RE: HTML help: HTML editors

Subject: RE: HTML help: HTML editors
From: Stephen Arrants <sarrants -at- roidirect -dot- com>
To: "'Cheri E. Kelln'" <tekgrrrl -at- yahoo -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 15:39:24 -0700

Cheri E. Kelln [mailto:tekgrrrl -at- yahoo -dot- com] asks:
> Does anybody have a preference when it comes to good HTML
> editors?

Allaire HomeSite.

>I have
> used a few, but thought I would ask in relation to HTML Help.

Oh. In that case, RoboHelp tools are what I like to use.

> I was just
> assigned the task of researching HTML editors today. We will
> probably be
> using MS Help Workshop as well.

HTML for Web sites and HTML for HTML Help are kinda/sorta two different
animals. For Web sites, you're writing for a number of different browsers,
for users with different environments (monitor size/resolution/color),
speed, browser versions, etc.
For HTMLHelp, it's IE. Not Netscape or Opera.

> Anyway, my manager mentioned something about MSDN compliance,
> but these
> things are most important.

> 1. WYSIWYG interface that WILL NOT change tagging

Why is this important for HTMLHelp? RoboHelp/RoboHTML or Doc-To-Help or
similar will (try) and create the most efficient code for HTMLHelp.

> 2. Preview and true code views/interfaces

Most good HTML editors offer this.

> 3. Spell checking

Most good HTML editors offer this.

> 4. Quick formatting (e.g., bold, italic, underline, linking
> etc. buttons or
> shortcuts)

Most good HTML editors offer this.

> 5. Good diffing/compare feature

I'm not sure if HomeSite or other HTML editors offer this. I've not had a
need for these features.

> 6. Pretty cheap/readily available

That's two criteria. Pretty cheap is relative. And when someone wants me
to recommend software with lots of features and adds "Low cost" or "pretty
cheap" as a criteria....You get what you pay for. HomeSite is $89-$99 from

Almost any editor can be downloaded in an evaluation version before
> Also, is there a tool for both editing AND compiling? Do you
> always need an
> editor and a compiler? Forgive my ignorance on this issue.

Well, the professional HTMLHelp/WebHelp tools include a compiler. Microsoft
HTMLHelp Workshop has the compiler (I believe the other tools use this
compiler instead of rolling their own.

steve arrants

Stephen Arrants
Manager of Technical Communications

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