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Updated on August 2, 2012
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What does WYSIWYG mean? This acronym stands for "What You See Is What You Get". It is often used to describe visual HTML Editors.


With a WYSIWYG Editor you will be able to simply click on items in the HTML editor to easily add them to your web page without having to know one bit of HTML code. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the markup language used to create all web pages on the internet. This is great for beginners who do not know any HTML yet. You just add your text, links and pictures and you're good to go.

The downside can be that some of these WYSIWYG HTML editors will add unnecessary HTML code to your web page. This is bad because it means your users will have to wait longer to download the web page. With many Internet users now having broadband this is not such a big deal anymore.

Another possible negative is that search engines such as Google will have a much easier time crawling your web page to include it in its index if the code isn't too overly complex with unnecessary HTML markup tags.

Whatever you do always avoid using frames in your web page design. These are a Search Engine Optimization, SEO, nightmare. Trust me, just don't never use frames and you will thank me down the road once you understand the whys.


Recommended Commercial WYSIWYG HTML Editors

The most well known WYSIWYG HTML Editor that is used by many professionals is Adobe's Dreamweaver. It is also rather pricey with a price tag of around US $399 for the full version and US $199 upgrade. If you want the best, then look no further. Check out the Amazon Ad below for more information on Dreamweaver.


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There are many free WYSIWYG HTML editors online. But picking a good one isn't always so easy. While I do not personally use a WYSIWYG editor I have checked out a few to see what they offer.

CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor

One of the best free HTML editors is the CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor. While the free version is not a true WYSIWYG Editor, it is easy to use, doesn't add any bloated code and you can even directly edit the HTML code if you so desire. CoffeeCup produces HTML code that validates to standards. If you find this program is for you then you can puchase the full version of The HTML Editor for only $69 that is a WYSIWYG. There is also a free trial of the program. CoffeeCup offers a full line of commercial web design products and several free programs too. I own practically everything they offer. All of them are super easy to use with many of them using Flash when appropriate. [UPDATE] CoffeeCup has phased out most, if not all of their programs that used flash.


  • Website Projects will help you to keep your website organized.
  • Multi-language customizable spell checker.
  • Built-in FTP client so you can easily upload your files to your web hosting server.
  • Unlimited undo levels. No need to worry about making a mistake.
  • Tabbed browsing makes it easy to work on multiple files at once.
  • Split-Screen Preview you allows you to work on the code in the left side and see the output on the right side.
  • Free Web Graphics - Includes thousands of professional quality images.
  • Color HTML Code Highlighter makes it easier to read the code.

Kompozer WYSIWYG HTML Editor

Many other free HTML editors are based upon the Kompozer open source code. A complete system for managing all aspects of web design.


  • CSS Support
  • XML Support
  • Javascript Support
  • Standards Based and Powered by the Mozilla Engine
  • FTP Client built in.
  • HTML Source Code Editor
  • Tabbed Browsing between multiple files
  • Supports Forms
  • Supports Tables
  • Template Support
  • Compatible with Windows, Apple Macintosh and Desktop Linux Operating Systems
  • Much, much more.....


The is, the organisation that creates the standards used on the World Wide Web that are supposed to be used by browser manufacturers like Microsoft's Internet Explorer (It's too bad IE tends to ignore W3 standards. Die IE DIE a quick death already please. Sorry about that, but I just had to get that out on behalf of the many Web Designers who hate IE.). The offers the Free Amaya WYSIWYG HTML Editor. It is a safe bet your code will validate to their own standards.


  • Template Support
  • Advanced GUI
  • Contextual Menus
  • Menus that you can customize.
  • Supports HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, XHTML Basic, HTTP 1.1, XHTML 1.1 and MathML 2.0
  • CSS 2
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
  • SVG Editor
  • Partial XML Editor
  • Open Source
  • Works with Windows, MacOS X PowerPC

Nvu HTML Editor

Another popular choice is the free WYSIWYG Nvu HTML Editor.


  • Ease of Use for non-technical users who are new to making web pages
  • Edit multiple pages at once with tabs
  • Supports Templates
  • Supports Tables
  • Supports Frames
  • HTML Code Viewer. This helps with learning HTML.
  • Web File Management
  • Open Source
  • Easily extend the functionality of Nvu by adding your own Javascript to create new widgets.

SeaMonkey HTML Editor

SeaMonkey is an all in one product. It contains an HTML editor, email & newsgroup client, web feed reader, Internet browser, IRC chat and web development tool. SeaMonkey is best for advanced users, web developers and even corporate users.


  • Dynamic Image Resizing
  • CSS Support
  • Positioned Layers
  • Easily manage Table Cells
  • Dynamic Table Resizing

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I have not used the Freeware AceHTML HTML Editor in many years. From what I remember it was a pretty good HTML editor. I'm sure it has only improved since then.

Features Include:

  • Built in HTML syntax Checker
  • International Alphabet Support
  • CSS Style Sheet Editor
  • Color highlighting Of Code for XML, WML, PHP, CSS, ASP, Javascript and Perl
  • HTML Forms Creator
  • Frames Creator and Editor (Remember do not use Frames!)
  • Table Creator and Editor (Using Tables for layout purposes is frowned upon)
  • many, many more..

Before ending this hub I'd like to recommend one final program, NotePad++. NotePad++ isn't a WYSIWYG, What You See Is What You Get. It is a code editor that not only works with HTML, but just about any other interpreted programming language you can imagine. It has syntax highlighting for over 50 different programming languages. Uses tabs to make editing multiple files at once easy. It also uses plugins too. Check out this NotePad++ Plugins Directory

NotePad++ is like the Notepad that comes with windows on steroids. If you have some code you want to write and make sure a WYSIWYG doesn't muck up your code then you need a code editor like this. Of course you will need to know the programming language cold to be able to use this. Once you know HTML, CSS or JavaScript like the back of your hand you will want NotePad++ for sure!

With so many free WYSIWYG HTML Editor programs to pick from, you are sure to find something that aligns with your skill level.

Please consider linking to this hub page if you found it useful. I will exchange links with other quality, related hubs and web pages. You may email me via my profile page.

Feel free to leave comments below. Which WYSIWYG did you find to be the easiest to use and the most useful? All comments are moderated so your comments will not appear immediately.

By Anthony Goodley ©Anthony Goodley 2010 All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

WYSIWYG Comments

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    • profile image

      Vincent 18 months ago

      We use Atom ( for web programming at

      I used to use notepad++, but now Atom is more powerfull than notepad++ in my opinion

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 5 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      It's Photoshop I really want. I miss making graphics. I haven't done anything with websites since before CSS made it big. I'm kind of nervous about it, but coffee always makes me feel empowered!

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 5 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      I own practically every CoffeeCup product they offer with the exception of about 5. They have some pretty nice programs. I wish I could afford Dreamweaver. I typically just use notepad and write code off the top of my head for the most part. When I forget the syntax for something I either grab one of my programming books or Google it.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 5 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      I just downloaded CoffeeCup the other day, since I've just bought a domain and a hosting package. I just haven't had time to use it yet. I loved Dreamweaver, though. I wish I still had that CD, though it probably won't work on Windows 7.

      Great Hub!

    • InduswebiTech profile image

      InduswebiTech 6 years ago from Rama Road, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi, India

      hehe.. thanks for this blog.. i have downloaded ace html... and it really works...

    • klanguedoc profile image

      Kevin Languedoc 6 years ago from Canada

      Great review of the HTML WYSIWYG Html editors. I use Amaya a lot and I have started using Microsft's WebMatrix primarily because it has the capability offline embedded SQL databases.

    • Perpeptua profile image

      Perpeptua 6 years ago

      I've owned a copy of Dreamweaver because it was packaged with my Adobe CS3, maybe I should actually take the time to see if it is easy enough to do some basic stuff with.

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      Thanks for all the great recommendations MagicStarER.

    • MagicStarER profile image

      MagicStarER 7 years ago from Western Kentucky

      Great info about some web editors! There are so many of them, and most of them are not what they are cracked up to be. I use PageBreeze ( which is free forever and gives you both WYSIWYG and an HTML code view. There is also a preview pane so you can see if your javascript is working ok. This is about the best all-purpose web editor and is great for beginners and for learning. I make templates with this editor, it's good for making your tables with! I always go through my code when through with the page and clean it up. (You have to know html to do this!)

      I also love HTML-Kit by Chami, which is a good all-purpose HTML editor with a preview pane. It is free! I don't like Coffee Cup's HTML editor anymore - it tears up your code too much.

      I also use Web Weaver EZ which is free, too. It's good for making text boxes and getting your backgrounds to be fixed. Generally start a page with EZ, then move to PageBreeze for making the tables...

      After years of trying out every editor I could find, I settled on these 3. It's great fun playing with web editors (at least in my mind...) :)

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      Thanks Chris. I tried it out once years ago and it did seem very nice. It was rather complex and over whelming to me too.

      But hey if anyone has an old copy they don't want I would love to learn it. Maybe Adobe will kindly donate me a copy. :)

    • Chris Jewell profile image

      Chris Jewell 7 years ago from Brittany, France

      Good informative hub !

      Have used Dreamweaver for a few years now and think it is great, tried a couple of others but Dreamweaver is the business.

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      Oh I'm quite sure it is worth it. The question is: Do you need all that power? Are you willing to invest the time required to master Dreamweaver? With all of that power comes quite a learning curve. If I bought Dreamweaver I would be getting a book or taking a class to help me to get started with it.

      Or could you get by on a $50 program like CoffeeCup, or even a free WYSIWYG, and never miss it?

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      Awesome! I will have to check it out and see if it's worth the money!

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      Hi Duchess. I just did a quick check on the official Dreamweaver web site and yes it is compatible with a Mac.

      I sure would envy you if you do end up buying Dreamwaver.

      That is cool that you found my hub through Mystique's stumble. Thanks again Mystique. I have noticed a nice traffic spike after his help. :)

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      In keeping with the last comments. Yes, it is hard to keep up with your followers. I am probably one of the worst culprits. I found this through Mystique's "stumble", so you know it works.

      After reading this, I think I need to think about Dreamweaver. Do you know if it is compatible with Mac?

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      Thanks for reading and your comments Mystique. I know what you mean about keep up. I see we have the same exact number of followers currently. I really can't keep up no longer and still stay productive.

      I've never used Kompozer before so its nice that your letting others know that you like it.

      Traffic has always been a tough problem for most content creators online. Thankfully there are many free ways to get it and one must just study the different techniques and work hard at it to find the one that works best for them.

      I appreciate the rating and stumble.

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 7 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      Hey, MyWebs... Thank you for sharing this! I had not forgotten you, but sometimes is hard to keep with every one you follow, not to mention doing "follow up" on your followers. I started a total neophyte with online biz, still fighting with it! I use Kompozer because it is the easiest one I found for my skills. Sometimes they make me boil when it crashes, but overall I have been able to handle it ok! Still having a bit of a pain trying to drive traffic to my site, but I ain`t no loser, so I keep up fighting! Great help, My friend!

      Thumbs up! Rated up! and Stumbled!

      warmest regards and infinite eternal blessings,


    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      Yes I also prefer coding my HTML in notepad, but not many people like to code by hand. I wish I could afford Dreamweaver to learn how to use it since almost all web design firms use this. Thanks for the comments glorybeenow.

    • glorybeenow profile image

      glorybeenow 7 years ago from Texas

      Great hub. Very informative, can't say I've tried any of the software above, but it's nice to know that there are simpler ways of doing things. I personally, love notepad. Dream Weaver is a bit on the expensive side. Have a blessed day.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      Hmmm, I'm still thinking! ha ha...Good hub, MyWebs!

    • mynameisnotpaul profile image

      mynameisnotpaul 7 years ago from Kentuckeh'

      Can't brag enough on Dreamweaver, although there is a little bit of a learning curve that comes with it... Awesome software, though! Great info.