Textmate – Pick of the Week

June 22, 2008

Lots of people ask me what I use for a web editor, expecting the answer to be Dreamweaver almost everytime.  When I tell them I use Textmate, I get an odd look almost everytime.  Textmate is a text editor on steroids.  First off, it looks about as good as a text editor can look and if you don’t like the default look, you can tweak it however you like.  Next, you can open either a file by itself or a folder using the sidebar.  If you open a folder, you can quickly get to different files easily in a tabbed interface.  This all makes it easy to get to the files you want to edit.

Luckily, Textmate isn’t just pretty, it is also really useful.  It comes with bundles that allow you to perform shortcut macros for whichever language you are programming in.  In my case, lots of times that is plain HTML and/or CSS.  Textmate can tell by the file what type it is and automatically defaults to the shortcuts for that type.  Textmate is one of those programs that seems expensive for what it does, but when you see someone who has mastered the shortcuts, it is like watching a magician put out code.  If you have moved past the Design View of Dreamweaver and find the code view lacking, I would recommend checking this out.  Also, if you are programming in Rails or PHP, I would HIGHLY recommend giving it a spin.  You might find that you can not live with out it.