Software Review: NoteTab Pro
Software Review: NoteTab Pro
If you're comfortable with HTML and CSS and don't want or need a WYSIWYG program, then NoteTab Pro may be the editor for you. Its many features and clip libraries make it an excellent choice for getting down and dirty in the midst of your code.
Looking at the Specifics
You don't always need to see what the page looks like as you're working on it. In fact, doing so often slows down the process of creation. Since NoteTab Pro is text-based, you can code as fast as you like without annoying screen refreshes. Eventually, of course, you will need to see what the page looks like. Opening the Web page in your system's default browser is a simple step: just press [
F8]. You can also set up other browsers for viewing. Firefox can sometimes cause a problem but is easily overcome. (If all else fails, you can always join the mailing group. They also have specialized groups for HTML and clip writing.)
When I cut-and-paste text from e-mail or Web files, I need to reformat them to either match the Web page I am pasting them into or to eliminate the HTML code altogether. Reformatting with NoteTab Pro can be accomplished using a few different methods. With a couple of keystrokes you can change the flow of the text, including the option of removing the HTML code. You can, if you like, choose to leave the URL's in the text. The software also highlights the URLs and HTML tags.
The toolbar across the top can be customized with the features you want displayed. Unnecessary features can be removed to keep it clean and simple. A shortcut menu (shown at right) can be accessed by right clicking the mouse anywhere on the editing screen. It's also customizable. A selection of more than 90 commands can be added to either menu. The menus include features such as configuring text case, text alignment, file operations, and search and replace.
Four clipbars are included with the program. These reside, one at a time, under the toolbar at the top. Two of them are for HTML coding, one for miscellaneous utilities and the other is a TopStyle clipbar which creates style sheets. The HTML clipbars are especially nice.
ESC] brings up the 'active' clip library. You scroll down to find the appropriate code, click on it, and it will be executed. After using the program for awhile, this almost becomes second-nature. The last code used is the default next time the library window opens. The library can also be kept open and left on the side of the screen for easy access.
A thesaurus and spell checker are included in the program. When rushing to meet a deadline, I frequently have to enter text into a page manually. The spell check feature helps tremendously when fingers fly a little too fast. Words can be added to the spell checker to customize it for your particular needs.
File management is a breeze. Multiple files can be opened at once and are displayed with tabs across the top of the editing area. A quick [
TAB] switches between open files. Press [
F6] and a window opens on the side of the screen. From there you can browse the directory you are using, or open another one and access files directly. Files can be saved in several formats: DOS/Windows, UNIX, Mac, and EBCDIC.
In addition, NoteTab Pro includes many other features: links can be opened in the default browser, mathematical expressions can be calculated right in the document, multiple undos and redos, word wrap, convert files between ASCII and ANSI and documents can be sent as e-mail. The program includes outline capabilities, contains an extensive help file and a manual which is available in PDF format.
SPACE] or [
TAB]) and the phrase is inserted. It also works with the UltimaShell Autocompletion Server. This utility provides smart autocompletion and can learn new words as you type. A free version is available to NoteTab users.
NoteTab Pro can also act as a replacement for the Windows Notepad program. Instead of opening two programs, you can edit HTML files and text files simultaneously, one of the advantages being that files can be unlimited in size. Line numbers can also be shown.
The program comes in three "sizes": NoteTab Light (free), NoteTab Standard ($9.95) and NoteTab Pro ($19.95). (All the features in this review apply to the Pro version. The others have certain limitations.). Don't let the price fool you. This program performs like a more expensive application. You can download NoteTab Light and activate the features found in the Pro version for a limited time to try it out. The program requires Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000 or higher, a Intel® Pentium processor, 4 MB of free disk space, and 16 MB of RAM (32 MB for NT).
As I said in the beginning of this review, if you prefer hand coding over WYSIWYG editing then you should check out NoteTab Pro. Using the power of the clip libraries, you can customize this editor to your specifications. It's power is only limited by you.
Created: February 1, 2006