Peter Borg recently released version 2.0 of Smultron, his excellent open source text editor. So what’s new? Well, among other things…
Tabs Smultron has, until now, sported a left-side Documents List showing all open files. This is still around, but now you can optionally open some tabs at the top of the edit window too. The tabs replicate some functionality from the Documents List, but some people will welcome their appearance nonetheless. They act as proxies for the Documents List, which means the controls for moving around the list also apply to moving around tabs.
Projects Smultron lets you create a multitude of Projects, each of which contains any number of text files. By default the top-level project is called “All documents” and contains all files from all your projects. Click on a single project in the Projects Drawer, and you’ll only see the files it contains; they’ll be listed in the Documents List.
Full screen mode It does exactly what you’d expect, but cannot be customised to display text differently; if you want green-on-black and font size 18 in fullscreen, you’ll have to change the main font/color settings to that first.
.Mac sync If you use Smultron on more than one Mac, you can use a .Mac account to synchronize your snippets, commands and preferences so that they are the same on all machines.
That’s just a few of the features - there are lots more.
Smultron feels nice to use. It’s swift and seems happy even when loaded up with a large number of large files. The icons are a little over-designed, in my opinion; they could do with being made simpler and clearer.
Who might this appeal to? Well, if you’re one of those people who dislikes the “old-school” approach of BBEdit/TextWrangler, is keen to use something fully Cocoa and open source, and doesn’t want to pay money for the likes of TextMate or SubEthaEdit, Smultron is probably just the thing you need. It’s a different sort of Mac editor - it looks and behaves quite unlike any other editor you might have tried before. But different does not mean lacking in quality; indeed, Smultron is packed with ‘pro’-level features and offers much that even the market leaders have negelected to include.