My Mac has more apps than ever; some that have graced my platform of choice for a couple of decades, others which have been added in recent years thanks to the Mac App Store and new developers with new ideas for new tools. Today, it’s official. I’m dumping BBEdit, my once favorite Mac text editor.
Free Is Good
It’s been a long, long time coming, but BBEdit, I’m just not that into you anymore. I haven’t kept receipts or a running tab, but I’m sure I spent hundreds of dollars to keep you around.
Don’t misunderstand my intent. BBEdit is one of the best and most beloved text editors on the Mac. If ever there was a reason for a developer or programmer or code slinger to use a Mac, it’s BBEdit.
Dutifully, as if bound by some tradition or allegiance or loyalty, I’d fork over the upgrade fee to get the latest and greatest, knowing all along that last year’s model still worked fine.
More than a couple of years ago I went for the Mac App Store version, figuring it would be a good way to keep the updates and upgrades coming.
Wrong. The latest news out of Coder’s City is that BBEdit won’t be updated in the Mac App Store any longer. If you want the latest you have to buy direct from BBEdit. I understand the MAS sandboxing issue but it’s this back and forth and that got me to look at my editing needs and match them with the proper tool.
As it turns out, all I needed was BBEdit Lite. That’s not the name of the app. It’s TextWrangler, a free Mac editor developed and maintained by the same folks who make their living with BBEdit.
This is a powerful Mac text editor and it’s free. It’s even available on the Mac App Store (for now). TextWrangler can work well for most Mac programmers, developers, and those of us who prefer good tools, though we don’t make a living using the tool.
TextWrangler does grep style search and replace as well as regular expressions. It cleans up text, comes with plenty of syntax display options, and handles Unicode well. It even has dual editing windows, and supports multiple clipboards.
What’s not to like?
It’s not BBEdit, doesn’t have the same level of syntax coloring options, clipping system, code difference checking, and all the subtle nuance changes that come with every new BBEdit version. And the upgrade isn’t free.