I'm assuming that you've downloaded and installed HTML Kit
, you've started it up and are now staring blankly at your computer monitor while mumbling something akin to "What the [insert expletive
Well here comes the cavalry. First of all let's clearly define what's what...
Screenshot of HTML Kit
(Click on various sections in the image to jump to an explanation.)
And now let's break it down:
- Main Menu ~ This is commonly known as the 'File Menu bar' and typically runs across the top of most computer programs. For the purposes of clarity we will stick with the name, Main Menu. Clicking on each item in the Main Menu will reveal a drop-down submenu of options. Hovering your mouse pointer over each item in the sub-menus will reveal a explanatory message in the Status Bar at the bottom of the program. You can't close the Main Menu but you can move it around anywhere you want (more on this later...)
Every command in HTML Kit can be accessed from the Main Menu. Hence, according to Iron Spider site conventions, all paths that I will show you leading you to various HTML Kit program commands will begin in the Main Menu (unless otherwise specified). There will be times, however, when I will also include some alternate paths to the same command in order to tutor you on the various program icons and keyboard shortcuts. HTML Kit is highly redundant, i.e. quite often there are a kazillion ways to get to the same place.
- Toolbars ~ This contains a row of icons which activate various common and frequently used commands. Drawing from experience from other programs, you may be immediately familiar with most of these icons' functions. If not then hover your mouse pointer over each icon to see a pop-up tool tip with an explanatory message. This tooltip will also be mirrored as a message in the Status Bar. Be advised that many of the Toolbars icons have little black arrows pointing down which can be clicked on to reveal a drop-down menu of more related functions and options. The Toolbars section is actually 4 separate Toolbars, all lined up horizontally and named from left to right: File, Edit, Windows and Tools.
Like the Main Menu, all the Toolbars can be repositioned and, unlike the Main Menu, they can also be turned off completely (more later...)
- Actions Bar ~ The Actions bar is similar to the Toolbars except that it is fully loaded, and I mean FULLY LOADED with every possible push-button instant wizard known to mankind that automates the process of HTML editing. And if that isn't enough, there are literally hundreds more buttons and drop-down menus that you can download and install. These optional Actions Bar installations are called 'Plugins' and you can get them for free at the HTML Kit plugins page. And if that isn't enough (Please! Stop! I hear some saying...) you can even create your own plugins. In fact, you can conceivably strip down HTML Kit to just the Main Menu and then rebuild an entirely custom-made version of the program that will especially suit your needs.
- Workspace ~ This area is your link to various .htm, graphics and other web related files on your hard drive and, if applicable, your online website. You can use the Workspace to import stuff to HTML Kit and you can also use it to upload files to your website using the built-in FTP program (no kidding...). The Workspace can be turned on or off anytime to expand your available editing space. It can also be floated for repositioning and docked to the left or right of the program window.
- Message Window ~ This window will display messages related to validating web files using various utilities such as HTML Tidy. HTML Tidy is a built-in tool that will check your HTML code for errors according to certain specifications. The Message Window also displays messages related to using the built-in FTP program (see Workspace) indicating you have accessed your web host server, a file has been uploaded, etcetera. And finally, the Command Prompt tab in the Message Window can be used to type in and enter —á la DOS style— HTML Kit system commands.
- Task Bar ~ The Task Bar is one of the tools you can use to switch between multiple documents (when applicable) and it can be configured in numerous ways, either aesthetic or practical. Take special note of four tiny buttons to the far left of the Task Bar referred to in the Preferences dialog as the Task Bar icons which can be used to instantly configure the HTML Kit program view. Hover over each button to see an explanatory message in the Status Bar. The Task Bar icons have been collectively dubbed the 'Action box' in other tutorials about HTML Kit although I'm not sure where this name came from as I see no mention of it in the program itself. Possibly the name was invented by the author for purposes of convenience. In any case, we will get back to these buttons very shortly.
- Status Bar ~ To all newbies, this is your lifeline to HTML Kit as it will almost always display some kind of explanatory message about what your mouse pointer is currently hovering over. It is, in my humble opinion, much more reliable than the tooltips which disappear after several seconds and don't always give you time to thoroughly digest what is being said. In the little section at the far left of the Status Bar, you will also typically see two numbers separated by a colon (:) which will indicate what row number and what column number the flashing text cursor is currently situated at in the Editing Window.
Alrighty then let's strip this monster down and whip it into shape so it'll sit up and bark everytime you snap your fingers...