Free HTML Editors: The 16 Best for Web Developers on Windows

Web designers and web developers who work with Windows will certainly find some free HTML editors. Only, which is suitable and which not. We tell you.

The HTML editor is an indispensable tool, so choose wisely

If you want to develop websites, you need an HTML editor. Surely you can also create a website with the help of Windows Notepad – nice and comfortable, however, is different. Especially important for an HTML editor is a good coloring of the syntax – also called syntax highlighting – and a useful code completion.

Of course, one or two extra good things would be good, such as a selection of Themes for the editor, so you can make the look of the tool you have in mind all day more enjoyable. This suits your own individualism and, assuming you choose a suitable design, allows you to work without fatigue for a long time.


Let’s just look at our selection of the best free HTML editors for Windows.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code from Microsoft

Visual Studio Code is a free HTML editor from Microsoft. In the past, Microsoft has often excelled by free web developer variants of their tools for the professional developer. Unfortunately, the tools so far have been more of a hobbyist’s experience and no more than an acceptable compromise.

Only with Visual Studio Code, the Redmond show a serious product that could quickly develop a fan base that leaves the previous favorite Sublime text almost forgotten. Visual Studio code is not only for Windows, but also for macOS and even for Linux. So you can work across platforms with the same comfort and functionality.

VS code can be conveniently extended with extensions. Visual changes are brought about by themes, of which there is also a wide variety. VS Code works directly with Github and not only provides exceptionally good syntax highlighting for various languages, but also an advanced version of code completion. When working with VS Code, I’ve often wondered why Microsoft gives this product for free. But let’s not complain.

VS Code is subject to a four-week update cycle. The changelogs are extensive month by month. The product is being massively developed, with wishes of the user community being seriously involved. In addition to the optical and functional expansion options, VS Code does not neglect the support of the users. So you have a comprehensive documentation available and the popular tutorial videos have the Redmond at the start.

Link to the website with download


The free HTML editor Atom is the name program. Because Atom is completely modular. Open-source contributions in large quantities are grouped around a minimal-sized kernel. So-called packages are the ones that can extend the range of functions of the tool from Github almost arbitrarily.

Right from the start, Atom supports Node.js so much that you can even launch a Node instance directly from Atom. Atom works directly with Gibthub so that version control work is seamless. Other features you equip on the already mentioned packages, which you can also create yourself and make the Communitly available.

Recently, Atom has launched two groundbreaking packages that will be particularly interesting for developers. In fact, nuclear can almost be developed into a true IDE. This will enable you to manage complete projects to determine which variable is still in the project, etc. In addition, the IDE can be equipped with language packages for any programming language.

Atom is available for Windows, macOS and LInux and is also enjoying a lot of progress.

Link to the website with download


Bluefish: program window

The editor Bluefish is an open source project under the GNU / GPL license and thus really completely free and usable for any purpose at no cost. Bluefish is significantly developed and coordinated by Dutchman Olivier Sessink, who has made a name for himself with numerous publications as an expert in the programming of secure computer applications.

Bluefish is not just a plain text editor with support for dozens of languages, which of course includes HTML plus syntax highlighting, but offers much more. The tool can manage projects and perform typical project tasks such as cross-searching and replacing. The Editor is also capable of editing pages remotely, supporting a variety of common protocols including (S) FTP and WebDAV.

In addition to autocomplete for most supported languages, Bluefish automatically closes open tags, reducing the headache associated with intense searching. The Bluefish interface can be operated in 17 languages and installed on the Windows, macOS, LInux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and Solaris platforms alike.

Link to the website with download

Phase 5

Phase5 HTML editor for Windows

Phase5 has been constantly evolving since 1998 and is one of the most popular free editors for Windows.

Some features of Phase5 include: project management, tag completion for HTML commands, an integrated image viewer, a syntax debugger, umlaut conversion, an indentation wizard, project-wide text replacement, and custom menus and templates.

The HTML editor supports common formats like PHP, Javascript, HTML, VBScript, JAVA and Pearl. He has a file manager for quick switching between documents. You can edit several documents at the same time and so on …

Phase 5 runs on Windows 7 and 8, Vista, XP, 2000, 98 – 32/64 bit and also server versions.

Link to the website with download

Programmer’s Notepad


The Programmer’s Notepad offers a slightly more modern interface and comes with two themes, one light and the one pictured dark. In addition to syntax highlighting, the editor masters the handling of code snippets, offers code folding (a folding and unfolding of code for a better overview) and is fully customizable via PyPN scripting and the use of add-ons to their own needs.

Link to the website with download


SynWrite HTML editor for Windows

SynWrite is a very special editor with a great variety of functions. The idea behind SynWrite was to unify the good approaches of all editors available on the market into one – and that’s how the feature list reads. At the same time, the editor can be extended at any time with its own plugins – written in Phyton. In addition to the usual functions such as code folding and autocompletion, SynWrite also controls multiple carrets, for example: Animation:


This feature can be very time-saving. In addition, SynWrite controls the important Emmet (formerly Zen Coding).

Link to the website with download



PlainEdit can open multiple files in tabs, is also extensible via plugins, and offers a lot of features, including document and text templates. Using a sidebar snippets (templates, code parts or other texts) can be inserted quickly and easily. In addition, PlainEdit has a good “find and replace” feature of regular expression texts, even in non-open files. As a special feature should be mentioned that the editor can even be operated by a USB stick. PlainEdit is available in a German translation.

Link to the website with download

Notepad ++

Notepad ++ HTML editor for Windows

Notepad ++ is something of the classic in our overview. It originated from the situation that the editor supplied with Windows was already extremely old in the years and does not offer important functions.

Notepad ++ is able to open several files in tabs, offers code completion and good syntax highlighting. A macro recorder, which can be used to automate frequently recurring commands, is also on board. The interface is customizable and there are a lot of plugins available to extend the feature set.

Link to the website with download


NoteTab: main window

NoteTab comes from the software company Fookes ltd. from Switzerland and is also one of the veterans in the industry of network editors. Since the nineties, convinced customers, including Harvard University and MIT, have been using the HTML editor from the mountains.

NoteTab is a pure editor made for editing HTML, XML and CSS. It is a further development of the well-known NotePad from Windows and is also available exclusively for the Windows platform. Of course you can also write JavaScript or PHP with NoteTab, as a pure text editor, the software puts no obstacles in the way. However, it does not support you any further, for example with syntax highlighting or code libraries.

NoteTab is free in its light version, but offers much more features in the payment option for 39.95 euros. It lacks in the light version actually only one function relatively painful, namely the syntax highlighting for HTML and CSS.

Otherwise, NoteTab Light even includes the integration of Twitters bootstrap, autocomplete, code libraries or project templates without a handle on the user’s wallet. Creating and managing your own code snippets collection also costs no money.

The developers of NoteTab attach great importance to maximum compatibility, so that even in the current version the software is still executable on Windows XP. As a result, you have to do without the visual enjoyment of modern interface components.

Link to the website with download


PSPad: main window

The developer Jan Fiala from the Czech Republic has maintained his free tool PSPad since 2001. In April 2018 there was the last update to version 5.0. Not without self-confidence, he refers to PSPad as the ultimate editor for software developers and certainly does not need the scope of the slender helper to hide from paid alternatives.

PSPad supports a lot of programming languages, as well as the markup languages HTML and CSS. The syntax highlighting is done consistently and can also be adapted or expanded at will. With a simple keystroke, you get an HTML preview. That’s comfortable, of course. The capabilities of the program are not limited to individual files.

Rather, PSPad understands itself as a project development environment and dominated as such, the search and replace of code locations across files, as well as the comparison of different file versions with color coding of the differences.

A plugin interface allows external developers to extend the power of the PSPad. At this point you will find a whole series of corresponding extensions. If you author the Web Content authoring tool, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a German spelling checker. An FTP client is also included.

PSPad is available exclusively for the Windows operating system. The program is free. There is no more powerful, then paid version.

Link to the website with download


jEdit - HTML editor for Windows

jEdit can open and edit just about every conceivable file and color the syntax accordingly. Opening multiple files as tabs is also possible and makes working on a project a lot easier. Options that are not available can be supplemented with plugins.

However, jEdit already has a number of important functions in its delivery state, including code folding, marking of contiguous elements and tags, a file manager and a good “find and replace” function. Added to this is the ability to customize and extend the editor so that jEdit does not need to hide behind the competition.

Link to the website with download

Sublime Text 2 – The Swiss Army Knife

Sublime Text 2 HTML editor for Windows

No other HTML editor has ever seen such a triumphant success as Sublime Text 2. Within a short time after release, he conquered the sympathy of professional web developers. This is not least due to the fact that it is equally available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Its strength is the adaptability through extensions and JSON file to be made user settings. Basically, there is hardly a conceivable requirement that could not be added by setting or expanding.

With the help of the “Packet Manager” – which must be installed – extensions can be downloaded and installed very comfortably afterwards.

Due to the high popularity of the editor, there is now a comprehensive plugin library; plus a lot of plugins, which are offered on the websites of the developers.

By the way, hardly any other HTML editor has such a good and comprehensive (unofficial) documentation. Even tutorials for Sublime Text 2 are offered on the Internet abound, which significantly reduces the required training period.

Sublime Text 2 is not free. However, the editor can be evaluated indefinitely (tested). If you like, you should buy a license for 70.- USD for the sake of fairness.

Since the end of September 2017 Sublime Text is officially available in the final version 3. Due to the development that has been delayed for many years and the lack of compatibility with version 2, Sublime Text has lost much of its approval and therefore its importance. It remains to be seen where the journey will go. I would currently recommend switching to Visual Studio Code or Atom, especially as the two mentioned are free.

Link to the website with download



Brackets is a modern, open source editor with some interesting features. For example, in collaboration with the Adobe Creative Cloud Extract, it can read design data such as color, fonts, gradients, and the like directly from a PSD file and translate it into correct CSS code. Similarly, layers can be extracted as an image, information from the PSD can be used as a variable in a preprocessor, and conveniently determine distances and proportions of elements. All this is possible without having to leave the editor.

Please note:Use of the Adobe Creative Cloud is subject to a charge. The Extract version can be installed directly together with brackets. Since brackets are part of the Creative Cloud, it is equally available for Windows and macOS.

Another great advantage of brackets are the extensions that allow the editor to be adapted to your own needs. Every three to four weeks, new extensions are added. Want to be mentioned also the full support of preprocessors.

In brackets, you can even use “Quick Edit” and “Live Preview” with LESS and SCSS files, making it much easier to work with. Along with the right extensions and Adobe Creative Cloud Extract, this editor can meet the needs of professionals.

Link to the website with download

Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit in small black.

ActiveState comes from the free source code editor Komodo Edit, a slimmed-down version of the paid development environment Komodo IDE. Komodo IDE is one of the more powerful development environments for programmers. It has its strengths especially in the development of native apps through the integration with Cordova and PhoneGap, but also web developers are optimally supported by the integration with Gulp, Grunt, Yarn or npm.

Komodo Edit does not offer all that. The tool is actually a pure editor that can be operated in different languages and has only the most important features, such as syntax highlighting and autocompletion on board. Even in the free version, Komodo already provides project management, so working on your website will not be too cumbersome.

Komodo Edit is currently available in version 11.1 and is available for Windows, macOS and LInux for free download.

Link to the website with download

Aptana Studio 3

Aptana Studio 3 HTML editor for Windows

Aptana Studio in its current version 3 is one of the most popular and comprehensive development environments for Windows, Mac and Linux. In version 3, the developers also want to have one of the biggest vulnerabilities of the Aptana Studio eliminated, namely his sometimes extremely unsatisfactory performance.

The greatest strengths of the editor are its good adaptability and above all the Git integration and the built-in terminal. Aptana Studio 3 supports the latest web standards such as HTML5 and CSS3. For Ruby and JavaScript, Aptana offers an integrated debugger.

Link to the website with download


Arachnophilia is a Java application.

Arachnophilia, written by Washington’s Paul Lutus, is interesting in that it displays not only functional but also moral aspects. Lutus created from the former Windows program Arachnophilia in recent years, a purely Java-based version that works universally on all operating systems with Java Runtime, because he no longer wants to support Microsoft. He even goes so far as to call for a boycott of Microsoft products.

Arachnophilia is not just open source, but according to Lutu’s definition of careware. Prerequisite for use is that you stop “howling” and become aware of how beautiful life really is. Yes, that’s what Lutus means.

Functionally, Arachnophilia offers home cooking. The indispensable autocomplete is on board as well as a considerable syntax highlighting. The tool is designed primarily for Web development, but also supports common programming languages of other colors.

Windows has an installer, all other users must use the JAR archive. Anyone familiar with Java applications knows that performance is not one of the fastest, which can be found in the wild. But those who want to follow the moral approach of Lutus can hardly avoid Arachnophilia.

Link to the website with download


CoffeeCup Html Editor

CoffeeCup is another product that comes in a free and paid version. CoffeeCup Free is a pure code editor for HTML, Markdown and CSS. It provides syntax highlighting and autocompletion, as well as integrated data transfer to your website via FTP.

Code snippets you manage in a corresponding library. Content that you use on multiple pages of your website is stored in the Components Library. From here you can update the contents centrally. In addition, CoffeeCup knows hundreds of Polyfills and JavaScripts to ensure compatibility with older browsers.

The tool already knows the administration of web pages as a project in its free version. However, the corresponding dependencies check it only in the paid version, which is not overpriced priced at 49 US dollars. Here you will find further amenities, such as the validation or correction of code, as well as the uncomplicated installation of fonts or media files.

In addition to the HTML editor, CoffeeCup offers a whole universe of other products. So there is also a WYSIWYG editor with a variety of paid extensions. You can spend a few hundred dollars quickly here. Unfortunately, CoffeeCup is often referred to as a free WYSIWYG editor on the net. This is a false statement, fake news 😉

The CoffeeCup product range is exclusively for the Windows platform.

Link to the website with download

You do not want to code? Then look at Mobirise

The term HTML editor is also used by those who do not allow you to edit HTML, but instead provide you with a visual environment for web design. Should you have landed accordingly on this post because you are looking for exactly one, you will have realized by now that you are in the wrong place. So that you do not leave us completely frustrated, I want to introduce you to a tool that has exactly the skills you are looking for.

Mobirise is also an editor that you need to install on your hard drive, but it lets you just make pages visually. You can not get to the code. Mobirise is extremely efficient and easy to use. If you need a responsive website quickly, you should take a closer look at the free editor Mobirise. It is available for Windows and macOS.


There are a lot of HTML editors for Windows, but the good ones are rarely sown. For non-daily use, Notepad ++ offers, for the daily use of a professional web developer, this will not be enough. There are more professional solutions, such as Sublime Text 2, which can (but must) be fully adapted to personal needs.

Fans of turnkey solutions may be happier with Aptana, SynWrite or Programmer’s Notepad. I have been relying on Visual Studio code for some time. Paul Lutus does not like to hear that. What do you use?

By the way: for Mac users we have written our own contribution to the topic. You can find it here >>

Links to the post

  1. Visual Studio Code
  2. atom
  3. Phase5 HTML editor
  4. Bluefish
  5. Programmer’s Notepad
  6. SynWrite Editor
  7. PlainEdit.NET
  8. Notepad ++
  9. NoteTab
  10. jEdit HTML editor
  11. Sublime text 2
  12. Adobe Brackets
  13. Komodo Edit
  14. Aptana Studio 3
  15. arachnophilia
  16. CoffeeCup
  17. MobiRise

This entry was first published on January 15, 2015 and has since been updated regularly, most recently on July 5, 2018.
(Source Article Image: Depositphotos)