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Script editing tip

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Tuesday February 5, 2008 )

If you use scripts on your web site, even if you’re not a programmer, chances are you’ll need to do some basic editing at some stage. This tip may save you a lot of time and frustration.

Have you ever tried making some very basic edits to a script then found it no longer worked? It may be not so much the edits you make, but what you are using to make the changes that’s the culprit.

It’s important never to use anything like a word processor for script editing as these applications may add hidden characters to the code, causing all sorts of odd glitches and perhaps rendering the application totally unusable.

This is probably one of the most common script editing problems around – many people fall victim to it, tearing their hair out for hours wondering what happened.

You don’t really need anything fancy to edit scripts – something as simple as Windows Notepad will do. If this isn’t on your start button program list, you can bring it up by:

– Clicking Start
– Select Run
– Type “Notepad”
– Click OK

Notepad is also very handy if you’re a FrontPage user. If you copy and paste code from a web page directly into FrontPage’s source view, instead of this (an example javascript snippet for creating a link for closing browser windows):

<a href="javascript:window.close();">Close This Window</a>

You’ll end up with a mess like this:

&lt;a href="<FONT color=#ff0000>javascript:window.close();</FONT>"&gt;Close This Window&lt;/a&gt;

To avoid this, just copy the code into NotePad first, then copy from there into FrontPage.

Another simple application I use for code edits is Programmer’s File Editor – a freeware application. It’s been 9 years since the last version was released, but eh, does everything I need it to :).

If you know of a simple text editor for the Mac suitable for basic script work, please add it below – I’ve been asked for recommendations often and really don’t have a clue :)



 

 
3 comments for Script editing tip
  1. Bean is a freeware rich text editor that saves to .txt and .html formats.
    http://www.bean-osx.com/Bean.html

    Comment by Steve — February 8, 2008 @ 11:18 am

  2. Thanks for the tip Steve!

    Comment by Michael Bloch — February 11, 2008 @ 2:35 am

  3. I use phpad or crimson editor both are freeware and I have been using them for years. P.S. Great site!

    Comment by David — April 27, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

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