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|Jul 4 2012, 05:25 PM|
A quick and easy guide for the lay coder.
We've all done it. Whether we are skinning or creating our own templates, we've all forgotten a tag of some sort. Or used a non-existent code without even realizing it until it's too late. Well no longer, I have the solution to all of those problems and many more...
Introducing the Programmer's Notepad! (PN), an editing software for coders.
Download here: http://www.pnotepad.org/
PN is honestly an advanced version of Microsoft's Notepad but....FOR CODERS! Which makes it so much better because it does things Notepad could only wish it could. For example, it recognizes bad codes and highlights them for you in red. It automatically adds a closing tag and it color codes everything. Literally, everything, whether that's a comment in HTML to brackets, semicolons, to errant ampersands in HTML. It makes sure you see them and can recognize them.
I was first introduced to PN in high school during a computer science course when we were learning how to code in HTML and C++, and only recently rediscovered it when I learned how to create skins. Now, I'm dependant on it because it's so helpful especially when correcting templates for errant and incorrect coding. This tutorial will only cover the basics of it though because really that's as far as most of us will go.
When you first open PN, you are greeted with a standard, blank screen:
You notice I have highlighted two things in particular: a drop down menu that says "plain text" and at the bottom, a series of buttons. The two of these will prove to be handy for this tutorial. Let's start with at the top however.
Now turning our attention to the bottom, the little buttons at the base of your notepad, we see there are six of them.
These six control very basic functions in your notepad, one of them being very critical, or what I view as critical. Going in order from left to right the buttons are as follows:
Looking at the code, we notice two things (I have the numbered lines and word wrap engaged if you were wondering).
Second, there are colours. Not many but there are colours. This is the Syntax Highlighting from earlier. A rough key is as follows, i apologize in advance for not knowing the exact colours they're using though:
What does it do? It finds all of the same codes and highlights them too. It's a great way to double check the codes you have as well. You're able to find the matching ones, especially if you run into bad ones, such as <width:400>. You can go through and find all the matching ones through out the document. However, it doesn't work for more than a single code at a time.
From here on out, I'll let you play with the software some more to get a feel for how it works, what else it does, and how awesome it is. One final note though,
Well there you have it. A very quick rundown of the software I use when creating skins and templates. Have fun using it, and hopefully you'll reduce the number of errors you make in your submissions from here on out. Feel free to shoot me a PM or post in here with any questions you might have!