PHP Editing Environment

I am looking for some recommendations for a good PHP editing enivronment. I have basically been using a notepad type system for a while and my latest project is with a non-programmer who likes to dable with beautifying the HTML output by my PHP scripts. The site I am creating will have a lot of dynamic data displayed from MySQL queries. I don’t NEED WYSIWYG but if something exists that works with dynamic HTML coming from PHP, then that is great. So I want to find something that allows the tweaking of the HTML output without corrupting the PHP. I’ll post what I’ve found by Googling. Unfortunately the documentation on none of these just says how it handles PHP tags interspersed with HTML. So spending an hour downloading and configuring each one, only to find out it comes up short seems crazy.

  1. NuSphere PhpED. Looks cool. They have a nice debugger. A WYSIWYG editor seems like an afterthought.
  2. SPAW. Documentation is sparse. I installed this one but so far it looks like it would just break my PHP code.
  3. Cute Editor for PHP - . Maybe too plain. Not sure.
  4. XStandard - Doesn’t look like a prime time player.
  5. openWYSIWYG - Talks about working regardless of PHP, ASPX, etc. But doesn’t tell you HOW.
  6. TinyMCE - Like a lot of these, it seems strictly like a web based editing tool that probably breaks PHP.
  7. FCKEditor - Seems very popular. Claims to integrate well with any programming language.
  8. Aptana Studio More of an IDE than web based tool, but that would be fine if it does what I need. I see some automated PHP stuff like generating opening and closing brackets but don’t see anything regarding how it handles HTML and PHP together.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


IDEs always prevail over editors, that’s one thing you should keep in mind. They usually offer additional functionality such as code completion, hints and pre-compilation debugging.

As for a piece of genuine advice: go for an editor that has syntax highlighting. I’ve always used Textpad (free trial version) and I’m very content with it. You won’t learn proper HTML/PHP/MySQL if you use WYSIWYG programs, so I would always recommend getting an editor/IDE that focuses on editing the code, rather than dragging and dropping (although WYSIWYG mode is not inherently evil, when used actively, it usually produces satanic code).

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