Reader's question: Free WYSIWYG HTML editor for the Mac - which one do you recommend?

WYSIWYG HTML editor for the Mac

Ok, the reader who asked the question here is someone from my household who has recently started to focus on HTML programming. She has booked a course in which you solve small HTML questions and write your first lines in HTML code. The small tasks can be solved easily in an online editor, in which you have the HTML view on the left and the result can be seen directly on the right, but if you write larger things and want to save them, then you can't avoid an HTML editor .

Compared to Dreamweaver, Sublime Text is wonderfully fast and opening 50 or more files by no means paralyzes the Mac - a horror for Dreamweaver. There is no code preview for this with Sublime Text.

Compared to Dreamweaver, Sublime Text is wonderfully fast and opening 50 or more files by no means paralyzes the Mac - a horror for Dreamweaver. There is no code preview for this with Sublime Text.

Adobe Dreamweaver and Sublime Text - for a fee, but recommended

Personally, I usually work with Dreamweaver in my jobs, which I've been familiar with for many years and which I booked with the Adobe Cloud anyway. Over time, however, Dreamweaver has become a bit sluggish and when it comes to pure programming without having to see a timely preview, then it's my new favorite Sublime Text.

Both programs cost money: Adobe even charges a monthly fee and Sublime Text wants a one-time fee of 80 USD - but the editor is really worth every penny. So if you are willing to spend a little money on your new hobby or your new mainstay, you will be well served with both programs.

RocketCake made a good impression at first, until I noticed that the source code view only allows "reading", but you can't type anything there. Great ...: D

RocketCake made a good impression at first, until I noticed that the source code view only allows "reading", but you can't type anything there. Greatly missed ...: D

Update: Espresso is my new favorite

The post is less than 4 hours old and I have to correct myself. :-( But that's the way it is: BlueGriffon, which I presented as my favorite selection, is now only second because my reader Beatrix gave me the tip with the app Espresso has given.

BlueGriffon has a bug that makes it extremely unwieldy for me at the moment: The source code of the document does not break in the view - even if you have selected this in the options. Editing HTML documents with long texts is uncomfortable and costs an unnecessarily large amount of time.

The HTML editor Espresso, which normally costs 99 USD, but in the really good app flat rate from Setapp is included, offers significantly more comfortable work. As you can see, the automatic breaks in the source code also work here.

The Espresso HTML editor is my newest favorite choice. The source code is presented more neatly than with BlueGriffon.

The Espresso HTML editor is my newest favorite choice. The source code is presented more neatly than with BlueGriffon.

If you don't want to spend any money and are ready for a compromise, you can still take a look at BlueGriffon.

BlueGriffon - free, but very good

After looking for a couple of HTML editors like Amaya, Sea monkey and RocketCake I've tried, I'm ultimately at BlueGriffon become happiest. The editor offers the classic view with two windows (source code and preview) and lets you work in WYSIWYG mode ("What you see is what you get") and in the source code Close the window.

It has numerous buttons with ready-made code snippets for the usual HTML codes and you can even assemble CSS easily by changing the properties for an ID. The editor then creates a CSS code in the HEAD area for the corresponding changes.

I think this is really a recommendable tool for beginners, as you don't have to deal with many windows, which in Dreamweaver are initially off-putting.

BlueGriffon is exactly what I was looking for: You can choose a two-window view or work in the source code window. The WYSIWYG mode is also an option that can be selected when editing.

BlueGriffon is exactly what I was looking for: You can choose a two-window view or work in the source code window. The WYSIWYG mode is also an option that can be selected when editing.

Differences in licenses from BlueGriffon

If you want to do more with BlueGriffon, for example edit EPUB files, create code snippets yourself or work with ready-made table layouts, you can get a license for BlueGriffon. But this is not necessary if you use the editor in the private area to edit HTML pages. If you use the license-free version, you can download and use BlueGriffon for free.

The prices for the licensed versions are here for the basic license at 75 EUR and for the EPUB license (the largest license with all features) at 195 EUR plus VAT. You can tell the differences between the three versions see here.

The developers make it clear on the website that BlueGriffon is quite widespread:

BlueGriffon® is used by millions of users around the world, including Universities, Governments and even the European Parliament. It is officially recommended by the French Government as the Web Authoring Tool for the French Administration in its effort to rely on and promote Free Software (Socle Interministériel de Logiciels Libres).

You can already see that BlueGriffon is a carefully developed HTML editor that allows flexible work. His support for CSS properties should be of great help, especially for those new to CSS. The basic license for 75 euros is of course a bit painful if you only want to work with the program as a hobby, but the license-free, free version gives you - especially as a beginner - enough options to implement small HTML projects with BlueGriffon.

The dual view of the HTML editor offers both a source code and a WYSIWYG view and in the right area a window in which the properties of CSS elements are displayed.

The dual view of the HTML editor offers both a source code and a WYSIWYG view and in the right area a window in which the properties of CSS elements are displayed.

Error opening BlueGriffon?

If you get a message when opening BlueGriffon that prevents the program from starting, then you can read the details of this gatekeeper blockade here. To cut things short, right-click on the BlueGriffon program icon and select "Open". Then only a warning appears and you can still start the Mac app.

Reader tips: other HTML editors?

If you still know alternatives that run on the Mac under macOS Catalina (64 bit!), Then I would be happy to hear your tips. All programs that fall into the category HTML editor with WYSIWYG view are then added to a list here.

 

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24 comments

  1. Gustav says:

    I always liked taco.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Gustav! Ok, I just looked for it, but on their website there is only a sign: "Sorry, we are closed!". :(

      • Gustav says:

        Oha. I'm sorry about that, I didn't know. I still have version 3.0.9 and it is still running. Very clear, well designed and with some nice functions. But there is no point in recommending outdated programs. So: sorry.

        • sir appleot says:

          Hello Gustav! That's not a problem. It's more my job than yours. You have already helped a lot by getting involved here. I am always happy when readers help to make the articles more interesting.

  2. Simon says:

    I have been using Quick'n easy Web for years (https://www.quickandeasywebbuilder.com/).
    I think it's good and the price / performance ratio is right.
    However, you should take your time when making your selection, because you are tied to such an editor with your projects!

    • sir appleot says:

      Thanks! Is that a tool with which you can also change the pages in the source code? Or do you tinker with the editor and it does all the HTML without being able to change it in the code?

      • Simon says:

        You can intervene in the HTML code to a limited extent. But it is definitely not the strength.
        Is more of a Klicki-Bunti

  3. Beatrice Willius says:

    The BlueGriffon software sounded interesting. But there are real developers who ask for money for their software, and then the software is not notarized. Oh know

    The html in the screenshot is php and should better be developed with a php IDE.

    I have an old version of espresso (https://www.espressoapp.com). $ 99 is a proud price. I have to raise the price of my own software!

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Beatrix! The screenshot from Sublime Text is PHP mixed with HTML because I programmed a project for a publisher. But I'm not a professional, so I have no idea about IDEs. : D Espresso looks good. And above all: it's in Setapp included - I Depp should have looked there right away. ;-)

  4. Mletzko Jens says:

    Moin
    I am looking for a website building program.
    I used to do this with Adobe Muse.
    WordPress is already too much for me.
    I would like to be able to build it offline on a Mac.
    Do you have any tips?
    Thank you very much

  5. Beatrice Willius says:

    You can do a lot with Rapidweaver. But it does take some training and a lot of money. Without the Stacks plugin, nothing works at first. Then you still need a template. There are generic templates that you can use to build your own template. But then that's more work.

    • sir appleot says:

      Yes, I know that with the generic templates from WordPress. : D They always look good and simple, but there is still a lot of work involved.

  6. Dirk says:

    I am very happy with Flux from The Escapers.

  7. R. says:

    Perhaps one or the other might want to take a look at the PINEGROW pinegrow.com app.
    Certainly a lot of training, but you can do a lot with it. ;-)
    Not free, but very fair price.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello! That looks very interesting on the website. Are you using the app? Could it be used as an alternative to Dreamweaver? I'm currently still looking for ways to get away from the Adobe Cloud. : D

  8. Frank Kampf says:

    "nicepage" is definitely worth a look!

  9. Heike says:

    Hi Jens,
    Thanks for your great advice on the html editors. I have been successfully using Bluegriffon (without a license) on my iMac for years. For some time (possibly after the update to Big Sur) I can no longer use the Insert function in Bluegriffon. After clicking the button, a new menu window appears, but it remains gray and has no content.
    Have you heard of this before? Do you know what I can do here?

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Heike! Oh I am sorry. Unfortunately, I haven't really done anything with bluegriffon. Just installed and tried it once. For this reason, it would probably be more successful if you contact their support. Maybe they have an idea what it is. LG!

    • Michael says:

      Hello Heike,
      I have the same problem (Big Sur and BG 3.1). Unfortunately, the support doesn't answer, so I have to look around for alternatives, unfortunately. So far I have always been very satisfied, but gray texts (in the entire user interface) on a gray background are not usable.
      Every tip for the solution is of course welcome ;-)

  10. Roland says:

    Hello Jens, I was still using Dreamweaver2 and Fireworks2 for html snippets until recently. KompoZer is a 64bit victim so I wanted to test BlueGriffon. Do you get a window when you open it for the first time? Bluegriffon wants to receive keystrokes from all apps. Can you allow that?

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Roland! That irritates me a little ... I don't see why the app would want that. Did you download it from the correct website? I uninstalled BlueGriffon relatively quickly because I didn't like the operation. The news would have made me puzzled if it had come. I would not allow access and uninstall the app again.

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