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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:55 AM
Original message
Request for advice from Mac users
I am finding it difficult to maintain HTML files in a Mac OS X environment.

After I have opened an HTML file with a web browser, I am unable to edit the file. With a web browser I can look at, but not modify, the source. When I open the file with TextEdit or AppleWorks 6, all I see is a preview, i.e., an approximation to the normal appearance of a web page.

Any suggestions?
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Is the file extension .txt or .html?
You might try changing it or removing it altogether.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I've tried changing or removing the file extension.
Once the file has been opened in a browser, changing the file extension doesn't fix anything.

But thanks for asking.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is there a "view as" option?
When you open the html file in TextEdit or AppleWorks, can you find a "view" command? View as text? View as HTML?
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Nope.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. you might have to get an HTML editing program
some like PageSpinner let you edit the HTML, then preview in your choice of browsers.

For WYSIWYG editing, there are several programs available, each with their advantages and pitfalls.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Thanks for the tip.
Maybe I will download PageSpinner and see how I like it. I'm sure it will do what I want. I only wonder how easy it is to use, given that it does a whole lot more than I want.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I liked BBEdit when I used it 10 years ago.
I was making web pages for an academic department I worked for while in grad school, and I was self-taught. BBEdit made tagging/editing my html docs a lot easier. It's expensive, though, unless you qualify for educational pricing.

http://www.barebones.com/products/bbedit /
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Thanks for the tip.
Even with the educational pricing (which I do qualify for) BBEdit is more expensive than PageSpinner ($50 as opposed to $29, if I remember correctly).

Either of these programs would more than suffice for my needs. But how do I choose?
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Correction: with AppleWorks, instead of a preview,
what I get is a garbled version of the source. For example if the source is

<html>

<head>
<title>Foxy</title>
</head>

<body>
<h1 align="center">The quick brown fox's web site</h1>
<img src="images/shapes.gif">
<h2>What this site is all about</h2>

<p>This web site is devoted to the memory of the quick brown fox, whose celebrated exploit of jumping over the lazy dog has resulted in worldwide adulation as well as controversy, ...

and the file has been opened in a browser, then what AppleWorks shows is

<html><head><title>Foxy</title></head><body><h1 align="center">The quick brown fox's web site</h1><img src="images/shapes.gif"><h2>What this site is all about</h2><p>This web site is devoted to the memory of the quick brown fox, whose celebrated exploit of jumping over the lazy dog has resulted in worldwide adulation as well as controversy, ...
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. Get a PC.
Ha! Had to do it.
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targetpractice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
10. Set the default format in TextEdit to "Plain Text"
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 04:44 PM by targetpractice
TextEdit > Preferences... > Format > Plain text (option)

HTML files should open as editable source...

There are a number of free source editors for Mac OSX....

TextWrangler --> http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler /

Smultron --> http://smultron.sourceforge.net / (I love this one, but looks like developer is not updating anymore)
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I tried setting the default format to Plain Text.
It didn't help. With the extension .html, the file does not open as editable source.

Even with the extension .txt, once the file has been polluted by a web browser (which does show the source), it will not open in TextEdit as source.

Thanks for all your suggestions. I'll take a look at TextWrangler.
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targetpractice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. If you right click-on an HTML file....
Then choose "Open with... > TextEdit" from the menu that pops up upon right-click... the file should open as an editable text file (provided you've set the TextEdit default mode to plain text files.

Alternatively, you could open the HTML from with the TextEdit application using "File > Open >"

Finally, you could "view source" in a browser and copy-all and paste the source into a blank TextEdit document. Then you could save as a new file with the .html extension.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I can't right click on anything.
I'm using a Mac. The mouse doesn't have two buttons.

I could "view source" in a browser ... as you suggested. That is a possible work-around. What I am doing instead is to create my source files in Rich Text format and convert duplicates of them into Plain Text format.
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targetpractice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Sorry... Control-Click is same as right click...
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 08:00 PM by targetpractice
I thought all Macs ship with a Mighty Mouse these days... and you can set those to recognize a right click in the System Preferences.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. All Macs may ship with a Mighty Mouse these days.
I wouldn't know. I haven't bought one recently. Mine is an older "Power Mac".

I remember a cartoon character named Mighty Mouse. As I recall, he was more than a match for any cat.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Okay, I downloaded TextWrangler,
which is free (as you pointed out) and solves my problem. It opens HTML files and allows me to edit them, even after they have been polluted by a web browser.

It also does a bunch of other stuff as described in the 272-page (sic) User Manual.

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targetpractice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. I'm glad that works...
What do you mean by "polluted" by a web browser?

I'm not sure if I understand your process or what's happening to your files.

There's no need to take the time to explain to me, unless you want to.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
16. Take it from an aspiring master code-monkey
If you want to be able to edit your code well and efficiently, and you also want to be able to view your webpage in a REAL format, you only have one option, and it takes three steps:

1. Change your web browser's caching settings to check for a new version of the webpage EVERY visit to the site.
2. Find a GOOD text editor, preferably one that natively understands HTML/CSS. BlueFish is a great one that also handles PHP, and it's open source.
3. Open your file for editing in your favorite editor, and then open it for viewing in your favorite browser. Every time you make a change in the editor, switch to the browser and force a refresh (Refresh button, Ctrl-F5, or Ctrl-R).

This method is great if you are VERY adept at using the Command(Alt)-Tab keyboard combination, or have a lot of screen real-estate, like one bigass display or two regular monitors.

Your only other option to be able to view code and edit it at the same time is to shell out some cash for a good WYSIWYG editor.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Thanks, but I'm a tightwad and not very ambitious.
When it comes to HTML, I'm still learning how to crawl.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Even better
If you start by using a text editor, you won't have to UNlearn anything. Plus, you'll be able to directly apply all of the knowledge found at http://www.w3schools.com . There is simply no better place on the internet to learn everything you ever wanted to know about HTML/DTD/CSS. I've been doing this for a while and I use it as my goto reference when I need to remember the syntax of something. Great site...
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