Module 1: Web Authoring Software


In this module you are introduced to web authoring software. Programs in this category allow users to create websites using a familiar visual interface, by typing text and formatting it using buttons, menus, and dialog boxes, much like you do in word processing software such as Microsoft Word. Many of these programs include WYSIWYG editors ("what you see is what you get"), which means the content in the editor has the same general appearance and layout as it will have as a finished web page.

The most popular program in this category is Adobe Dreamweaver. This tool has been around since 1997 and has matured extensively since then. Many consider it an industry standard for web designers and developers. Microsoft also was a dominant contender in the marketplace during the late 1990's and early 2000's with Microsoft FrontPage, but this was discontinued after the release of FrontPage 2003. Since then Microsoft has introduced a new product Microsoft Expression. There are also several inexpensive or free tools that provide similar functionality, such as Coffee Cup and KompoZer. There are many more products listed on the Wikipedia Comparison of HTML Editors page.

Your school may be using one of these software programs, or it may be using another program not included in this list. Therefore we've kept this unit fairly general, and describe the features that most web authoring software programs have in common. The best way to get familiar with the program at your school is simply to use it and see what it can do.