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Viewing page source in Firefox.
How can I get it to use an editable program like Notepad? Ya know, like IE.

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3376948 posted 3:04 pm on Jun 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is something that has annoyed me a for long time. When you view source in IE, it opens the source code using Notepad. When this happens, you can edit the code, which is ideal when you are doing web development related stuff.

In Firefox, viewing page source opens the code in a program that can not be edited. It does a great job of making the code readable compared to Notepad, but I don't want to read the code, I want to write it. This annoys the crap out of me.

So, how can I view page source in Firefox and get it to open using Notepad (or something similar)?

I've tried messing around in about:config, and while I did get it to view source using Notepad, the code is just a giant block of text. No skipped lines or formatting or anything. I just want it to open in Notepad the same way it does in IE.

So... any ideas?

Thanks in advance for any help.



WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3376948 posted 3:19 pm on Jun 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

View Source in IE, preview in both? ;)

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3376948 posted 4:17 pm on Jun 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

There's a couple of Firefox Extensions that add this for you

Try [addons.mozilla.org...]

I think it will do what you're after... if not search for "view source" on the eExtensions site

[edited by: encyclo at 7:21 pm (utc) on June 23, 2007]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3376948 posted 5:17 pm on Jun 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's not like changing the viewed source will change the file though, since you're viewing just a copy (which I'm sure you know).
I don't really see the point of this in a web-development sense, because couldn't you just right click the file and click edit? it will then open with whatever program you specified (Metapad, HTML-Kit, notepad++, whatever), which lets you view source and edit, and not just with puny notepad.

"View source" is for viewing the code of pages you can't normally see the code for. Any file over a network, FTP server, or local hard drive and easily be edited with a click of a mouse button.

[edited by: Xapti at 5:18 pm (utc) on June 23, 2007]


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3376948 posted 6:34 am on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

For Firefox, I recommend:
>> What is ViewSourceWith

ViewSourceWith is an addon compatible with many mozilla applications.

The main goal allows users to open (and in some cases edit) page source with external applications but you can also...

For FF and Opera, I recommend SCiTE ( A free source code editor for Win32 and X)
>> SciTE is currently available for Intel Win32 and Linux compatible operating systems with GTK+. It has been run on Windows 95, NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and on Red Hat Linux 8 and 9 with GTK+ 1.2 and 2.0

It's like Notepad on steroids :)

For html files: Edit your file (or someone else's that you found on the 'net) , save it, hit F5 (on a windoze machine) and it loads in your default browser :)

>> SciTE currently is able to syntax style these languages (* denotes support for folding):

* Ada
* ANS.1 MIB definition files*
* Assembler (NASM, MASM)
* AutoIt*
* Avenue*
* Batch files (MS-DOS)
* Baan*
* Bash*
* BlitzBasic*
* Bullant*
* C/C++/C#*
* Clarion*
* conf (Apache)*
* CSound*
* CSS*
* diff files*
* E-Script*
* Eiffel*
* Erlang*
* Flagship (Clipper / XBase)*
* Flash (ActionScript)*
* Fortran*
* Forth*
* Haskell
* HTML with embedded JavaScript, VBScript, PHP and ASP*
* Gui4Cli*
* IDL - both MSIDL and XPIDL*
* INI, properties* and similar
* InnoSetup*
* Java*
* JavaScript*
* LOT*
* Lout*
* Lua*
* Make
* Matlab*
* Metapost
* nnCron
* Objective Caml*
* Opal
* Octave*
* Pascal/Delphi*
* Perl, most of it except for some ambiguous cases*
* PostScript*
* POV-Ray*
* PowerBasic*
* PureBasic*
* Python*
* Rebol*
* Ruby*
* Scheme*
* scriptol*
* Specman E*
* Spice
* Smalltalk
* TADS3*
* TeX and LaTeX
* Tcl/Tk*
* VB and VBScript*
* Verilog*
* XML*


WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3376948 posted 4:02 pm on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

The ViewSourceWith extension for Firefox is pretty sweet. I have mine set to open the source in Homesite, and that gives me plenty of functionalty.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3376948 posted 6:45 pm on Jun 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Another way to do this without a plugin:
  • Visit the URL "about:config" (Firefox configuration URL).
  • Set the variable "view_source.editor.external" to boolean "true".
  • Put the path to your external editor into the string variable "view_source.editor.path" -- e.g. "c:\Program Files\wbEdit\WhizBangEdit.exe"
  • Restart Firefox.

    You may wish to type "view_source." into the about:config display filter to make it easier to find these variables.

    I can't say if this will work with all external editors, but it's been working fine for me.


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