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- seems everything has at least one!

With at least some versions of Windows OS, the full file extensions (full name) is not shown by default. Also, Notepad will automatically add the .txt suffix at the end of HTML or CSS files created by Notepad unless you follow a certain procedure. There are also some settings that need to be changed to use TextEdit on a Mac. So, if you plan to code by hand, you might want to try these steps before you begin.

Setting Windows to Show Full Extension

By default, file extensions for known file types are hidden. However, you can change this setting so that file extensions are shown for files in a certain folder or for all files on your hard disk.

The methods to change this differs depending on the Windows OS you use. So, here are some links that will open in a new window:

For Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8:  Make Windows show file extensions and hidden files

For Windows 10:  Show and hide file extensions in Windows 10

If you want to set only certain files or folders to show the full extension, check the above sites to see if they give the instructions for that. Basically, you can navigate to the file or folder and then change the settings for just that file or folder.

Saving files with Notepad

To keep Notepad from adding the .txt extension:

  1. Click on "File" and then "Save As"
  2. Navigate to the folder you want to save in
  3. Change the "Save As Type" drop-down menu to "All Files (*.*)"
  4. Name your file, be sure to include the .html extension and put the whole name in quotation marks (e.g. "index.html")

Opening files with Notepad

  • By default Notepad looks for files with a .TXT extension. To find HTML files either select All Files(*.*) from the Files of Type drop down list box or enter *.html* in the File Name box. Then press OPEN.
  • When you find the file in the list of files, click on it and press OPEN.

Alternatives to Notepad

With my Windows laptop, I use Notepad ++. It is easier to save files with various extentions and you can have more than one file open at a time.

TextEdit on a Mac

If you are going to use Textedit on a Mac, you need to be sure it is set to plain text and, for older Macs, is set to "ignore rich text commands"

  • Open text edit. Go to Textedit -->preferences --> New Document Attributes: Click in the circle by "plain text": Set Plain Text as the Default in TextEdit on Your Mac
  • Set Textedit to "ignore rich text commands"
    • For older versions of Mac OSX, further down that same pop up, click in the box by "Ignore Rich Text Commands in HTML files". A check mark should appear in that box. For older versions of Mac OSX, this apple article should help.
    • Newer versions of OSX have two tabs under preferences. Click on the "Open and Save" tab and put a check mark by each of the "ignore rich text commands" under the section "When opening a file"

Other Mac Options

Presently, I use the free version of BBEdit by Bare Bones Software (Same people who made TextWrangler which is no longer available). I have used TextMate, but it doesn't appear to work with the latest versions of Mac

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