Text Editor Overload

September 9, 2017

I am going to try to put my thoughts to paper regarding the various Text Editors I am using on my Mac. I have several installed, that include:

  • Sublime Text 3
  • Ulysses 2.8
  • BBEdit 11
  • Atom
  • Vim

Sublime Text 3

Link:Sublime Text 3 Cost: $79 (with Unlimited Free Trial, pay the developer!)

Overview:

Sublime Text 3 is a cross platform, extendable text editor. It is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Because it is cross platform, it is great for developers that are on a team in a mixed OS environment. As for extendability, Sublime Text has a variety of packages available. These packages include added functionality, developer tool, Markdown support, code completion, and many others. Additionally, the entire program can be themed and customized to fit your development style.

Positives:

The positives of Sublime Text include: - Stability - Extendibility - Themes - Cross-Platform - Very Customizable

Negatives:

  • Slow Development Cycle
  • Settings can get “in the weeds”
  • Sometimes craps out on huge files

Summary:

Sublime Text is usually one of the first programs I install on a new machine. I use it for many of my text based projects.

Use Log:

I have used this app for at least 5 years.


Ulysses 2.8

Link:Ulysses 2.8 Cost: $40 (At time I purchased, currently subscription.)

Overview:

I use Ulysses for writing reports and short grants. It has very strong Markdown and sync support. It can sync in a variety of ways including iCloud and Dropbox. Ulysses is not a good text editor for development type work. It is for writers.

Positives:

  • Great sync
  • Easy to work with
  • Markdown writing and export support.
  • Great iOS app
  • Designed for writers

Negatives:

  • Subscription model (I am unsure what value this adds for me. I usually don’t mind paying for upgrades)
  • Not good for development
  • Mac/iOS Only

Summary:

I use Ulysses constantly for writing projects. It is on the front screen of my iPhone. I use it daily, but the new subscription model makes me nervous.

Use Log:

Used for past 3 years


BBEdit 11

Link:BBEdit Cost: $50

Overview:

BBEdit is one of the oldest Mac applications. It has gone through numerous iterations and is rock solid. Additionally, BBEdit is extremely customizable, but does not have the extensive package support of both Sublime Text and Atom.

Positives:

  • Stable
  • Widely used in the Mac community
  • customizable
  • Great for developers

Negatives:

  • Pricey
  • Mac Only
  • Not as diverse Extendibility

Summary:

Great mac only editor

Use Log:

I have used BBEdit for the past year.


Atom

Link:Atom Cost: Free

Overview:

Atom is a relatively new free text editor developed and maintained by GitHub. Like Sublime Text, Atom is extendable and customizable. It is a great app for developers with built in Markdown and Git support.

Positives:

  • Developed by GitHub
  • Source Freely available
  • Ideal for developers
  • Packages are easy to install
  • Regular Updates

Negatives:

  • Always seems to have an update available
  • Smaller Package library than Sublime Text

Summary:

This is turning into a go-to app for me. I use Atom to develop and maintain this site. Additionally, I have had to work on a recent project that required latex. Atom was easy to configure and preview latex notation.

Use Log:

I have been using since early August 2017.


Vim

Link:Vim Cost: Free

Overview:

According to the Vim website:

“Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to make creating and changing any kind of text very efficient. It is included as “vi” with most UNIX systems and with Apple OS X.”

Positives:

  • Can open almost any size text file
  • Customizable
  • Passionate community
  • configurable

Negatives:

  • Keyboard based
  • Zealots in community

Summary:

As stated previously, if you don’t know the Vim keyboard shortcuts, you will run into trouble.

Vim

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