Editing Power of BBEdit in a More Flexible File Storage Structure?
May 19, 2018 8:11 AM   Subscribe

I use BBEdit as a word processor (since I write in Mark-Up rather than WYSIWYG) so I can enjoy all the editing power (e.g. GREP search/replace). Problem: BBEdit relies on Finder for storage, ok for clearly-defined projects, but not so much for notebooking/spitballing. I'd like to use a gutbucket organization system (e.g. Evernote), but have BBEdit's editing power when I open a given item.

I have dozens of unsaved docs BBEdit docs open at all times (thank god the app auto-saves them), because they don't lend themselves to titling and hierarchical folder positioning. I need more modern/flexible organization than Finder provides, but don't want to lose my BBEdit power.

Note: I don't want to constantly copy/paste stuff into/out of BBEdit. That will just increase my complexity. I want items to auto-open in BBEdit, but save and live in a gutbucket environment with powerful and flexible tagging (I guess I'd ideally be able to use BBEdit more as a service rather than as an app, but, alas, that's not possible).

All the usual gutbucket apps (EV, Yojimbo, Keep It) force usage of Apple's stock crappy text editing tools.

Am I missing a devilishly creative solution? I realize I'll need to MacGyver a bit, but that's ok....
posted by Quisp Lover to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What about NVAlt plus Simplenote/Dropbox/whatever to sync the notes? NValt config lets you choose one or more external editors.
posted by michaelh at 9:41 AM on May 19, 2018

Response by poster: Nvalt! Cool! Thanks! I found a couple links:

Quick Save NVAlt Note from BBEdit and A "notebook" for BBEdit?
posted by Quisp Lover at 9:52 AM on May 19, 2018

You may need to just change the system default app for .txt or .md or whatever to BBEdit instead of TextEdit.
posted by rockindata at 11:05 AM on May 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Already done. But that only has effect if I've saved the doc to Finder. Evernote and most other storage apps open text files via their internal text environments.
posted by Quisp Lover at 11:10 AM on May 19, 2018

Just keep using BBEdit. Use Spotlight at the folder level to find things in your depot, not from the menu bar. If you want to do multi file find & replace, again BBEdit does that.

Are you sure Yojimbo doesn't allow editing in BBEdit? It was written by the same guy who wrote BBEdit, so that would be unlikely.
posted by w0mbat at 12:19 PM on May 19, 2018

Response by poster: Spotlight makes no sense. BBEdit finds text strings in multiple files, with far greater power and control than Spotlight, and will search unsaved docs which Spotlight can't access.
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:30 PM on May 19, 2018

If all you really need is some kind of tagging facility for documents, you can build that with Finder: a tag is just a folder full of links. In order to apply a tag to a document, just make a link to that document inside the relevant tag folder.

If you keep all your documents inside one big pool folder, and just use your tag folders to organize them rather than trying to create some kind of "primary" organizational hierarchy with document folders, then it doesn't even matter whether you use soft links or hard links because the link targets won't ever move.
posted by flabdablet at 7:07 PM on May 19, 2018

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