There are a few reasons why you use a web editor to write material for your website and don't rely on using an ordinary text package like Microsoft Word. As one example, a package like Word will place its own formatting onto your writing which can mess up things when you go to insert it into your website. If you have to use Word then Save As "Rich Text" (which will get rid of some of the formatting you don't want) before you Paste it into your site. Some people paste their Word writings into a Web Editor and then paste that into their website. I am writing as a beginner in html and I feel that is still a useful viewpoint to write from e.g. I genuinely know the difficulties that other beginners suffer in getting their writings published onto their website. As regards multi-voice poetry, there seems to be two ways of adding your writings to your website. One is to use preformatted text tags and monospace fonts. The other is to use html and possibly CSS and make up from two to six columns of text (using Div tags). You can cut and paste the html structure from one of my previous articles in WordPress. If you are good at html and CSS then you can probably make up the html structure yourself. The html would be written in an html editor. As would the preformatted text tag variant. HTML does not recognise more than one white space at a time. It does not recognise more than one line break at a time. It does not wrap text to the next line when you come to the end of a line. And it doesn't recognise tabs. Using preformatted Text: When you use the preformatted text tag before a piece of writing and a end preformatted text tag after the end, then you will have a piece of writing where all the white spaces and line breaks are kept. You need to use a mono spaced Font because ordinary Fonts have different widths for different letters and for different punctuation. If you use a monospaced Font every space, letter, and punctuation mark will be the same width. This is what you need. Courier is not an attractive font and I use Lucida Console (which I am using just now). But there are many monospaced fonts to choose from (Including a Courier New, and Andalel Mono). So you would use-
<p>your text here</p>
Another difficulty -for me- with using code is that I am doing two things with my multi-voice websites. The first is to show my multi-voice poems to you. The second is to teach you how to place your own multi-voice poems onto your own website. Here I show you the code that I use to prepare my poems for my site. However, putting code onto a site means the site tries to turn the code into a poem. To stop this and let you see the code behind the poem-the code has to be "wrapped" in a particular type of protective code that will stop it being changed from html (or CSS).
When downloading a web editor make sure you do so from a trusted site. I have used the first Notepad (version 1) but found it not at all user friendly. I usually use Microsoft Expression Web 4. This is user friendly and gives you an Edit html mode and a Design mode (which shows you what it thinks a Browser will display). There is also a Preview Browser mode which allows you to take the code into a browser to check it more accurately than in Design mode. I believe that this package is now free for Download. Dreamweaver is the best known web editor package. It is similar in aims to Microsoft Expression Web 4. I have not tried it and cannot comment on it. It is not free. To try out other packages (to know which to recommend), I Googled "freeware web editor" and "free html editor". I got about thirty names. Most were not free and were only on limited trial offer. Some of those that remained are partial versions of full price packages (which obviously the makers want you to buy). I never downloaded any that were for expert web Developers. I tried out these eleven that were free and that I could easily download (I had trouble downloading some others but that may have simply been my lack of expertise): NoteTab Light, Website X5 Free, PageBreeze 5, Lauyan TOWeb V6, TextMorph28, WDL Website Builder 4, Notepad2, Alleycode HTML Editor, Blue Griffon, Coffee Cup Free HTML Editor, and EditPad Lite 7 (I wrote the main part of the article using EditPad Lite 7,than pasted this into CoffeeCup Free html editor to re-do in html). It is worth at least trying out a Free Text Editor instead of using Microsoft Word. Here is a beginner's guide to five free Text Editors designed for writing for the Web (I could not say that any were, excellent): Edit Pad lite 7: Very basic. Has a preview in browser mode (but no html mode). You write text that goes straight into your website. There is no spell check though. Text Morph: Very basic. Can also show HTML in html VIEW mode. But you cannot edit the html. Text goes straight into your website. Not user friendly. Note Tab light: Very basic. Not user friendly. Lauyan TOWEB: Is a text editor but is mainly for making complete websites. Worth trying if you are hosting your site as well as writing for it. Not for me. Incomedia Website X5 Free: A text editor as part of a build an entire website package. Extremely basic. Not for me.
Here are six html editors. I recommend that you if at all possible try to learn how to use an html editor! A few seem excellent but need to be tried out by you: Notpad 2: Not user friendly. Not for me. I think this is aimed at experts. Pagebreeze 5: Looks good. Has a visual WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) view and html editor. Also has a preview browser view. Blue Griffon: Looks good. Has a WYSIWYG view mode and an html editor Coffee Cup Free HTML Editor: Looks good. Has a split preview mode (to see html code and WYSIWYG). Can preview in browser. WDL Website builder 4: Looks good. Has an html code view and a WYSIWYG view. Has a preview in browser view. Alleycode HTML Editor: Looks ok. A bit basic. Has a split preview mode (to see html code and WYSIWYG). Also has a preview browser view. When I first started to try putting multi-voice poetry into my WordPress site I tried the Visual Editor and used Microsoft Word as a text editor. This took a great deal of time and was never completely accurate. Eventually my WordPress site could take up to four columns using html coding given in a previous article on my WordPress site. But WordPress could not cope with five or six columns where the text was very small. My Blogger website has only once failed to correctly take the html I have entered into that site. I recommend that you pick one of the four best HTML free editors mentioned above. Get to know how to use it. You might even enjoy using it. I use WordPress and Blogger for my multi-voice writings. WordPress does not seem to suit all types of multi-voice. Also, I have read (on a poetry blog) that Blogger may be on the way out. I hope this is not so! But it means that I have had to look for another free website host. Blogger has no ads. So far I have had few ads on WordPress. I couldn't find a new website without the possibility of ads being there at some point. Again, a couple of times I had thought I had found a free website host only for my account to change from Free to Premium (paid) meaning I had to cancel that site. The most suitable free site looks good though. I have started a multi-voice site on, Yola. It is Free and you have a Free mark on your site which is good. I will keep you updated. My Yola site is: multi-voicepoetry.yolasite.com
Addendum. To give you an idea of the difficulties you get doing simple things in html (not trying to put you off using it though!) I know that different browsers react differently to the same bit of html. In the above article I used the correct html to "wrap" the source code of a bit of html I wanted to show you. This is a very basic thing. It worked fine in Yola. I found that using WordPress, I had to change the "wrapping" code. I needed to search Forum's in WordPress to find out how to do this. If I can get it working, I will use it in my WordPress site.
In Blogger, the "wrapping" code did not work at all. There is a fix but it seems very difficult. If I can get it working I will use it on my Blogger site.