How to edit HTML on TextEdit for Mac

I’m always switching back and forth between my PC and Mac. One of the things I love about PC when editing websites is that Notepad defaults to plain text, there isn’t any formatting or anything that will mess up your code. By contrast, on my Mac TextEdit defaults to rich text and preserves formatting. It also tries to append .txt to the end of files and that’s just not what I’m looking for.

Sometimes all I want is a blank space where I can drop in some text, get rid of the formatting and save as a draft. This is especially true when I’m backing up files locally or trying to take text from Word or Acrobat and get rid of any formatting before pasting it into a blog. Here are the steps you need to take in order to turn off rich text formatting in TextEdit and make it perform more like Notepad.

  1. Launch TextEdit and go to TextEdit > Preferences
  2. On the New Document tab select the radio button for Plain Text
  3. On the Open and Save tab select the check box for Ignore rich text commands in HTML files and deselect the check box for Add “.txt” extension to plain text files

Once you’ve completed these three steps simply exit the TextEdit program and when you relaunch you will see that the formatting menu is gone from individual documents, this is how you can tell you are no longer in rich text mode.