OS X coders, what is your freeware text editor of choice?
March 24, 2004 7:15 AM   Subscribe

OS X coders, what is your freeware text editor of choice? Something with syntax highlighting, line numbers, auto-indent, a versatile local open/save dialog, and [optional] FTP Open/Save. Right now I use SubEthaEdit and jEdit and like them both, but I'd like to see what other software I may have missed in Googling.
posted by brownpau to Computers & Internet (19 answers total)
Are you looking for an IDE for Cocoa programming, HTML scripting, or just general coding?
posted by bshort at 7:32 AM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: General coding, but mostly HTML and PHP.
posted by brownpau at 7:34 AM on March 24, 2004

You asked for Free, but I would highly reccomend BBEdit. BareBones also offers TextWrangler, their replacement for BBEdit Lite (but unlike Lite, TextWrangler is not free).

For more applications, check out HyperJeff's OS X Apps Page (text editor search results) for a rundown of existing Mac apps.
posted by jazon at 7:52 AM on March 24, 2004

Yeah, sorry, but if you want a programmer-friendly text editor, you owe it to yourself to use the 30-day free trial of TextWrangler. If you're going to do a lot of hard-core HTML writing, skip TextWrangler and try BBEdit, but TextWrangler sounds like exactly what you want.
posted by mdeatherage at 8:05 AM on March 24, 2004

SciTe looks promising, but my all time favourite text editor is textpad. Not freeware, but if you use an editor (And I USE my editor), 30 dollars isn't excessive.
posted by seanyboy at 8:07 AM on March 24, 2004

I use and swear by BBEdit Lite (which is still available at the bottom of this page.) TextWrangler does appear to be worth the price though.
posted by hijinx at 8:07 AM on March 24, 2004

Jedit is free and good (jedit.com) but if doing serious html editing, I recommend bbedit.
posted by dobbs at 8:29 AM on March 24, 2004

I like VIM.
posted by mrbill at 8:42 AM on March 24, 2004

dobbs: its jedit.org
posted by mrbill at 8:43 AM on March 24, 2004

And next time I'll try and read the question before I start piling in with the answers... Thankyou.
posted by seanyboy at 8:46 AM on March 24, 2004


Seriously things like vi and emacs allow you to always keep your hands on the keyboard, are radically configurable, are free (beer and speech), and are widely available.

They tend to have a high learning curve, but they rock. Utterly and completely.
posted by bshort at 8:47 AM on March 24, 2004

For a while I was programming on a slow iBook and so I dumped BBEdit for something more lightweight: SubEthaEdit. Now I'm on a faster computer but I find myself opening SubEthaEdit way more often than BBEdit.

It hooks into Panic's Transmit for the FTP/Save/Open functionality.
posted by perplexed at 9:45 AM on March 24, 2004

I'm on Windows, and I vouch for SciTE (which is cross-platform compatible). Nice and light, starts up instantly, just enough power.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 AM on March 24, 2004

For html and small php things I've been using SubEthaEdit as well.

However, for larger php things I've been using Eclipse (which is what we use at work on our windows boxes) with the PHP plugin, which is pretty nice. The HTML syntax highlighting isn't great, but it works okay for me.
posted by auzten at 11:07 AM on March 24, 2004

Pico or VI from a terminal shell. Really.
posted by squirrel at 12:20 PM on March 24, 2004

I asked this question a bit ago (just reference -- no callout intended), and after using all the suggested editors for a spell I came back to my one true home: vim.

What they say about the learning curve is true. It won't look like you want it to or behave like you expect when you start, but this is a small matter compared to the speed, power, and flexibility you'll have access to if you stick with it.

As a bonus, nearly every *nix machine you use will have emacs or some vi variant. It's good to be able to use both if you're a programmer, just in case you ever find yourself in a situation where you don't have access to your editor of choice.
posted by amery at 12:48 PM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: Amery, thanks for pointing out your prior thread. I would not have posted this one had I seen it. As it is, the whole exercise has served mostly to reinforce my SubEthaEdit habit, though I do tip my hat to you emacs users. It's what I use when I'm in the CLI. Because vi sucks. </troll> j/k ^^,
posted by brownpau at 2:53 PM on March 24, 2004

Plus if you use vi or vim you get to condescend to anyone who may use one of those fancy-pants editors. That's pretty priceless.
posted by xmutex at 4:22 PM on March 24, 2004

Geez, SubEthaNet looks freakin' cool! Is there anything like it for the Windows world?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 PM on March 24, 2004

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