As most Web programmers who do not use WYSIWYG editors know, Notepad is the standard by which all text editors are placed. I have been coding Web pages for a little over 6 years now, and I have always used Notepad. That is until I came across 1st Page 2000. Now, I’m not sure about ya’ll, but the driving force behind most of the software I use is usually the price. 1st Page 2000 is a freeware HTML editor that does a lot more than HTML. I use this for my entire Web editing as I do not have a WYSIWYG editor, yet. I know, there are a bunch of Notepad emulators out there, and they’re all free, too. So, what sets this one apart?
Second, its ease of use. When you first start the program, it gives you several choices: Easy, Normal, Expert, and Hardcore. These settings determine the layout of the program and what functions are easier to access, depending on what skill level you choose. For those that are well versed in HTML and other programming languages, I would recommend stepping right into Expert. Hardcore may sound like you, but it really is Hardcore – the menus are more cluttered and not as easy to access. That really is the only difference between all of these settings: the style of the layout of the buttons and accessibility. In Beginner, the buttons are large, easy to find, and use the XP style 3D buttons. Expert sticks all the features out there in lists and menus that are very similar to Dreamweaver.
Another nice feature is the tabbed interface used to switch between documents. This allows you to quickly and efficiently coordinate and design multiple Web pages. On the left, you will notice an Explorer pane for finding and opening HTML and other compatible files in 1st Page without opening Windows Explorer. It also allows you to open other files such as pictures and music files through the Explorer pane, but it uses the default program for that. Probably my favorite feature would be the built-in preview. This is a small tab located at the top of the workspace that allows you to see a quick preview of what your page would look like, making it easy to test out new design elements. 1st Page 2000 is one of the most powerful HTML editors I have used, yet, its user-friendly interfaces make it ideal for anyone from the Long-time programmer to the aspiring HTML student. [Josh Mitchell]