We have evaluated over 20 free editors for Macintosh against over 40 different criteria relevant to professional web designers and developers. The following applications are the best free for Macintosh, both WYSIWYG and text editors, rated from best to worst. Each editor listed will have a score, percentage, and a link to more information.
Komodo Edit is hands down the best free editor available. It includes a lot of great features for HTML and CSS development. Plus, if that isn’t enough, you can get extensions for it to add on languages or other helpful features.
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Komodo Edit is not the best HTML editor out there, but it is great for for the price, especially if you build in XML. I use Komodo Edit every day for my work in XML, and I use it a lot for basic HTML editing as well. This is one editor I’d be lost without.
There are two versions of Komodo
One thing I really like is the outline view that makes it really easy to visualize the document object model (DOM). This makes for easier CSS and development.
If you are a developer creating web applications, Aptana Studio is a good choice.
NetBeans IDE is a Java IDE that can help you build robust web applications. Like it has a steep learning curve because they don’t often work in the same way that web editors do. But once you get used to it you’ll be hooked.
One nice feature is the version control included in the IDE which is really useful for people working in large development environments. If you write Java and web pages this is a great tool.
Bluefish is a full-featured web editor for Linux. There are also native executables for Windows and Macintosh. There is code-sensitive spell check, auto complete of many different languages (HTML, PHP, CSS, etc.), snippets, project management, and auto-save.
It is primarily a code editor, not specifically a web editor. This means that it has a lot of flexibility for web developers writing in more than just HTML, but if you’re a designer by nature you might not like it as much.
Eclipse is a complex, development environment that is perfect for people who do a lot of coding on a variety of platforms and with different languages.
Eclipse is structured as plug-ins, so if you need to edit something just find the appropriate plug-in and go.
If you are creating complex web applications, Eclipse has a lot of features to help make your application easier to build.
SeaMonkey is the project all-in-one internet application suite. It includes a web browser, email and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and composer, the web page editor.
One of the nice things about using SeaMonkey is that the browser is built-in, so testing is a breeze. Plus it’s a free WYSIWYG editor with an embedded to publish your web pages.
It validates the HTML as you build your page and displays your Web documents in a tree structure, which is useful for learning to understand the DOM.
Amaya has a lot of features that most web designers won’t ever use, but if you want to be certain that your pages follow the W3C standards, this is a great editor to use.
KompoZer was conceived by some people who really liked but were fed up with the slow release schedules and poor support. They took it over and released a less buggy version of the software. Ironically, there hasn’t been a new release of KompoZer since 2010.