Hiltmon

On walkabout in life and technology

Text Editor Addict

Hi, my name is Hilton and maybe, just maybe, I am a text editor addict.

“Hello Hilton” you all say.

I seem to have a lot of text manipulation tools on my devices. Of course, I don’t think I have too many, but most people only seem to have one. You see, to me, each one has it’s own use, it’s the best tool for it’s job, that’s why I have and use it. Here is a list of all the text editors on my laptop that I use right now, and why:

  • BBEdit: BBEdit is my hammer tool, when nothing else will work, it does. I open any new text file that I need to look at or perform searches in in BBEdit. I use it for macro and manual manipulation of all files. In fact, it’s my default for opening any text file.
  • TextMate 2: My old favorite programmer’s editor, TextMate, just got better. TextMate is the editor I used to do all my Ruby on Rails work. Watching the development of TextMate 2 like a hawk because I still believe this will be the “it” programmer’s editor like its predecessor.
  • Sublime Text 2: My new go-to programmer’s editor for Rails and scripts. Like the cross platform implementation, speed, active development and customizability, but still not comfortable with the GUI and the non-Mac likeness.
  • Byword: My go-to for writing, not coding. I draft and review all my blog posts in it (using the Cousine font to make it look somewhat like iA Writer) and preview in Marked. I also write most knowledge base articles, company news and short-form documents in Byword.
  • Coda 2: I use Coda 2 for static web site development to help out my favorite graphic designer.
  • iA Writer: iA Writer sure is pretty, and I occasionally use it instead of Byword in full screen when I do not wish to be distracted. I just wish I could make it’s awesome Nitti Light font a tad smaller. And the blue cursor is cool!
  • nvAlt: The way notes should be managed. I use nvAlt for all my common, non-project related text notes and sync it via DropBox so I can work on the same documents on my iPad.
  • VoodooPad: Project notes wiki, see my post on Project Specific Data.
  • Scrivener: I use Scrivener for all long form document generation. It’s a great writing and document management experience. This product just plain rocks!
  • TextEdit: Ok, so it came with my Mac and it’s still installed, and occasionally it’s useful to see what’s in a file.

Not really text-editors, but I write or format text using them:

  • Day One: Personal journaling and logging, with the occasional private navel gazing entries to remind myself how silly I can be.
  • Pages: Word processing, mostly used to format documents after conversion from Markdown to make others happy.
  • Microsoft Word: To read the changes in contracts from lawyers, else I’d not have it. It’s slow, bloated and ugly.
  • Adobe InDesign: Page layout for brochures and some special presentations. There are still things that you can do in InDesign for presentations that you cannot in others, but the latest Keynote is good enough these days.
  • OmniOutliner Pro: For outlines and lists (but I’m using Mindnode Pro for graphical versions and to start outlines which I then flesh out in OmniOutliner).

And I have purchased (if not free), but no longer use

  • TaskPaper: Used to manage project specific tasks in it, replaced by VoodooPad.
  • Evernote: Keep coming back to try it, still do not love it or have a place for it.
  • MultiMarkdown Composer: Lovely Markdown editing and preview tool, really the reference application, but a tad rustic for my needs. It’s still installed though, just in case.
  • Espresso: Used to be my static web site tool, moved to Coda 2.
  • Writeroom: The original distraction-free editor, now replaced with Byword and iA Writer.
  • MarsEdit: One of my oldest tools, used to do all my blogging against Blogger and Wordpress in it. Now using Octopress and Byword, so no longer need it
  • Yojimbo: Text notes containing all my secret and personal data, nicely packaged, tagged and encrypted. Mostly moved to 1Password for codes, serial numbers and other key numbers.

And I am testing:

  • Chocolat: Maybe a TextMate replacement, but not ready yet.
  • FoldingText: This looks just plain cool, still in beta.

And that’s just on my Mac.

On the iPad or iPhone, I seem to have a few more, and they have their purposes too:

  • Drafts: For quick notes and sharing with other applications.
  • Elements: For most of my tablet writing, linked to Dropbox and shared with nvAlt, so I can start and finish notes on both devices.
  • TextTastic: For iPad coding, usually used for demo work only.
  • Diet Coda: To hack static web sites in emergency situations.
  • Writing Kit: For blog ideas, may be making this my new blog idea tool instead of nvAlt.
  • Byword: Alternative editor for nvAlt notes and remote blog editing.
  • Day One: For journaling.
  • iA Writer: Just in case I need another DropBox editor.
  • OmniOutliner: Of course!
  • Pages: This too.
  • Notability (removed)
  • PlainText (removed)
  • SimpleNote (removed)
  • Evernote (removed)

So, no, I really don’t have a text editor problem! Because the ones that remain installed each have a specific use case and are the best tool for these cases.

Or maybe, just maybe, I am a text editor addict.

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