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What You See Is What You Get

WYSIWYG editor is a system in which content (text and graphics) displayed onscreen during editing appears in a form closely corresponding to its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product, which might be a printed document, web page, or slide presentation. WYSIWYG is an acronym for “what you see is what you get”.

Today, there are many WYSIWYG HTML editors, it is important to choose a good editor because our work will depend on their results. Currently the king of editors as one of the most used is the Dreamwever, manufactured by Macromedia, other possibilities are editors like Adobe GoLive, Microsoft FrontPage Express, Netscape Composer…

Advantages of using a WYSIWYG editor:

1. Its great fun to create web pages this way. You can do it yourself, experimenting with colors and layouts. The web page is likely to be unique, unless you are trying to clone another web page. You can stretch your imagination.

2. It’s faster and easier to create web pages. You can make changes to a page layout by simply dragging the objects to their new positions.

3. You can make changes to content (text or images) in WYSIWYG editor, instead of searching for and inserting between HTML tags, or using a complex content management system.

4. WYSIWYG software runs on any windows computer.

5. you can also create background images on fly.

Disadvantages of using a WYSIWYG editor:

1. A WYSIWYG editor produces files of large sizes. The web page may take a bit longer to download.

2. The HTML code generated may not be compliant with existing web standards. Some of these editors are meant for web sites to be hosted with particular servers. Some WYSIWYG editors even produce files with their own extensions.

3. You need to fill in a lot of details, such as Meta tags and link colors for each page. Some WYSIWIG editors support CSS while editing and some don’t.

4. You need to preview the page in different browsers more often to see if the page is shaping up as you intended.

5. Web pages designed using WYSIWYG editors are rigid. They do not stretch if you put more text or images on a page. Instead they overlap on each other. Some WYSIWYG editors produce excessive div tags. It is difficult to edit these pages in an ordinary HTML editor.

6. Often these web pages are difficult to optimize for search engines.

Free WYSIWYG editors

Also, there are a lot of free WYSIWYG editors, among them, we highlight:


Browser Based WYSIWYG Editors

Amaya: The W3C’s Editor/Browser

Amaya is a Web editor, i.e. a tool used to create and update documents directly on the Web. Browsing features are seamlessly integrated with the editing and remote access features in a uniform environment. This follows the original vision of the Web as a space for collaboration and not just a one-way publishing medium. Amaya started as an HTML + CSS style sheets editor. Since that time it was extended to support XML and an increasing number of XML applications such as the XHTML family, MathML, and SVG. It allows all those vocabularies to be edited simultaneously in compound documents. Amaya includes a collaborative annotation application based on Resource Description Framework (RDF), XLink, and XPointer. Visit the Annotea project home page. Amaya is an open sourcesoftware project hosted by W3C.

The SeaMonkey® Project

Web-browser, advanced e-mail, newsgroup and feed client, IRC chat, and HTML editing made simple — all your Internet needs in one application.

Free Software Based WYSIWYG Editors
KompoZer: Easy Web Authoring


KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing. KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.

Nvu: Web Authoring Software

Nvu (pronounced N-view, for a “new view”) is a complete Web Authoring System that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web page editing. Nvu is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.

Trellian WebPage

Trellian WebPage allows you to create your own web pages without having to learn complex scripting languages. WebPAGE’s WYSIWYG interface makes editing pages as easy as using your favorite word processor.

Code Based WYSIWYG Editors

CKEditor: WYSIWYG Text and HTML Web Editor

CKEditor is a text editor to be used inside web pages. It’s aWYSIWYG editor, which means that the text being edited on it looks as similar as possible to the results users have when publishing it. It brings to the web common editing features found on desktop editing applications like Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.

FCKeditor: WYSIWYG Editor

FCKeditor has been around since 2003 it has built a strong user community becoming the most used editor in the market, accumulating more than 3,5 million downloads. In 2009 renaming the editor, bringing to the light a next generation solution: CKEditor 3.0. CKEditor inherits the quality and strong features people were used to find in FCKeditor, in a much more modern product, added by dozens of new benefits, like accessibility and ultimate performance.

OpenWebware Cross-Browser WYSIWYG Editor

Open Source Cross-Browser What You See Is What You Get Web Editor. Setting up openWYSIWYG is so easy, you can quickly turn any <textarea> into a powerful WYSIWYG editor with just a few simple lines of code. Packed with most every rich text editing feature you need, openWYSIWYG gives you total control over formatting your text.

TinyMCE: Javascript WYSIWYG Editor

TinyMCE is a platform independent web based Javascript HTML WYSIWYG editor control released as Open Source under LGPL byMoxiecode Systems AB. It has the ability to convert HTML TEXTAREA fields or other HTML elements to editor instances. TinyMCE is very easy to integrate into other Content Management Systems.

Xinha: Open Source Online HTML Editor

Xinha ‘The Community-built Open Source Online HTML Editor’ is a powerful WYSIWYG HTML editor component that works in all current browsers. Its configurability and extensibility make it easy to build just the right editor for multiple purposes, from a restricted mini-editor for one database field to a full-fledged website editor.

From desktop tinker to dev-server coding madman, now you have some serious contenders to make your ‘top wysiwyg editor’ of choice. Let us know your favorite or your experiences so we can all compare notes.


Adobe Dreamweaver is a web design and development application that provides a visual WYSIWYG editor (colloquially referred to as the Design view) and a code editor with standard features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and code collapsing as well as more sophisticated features such as real-time syntax checking and code introspection for generating code hints to assist the user in writing code. The Design view facilitates rapid layout design and code generation as it allows users to quickly create and manipulate the layout of HTML elements. Dreamweaver features an integrated browser for previewing developed webpages in the program’s own preview pane in addition to allowing content to be open in locally installed web browsers. It provides transfer and synchronization features, the ability to find and replace lines of text or code by search terms or regular expressions across the entire site, and a templating feature that allows single-source update of shared code and layout across entire sites without server-side includes or scripting. The behaviors panel also enables use of basic JavaScript without any coding knowledge, and integration with Adobe’s Spry Ajax framework offers easy access to dynamically-generated content and interfaces.

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