Software Tools for web development and digital media

Web development professionals can significantly increase their productivity by using a variety of industry leading software tools to help improve their workflow processes. These software programs are typically installed on the developer's computer and include web browsers with developer extensions, text editors, content creation tools such as vector image, raster image, animation, video, and sound editing tools, integrated development environments, file management tools, and web server stacks.

This software page provides a listing of the software that may be used in development work, whether the software is for PC (Windows) or Mac users, and a link to where the software can be downloaded from, if applicable. Some of the software is available for free use, other software may be available on a limited free trial basis, while some tools require the developer to purchase a software license or subscription.


Web Browser

Mozilla Firefox

The Mozilla Firefox web browser is a popular web browser available for all major operating platforms. All web development activities should at a minimum, be tested for proper operation using Firefox. Firefox also has a large number of browser add-ins for web developers. Firefox is free to use.

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Web Browser

Google Chrome

The Google Chrome web browser is also a very popular web browser available for all major operating platforms. All web development projects should at a minimum, be tested for proper operation using Chrome. Chrome also has a powerful built in code inspector for web developers to do sophisticated debugging of their web pages. Chrome is free to use.

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Web Browser

Microsoft Internet Explorer

The Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) web browser is a widely installed web browser that comes preloaded on all computers running the Windows operating system. Internet Explorer is no longer available for the Apple Mac operating platforms. Since IE is still widely used on business computers, all web development projects should be tested for proper operation using recent versions of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer is pre-installed with Windows.

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Web Browser

Safari

The Safari web browser is a web browser from Apple that is popular on Apple Macs and other Apple products. Safari comes preloaded on all computers running Apple's OS X operating system. There is a Windows version of Safari available also. Safari also has a built in code inspector called Web Inspector for web developers to do testing and debugging of their web pages. All web development projects should be tested for proper operation using Safari. Safari is pre-installed with OS X.

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Web Browser

Opera

The Opera web browser is a web browser popular in the EU that is available for all major operating platforms. All web development projects should be tested for proper operation using Opera. Opera is also free to use.

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Web Browser

Mozilla Firefox (Developer Edition)

The Mozilla Firefox Developer edition web browser is a powerful development web browser available for all major operating platforms. This version of Firefox has built in tools for inspecting and debugging web apps across any browser or device. Has tools allowing views at most typical screen sizes that allow developers to tweak CSS on the fly. Like regular Firefox, Firefox Developer Edition also has a large number of additional third party browser add-ins for web developers. Firefox Developer Edition is free to use.

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Text Editor

Notepad ++

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement for the Windows platform that supports several coding languages. Among its web developer-friendly features are contextual color presentation of code elements depending on the file type. Notepad++ also allows multiple windows, each with multiple tabs for open files. Sessions can be saved and all code files can be automatically re-opened. Multiple users can edit the files simultaneously with notification of changes to other open instances of the changed files.

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Text Editor

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a powerful free source code editor. It features color coded text presented on a black background. Additional productivity features include split screen simultaneous viewing of related code files, rapid multiple selections for mass editing, enhanced file management capabilities, and plugin support. Sublime Text is available for all major operating platforms.

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Text Editor

jEdit

jEdit is a mature programmer's text editor with a large library of plugins available for working with specific code languages. It provides contextual color coding and split screen simultaneous viewing of related code files. jEdit is particularly useful for working with XML. jEdit is available for all major operating platforms.

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FTP Client

FileZilla

FileZilla is a powerful free FTP client used for uploading/downloading files from a web server. Developers can easily manage multiple web sites using the Site Manager feature which stores the communication configuration and login credentials for multiple sites being administered by a web administrator/developer. The Site Manager data can be easily exported to a file and imported into FileZilla as needed. FileZilla FTP server software is also available. FileZilla client is available for all major operating platforms.

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Web Server

WampServer

WampServer is a Windows installable software stack providing a local web server and back end development environment. WAMP stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It allows you to serve web applications with Apache2 as the web server, PHP as middleware and a MySQL database as the backend. PhpMyAdmin provides a web interface to manage your databases. Installed on a Windows PC, WampServer substitutes for an actual web server during local development. A similar stack for the Mac OS is MAMP and for Linux is LAMP.

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Web Server

Apache Tomcat

Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) that includes implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies. Tomcat implements several Java EE specifications including Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Java EL, and WebSocket, and provides a "pure Java" HTTP web server environment for Java code to run in should that be required.

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Code IDE

Eclipse

Eclipse is an integrated development environment (IDE). It contains a base workspace and an extensible plug-in system for customizing the environment. Written mostly in Java, Eclipse can be used to develop web and desktop applications. By means of various plug-ins, Eclipse may also be used to develop applications in a variety of other programming languages including JavaScript, PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby which may be of interest to web developers. Eclipse requires Java Development Kit (JDK) or Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed prior to installing Eclipse.

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Code IDE

NetBeans

NetBeans is an integrated development environment (IDE) containing a base workspace which can be extended by third party add-ins. The NetBeans Platform allows applications to be developed from a set of modular software components called modules. Written in Java, NetBeans can be used to develop web and desktop applications. In addition to Java development, NetBeans may also be used to develop applications in other programming languages, particularly PHP and HTML5 which are important web platforms. NetBeans requires Java Development Kit (JDK) or Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed prior to installing NetBeans.

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Database IDE

Navicat Lite

Navicat Lite is free version of an integrated development environment (IDE) consisting of graphical database management and development software for MySQL. The paid license versions of Navicat represent a more sophisticated series of graphical database management and software development offerings for major database systems including MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, SQLite, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server. Navicat has an Explorer-like graphical user interface and supports multiple database connections for local and remote databases.

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Web Site Editor

Dreamweaver

Adobe Dreamweaver is a web design and development application, available for Windows and OS X, that provides a visual WYSIWYG editor and a code editor with standard features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and code collapsing as well as more sophisticated features such as real-time syntax checking, web server transfer and synchronization, the ability to find and replace lines of code by search terms, and a templating feature that allows update of shared code and layout across entire sites. Dreamweaver requires a paid license or subscription. It was previously available as a part of the Adobe Creative Suite, but is currently available via a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

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Raster Image Editor

GIMP

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. GIMP's capabilities include its use as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, and an image format converter, etc. GIMP is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

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Raster Image Editor

Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X. It can edit and compose raster images in multiple layers and supports masks, alpha compositing and several color models. In addition to raster graphics, it has limited abilities to edit or render text, vector graphics (especially through clipping path), 3D graphics and video. Photoshop requires a paid license or subscription. It was previously available as a part of the Adobe Creative Suite, but is currently available via a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

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Vector Image Editor

Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X. It can edit and compose vector images in multiple layers and supports 3D graphics and several color models. In addition to vector graphics, it has sophisticated abilities to render text, and more limited abilities to render raster graphics. Illustrator requires a paid license or subscription. It was previously available as a part of the Adobe Creative Suite, but is currently available via a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

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Video Editor

Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editor developed and published by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X. It can edit and compose audio and video in multiple tracks and supports high resolution video editing at up to 10,240 x 8,192 resolution, at up to 32-bits per channel color, in both RGB and YUV. Premiere Pro integrates closely with After Effects, a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application. Premiere Pro requires a paid license or subscription. It was previously available as a part of the Adobe Creative Suite, but is currently available via a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

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Visual Effects Editor

After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe Systems and used in the post-production process of filmmaking and television production. After Effects, which integrates closely with Photoshop, is available for Windows and OS X. Among other things, After Effects can be used for keying, tracking, rotoscoping, compositing and animation. It also functions as a very basic non-linear editor, audio editor and media transcoder. After Effects requires a paid license or subscription. It was previously available as a part of the Adobe Creative Suite, but is currently available via a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

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