I’m lazy when it comes to HTML authoring.  There are few ocassions I need to write HTML — typically only for writing nice ads for Craigslist or eBay.  And when I do, I’d prefer to write them quickly with a WYSIWYG 1 editor.  Here’s how I discovered a neat and cheap way of doing just that on Mac OS.

For a while, I was using an open source editor called KompoZer, but it was extremely clunky and prone to crashes, not to mention that it just wasn’t very Mac-centric in its design esthetic. So on a hunch, I tried opening an HTML file with Mac OS’s TextEdit, the built-in text editor.  Lo and behold, the file opened right up in a WYSIWYG manner, i.e., TextEdit opened it as a browser would open it:

TextEdit view

This is great, because of course TextEdit is, after all, an editor.  What would happen if I then proceed to edit the markup?  Turns out, the application handles the HTML pretty well.  To then view the actual code, I open the same file in another more code-authoring application called TextWrangler, another free-for-private-use tool.  Sure, the code produced by WYSIWYG editors are always a bit bloated.  But you know, TextEdit’s automated code was not bad at all.

TextWrangler view


  1. What You See Is What You Get, or an IDE that writes the code to produce the “look and feel” of what you’re writing in the editor.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WYSIWYG

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