be more command key options for the usual formatting tags; it is sometime laborious to interrupt typing to mark up an item. Second, the IMG tag is not complete and only offers ALIGN TOP as an option. There is not simple way to enter the HTML, HEAD, and BODY tags. Since they are not there it will be easy for novices to create poorly formatted documents. Furthermore, there are no markup options for FORMS or tables. Lastly, and this is minor point, when you enter tags like "extended Netscape" tags and then you select Hide Tags, HTML Editor does not hide these tags. On the other hand, you can blame the editor to much since it was written before these tags hit the scene.

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This page was first published on September 26, 1995. Feel free to send comments.