Web Authoring Tools - The Skinny on Layout Tools
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There are two main types of software for creating Web sites: text editors and visual layout tools. With a text editor you write HTML in text mode and use a browser to preview the pages in a layout. A visual or WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) layout tool lets you design pages in what we call a layout mode. With this tool you position text and images on the page and the software generates the codes needed to display the page in a Web browser.
A Web page is simply text that is interpreted and displayed as a formatted page by the browser software. Developing a Web page requires no special software (a Web page can be written in SimpleText or Notepad), just the knowledge of the required HTML codes and correct syntax. Most people, however, aren't fluent enough in HTML (a complex and evolving markup language), hence the need for a tool that will simplify Web page creation. For this, we employ the help of our HTML text editor, which is basic text software that has been customized for Web authoring purposes. These editors still require the publisher to work in text mode, but provide tools to facilitate markup as well as verify that the syntax is being used properly. An HTML text editor is a good choice only for people who are most comfortable working in the text mode and who understand the concept of "tagging" text to gain control over the stream of HTML code.
Most of the Web page creation tools being manufactured today follow in the footsteps of other document creation tools. Graphic designers today use the various available desktop publishing software to design and lay out pages without even thinking about the computer codes that actually generate the document. As these visual tools for Web page design become more sophisticated, knowledge of HTML is becoming less essential to the process. Some good examples of great visual tools available to the vast majority of website developers and designers are from manufacturers like Macromedia (Dreamweaver MX 2004) and Adobe (Photoshop CS 2004).
Visual Web page editors allow you to design and construct Web pages as you would documents, using word processor or page layout software. With that said, let's explorer the Web authoring tools that offer both visual and text editing capabilities that are available on the market today. Are you ready for more? Read on to learn about the newest software available on the market.
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