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HTML Tools - HomeSite

by Caroline Seawright


HomeSite is a HTML tool. It's not, as far as I can tell, a program that does HTML for you. But that's why I like it.

At work, I've used both HomeSite 2.5 and HomeSite 4.5 ... at home I use vi (on my UNIX shell account - there's not too much choice there!), so HomeSite is much easier to use (for the PC version, anyway - I haven't used anything else).

Useful Functions

It has all the usual functions you'd except - search and replace, find, cut, copy and paste. Normal Windows functions. But it also has functions which help tremendously when working with many files - extended find and replace!

Those two functions are life savers, in my line of work! Especially when the client decides that link a should really be going to link b, and the link is scattered on many pages through a site. It searches through not only the file you have opened, but all files you have open or all files in a certain directory (and subdirectories)! And it has the ability to search for more than one line of text - it has been designed for paragraphs, accepting blank lines (very, very helpful for template changes!)

The other major function I use HomeSite for is to get the hex values of colours. I tend to get given the RGB from the graphics people, saying that's the colour they want a certain table or font to be. Voila! I just use the Palette (in 4.5) or the Define Custom Colours (in 2.5 - Styles -> [A] -> Color: Custom -> Define Custom Colors) That is very handy, too. Otherwise I'd be lost!

The other great thing is the browse tab. When you're working on a file, and don't want to keep swapping windows to test your programming, or if you haven't saved the file yet because you're just testing something out, you go into browse mode, and can see your site! I believe that the default browser is IE, so I always keep Netscape handy... but, still, browse helps a heck of a lot! I find it best for when I'm working on things like tables... especially the tables within tables that graphics people like making me do, because the design won't work any other way. Browse is a very big plus!

Version 4.5 vs 2.5

I'm still trying to get used to version 4.5, though. There are some great points about using 4.5 (such as how it checks for an updated version of HomeSite, or how it shows linewrap at the edge of the input screen)... but I'm not sure if I like how they've changed the colours for the different tags in their input screen. I liked how font tags were in a certain colour in 2.5 ... but in 4.5 font tags are the same colour as paragraph and break tags, etc. They've changed the way of doing certain things too, such as the RGB -> Hex colours above. So it's confusing, at first, to move over. There's also the fact that pressing tab in the extended search and replace will now put an actual tab in the input box, rather than going to the next input box... but all in all, it's pretty good.

A Tool for HTML and More

HomeSite is not only for HTML, but is just as good for DHTML, SMIL, Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, ASP, JSP, Perl, CFML, VBScript, XML, and XSL. (I tend to use CSS, JS and ASP often, and it's just as good. 4.5 is more suited for the latest technologies, as you would expect, than 2.5!)

I like HomeSite. It makes manually coding HTML much easier, and I think it's one of the best tools a HTML programmer can have, be it version 2.5, 4.5 or a future version!

HomeSite is no longer available commercially. Although it is quite different, perhaps you could try Sublime Text instead.

© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2000 - present

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