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I'm doing some research which involves comparing websites. Some of the designs are terrible, and out of morbid curiosity I want to find out what program (Word, Dreamweaver, etc) generated them. Is there a tool for detecting this? A Google search did not turn anything up.

Word HTML is easy to detect because its markup is so poor, but other apps are more difficult to detect.

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Are you inspecting the actual source? Traces left by software are usually found in the head of the HTML file, in comments or meta tags. –  iglvzx Feb 11 '12 at 3:10
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Who says any program generated the HTML? Real programmers write it by handl –  psusi Feb 11 '12 at 3:31

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Several web page authoring programs insert a <meta name="generator" content="..."> tag. Of course, such a tag could also be hand-written by an author, for example, and discussions about this kind of tag seem to revolved around the question how to prevent a program from emitting it (often with effective answers).

There are various ways to heuristically detect what software has been used. For example, Word HTML can be cleaned up, by using “Filtered output” in Word and by postprocessing, but usually symptoms like class=MsoNormal remain.

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Clues may also exist in the URL of the page. For example the file extensions .jsp .pl .asp .cfm denote Java Server Pages, Perl, .Net and ColdFusion to name a few. These are also often removed to simplify the URL and hide the technology.

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