What is an HTM or HTML File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert HTM and HTML Files

HTML Files
HTML Files.

A file with the HTM or HTML file extension is a Hypertext Markup Language file and is the standard web page file type on the internet.

Since HTM files are text-only files, they just contain text (like what you're reading now), as well as text references to other external files (like the image in this article).

HTM and HTML files can also reference other files like video, CSS, or JS files.

How To Open an HTM or HTML File

Any web browser, like as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc., will open and properly display HTM and HTML files.

In other words, opening one of these files in a browser will "decode" what the HTM or HTML file is describing.

Many programs exist that are designed to make editing and creating HTM/HTML files easy. Some notable free HTML editors include Eclipse, Komodo Edit, and Bluefish. Another popular HTM/HTML editor with lots of advanced features is Adobe Dreamweaver, although it's not free to use. See this list of HTML editors for more options in the Windows OS.

While they're not nearly as rich in features as a dedicated HTM editor, you could just use a simple notepad program to make changes to an HTM or HTML file. Notepad++ is probably the best option for a text editor. Windows Notepad works with HTM files too, but it's not really built for a task like this, making it a bit hard unless you're really experienced with the format.

How To Convert HTML & HTM Files

HTM files are structured a certain way and have very specific syntax (rules) in order for the code and text within it to display properly when opened in a browser.

Because of that, converting an HTM or HTML file to another format probably isn't something you want to do because you'd likely lose any functionality on the page.

On the other hand, if all you want to do is convert an HTM or HTML file to another format for easy viewings, like to an image or a PDF, this could be smart and is very doable.

This is sometimes a good option over printing it off.

In Chrome, you can choose Save as PDF from the print options to convert the page in the window to PDF. Also for Chrome is an extension called Full Page Screen Capture that converts any open HTM or HTML file in the Chrome browser to a PNG file.

Other browsers have similar features like Firefox's Save as PDF and PdfIt add-on.

You could also use a website dedicated to HTM/HTML to file conversions, like iWeb2Shot, Convert Webpage, or Web-capture.

A free file converter can be used to convert an HTM or HTML file that you have saved to your computer. FileZigZag is one free document converter website that converts HTM to RTF, EPS, CSV, PDF and lots of other formats.

Note: It's important to realize that you can not convert an HTM/HTML file to anything other than a text file format. For example, an HTML file can never be converted to an MP3 audio file. It may seem like it's possible if you're trying to download an MP3 from a web page, but that's not the correct route to go.

HTM vs HTML: What's the Difference?

Aside from the letter 'L' of course...

The short answer: there is none.

The long answer: there is none... but be careful to only use one or the other.

Back in the MS-DOS days, file extensions were restricted to three characters. In the relatively short period of time when web pages were being created as well as MS-DOS dominion of the universe, HTM ruled since HTML wasn't an option.

Today, pages that end in either HTM or HTML are completely acceptable. Just make sure for consistency sake you use one or the other, not both, throughout your website.

Additionally, the server that hosts your web pages may require your index page ends in one or the other file extension. In other words, you may need to use index.html or index.htm. Check with your hosting provider or web server software maker if you're not sure.