I spend 90 percent of my time working with computers, but for relaxation, I often play with the Web sites I have running. And although I have all the latest Web-development tools, and Microsoft's Visual Studio (VS) 6.0 Enterprise Edition installed on my workstation, I often prefer to simply write HTML by hand.

However, I'm not so hard core that I would totally forsake some of the conveniences that the current crop of HTML editors offer. Yet, I still don't want anything to get in the way if I only want to write code. My favorite tool for writing code is CoffeeCup Software's CoffeeCup HTML Editor++. I have used this software for more than a year, and it suits me perfectly. The product currently includes free upgrades that add features and functionality without cluttering it with so many gadgets and doodads that it becomes unmanageable.

I like CoffeeCup HTML Editor++ because it has an easy-to-use text editor that in its simplest form is just a text editor. I can configure it so that only Windows Notepad provides HTML help, or turn on progressively more HTML features to suit my mood, such as highlighting tags or inserting headers. I can use wizards to create page elements or simply write the code that I want to use; the application doesn't force me to work the way it wants me to; it lets me work the way I want to work.

Even when CoffeeCup HTML Editor++ offers tools to assist in content creation, it leaves many options open. For example, if I click Image Gallery, a dialog box appears that lets me preview any image file that I can browse to, define alternative image text, size the borders, make the image a link, or simply insert the image.

In addition to many useful wizard-like tools for automating common HTML-editing tasks, the software includes a good selection of prewritten JavaScripts that you can insert and use on any of your pages. The 50 JavaScripts that come with the registered version cover most of the usual Java-based tricks commonly found on Web pages, and you can easily use the well-documented code as the basis for custom Java code. I wasn't writing Java when I first used CoffeeCup HTML Editor++, but the well-commented JavaScripts got me interested in learning and writing my own Java code. Additionally, the current version of CoffeeCup HTML Editor++ provides a selection of prewritten Dynamic HTML (DHTML) scripts and some basic Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts (to handle mail, forms, links and animations) for those that have access to the server.

For the price, CoffeeCup HTML Editor++ is a great deal, and CoffeeCup Software lets you download and test the product's tools for free before you buy. Additionally, CoffeeCup Software has a range of Web-development tools including CoffeeCup Image Mapper++, CoffeeCup Direct FTP, and other Java-creation tools.

CoffeeCup HTML Editor++
Contact: CoffeeCup Software * 361-887-7778
Web: http://www.coffeecup.com