9 Best Free HTML Editors for Windows for 2020

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

Although any text editor works for Hypertext Markup Language documents, some HTML editors optimize for the specific syntax of the language. We've identified some of the best, free, editors for Windows.

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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
  • 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.

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.

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Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit on Windows 10
What We Like
  • Extensible through plugins.

  • Customizable appearance.

  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  • Excellent for XML editing.

What We Don't Like
  • No WYSIWYG editor.

  • Not the best editor for beginners.

There are two versions of Komodo: Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE. Edit 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 shine as the best HTML editor, but it's great for the price, especially if you build in XML where it truly excels.

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 major updates over the last few years.

  • 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.

of 09


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 web pages this is a great tool.

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.

Microsoft Visual Studio Code is the free coding-only app that's part of the Visual Studio suite but stands alone. It's an excellent stand-alone code editor for dozens of different coding and scripting languages.

of 09


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, macOS, 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.

of 09


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 Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Noteworthy features that have been in place since the 2.0 version are code-sensitive spell check, autocomplete 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.

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Eclipse IDE on Windows 10
What We Like
  • Plugin design makes adding new languages simple.

  • Open source with large community makes problem solving easier.

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. It offers Java, JavaScript, and PHP plugins, as well as a plugin for mobile developers.

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CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor

The logo for CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor.
What We Like
  • Website server management is easy.

  • Good for HTML and CSS editing.

  • User-friendly and a good option for beginning designers.

What We Don't Like
  • Many features are only available on the paid version.

  • No WYSIWYG editor (unless you purchase).

  • Not the best editor for coding languages beyond web design.

The CoffeeCup Free HTML comes in two versions - a free version as well as a full version which is available for purchase. The free version is a good product, but be aware that a lot of the features this platform offers do require you to buy the full version.

CoffeeCup now also offers an upgrade called Responsive Site Design 2 that supports Responsive Web Design. This version can be added to a bundle with the full version of the editor.

One important thing to note: Many sites list this editor as a free WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, but when I tested it, it required the purchase of CoffeeCup Visual Editor to get WYSIWYG support. The free version is a very nice text editor only.

This editor scored as well as Eclipse and Komodo Edit for Web Designers. It ranks fourth because it didn't rate as highly for web developers. However, if you are a beginner to web design and development, or you're a small business owner, this tool has more features appropriate to you than either Komodo Edit or Eclipse.