Useful HTML editing tools

You can change any of the web pages.

While you are testing your web site, or your customers are using web sales, you may see text you think could be worded more suitably for your venue. The best way to find the page to change is doing a multi-file text search to find the text.

You can search within all the files in the HTDOCS folder on the Apache server. Good options for multi-file text searching are:

We recommend:

  • Dreamweaver as it is WYSIWYG HTML editing tool. It can be purchased for about $25.00 for non-profits through http://www.techsoup.org
  • Notepad++ is free.
  • TextWrangler is also free from the makers of BBedit. BBedit costs about $40 and is a programmer type tool - but we really like it.

Comparing HTML Pages with BBedit/TextWrangler

On a Macintosh, you can use a tool like BBedit or Text Wrangler to compare two sets of web pages and move changes from one page to another. (Text Wrangler can do this comparison and its free, BBedit is a paid product from the same company).

If you don't know which file to edit or compare, you can use various methods to find the file

You can do a comparison on either:

  • A subset of pages provided with each upgrade to identify the key differences, or
  • you can compare your entire htdocs folder on the Apache server with the most recent htdocs folder supplied by Arts Management.

In either case, the approach is:

  1. Make a copy of your current htdocs folder on your apache server and copy it to your computer.

    By copying the pages, you can make changes to the web pages and test them in a test environment.

  2. Obtain the full set of web pages, or the subset that is part of the current release.

    If you are jumping a few versions, you will need the web pages changes between the current version you are running and the latest release, or you can simply download a full copy of the latest web pages.

    Use BBedit or TextWrangler (or similar file comparison tool) to compare all files in a folder.

  3. Start BBedit or TextWrangler and then go to Search->Find Differences.

    In the find differences window that opens, put the names of the old and new htdocs folders as per the picture below and click Compare.

  4. Choose which changes should be merged into your web pages.

    This shows you the list of files that are different (bottom left) and under that, the actual differences in the files. Clicking on any one difference will show you where in the file the differences are and you can apply them (or not) in either direction. Repeat this decision making for all files that are different.

    If you are copying over a customized change from your organization or updating an existing customized pages with new code, the page will need to be saved into the tmCustom folder.

  5. If there are new files, copy them into the right place.
  6. Test the web pages before moving them into the live web site.
  7. Upgrade Theatre Manager to match the version of the web pages.
  8. Start the web listeners.
  9. Do a final test purchase using the live web pages.

Comparing HTML Pages with WinMerge

On a Windows PC, you can use a tool like WinMerge to compare two sets of web pages and move changes from one page to another.

You can do a comparison on either:

  • A subset of pages provided with each upgrade to identify the key differences, or
  • you can compare your entire htdocs folder on the Apache server with the most recent htdocs folder supplied by Arts Management.

In either case, the approach is:

  1. Make a copy of your current htdocs folder on your apache server and copy it to your computer.

    This is so you edit the web pages and test them in a test environment.

  2. Make a copy of your current htdocs folder on your apache server and copy it to your computer.

    By copying the pages, you can make changes to the web pages and test them in a test environment.

    Use WinMerge (or similar file comparison tool) to compare all files in a folder.

  3. Start WinMerge and pick the File->Open menu. You will be asked to pick the folder for the left side (pick the old htdocs directory) and the folder for the right side (pick the new htdocs directory).

    The list window opens. It tells you which files are in only one folder and which files have a difference.

  4. Double click on a file with a difference and a second window opens with a visual indicator of where the difference is. Click on the difference to see it (see top window in the picture below).
  5. Choose which changes to merge into your web pages.

    Winmerge shows you the actual differences in the files highlighted in orange. Repeat this decision making for all files that are different.

    If you are copying over a customized change from your organization or updating an existing customized pages with new code, the page will need to be saved into the tmCustom folder.

  6. If there are new files, copy them into the right place.
  7. Test the web pages before moving them into the live web site.
  8. Upgrade Theatre Manager to match the version of the web pages.
  9. Start the web listeners.
  10. Do a final test purchase using the live web pages.