Writing HTML with Macintosh TextEdit

03:27:2008 08:21PM - I'm Alone
Sim Dawdler/Flikr/CC BY 2.0

If you use a Macintosh, you don't need to buy or download an editor to write HTML. You have a perfectly functional editor built into your operating system -- TextEdit.

For many people this is all the HTML editor they will ever need.

There are only a few steps to creating a Web page with TextEdit:

  1. Open TextEdit
    • Open a Finder window
    • Switch to the Applications folder
    • Scroll down to TextEdit and double-click on it

  1. Change the format to plain text
    TextEdit defaults to a rich text format, so you need to switch it to plain text to write HTML
    • Open the Format tab
    • Choose "Make Plain Text"
    • You can also hit Shift-Apple-T to switch to plain text

  2. Start writing your HTML
    Remember that you need to be more careful than in an actual HTML editor. You won't have elements like tag completion and validation.

  3. Save your HTML to a file
    This is the tricky part. TextEdit normally saves files as .txt. But since you're writing HTML, you need to save the file as .html.
    • Go to the File menu
    • Choose Save As... (or Shift-Apple-S)
    • Change the file extension from .txt to .html
    • A popup will ask you if you want to append the extension ".txt" to the end. Choose "Don't Append"

Remember HTML isn't terribly hard to learn, and you don't need to buy any additional software or other items in order to put up your Web page. With TextEdit, you can write complex or simple HTML.

And once you have learned HTML, you can edit pages as quickly as someone with an expensive HTML editor.