9 Best Free HTML Editors for Windows for 2019

HTML editors for web pages don't have to cost a lot to be good

HTML code on computer screen
Denis Belyaevskiy/iStock

This article has been updated as of August 2019 to ensure that all the HTML editors listed are still available for free download. Any new information on latest versions has been added to this list.

During the original testing process, over 100 HTML editors for Windows were evaluated against more than 40 different criteria relevant to both professional and beginning web designers and web developers, as well as small business owners. From that testing, ten HTML editors that stood above the rest were selected. Best of all, all of these editors also happen to be free!

01
of 09

NotePad ++

Notepad++ with HTML document open on Windows 10

What We Like

  • Small download and program size.

  • Loads fast, and runs light.

  • Auto-completion for words and functions.

  • Plugin options to extend functionality.

What We Don't Like

  • No Mac version available.

  • May be less useful for languages like Java.

Notepad++ is a favorite free note taking app and code editor. It is a more robust version of the Notepad software that you would find available in Windows by default. That being the case, this is a Windows-only option. It includes things like line number, color coding, hints, and other helpful tools that the standard Notepad application does not have. These additions make Notepad++ an ideal choice for web designers and front end developers.

02
of 09

Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit on Windows 10

What We Like

  • Extensible through plugins.

  • Customizable appearance.

  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

What We Don't Like

  • No WYSIWYG editor.

  • Not the best editor for beginners.

There are two versions of Komodo available, Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE.

is open source and free to download. It is a trimmed down counterpart to IDE.

Komodo Edit includes a lot of great features for HTML and CSS development. Additionally, you can get extensions to add language support or other helpful features, like special characters.

Komodo doesn't outshine as the best HTML editor, but it's great for for the price, especially if you build in XML where it truly excels. 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.

03
of 09

Eclipse

Eclipse IDE on Windows 10

What We Like

  • Plugin design makes adding new languages simple.

  • Open source with large community makes problem solving easier.

  • Runs on multiple platforms such as Windows, Mac, and Linux

What We Don't Like

  • A large program that's not as light as other editors.

  • Consumes considerable system resources, especially on large projects.

Eclipse is a complex development environment that is perfect for people who do a lot of coding on various platforms and with different languages. It is structured as plug-ins, so if you need to edit something you just find the appropriate plug-in and go to work.

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.

04
of 09

Aptana Studio 3

The Aptana Studio logo.

What We Like

  • Good for JavaScript.

  • Multiplatform support (Windows, Mac, Linux).

  • Plugins expand supported languages.

What We Don't Like

  • Lack of updates and announcements since 2014.

  • Bulkier and sometimes slower than some other editors.

Aptana Studio 3 offers an interesting take on webpage development. Instead of focusing on HTML, Aptana focuses on JavaScript and other elements that allow you to create rich internet applications. That may not make it the best fit for simple web design needs, but if you are looking more in the way of web application development, the tools offered in Aptana may be a great fit.

One concern about Aptana is the lack of updates that the company has done over the past few years. Their website, as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages, announce the release of version 3.6.0 on July 31, 2014, but there have been no announcements since that time. 

While the software itself tested great during initial research (and it was originally placed 2nd in this list), this lack of current updates must be taken into consideration.

05
of 09

NetBeans

Apache Netbeans window open with HTML document

What We Like

  • Version control functionality.

  • Customizable appearance.

  • Specialized for Java.

What We Don't Like

  • Takes some time to learn.

  • Consumes a lot of system resources while running.

  • Can be slow to execute commands.

NetBeans IDE is a Java IDE that can help you build robust web applications.

Like most IDEs, it has a steep learning curve because it doesn't often work in the same way that web editors work. Once you get used to it you’ll find it very useful, however.

The version control feature included in the IDE is especially useful for people working in large development environments, as is the developer collaboration features. If you write Java and webpages this is a great tool.

06
of 09

Microsoft Visual Studio Community

Microsoft Visual Studio open on Windows 10

What We Like

  • Well supported with updates and the addition of new features.

  • Wide range of programming languages supported.

  • Nice design that is beginner-friendly.

What We Don't Like

  • Premium features come with high price tag.

  • Heavy program that consumes significant memory and processing power.

  • Bit of a learning curve for new users.

Microsoft Visual Studio Community is a visual IDE to help web developers and other programmers get started creating applications for the web, mobile devices and the desktop. Previously, you may have used Visual Studio Express, but this is the latest version of the software. They offer a free download, as well as paid versions (that include free trials) for Professional and Enterprise users.

07
of 09

BlueGriffon

BlueGriffon HTML environment open on Windows 10

What We Like

  • Multiplatform support (Windows, Mac, Linux).

  • WYSIWYG editor with previews.

  • Good for beginners

What We Don't Like

  • Can suffer lag during use.

  • Lots of options may bewilder new users.

BlueGriffon is the latest in the series of webpage editors that started with Nvu, progressed to Kompozer and now culminates in BlueGriffon. It is powered by Gecko, the rending engine of Firefox, so it does a great job of showing how work would be rendered in that standards-compliant browser.

BlueGriffon is available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux and in a variety of languages. 

This is the only true WYSIWYG editor that made this list, and as such it will be more appealing for many beginners and small business owners who want a more visual way to work as opposed to a purely code-focused interface.

08
of 09

Bluefish

The Bluefish Logo

What We Like

  • A fast and lightweight program.

  • Multiplatform support (Windows, Mac, Linux).

What We Don't Like

  • Primarily a code editor without a WYSIWYG interface.

  • Lacks an easy FTP upload feature.

Bluefish is a full-featured HTML editor that runs on a variety of platforms, including Linux, MacOS-X, Windows, and more.

The latest release (which is 2.2.10 or 2.2.10-2 for High Sierra) fixed some of the bugs found in previous versions.

Noteworthy features that have been in place since the 2.0 version are code-sensitive spell check, auto complete of many different languages (HTML, PHP, CSS, etc.), snippets, project management and autosave.

Bluefish 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, however, if you’re a designer by nature and you want more of a web-focused or a WYSIWYG interface, Bluefish may not be for you.

09
of 09

GNU Emacs Profile

The GNU Emacs Logo

What We Like

  • Included with most Linux systems.

  • Powerful with plenty of features.

What We Don't Like

  • More complicated than other editors.

  • Not the best choice for beginners.

GNU Emacs is found on most Linux systems and makes it easy for you to edit a page even if you don't have your standard software.

Emacs is a lot more complicated some other editors, and so offers more features, but I find it harder to use.

Feature highlights: XML support, scripting support, advanced CSS support and a built-in validator, as well as color coded HTML editing.

This editor, whose latest version is 26.1 which was released in May 2018, can be intimidating to anyone who isn't comfortable writing plain HTML in a text editor, but if you are and your host offers Emacs, it is a very powerful tool.