I have been trying to find an HTML editor for HTML5 that will flag obsolete tags. Since browsers need to be backwards compatible, editors don't complain if you use tt, spacer, or other things that are flat out "incorrect" - let alone if you are using an element on an attribute incorrectly.

There are a few sites that will scan a page after you publish it and output the non-HTML5 compliant aspects, but I was hoping to find an editor that would do it real time.

For Windows and ideally free (obviously) though I'd be open to paying if it is not an arm and a leg. Arm OR a leg would probably be OK though.

Sublime or something similar would be ideal in terms of functionality if it also flagged the obsolete/non-compliant aspects.

  • 3
    JetBrains' WebStorm offers a deprecated tag inspection, but does not currently have a way to specify an HTML5 target: Bug listing
    – CAD97
    Aug 22, 2016 at 19:47
  • That would be perfect if they included the html5 schema so it would flag those. I'll definitely keep an eye on it in case they add that in, hopefully they will.
    – Rodger
    Aug 22, 2016 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


Notepad++ with the plugin TextFX is a free solution. The issue is that TextFX has not been maintained since 2008 and has many known bugs. It does still work and is widely used, people simply put up with the bugs. Another plugin that may be useful is Tidy2. Both of these plugins can be found here. I include these as free options because I am aware of their existence, however I have not used them.

Because for years I have used Adobe Dreamweaver, which has flawless, built-in integration with W3C Validation. You can choose various DOCTYPEs including HTML5. While it doesn't specifically highlight the offending code, it does produce a detailed report directly below your code view, such as this: enter image description here

This feature has existed for a long time, so you can probably get an out-of-date version of the software without having to sign up for the monthly subscription service.

  • Thanks! Dreamweaver is a bit out of budget for the class currently but it would be perfect it sounds like. Thanks!
    – Rodger
    Aug 26, 2016 at 16:22
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    I have been using Notepad++ for a while. I'll install the plugins that I mentioned above and see how effective it is. I'll report back in a few days.
    – Daniel
    Aug 27, 2016 at 3:10
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    The TextFX plugin "Submit to W3C HTML Validation" feature does not appear to work (at least on my computer). And the Tidy2 plugin failed to install. So those two options are out. This seems like an obvious need. Every coder can use such a tool. It can't be too difficult to write a plugin for Notepad++ that will submit to W3C and return the results. Maybe I'll find some free time and look into writing that...
    – Daniel
    Sep 7, 2016 at 12:47

I am not aware of existence of such editor, at least not nowadays (WebStorm was good reference, but it's quite old).

However, if you know simple Javascript, you may try to craft quickly a plugin for Visual Studio Code. It's quite easy to create such plugin (the Auto Rename Tag plugin might give you a great start), and also the "Colorizers" description might make the process even easier. You might actually look in the HTML colorizer.

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    What does the age of Webstrom have to do with it's [future] ability to solve the OP issue? The app is still in development from what I see. In fact, its most recent release was last week on August 17. Just curious as to what you meant by Webstorm being "old".
    – Anil
    Aug 23, 2016 at 15:44
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    The age is something, which one must always consider, when starting to use new product. I know it might sound strange (not to use stronger adjective here :) ), but it's a known fact. WebStorm was initially designed to solve different problems. JetBrains are very strong company and they do great job, also with their other products. But WebStorm is not the best IDE for JS. Just my 2c :)
    – Doncho
    Aug 25, 2016 at 10:50

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