A Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML) writer, also called an HTML editor, is a computer program that translates word processing text and graphics to this specific computer language. An HTML writer enables a person who does not know how to design websites in a programming language to create them by working with text and other page elements the way they would look on the Internet when rendered. This ability to work with the end result, rather than with the programming language, is called “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG).
Internet browsers render websites by interpreting computer programming languages. The most common programming language is HTML, the basic building blocks of a Web page. HTML uses beginning and end tags placed on a page to tell a browser what to do with the elements contained between the tags. For example, if a website designer wants certain text to show up in bold letters when viewed in a browser, he would put the beginning tag for bold at the start of the text and the ending tag for bold after the last word of the text to be changed. In the programming document, the text still looks like regular text, but when the page is viewed in a browser, the tags disappear and the text is rendered according to the programming instruction.
Many people find HTML daunting. Instead of learning how to build a website using tags, some people prefer to lay out a Web page exactly the way they want it to look and have something else worry about which HTML tags would make it look that way. An HTML writer removes the need to know HTML, because the program automatically translates word processing style commands, such as bold or italics, to their HTML equivalents.
Most word processors and text editors come with an HTML writer built in. An author simply has to type and format the document the way he wants it to look when rendered in a browser. He can then save the document as an HTML document. The word processor automatically adds all of the tags needed to render the page properly on the Internet.
An HTML writer is commonly included with many Internet-based programs that allow users to post text, such as programs for forums, blogs and journals. It is incorporated into the posting screen and allows users to apply certain word processing styles to their text. Most HTML writers can only handle basic to moderate HTML programming. More advanced websites still require proficient use of the original coding language to generate better visual effects.