26 Part I: Tools, Planning, and Content

26 Part I: Tools, Planning, and Content Secret #13: Tag Strippers Another important utility that you llwant to have is an HTML tag stripper. Utilities of this type let you take an HTML or related Web document and strip all the code out of it, leaving you with just the text. In some cases, commercial Web design software contains such utilities. Examples include Macintosh BBEdit (mentioned in the previous Code Editor section), Homesite, and ColdFusion Studio. In the case of Dreamweaver for both Macintosh and Windows, you can add an extension such as Tag Stripper, (www.massimocorner.com/dw/commands/tag_stripper.mxp), which will do the trick for you. Check your favorite editor for this feature. Even if you have features of this nature within your main software, you still might want to have a lightweight, fast, standalone stripper available. What s more, tag strippers tend to offer more advanced features anyway, such as maintaining logical formatting of text, converting tables into tab-delimited format, and changing HTML entities to proper text characters. Table 1-7 shows a variety of helpful, lowcost tag strippers. Table 1-7: Helpful Tag Stripper Software Software Platform and Usage Availability Detagger Windows Low-cost shareware, www.jafsoft .com/detagger/ HTTC HTML to Text Converter Windows, Linux Free under GNU license, www. franksworld.net/httc/ Html2text Linux; command line in English and German Open source freeware, http:// userpage.fu-berlin.de/ ~mbayer/tools/ html2text.html HTML Markdown Macintosh Classic Low-cost shareware, www. printerport.com/klephacks/ markdowndocs.html Figure 1-21 shows me stripping an HTML page using Detagger. Secret #14: HTML Tidy Just as a handy tag stripper gets rid of tags, conversion software such asHTMLTidy can be really useful. Not only does Tidy convert text to HTML, but it also converts HTML to XHTML or to XML. It also validates your markup and fixes additional markup problems. A very sophisticated tool, it s available for every platform and is freely distributed via http://tidy.sourceforge.net/.

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