Home is where you edit your text

Prompted by numerous expressions of love and appreciation, I have decided to give the 30 day trial of TextMate a try, to see if it can turn my text editing world on its head and make me wonder how I ever got by without it.

So far, it reminds me of my experience with Emacs: “Well, this certainly seems powerful, but how do I save a file? No, really. I guess I will just boot back into Windows.”

Any true believers who want to show my why TextMate is worth the bother (as compared to TextEdit and WriteRoom, which I now use) are very much encouraged to do so. In particular, a straightforward page full of “look at the amazing things you can do with TextMate, and here’s how” stories would be ideal.

[Update: 21 January 2007] My TextMate trial expired today. While I liked the program quite a bit – it’s a big step up from TextEdit – I am not willing to pay forty Euros for it, given that I don’t use the coding features.

[Update: 24 October 2007] I finally caved and bought TextMate. I realized that it would have been worth the price just to have it between when I first pondered getting it and now. Being able to circumvent the (often slow and clumsy) WordPress web interface is worth it, in and of itself.

[Update: 1 November 2007] Integration between Fetch and TextMate is absurdly useful. It lets you edit HTML, PHP, htaccess, and all sorts of other files without needing to manually download and re-upload them through FTP.

[Update: 26 March 2011] It seems I decided back in November 2010 that TextMate is an ‘Essential’ Mac app, by means of an experimental process. So much has changed since we met!

[Update: 3 February 2013] TextMate remains one of my key tools: a program I use many times every single day, and my favourite place to enter text for all purposes from blog posts to academic essays to random personal notes to self. It is well worth the asking price.

[Update: 29 October 2014] TextMate is still my main text editor, and a program I use dozens of times per day. I use it a lot for typesetting LaTeX now.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

14 thoughts on “Home is where you edit your text”

  1. I’m a true believer in TextMate but surely not geeky enough to convert you. I’ve been using it for a long time, it’s my favourite text editor, I’m pretty slow, so I’m still discovering great things it can do (I specially love Find and Save in Project, and I’ve only just worked out how to use a simple macro which really saves time with repetitive tasks). You can blog direct from it using a Blogging bundle (I don’t, often, because WordPress is so good.) But I do write most of my posts on TextMate first, and I do all my HTML stuff with it.

    Have a look at the screencasts here, especially on blogging and HTML tags. I thought they were pretty exciting.

    Still not converted? Oh well, I hope someone else comes up with some better reasons.

  2. Tony,

    Thanks for the link and the information. Toying with a few of my PHP scripts, such as the one that adds the smart footer to my RSS feed, I am beginning to see the value of TextMate.

    I don’t quite see 39 Euros worth of value yet, but I am open to being convinced.

  3. Don’t spend fifty Euros on a text editor with hardly any features you really need.

    In a few months, you are going to get hit with the need to buy Leopard, anyhow.

  4. In a few months, you are going to get hit with the need to buy Leopard, anyhow.

    Still waiting for Leopard, and not terribly impressed by the new features listed.

  5. Text Utilities” is a useful browser-based tool for geeks. It’s a web page that does all sorts of operations on text, e.g. escape/ unescape, hashing, regexp testing.

  6. Editorial


    Everyone loves Editorial, the new iPad text editor. if you have missed hearing about it, a good place to start is with Federico Viticci’s wonderful and very thorough review. I’ve only been using it for a short while compared to Federico’s 6 months, but I already love it. I’m pretty sure that it will become my standard editor for doing any kind of writing on the iPad.

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