I didn’t expect this to happen. I didn’t plan on switching from one text editor to another. But that’s what I’ve done - coughed up for a TextMate licence, and started using it, instead of BBEdit, as a writing tool.
BBEdit, which I’ve been using for the same task for some years now, has done nothing to annoy or frustrate me. There’s nothing about it that I particularly dislike.
But TextMate offers everything I like in BBEdit and plenty more. TextMate feels really nice to write in, and for several days this week I enjoyed myself doing just that.
I hesitated, of course. I didn’t want to just leap into the unknown, and there’s a huge number of new keyboard shortcuts to learn. Shift+Control+N for a word count? Shift+Control+Option+M to use Markdown? I’ll admit that some of these commands, especially the ones that involve three modifier keys, are tricky to remember. In some respects, TextMate is a simpler tool; in others, it feels vastly more complicated.
I’m hoping that the extra features in TextMate make this learning curve worthwhile. And I won’t be deleting BBEdit from my hard disk any time soon - there’s still situations when I think I’ll need it (”Zap Gremlins”, for instance).
Things I love about TextMate (so far):
- Built-in support for Markdown (I write everything in Markdown)
- Quick, easy document color schemes
- Check spelling as you type
- Windows behave well, open where I want them to (they don’t always do this in BBEdit)
- Simple preferences panel
- Support for folding
- Fast, incremental text search (hit Control+S, baby; I love this)
There’s still a lot more for me to learn, but the curve is shallow, and I’m enjoying myself.
You got any TextMate tips?