Fundamental features and a few treats
HandyHTML provides users with the toolbox of essentials that we've come to expect from a text editor: color tag highlighting, previews (one for each major browser, including Opera), automated FTP, image map generation, and an icon-laden toolbar that allows you to insert basic code (links, image tags, character formatting, and so on) with a single click. All of these functions are clearly arranged in an intuitive Office-like interface, and all of them perform well. HandyHTML even has a few tricks up its sleeve that we haven't seen before. One such instance is the Color Spy: click any color anywhere on the screen and presto--you'll be presented with the hexadecimal code for that color.
Along with this, the program features a tag autosuggest feature; as you type in a tag, a window will pop up, containing a selection of the possible tags that you may be typing. Beginning users may find themselves somewhat disoriented by the proliferation of options that appear as they type, and seasoned users will realize that this feature is genuinely helpful only occasionally, since most tags require just a few keystrokes to begin with. At its worst, the autosuggest feature will automatically generate tags that you hadn't intended to type. Turning it off merely requires some tinkering with your options.
Affordable price, but what's missing?
There are a few other notable absences. Seasoned users may complain that line numbers aren't inserted into the document, as they are in the comparable Allaire HomeSite, but are instead relegated to a small pane in a status bar. Also, beginners will get little assistance from the meager help files. (HandyHTML comes to us from Russia, and the shaky English that characterizes the help files calls their usefulness into question.)
The lack of some extras actually helps the program load quickly, however--about twice as fast as HomeSite on a standard computer. So if you're just looking for a reasonably priced tool to streamline your hand coding, HandyHTML will give you the required essentials for a practically negligible cost.