Other Clever New Features

By P. J. Connolly  |  Posted 2011-08-23 Print this article Print


After the interface improvements, the cleverest new feature of BBEdit 10 is the support for seamlessly editing text files that are stored within a .zip file. BBEdit 10 will extract the text document from the archive and, if the user saves changes, recompress the document in the archive. This even works when performing a search-and-replace across multiple files.

BBEdit 10 includes a new option in the application's Quit command that preserves the state of the workplace between sessions. This feature is independent of a similar one in the recently released OS X "Lion" and is based on the application's former Sleep command. Because it uses its own routines, it works on "Snow Leopard," the prior release of the Apple OS.

BBEdit 10 also adds a color scheme management function that uses the BBColors format to define how elements are viewed. Color schemes can also be applied language by language.

Even the Preferences dialog has been overhauled for BBEdit 10. It's crisp in appearance and as well-organized as one could want. A new Setup pane allows users to manage those parts of the configuration that aren't necessarily user-specific, such as file filters, FTP bookmarks and Website configurations.

BBEdit 10 is available directly from Bare Bones Software's online store and through Apple's Mac App Store. Single-user licenses are available for $49.99, with a discounted price of $39.99 available through mid-October. There's one catch: The Mac App Store version of BBEdit lacks the command-line tools and the authenticated save feature that are offered in the direct download.

Bare Bones removed these features to comply with Apple's guidelines for the Mac App Store. The command-line tools can still be downloaded from the Bare Bones Website, but users requiring the ability to save files that the OS sees as owned by another user-such as system files-are advised to purchase BBEdit directly from Bare Bones.

BBEdit 10 works well with even ridiculously large files. The demo includes a 150MB file of text as a sampler, and Bare Bones claims that the software can handle 250MB and larger files with ease. I had no unexpected difficulties when manipulating a 300MB file, but as always, your experience may vary.

As text editors go, BBEdit 10 is a powerful, yet easily comprehended tool. Although it lacks the scope of an IDE, the syntax-aware formatting and productivity features of BBEdit allow users to focus on the work at hand, rather than the tool.

P. J. Connolly began writing for IT publications in 1997 and has a lengthy track record in both news and reviews. Since then, he's built two test labs from scratch and earned a reputation as the nicest skeptic you'll ever meet. Before taking up journalism, P. J. was an IT manager and consultant in San Francisco with a knack for networking the Apple Macintosh, and his love for technology is exceeded only by his contempt for the flavor of the month. Speaking of which, you can follow P. J. on Twitter at pjc415, or drop him an email at pjc@eweek.com.

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