Department of Engineering

IT Services

Editors for HTML production

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the format used for WWW documents.

Using your current word processing package

Most word processors can directly produce HTML output. Quality varies depending on the version of the software you're using and the type of document, but it's worth a try. Look through the available styles, template/stationery options and documentation for mention of HTML

Word's HTML output may try to emulate the spacing of the paper output, which usually isn't what you want. You can go through manually and remove the excess HTML code (look out for the tags that mention 'Mso'). Or you can use Paste Special and choose the 'Normal Paragraphs' option, but that will remove all formatting codes, including fundamental ones like bold and italics etc. Dreamweaver 3 from Macromedia has a feature ('cleanup Word HTML') specifically designed to remove the excess HTML, but it's not cheap.

Newer version of OpenOffice let you save/export in an HTML format.

Specialised HTML editors

  • Netscape Navigator Gold 3.01 has a WYSIWYG-ish HTML editor which is easy to use.
  • PageMill (by Adobe. See the pagemill site)
  • Home Page
  • Front Page (by Microsoft).
  • BBEdit (by Bare Bones Software.
  • HoTMeTaL PRO 6.0 A new university-wide site licence should be in place for the latest version of HotMetal PRO. This product will be provided for the cost of the media only.
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver.

Raw HTML

For writing short or simple documents it's possible to write HTML directly using a simple text editor - see one of the many HTML tutorials available.

Converting old documents

Paper documents can be scanned straight into HTML or PDF (Acrobat) with the appropriate OCR software.

For existing electronic documents with exacting page layouts and font requirements, the best solution may be to put them online as Postscript or PDF (Acrobat) files. A free viewer for PDF files exist for most platforms. For information on viewers and convertor see Adobe's Acrobat page.

If you have a version of a word processor that can produce HTML files, then you can load old files in and 'Save As' HTML to convert them. If you have many files to convert, a conversion program will be necessary. We have various conversion programs to convert existing documents to HTML. rtftohtml, for instance, converts RTF files (produced by Word) to HTML. Especially if the document uses the Normal template, NORMAL.DOT, conversion should result in a readable document. But unless the original document contains structural information (the kind of structure an outliner provides, for instance) and cross-references, the resulting HTML will be impoverished. Always proof-read the resulting files.

LaTeX

Much of CUED's WWW material is maintained in LaTeX format. The advantages of this are that

  • Many WWW pages with cross-links can be produced from a single, easily managed, LaTeX source file using the html package.
  • 'flat' hardcopy can be produced (the URLs being optionally displayed as footnotes).
  • A LaTeX document has sufficient structural information for a conversion program to make a good job of HTML and PDF production - see Producing HTML and PDF files with LaTeX. It's free, and you can use any editor.