Wednesday 17 September 2003

Ben Poole mentioned TextPad in a comment to my recent power tools posting. I tried it, and am now hooked. I recommend it.

It’s a full-featured text editor, but it hasn’t succumbed to the temptation to become a full-fledged IDE. It has features I need (multiple files, spell checking, simple syntax coloring), and niceties I’ve missed (different font settings for each file, separate screen and printer fonts, multiple search results). It also has a knack for adding tiny things that make a big difference, somehow doing the right (or even unexpected but useful thing) when I don’t expect it.


Simon Willison 7:20 AM on 17 Sep 2003

I swear by UltraEdit from www.ultraedit.com - it has all the features of TextPad, plus (and this is the killer for me) built in support for FTP and SFTP. You can open a file straight from a server, make changes to it and save them straight back to the server without having to manually download the file.

Ben Langhinrichs 8:24 AM on 17 Sep 2003

I have been using TextPad for a year or so now, and I love it. It gives me enough of the Brief like features to comfort my command-line old fogeyism, while still offering all the latest ways to manage code effectively. I strongly endorse it.

Ben Poole 10:47 AM on 17 Sep 2003

Yeah. I even started to use regexp with TextPad ;-)

UltraEdit sounds good too. The in-place editing of FTP-based files is one of the really cool features in BBEdit (an editor I class as "TextPad's-Mac-counterpart-but-with-knobs-on")

Ned Batchelder 9:06 PM on 17 Sep 2003

I tried UltraEdit, but found it lacked TextPad's polish. UltraEdit even had some features I wish TextPad had (like real project files), but it was too clanky in other areas. UltraEdit felt more like checkbox-ware (where every conceivable option and menu item is presented to you), while TextPad is more of a DWIM kind of app.

andrew 10:01 PM on 17 Sep 2003

I can't afford $27...

Stan Rogers 5:11 PM on 19 Sep 2003

I like Texpad's "roll-your-own" syntax highlighting and insert menus. Absolutely fantasic for validating XML construction -- you can define only your element and attribute names in the syntax file, so anything gone wrong shows up clear as day. (Now, if it could check for well-formedness....) Beats the heck out of creating a "real" DTD or schema for the sake of sketching a document construct.

Using an obscure dialect of a language? Same deal -- define what's what, and life gets pretty easy. Beats Visual Notepad (and, IMHO, BBEdit -- my old Mac fave), that's for sure.

Anthony 10:03 AM on 23 Sep 2003

I love the speed of lite text editors. The only thing I miss is a class browser. But that can be done in another browser window.

How is textpad better than editplus2? It seems to be more popular (more syntax files available).

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