The 8 Best Free HTML Editors for the Mac

Finding the right HTML editor for the Mac doesn't mean spending a lot

We have evaluated over 20 free HTML editors for Macintosh against over 40 different criteria relevant to professional web designers and developers. The following applications are the best free HTML editors 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. 

Best Value: Komodo Edit

Screenshot of Komodo
What We Like
  • Lots of add-ons available.

  • Built-in FTP client.

  • Auto-complete and syntax checking features.

What We Don't Like
  • Slow to load.

  • Feels cluttered.

  • Difficult to install color schemes.

Komodo Edit is hands down the best free XML 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 (like special characters).

Komodo Edit is not the best HTML editor out there, but it is great 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: Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE.

Best for JavaScript Developers: Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio 3 screenshot
What We Like
  • Integrated debugger.

  • Build-in Code Assist feature for tags.

  • Built-in terminal emulator.

What We Don't Like
  • No longer in development.

  • Minimal support for PHP.

  • Some dependencies.

Aptana Studio offers an interesting take on website development. Instead of focusing on HTML, Aptana focuses on the JavaScript and other elements that allow you to create rich internet applications.

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 JavaScript development.

If you are a developer creating web applications, Aptana Studio is a good choice.

NetBeans HTML editor
What We Like
  • Version 9.0 released by Apache after acquisition.

  • Supports the Jigsaw Module system.

  • Supports Java Shell, new in JDK 9.

What We Don't Like
  • Needs high-memory computer to run quickly.

  • Not many plug-ins.

  • Auto-completion is buggy.

NetBeans IDE is a Java IDE that can help you build robust web applications. Like most IDEs, 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.

Best for LAMP Developers: Bluefish

Screenshot of Bluefish HTML editor
What We Like
  • Auto-completion and auto-tag closing.

  • Powerful search and replace.

  • Quick to start and load files.

What We Don't Like
  • Not for novice programmers.

  • User interface looks intimidating.

  • Too many tabs and toolbars.

Bluefish is a full-featured web editor for Linux. There are also built-in executables for Windows and Macintosh. There is code-sensitive spell check, autocomplete 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.

A Powerful Multi-Language IDE: Eclipse

Screenshot of Eclipse SDK.
What We Like
  • Robust debugging and profiling profile.

  • Code-completion feature.

  • Fast deployment and implementation.

What We Don't Like
  • Slow when working with large files.

  • Not recommended for large businesses.

  • Steep learning curve for novice programmers.

Eclipse is a complex, Open Source 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. There are Java, JavaScript, and PHP plugins, as well as a plugin for mobile developers.

A Swiss Army Knife IDE From Mozilla: SeaMonkey

Screenshot of SeaMonkey for Mac
What We Like
  • Tabs for WISIWYG editing, HTML tags, HTML code, and browser views.

  • Suitable for building simple, basic websites.

What We Don't Like
  • Composer element no longer being maintained.

  • Generates HTML 4.01 Transitional code.

SeaMonkey is the Mozilla 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 FTP client to publish your web pages.

A Basic HTML Writer: Amaya

Amaya Screenshot
What We Like
  • Useful for up to HTML 4.01.

  • Supports SVG and MathML.

What We Don't Like
  • Last updated in 2012.

  • No longer in development.

Amaya is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) web editor and web browser. 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.

Straightforward and Stable: BBEdit 12

Screenshot of BBEdit
What We Like
  • Supports HTML5.

  • Opens large files.

  • Great customer support.

  • Rock-solid software.

What We Don't Like
  • Advanced features require paid version after 30-day free trial.

  • Must search menus for features and options.

BBEdit is a paid program that has a set of free capabilities (the same capabilities that the now-defunct TextWranger had. While Bare Bones Software, the makers of BBEdit do offer a paid version, you may find the free version does everything you need. You can review a feature comparison here.


If you're using TextWrangler, it is not compatible with macOS 10.13 (High Sierra). However, the free (and paid) version of BBEdit is.

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