Features - Notepad or WYSIWYG?

Notepad or WYSIWYG?       Many sites on the Internet created with simple Microsoft Notepad. In addition, many sites on the Internet created with WYSIWYG editors such as Frontpage, Netscape Composer, or other editors
look nice as well. But which one is better to use?

What is WYSIWYG?

      A WYSIWYG editor is simply "What You See is What You Get". Basically, you set up the page and see how it looks with different elements such as text, images, forms, tables, etc. and it automatically makes the HTML coding for you. This can be nice, however, much of the HTML code is usually junk and you have no control over it. For serious web developers or designers, using a WYSIWYG editor just isn't a good idea because many like to have a very specific say in how their HTML code ends up.

What are the Pros and Cons?

      Pros of using Notepad. Notepad is an excellent tool for creating any text document, including HTML files, Perl files, and normal text files. You have complete control over layout and the HTML code that goes into your document.

      Pros of using WYSIWYG. Unlike Notepad, a user is basically editing a Word or other text processing software with ease and the ability to throw in webpage elements like images, forms, links, and the like. The HTML code is created quickly and in most cases, you can directly upload the document to the server where your site resides.

      Cons of using Notepad. Unless you're experienced in the field for which you are creating a document for, in this case HTML, you're better off not using Notepad. Notepad, unlike other types of HTML editors, does not include HTML tags or syntax help so you need to know what you are doing in order to make a pleasing site.

      Cons of using WYSIWYG. A user who takes advantage of WYSIWYG software may come up with unpleasing HTML syntax or tags they don't know exist so in reality, will never learn HTML. This is bad for aspiring web designers and developers. Also, a WYSIWYG editor will place unnecessary tags that just take up space and bandwidth.

Personal Preference

      In the end, as with most applications with a computer or in dealing with real life, the choice between these two types of HTML editing comes down to personal preference. There are many great web designers and developers who use Frontpage and other WYSIWYG editors to make sites for clients and themselves. However, if you're looking for versatility and the ability to have complete control over your websites, wanting to learn HTML, or have the desire to create professional documents with the least amount of space, trying out Notepad and using it on a regular basis when making websites is the key to success.

Related Links:

      HTML Resources
      HTML Tutorials
      HTML Software

R Smith
The XRS Network
Tuesday November 30, 1999

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