This article is about why I feel Sublime Text 2 is the best text editor ever and how/why I ended up using it. I've decided to write this because I seem to talk about this topic quite often and it would be easier for me to reference someone to an article rather than explaining my rationale over and over again.
Dreamweaver features that stood out for me:
- I enjoyed the syntax highlighting colours
- Wrap text in element functionality
- tags closed automatically
- Find/replace throughout open files
Note: I probably didn't use this editor to it's full potential.
I found the syntax highlighting very pleasing and it had almost everything I could want, including FTP built into the app - This felt much more simple to get going than the Dreamweaver FTP functionality. One thing it didn't have was 'Find/replace throughout open files'. This was something I had missed since Dreamweaver.
Without a doubt, this became my text-editor of choice.
I didn't really like the icons and the general look and feel of the editor, however, it was definitely much more advanced and nicer to use than GEdit - with options like “Convert selection to lowercase” to regular expression searches. By this time I had decided Scite was the Linux text editor for me, however as much as I liked it I preferred E-TextEditor, but I had completely moved away from Windows - apart from my virtual machine with PhotoshopCS3 and IETester. It's difficult using a text editor when I would have switched it for E-TextEditor or TextMate in a heartbeat.
TextMate was very different from other editors - especially since I was new to OSx. It was pretty much just a window of text. All the options could be accessed via keyboard-shortcuts or by the options panel. It took me a couple of minutes to get used to it but I really loved it.
My seeking continued until I had found KomodoEdit. It was great. It had a couple of things I wasn't ecstatic about, but the fact that it was cross platform made me forget about those quickly. KomodoEdit was definitely a very powerful text editor. I was referred to the application by a hardcore PHP backend friend and that made me feel good since I felt that I could grow with the editor if I needed to.
KomodoEdit is a light-weight and free version of KomodoIDE. I had found pretty much everything I had wanted.
- Light-weight - Check
- Multiple language support - Check
- Plenty of options - Check
- Powerful - Check
- Cross-Platform compatible - Check
- Aesthetically pleasing - No
- Find/replace throughout open tabs - No
It had everything I could ever want and more, this went from Multi-select to distraction free mode. It had all the above checks, it was aesthetically pleasing and had an unbelievable find functionality. The Mac text editors ( TextMate and Coda ) look and feel far better to use than applications on other operating systems - It's like they're just made better. SublimeText2 has kept this feeling, even on different operating systems. The fact that text editors had to look ugly in Linux and Windows had been something I had wondered about on and off for a long time - Finally there was one editor that broke my perception.
I had never used a dark theme before but the default SublimeText2 was perfect. It had Chrome styled tabs, you could record macros, create your own snippets very easily and it had a visual map of document on the side of the editor ( this seemed like it could get old quickly, but I find it very useful in spotting patterns in larger documents).
The options worked differently compared to any other application I had used before. An options page was a text page in a sort of object/array layout. At first I thought this was temporary and it would be updated in a future version, but I finally realized how brilliant it was. You could search for options via the text editor. Search results appear in another default text-editor tab and it's all consistent. You don't ever leave tabs and text, brilliant.
The best part is, it's only a beta. That's right, until the time of this writing ST2 is a beta and it gets updated VERY often. New features, functionality and bug fixes come out with every update. ST2 has always been expensive for a text-editor, atleast $59 is expensive for one to me, but ST2 allows you to trial the software for as long as you'd like. On the site it says:
Sublime Text may be downloaded and evaluated for free, however a license must be purchased for continued use.
The license comes with a bunch of perks, the most noticable includes a per-user license, not per-install or per-machine. This means you can use the registered version on whatever operating system and machine you're using. After running and using it on all operating systems I decided to purchase it and I would urge anyone who loves it half as much as I do to support the development.
On top of all of this, I've subsequently began to learn Ruby and it's got a Ruby build system installed - along with a bunch of other builds, including ant build. ST2 supports a vast amount of languages ( more than just syntax highlighting ), has plugin support and it supports Textmate snippets. The community is also pretty great.
According to me, it is by far the best text-editor around.