KompoZer is an excellent tool for building web sites but, like almost any software package, it has a number of bugs and short-comings.
However, the Add-ons and external packages listed on this page can provide work-arounds and so improve the product that almost entirely overcome any concerns a new user will have.
This page describes where to obtain the additional software and how to install it into your working copy of KompoZer.
The default download from both the KompoZer and PortableApps site provide a US English dictionary. British users will want a UK English dictionary. Obtain a copy from the KompoZer site's Download page.
KompoZer: British Dictionary
Once downloaded, launch KompoZer, then:
- Open the TOOLS menu and select ADD-ONS. (The Add-ons dialogue appears)
- On the top of the dialogue, ensure that EXTENSIONS is selected, then click the INSTALL button. (This opens a standard Open File dialogue with "Select the extension to install" on the title bar)
- Navigate to the location to the file you downloaded, select it and open the file. (The Software Installation dialogue appears)
- On the dialogue, click the INSTALL NOW button. (A revised version of the Add-ons dialogue reappears.)
- Click the RESTART KOMPOZER button.
After relaunch the dictionary is installed, but not yet active. To activate the dictionary, manually start a spell check. When the spelling dialogue opens, drop down the Language list and select the dictionary to be used. Complete the choice by clicking the OK button. This then sets the default dictionary for further spell checking.
KompoZer is designed to hide the source code it generates, so that you can create and edit your site entirely through what KompoZer calls DESIGN view, it's default WYSIWYG interface. For beginners wanting to learn about HTML there's also a facility called SPLIT view, which allows you to view, and edit, small snippets (and more) of the code. However, if you plan to use KompoZer for more than the simplest of sites, or you know you will want to edit HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code from the beginning, then you should add a text editor to your installation.
Version 0.8 of KompoZer is still a work in progress. The developer acknowledges that its SOURCE view is less than ideal, especially for editing the code. Although Windows comes with the text editor "Notepad", it's facilities are limited. It is recommended that you use an editor that includes, at least, the following features:
- Line numbering, (so it is easier to reconcile reports from an HTML validator)
- Syntax highlighting for HTML, CSS, PHP and perhaps other languages (so it is easier to find particular sections of code)
- Auto Indenting (to help in laying out the code to make it easier to read)
- A facility to launch further programs that will enable further processing of the code.
Feel free to use your preferred editor if it exceeds these minimum standards. I have opted to use Notepad2. This is free, open source, small, quick loading, and will run portably from a USB flash drive. (On my Win 7 computer, I have created a folder at: C:\Users\MyUserName\PortableApps\Notepad2\ and placed the .exe and .ini files for the program there. This overcomes some of the UAC controls and makes it easy to include the program and settings in my backup regime )
To enable KompoZer to recognise your preferred editor:
- Open the TOOLS menu and select PREFERENCES
(To open the OPTIONS dialogue)
- On the Options dialogue click the APPLICATIONS button
(To select the External Applications page on the dialogue)
- From the drop-down list select TEXT EDITOR, then the radio button, USE CUSTOM APPLICATION
- Complete the FILE PATH field. (It is easiest to use the Browse button to the right of the field to navigate to and select the application file and its full path name)
- Click the OK button
If you plan on developing anything other than the simplest sites and have installed an appropriate text editor, as suggested above, I regard it essential to add HTMLTidy to complete a KompoZer installation. HTMLTidy will reformat the somewhat untidy source code that KompoZer produces, making it easier to read. It will also correct a whole range of syntax errors that you may introduce when coding by hand (and some that, in very rare cases, KompoZer may produce).
Like Notepad2, HTMLTidy will run from a USB flash drive. On a Win 7 computer, I'd recommend placing the tidy.exe file in a folder at C:\Users\MyUserName\PortableApps\HTMLTidy\ .
HTMLTidy is not a native Windows program and a full explanation of its features is beyond the scope of this site. To get the best from it you will need both a configuration file to set some of its many options and a further "batch file" to launch it using those options.
Below, I offer a set of commands that may prove a useful starting point. Place the text below in a file named "tidy.cfg" file and add it to your HTMLTidy folder:
(For an explanation of these settings see the HTMLTidy Quick Reference.)
Then create a file "tidy.bat" which you'll use to launch HTMLTidy with the options in the configuration file. For the folder structure suggested above, this file should contain the text:
-config C:\Users\MyUserName\PortableApps\HTMLTidy\tidy.cfg %1
which must all be placed on a single line.
NOTE: There must be a space between tidy.exe and -config when the two lines above are joined and you will need to edit the path to the files to reflect your own installation.
For those using Notepad2 solely in connection with KompoZer I'd recommend placing this in a further sub-folder:
Then select this folder as the one to be used in the dialogue that appears when using the option FILE > LAUNCH > OPEN WITH (You'll use the keystroke ALT-L, of course, and then when you need to run HTMLTidy ALT-L, DOWNARROW, ENTER.)
Page updated: 10 December 2011