Notes on the Amaya HTML Editor

What It Is:

Amaya is an HTML editor, available on Linux, Windows and macs. It is WYSIWYG, i.e. you see the Web page as it appears in a browser, even including clickable links. That's because Amaya is a browser, in addition to an HTML editor.

Amaya also can create and edit documents written in MathML, a language for creating mathematical content on the Web. MathML is a subset of XML, a very exciting generalization of HTML which will be used by the next generation of Web browsers.

Where to Get Amaya:

The home page is

Creating/Modifying Links:

External Links:

Say you want to create a link to an external URL u, using the hypertext link h. Type the text h first, then highlight it with the mouse. Then select Links, then Create or Change Link. A URL window will pop up; type the URL u in it.

To modify an existing link, go through the same procedure as in the last paragraph.

Internal Links:

Sometimes we wish to have one part of an HTML document link to another part of the same document (using the NAME attribute). We call the latter part a target. To create a target t and link to it from a hypertext link h, do the following.

Use the mouse to highlight text at t. Then click on Links, then Create Target. Then highlight h using the mouse. Then click on Links, then on Link to Previous Target.

Activating(Navigating) Links:

To "activate" a link, i.e. follow it to its destination, you need to double-click on it, rather than a single click as in an ordinary browser. The reason for this is that Amaya is mainly an editor, not a browser, so for editing purposes one uses a single click to move the mouse pointer within the document screen.

Note: If double-clicking on links fails to activate them, then click on Special, then Preferences, then General. Click on Double Click Activates Link; it should be white (meaning on), not gray (meaning off).

New Paragraph:

To start a new paragraph, just skip a line when you're typing.

Preformatted Mode:

To get preformatted text (using the HTML PRE attribute), displayed just the way you type it (e.g. no line breaks), choose XHTML then Preformatted.

After typing such text, choose XHTML and then Paragraph to return to ordinary mode.

Creating Headings:

Highlight the text by dragging the mouse, then select XHTML then Heading.

Creating Lists:

Click on XHTML, then List, then the desired type.

To make a new paragraph within a list element, hit Enter once. To make a new list element, hit Enter twice. To leave list mode, hit Enter three times.

Placing Images:

This is straightforward; just select XHTML then Image.

Note carefully, though, that Amaya insists that you fill in the Alternate Text entry in the pop-up window. This is what users of nongraphical browsers (e.g. lynx) will see in place of an image. If you type zzzz, say, lynx users will see zzzz where an image would be.


Go to XHTML, then Tables. If you click on Tables again, Amaya will ask you to give the number of rows and columns, and the width of the borders. It will then draw the table for you. You can then fill in the entries.

Note, though, that the initial size of the boxes in the table is very small. I've found that if one fills in a lot of material into one box before writing in another box, the latter may be squeezed so small you can't even click it. Avoid this by puttting "placeholder" text in each box right after you create the table; you can always delete it later.

Viewing/Entering Raw HTML:

To view the raw HTML that Amaya has produced for your document, select Views then Show Source. Your Amaya window will be cut in half, with the WYSIWYG in the upper half and the HTML in the lower one. To get rid of the latter, choose Views then Split View Horizontally (to toggle that mode).

Occasionally you may wish to fine-tune your document by placing HTML code into it "by hand." To do this, get the source subwindow as above. Then insert the code into the source window, and click the Save icon; the change will now be reflected in the WYSIWYG window.

Fonts (Italic, Bold etc.):

Select XHTML, then Character Style.

Table of Contents:

To create a handy table of contents to help users navigated your Web page, select XHTML then Add/Update Table of Contents. The table of contents will be generated from your headings (H1, H2 etc.). If you later change the headings, again select XHTML then Add/Update Table of Contents.

If you wish your table of contents to appear on the left margin, creat a 1-row, 2-column table. Place your contents in the right-hand entry of the table (if the contents already exists, use Edit to cut and paste), then go to the left-hand entry and create the table of contents as above.

Where to Get More Documentation:

See the fairly extensive manual.