3/04/2003: 1st Page 2000
1st Page 2000 is the only HTML editing software that I use, and I've been using it since I found it in 2000. It is completely free, and offers enough features to rival most commercial Web page editing programs out there. 1st Page is primarily for people who edit their own HTML code, rather than letting a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver or Frontpage (or, worst of all, Word's "save as HTML") add unnecessary HTML code into your files. Before I found 1st Page, I was using Windows' built-in text editor Notepad so that I could avoid having the editing program add HTML code that I didn't want and didn't need. 1st Page gives me that same level of control combined with a bunch of features that make my HTML editing much easier than I can get from a simple text editor.
1st Page's features include:
1st Page offers the novice and the experienced HTML author enough control and assistance to handle most plain HTML editing jobs, and should certainly replace Word or Notepad if that's what you're editing in right now. 1st Page is mostly stable - I've had it crash on me a couple of times over the years, but I haven't figured out any common elements that might explain why. A feature I wish it had is a global search-and-replace - if I've got 5 files open, why can't I replace "squid" with "flounder" in all of them with one command? It also takes longer to start up than I'd like, which is why for quick jobs I still revert to a text editor that opens in a flash. And I have no idea if we'll ever see an update to 1st Page 2000 - the Web site is a little sketchy on what they sometimes call "1st Page 3" (or "III") and "1st Page XP". But even without any new features, 1st Page 2000 fills my needs for a plain HTML editor. If you could use a free tool to make your Web page editing go a little smoother, give it a try.
- Syntax highlighting (coloring different HTML syntax to make it easier to find and identify) with support for HTML, Perl, and Java syntax
- A built-in file browser/explorer pane to locate files without opening another window
- Drag-and-drop from the explorer pane to automatically create link tags or image tags to other files
- A built-in HTML tag dictionary from the Web Design Group that explains the syntax for all standard HTML tags
- Toolbar access to all HTML tags organized by function (font styles, lists, tables, frames, script tags, etc.)
- A live preview pane to show your HTML document as you edit it, and separate preview screens that let you view your page at various screen resolutions (640x480, 800x600, etc.)
- A built-in Web-safe color picker
- Auto spell-checking while you type
- A multiple document interface to easily cut and paste code between several open files, and a "Save All" button to automatically save all your open files
- A visual table generator (you specify how many rows & columns and it builds the table syntax for you)
- Create your own HTML file templates for common projects or page layouts
- Code hotkeys - create a hotkey to insert commonly-used code on command
- TIDY HTML which reformats poorly-indented code and locates common HTML errors
- And more that I probably haven't found yet...