The 10 Best Free HTML Editors for the Mac

Finding the right HTML editor for the Mac doesn't mean spending a lot of money.

I have evaluated over 20 free HTML editors for Macintosh against over 40 different criteria relevant to professional web designers and developers. The following applications are the 10 best free HTML editors for Macintosh, both WYSIWYG and text editors, rated from best to worst.

Each editor below will have a score, percentage, and a link to more information. All reviews were completed between September and November 2010. And this list was compiled on November 6, 2010.

If you’re still not sure which editor to choose, then fill in my questionnaire: Web Design Software: Which One is Right for You?

See more free Web editor reviews.

1
Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit
Komodo Edit. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Komodo Edit is hands down the best free XML editor available. It includes a lot of great features for HTML and CSS development. Plus, if that isn't enough, you can get extensions for it to add on languages or other helpful features (like special characters).

Komodo Edit is not the best HTML editor out there, but it is great for for the price, especially if you build in XML. I use Komodo Edit every day for my work in XML, and I use it a lot for basic HTML editing as well. This is one editor I'd be lost without.

There are two versions of Komodo: Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE.

Version: 6.0.0
Score: 215 / 69%

2
Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio
Aptana Studio. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Aptana Studio offers an interesting take on website development. Instead of focusing on the HTML, Aptana focuses on the JavaScript and other elements that allow you to create rich internet applications.

One thing I really like is the outline view that makes it really easy to visualize the DOM. This makes for easier CSS and JavaScript development.

If you are a developer creating web applications, Aptana Studio is a good choice.

Version: 2.0.5
Score: 183 / 59%

3
NetBeans

NetBeans
NetBeans. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

NetBeans IDE is a Java IDE that can help you build robust web applications. Like most IDEs it has a steep learning curve because they don’t often work in the same way that web editors do. But once you get used to it you’ll be hooked.

One nice feature is the version control included in the IDE which is really useful for people working in large development environments. If you write Java and web pages this is a great tool.

Version: 6.9
Score: 179 / 58%

4
Bluefish

Bluefish
Bluefish. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Bluefish is a full-featured web editor for Linux. There are also native executables for Windows and Macintosh. There is code-sensitive spell check, auto complete of many different languages (HTML, PHP, CSS, etc.), snippets, project management, and auto-save.

It is primarily a code editor, not specifically a web editor. This means that it has a lot of flexibility for web developers writing in more than just HTML, but if you’re a designer by nature you might not like it as much.

Version: 2.0.2
Score: 166 / 54%

5
Eclipse

Eclipse
Eclipse. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Eclipse is a complex development environment that is perfect for people who do a lot of coding on a variety of platforms and with different languages.

Eclipse is structured as plug-ins, so if you need to edit something just find the appropriate plug-in and go.

If you are creating complex web applications, Eclipse has a lot of features to help make your application easier to build. There are Java, JavaScript, and PHP plugins, as well as a plugin for mobile developers.

Version: 3.6.1
Score: 157 / 51%

6
SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey
SeaMonkey. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

SeaMonkey is the Mozilla project all-in-one internet application suite. It includes a web browser, email and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and composer, the web page editor.

One of the nice things about using SeaMonkey is that the browser is built-in, so testing is a breeze. Plus it's a free WYSIWYG editor with an embedded FTP client to publish your web pages.

Version: 2.0.8
Score: 139 / 45%

7
Amaya

Amaya
Amaya. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Amaya is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) web editor and web browser. It validates the HTML as you build your page and displays your Web documents in a tree structure, which is useful for learning to understand the DOM.

Amaya has a lot of features that most web designers won’t ever use, but if you want to be certain that your pages follow the W3C standards, this is a great editor to use.

Version: 11.3.1
Score: 135 / 44%

8
KompoZer

KompoZer
KompoZer. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

KompoZer is a good WYSIWYG editor. It is based on the popular Nvu editor, and referred to as an “unofficial bug-fix release.”

KompoZer was conceived by some people who really liked Nvu but were fed up with the slow release schedules and poor support. They took it over and released a less buggy version of the software. Ironically, there hasn't been a new release of KompoZer since 2010.

Version: 0.7.10
Score: 127 / 41%

9
Nvu

Nvu
Nvu. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Nvu is also a good WYSIWYG editor. Though I prefer text editors to WYSIWYG editors, if you don’t mind the WYSIWYG approach then Nvu is a good choice.

I love that Nvu has a site manager that allows you to review the sites that you're building. It's surprising that this software is free.

Feature highlights: XML support, advanced CSS support, full site management, built-in validator and international support, as well as WYSIWYG and color coded XHTML editing.

Version: 1
Score: 125 / 40%

10
TextWrangler

TextWrangler
TextWrangler. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

TextWrangler is from the same company that makes BBEdit. If you can’t afford BBEdit, you might want to look into TextWrangler.

TextWrangler is a text editor, but it works well for Web page editing. AS such, you won't get the bells and whistles you'll find in many HTML editors.

Version: 3.1
Score: 125 / 40%

Do You Use a Free HTML Editor?

If you're new to Web design and you're building your first Web pages, seeking out a free Web editor is a smart move. For those who are more experienced, however, there are some very good free Web editors that will suit their needs, too, so don't be too quick to dismiss those on this list.