When it comes to web design, every designer tends to have their own favourite coding application. Luckily for Mac users there are plenty of options to choose from, this roundup of HTML and CSS editors pulls together the most popular editing apps with a brief overview of their features.
Coda is the swiss army knife of CSS editing apps, it combines code editing features with FTP, SVN, Terminal and a browser preview to produce a do-it-all app. Coda is one of the most popular choices for Mac based Web Designers and is also my personal preference.
CSSEdit is an editing app with a primary focus on Cascading Stylesheets. The application includes some super handy features for writing and debugging your CSS such as Live Preview and the X-Ray Inspector but being a lightweight application designed specifically for CSS edits, you will need a collection of supporting apps in your toolbox.
TextMate is a comprehensive code editor with a clean and minimal interface. It includes all the common features you would expect from an editing app and has some unique shortcuts that can really speed up the workflow for power users.
If you find yourself working with large quantities of files, BBEdit might be the application for you. It includes a range of powerful file browsing and search features that allow you to easily find and make edits to snippets of code buried deep in your website directories.
Espresso is the sister app to CSSEdit, also created by the folks from MacRabbit. Where CSSEdit focused on CSS, Espresso has much wider support for general coding tasks and includes a range of handy navigation, snippet and auto-completion features, not to mention the built in preview engine and FTP support.
Dreamweaver includes some powerful and unique features for building websites, particularly its infamous ‘Design view’, but it can also be used purely for coding. If you do only use Dreamweaver for coding, the alternative apps mentioned in this post include pretty much the same important features, but also benefit from faster loading times due to their overall more lightweight build.
skEdit is another lightweight coding app that can be easily extended with more language support. It makes sense to limit the application down to only the languages you use to avoid bloat. Otherwise the application includes project support, code completion, snippets and live preview, so it’s definitely a good competitor to the more wider known options.
Bonus: Firebug (free!)
Although it’s not a code editor at heart, it’s certainly a must-have application for Web Designers. Firebug allows you to tweak and edit your HTML and CSS on your live websites, which can then be ported back to your original files. This live editing cuts out the hassle of changing and re-uploading your files to really speed up your workflow.