BBEdit 7.01 full review

BBEdit 7.0 is a major upgrade for BBEdit 6.5, and it comes with much-improved optimization for Mac OS X 10.2. It’s an incredibly versatile coding environment, and for those not working in HTML or any other programming code, it’s a flexible text editor with powerful search-&-replace features.

BBEdit 7.0 has support for CVS, the ability to configure multiple Web sites, powerful Sort Lines and Process duplicate plug-ins, rectangular selection support, and ASP/VBScript syntax colouring support. There’s also XHTML1.1 support in the HTML tools, and syntax-checker built-in.

The last BBEdit update added strong new features and better support for Mac OS X 10.2. The latest additions in version 7 improve upon these even further, and include many more features – such as CVS support integrated within the application. BBEdit now has a ‘go to line number’ feature that will help greatly when debugging site code. Other new features that take advantage of the OS X 10.2 upgrade for Mac are the Quartz text smoothing, the Paste Previous clipboard command, plus a palette-savvy window resizing effort and a new ‘atop’ window stacking option. For user workflow, this may not actually seem like much, but for those who work mainly in HTML code this will greatly speed productivity.

The new Web-authoring features in BBEdit 7.0 are particularly interesting to developers. If you work on multiple Web sites, which is now a common occurrence, the ability to configure more than one from within BBEdit will be a massive bonus.

Those running Web sites on Unix-based servers and X servers will benefit from the sudo support and Unix shell worksheet improvements – including tool-status displays. An additional authoring improvement is a ‘Close Current Tag’ command that will significantly speed up hand-coders work.

The new rectangular selection support will come in very handy for working with table-based data. By holding down the option key as you drag, you can select all text lying within a specified rectangular area. You can then perform all of the normal editing operations on this “rectangular selection”, such as Cut, Copy, Paste, or drag-&-drop, as well as text transformations such as Change Case, Shift Left, Shift Right, and Zap Gremlins, etc. However, this feature doesn’t work when Soft Wrap is enabled.

The capabilities of the Sort Lines plug-in have been greatly expanded in BBEdit 7.0. This plug-in sorts lines of text by collating them in alphanumeric order. It can operate either on the contents of the current selection or on the whole document. The results can be copied to the clipboard, replace the selection within the original document, be displayed in a new untitled window, or any combination of the three. The 7.01 update to BBEdit, released a couple of weeks after version 7 shipped, made some interface refinements, and fixed some minor maintenance issues and reported by users.

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