With the demise of BBEdit Lite, I’m looking for other free or under $20.00 basic HTML editors I can use with students. Taco HTML, from Taco Software is a free OS X HTML Editor. It has syntax coloring, an attractive, fairly self explanatory interface (a good thing, since there’s no built in Help). The basic HTML tags (paragraph, link, bold, italic, rules,line breaks, super and sub scipt, strikethrough) are available from a pop down “Quick Insert” menu. It supports syntax coloring, and new files open with the basic HTML tags required for any page already in place.

The Insert menu gives you access to more sophisticated tags, including Font, Image, Image Map, Table, List (ordered and unordered, but not definition), and Meta. The Insert menu also includes an Advanced Tag Insert command, which presents you with a clickable list of pretty much all the other standard HTML tags (it includes a “close tag” check box to automatically add the close tag where appropriate).

More sophisticated features include syntax coloring, a powerful multi-file Find, Code clips, which allow you to save bits of HTML (or text) and add them to a menu for convenient insertion. It also includes syntax checking, and Unicode support. There’s a nifty Color wizard in the Insert menu that either offers the hex code for a color, or lets you enter the hex code to see what color it describes. There’s also an Image Map wizard, with support for circle, polygon and rectangle slices.

Preferences, and a customizeable toolbar allow you to adjust Taco HTML to suit your person preferences, including support in the Preview command for a wide variety of browsers, and an ability to add others.

It’s an attractive, rather elegant little editor; I plan on using it for a while, but I think I can recommend it to students or others learning HTML on OS X, or those who want a good editor that’s affordable and not bloated. I wish it the developer had included spell checking (perhaps implementing the spell check so that it ignored any text between angles brackets).