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How to modify TextEdit So you can see the HTML Code

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  • How to modify TextEdit So you can see the HTML Code

    Experience Level: Easy.

    How to modify TextEdit So you can see the HTML Code, This is useful for making small edits to HTML Code.

    If you're like me occasionally you need to make a small modification to an HTML File and if you've ever tried to open a .html file in TextEdit you would know it tries to display the document as Rich Text.

    This option is pretty easy to change and I will show you how below.

    First you want to proceed to the applications folder on your Mac, Once there you will need to open TextEdit then proceed to text edit preferences located under TextEdit in the Menu Bar. Once you're in TextEdit's preferences then proceed to the tab labelled "Open and Save" under the subheading called "When Opening a File" you want to tick the box next to "Ignore rich text commands in HTML files"

    And that is it, You can now close the preferences window. And proceed to open that .html file you would like to edit.

    If you find yourself editing more than the occasional line of HTML code you may want to take a look at TextWrangler [Free] AND my personal favourite Panic's, Coda. Winner of an Apple Design Award [Paid].

    This how-to article was originally written for MacHighway User Forums, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of's, Spotlight Magazine.
    Last edited by Kyle-K; 06-20-2011, 12:46 PM. Reason: Minor Tweaks and Spelling Mistake Corrections Website | Facebook | Twitter
    My Business: IT Solutions and Consulting + Web Services and development.

  • #2
    This is a very helpful tip (and walk through). I also recommend if you're on OS X 10.5 or later, using the free utility TextWrangler.

    MacHighway President and Founder


    • #3
      I have TextWrangler, and I really should learn how to use it. I love using TextEdit as it is so very easy for my html and css.
      But TW would make things quicker and easier. So I better get busy, I know there are some tutorials out there for me.

      Another thing extremely helpful, is the FireFox Web Developer, those Tools are just amazing. Im learning them too.