Easy to use (but advanced enough) editor?

macstatic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
1,340
68
Norway
What would be a good text editor suitable for HTML/CSS which isn't too geeky/complicated nor packed with features a beginner/advanced beginner won't ever need but still has useful features for writing HTML and CSS documents? I've been trying out a bunch of the ones recommended here but can't seem to find any fitting into this category.
A couple of features I know I need is to automatically open the files you've worked on last time and a color picker (I have a hard time remembering hex codes ;) ). Which other features would be useful for web design?
 

Dunmail

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2009
216
0
Skipton, UK
Which editors have you tried?

Your first requirement is fairly standard - I can't think of a current editor that doesn't do it - some might remember the state of unsaved files or edits as well.

I use Sublime Text which "out of the box" is very basic but you can extend it with plugins. There's a colour picker plugin available for that. Other plugins for things like fast creation of blocks of HTML are also available - you type "ul.myListClass>li*10" which expands:

PHP:
<ul class="myListClass">
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
  <li></li>
</ul>
Editors are a very personal thing and what one person finds great another will detest.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
108
A couple of features I know I need is to automatically open the files you've worked on last time and a color picker (I have a hard time remembering hex codes
Brackets, the free open source tool from Adobe might fit the bill.



Also (fairly simple but paid):
  1. skEdit
  2. Taco HTML Edit

I've been trying out a bunch of the ones recommended here
It might be good to name these (if you can) so we know which ones not to suggest!
 

960design

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
2,987
937
Destin, FL
Coda2
May be used as a simple editor, but has tons of built in or pluggable features if later on you want to expand: FTP, Source Control, ect...
 

Starfia

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2011
675
350
I think the most popular choices around are Coda 2, Sublime Text, and Espresso (my personal choice – Espresso does some interesting "WYSIWYG" stuff with CSS).
 

macstatic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
1,340
68
Norway
I decided to give Brackets another go and see it's got quite a few useful features for working with HTML and CSS documents once I got the hang of it.

Automatic reloading of a document simultaneously opened in a web browser is something I really need, but I can't get this to work with my preferred browser (Firefox). The docs say it only works with Google Chrome, but I found this plugin called LiveReload which should do the trick, but I can't figure it out. Does anyone know if/how to make it work with Firefox?

Everybody talks about Coda: is this the kind of feature which is built into it, with a split view or something? Kind of expensive for a casual web designer though...
 

macstatic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
1,340
68
Norway
Yes, that's the same one as I mentioned in my posting. I can't get it to work with Firefox though.
 

AdonisSMU

macrumors 604
Oct 23, 2010
6,603
2,180
Sublime Text 3 is the standard. Atom isnt ready yet. Bakets Im not a fan of yet. Its like Atom in terms of what was used to build it. Atom is made by git and intended for users to code in an array of languages where as Bracets is open source focused on web development and made completely free by Adobe. Adobe uses it as a baseline for Edge.
 
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jonobin

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2014
286
55
sublimetext is good, but i've found that brackets from adobe for web developing is awesome IMHO, his extensions and ability to edit css without changing window is georgeous!
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
381
277
London, UK
I do get the impression that SublimeText isn't particularly alive to be honest - it's had a single update in just about a year now and I get the impression that a lot of people are moving over to Atom for this reason.

I'm currently using Atom and whilst it does lack some features from Sublime Text that I really quite like, it's definitely getting there and on the whole I'm very happy with it - it's my primary editor.

I do quite like Brackets but I feel it really is only suited to HTML and CSS - for example, not so much server side languages. Also it may have been fixed now but I recall having issues with Brackets and Sass.

Also I despise text editors which use spaces in lieu of tabs by default.
 

NutsNGum

macrumors 68030
Jul 30, 2010
2,851
324
Glasgow, Scotland
I do get the impression that SublimeText isn't particularly alive to be honest - it's had a single update in just about a year now...
Last update was 29th of August.

I think its extensibility is beneficial. That and the fact that it's a native C++/Python app that can handle files bigger than 2MB, which can be helpful if you find yourself opening SQL dumps from time to time.
 
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-pete-

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2011
92
1
As with many things in life "It depends..."

Just starting out and want a What You See Is What You Get editor that you can drag boxes around in? Then Flux (http://www.theescapers.com/flux/index.html) or even SquareSpace (http://squarespace.com/) could be ideal.

Looking just to do some HTML editing? SublimeText2 is probably your best bet.

If you want something that is a bit more complex with a simple way to sync files between local development and remote servers, Coda 2 is probably a more suitable option.

Looking to do some back end work, serious debugging and complex stuff, grab PHPStorm from JetBrains.
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
381
277
London, UK
Flux at http://www.theescapers.com is great, but might be a little expensive for a casual user... :confused:

AP
I've never really gotten on with Flux to be honest. A few years ago I took a look and it was quite nice but having looked at the latest version I'm not a fan.

To be honest if you're at the level where you would otherwise be using a WYSIWYG editor you're probably best off using a solution such as WordPress to put your site together. Makes things very easy whilst still retaining a level of flexibility. I'm not a huge fan of WordPress honestly for reasons that are beyond the scope of this thread but it's a good place to start for a lot of people.

In terms of text editors though, right now I'm very happy with Atom.
 
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