What is a text editor and why do you need it? How does it differ from a word processor or a note-taking app?
The usual answer is, if you don’t know, don’t worry about it, because you don’t need a text editor. You need something else. A text editor edits text. Usually, it’s text for programmers who have very specific text handling requirements. Here’s a new, free, and nice Mac text editor.
How Much Is That Text Editor In The Window?
Your Mac comes with a few text editors already built in. That includes vi and Pico, both of which require use of the Terminal app. There’s also TextEdit, which edits plain text, but doesn’t have text editor bells and whistles.
Among the text editors on my Mac are the long revered BBEdit and the lovely Coda, both of which manage text well beyond mere text.
My latest find is the free, fast, simple Tincta, a true blue text editor for the Mac.
As text editors go, it’s fast, elegant, not cluttered. What makes it a true blue text editor? It comes with syntax coloring. I suppose that’s the dividing line between a note pad and a text editor.
The big things are all there. Line numbering, line wrapping, drag and drop, live search and replace with colored highlighting, spell checker and correction.
And Tincta does other basics equally well, including show invisible characters, page guid, converts line endings, and case change. What’s Tincta look like?
It’s a text editor. They all have a similar look.
One feature that I appreciate is Tincta’s ability to open and search very large files and not choke.
Even BBEdit and other popular text editors have trouble with large log files (multiple multiple megabytes). Tincta has yet to blink.
Coloring syntax is set up with definitions for over 60 languages, and you can manage the color profiles to suit your needs.
What’s missing? There really needs to be some kind of standard for snippets (pieces of often used code) that can bounced between editors. Tincta opens many documents, but doesn’t really manage snippets.
The price is right. Tincta is free, much like my favorite Mac word processor, James Hoover’s wonderful Bean.