BBEdit

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BBEdit Homepage at Barebones.com

BBEdit is the granddaddy of text editors for the Macintosh, as fiercely loved by its partisans as emacs and vi are in the other neck of the woods. For many years, if you're a Mac web designer, either you're using a WYSIWYG app like Dreamweaver, or you're handcoding in BBEdit.

BBEdit boasts many features in a simple interface; although there is a learning curve involved in setting up your environment, the software is designed to get all of the features you're not using out of the way. A scriptable and extensible architecture provides the ability to add features if you need something not in the shipping software.

The primary drawback to BBEdit is its steep $199 price (April, 2005), but the budget-conscious can turn to the excellent freeware TextWrangler. BBEdit is also available for $129 as a upgrade from Adobe GoLive, Macromedia DreamWeaver and Barebone's own TextWrangler (remember, TextWrangler is free, so do the math). Another drawback to both TextWrangler and BBEdit is their requirement for MacOS X 10.3; if you are running MacOS X 10.2, these editors are not for you. For those who want BBEdit power in their mail client, Bare Bones provides MailSmith (which also works in MacOS X 10.2).

NB: Bare Bones pays me to do stuff, but they don't own me, and I'd say this even if I didn't work with them. I work with them because they rock so hard. Expense is entirely relative--think about how much you make/charge per hour, divide that into the price and that's your "break-even" point. Download the demo (fully functional 30 day demo) and use it every day. If it doesn't save you that many hours in that time period, well maybe you don't need it. Lrivers 13:53, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Bare Bones' corporate motto is "Software that doesn't suck", and the attitude this implies, along with a long reputation for providing excellent customer service, has earned them a great deal of respect in the Mac community. Jeff Porten 10:38, 30 Mar 2005 (EST)


[edit] Tips and Tricks

BBEdit has a Palettes sub-menu under the Windows menu item. In there, you will find palettes for most of BBEdit's features. The palettes also give you the option of setting command-keys for any item on the palette. For example, I have the Markdown.pl script in my Unix Filters palette. I gave it the command combo of control-option-command-m so whenever I want to convert the current document from Markdown text to html, I just hit my key combo and voila! -- bp

BBEdit suffers a bit from not having grown up in an OS X context; certain key combinations reserved by the OS do not function properly. However, in the latest versions of BBEdit, it will actually ask you which you would like to use, the old-style BBEdit version or the OS X version. Also, every key shortcut is customizable; look under the BBEdit menu for "Set Menu Keys". --RobertDaeley 12:41, 30 Mar 2005 (EST)


Glossaries are your friend One of the features in BBEdit I find myself using more and more are Glossaries, kind of like a macro. I'm a Type (i.e., Typography) geek and it kills me to see inch marks (") when a quote mark (”)is called for (and vice-versa). I have a "curly quote" glossary item that looks like this:

“#selection#”

So when I want to wrap something in curly quotes, I select it and hit the glossary entry and boom...Lrivers 13:53, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)

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