Best FREE text editor?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by rand0m3r, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. rand0m3r macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2006
    hi. i'm looking for a text editor on mac os x that has syntax highlighting for languages like C, C++, java, PHP, postgresSQL, LaTeX.

    i heard textmate and bbedit are good editors, but it surprised me to find that not only did they cost money, but they were pricey. i would never pay that much for a text editor.

    i'm not after spectacular features, just an equivalent to kate on linux. or is there kate for OS X too? thanks.
  2. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    You could use XCodes editor. I use Textwrangler which is good in my opinion and it's free. It is a watered down version of BBEdit. It will do syntax highlighting but you need to set this in the preferences.

  3. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    It doesn't appear like kate is avaiable for OS X. I didn't even find it as a fink package.
  4. MacRumoron macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2005
  5. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I second the call for TextWrangler. It's basically BBEdit, minus a few features you will probably never use unless you're a web developer (and may not even need in that case). I use it every day for all kinds of stuff, it's one of my indispensible apps.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Thanks for the tip high rez!
  7. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Textwrangler rocks - I've used it quite a bit. I liked it enough that I just recently paid for BBedit mainly because I thought the developers deserve support (happily I am eligible for the educational price).
  8. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    TextWrangler is great. Think of it as "BBEdit Lite."
  9. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    BBEdit Light actually evolved into Text Wrangler.

    It had a couple features BBEdit didn't have when it first came out (kind of like when PS Elements came out). I imagine those features are now part of the full BBEdit by now however.
  10. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    You need to have the full kde environment to run kate.
    Just install kde with fink and you can run kate.

    Another good alternative is subethaedit which is free aslong as you use it for non comercial use.
  11. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    you guys are all a bunch of sissies! :p

    Use vi :p


    No, really - I really like BBEdit, though it's not free.
    in the terminal I use Jed
  12. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    No, it's no longer free under any circumstances - you only get a 30 day trial.

    But I stopped using SubEthaEdit before that happened anyway, since I found Textwrangler to be markedly superior.
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    For LaTeX you probably want to use something suggested here: [guide]Install LaTeX on a Mac[/guide].
  14. Benjamin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I think the OP ment Version 2.2 found here.
  15. Runard macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    Are there any editors that can hide lines based on a criteria?
  16. rtharper macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2006
    Oxford, UK
    What is this world coming to? EMACS IS THE BETTER EDITOR EVAR!

    And, if you download the Aqua-native version [] you get AuCTeX automatically, which has all sorts of great stuff for editing LaTeX docs (I'm someone that depends on it heavily, I don't use anything BUT LaTeX for document creation).

    AquaMacs is based on GNU Emacs, works with any packages for it, and is AMAZING.

  17. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Feb 11, 2003
    Columbia, MD
    The best free OS X native text editor that I have used is TextWrangler. But my favourite editor overall is Nedit, which unfortunately runs on Mac OS X only under the X Window System.
  18. Runard macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    I find Textwrangler a bit lacking. Perhaps I don't know the app enough.
    I do a lot of text reformating.
    Like stripping of html tags
    Deleting blank lines
    Joining and splitting lines
    Find and replace
    AND most important
    Filter files to show only the text I need hideing otherlines, so that I can edit the correct lines

    tried emacs, but I need a real gfx editor.
    Put of by its shell feel, don't know where to start to learn it
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    I use "nedit". see for details. It does all the syntax highlighting you asked for, column moves, macros and so on.. It is free, open source and the one feature that I absolutely need is that it is cross platform. I edit text on Solaris (i386 and SPARC), Linux, Mac OSX and (please don't laugh) Open VMS/Alpha. It is nice to be able to use the exact same text editor AND be able to find pre-built off the shelf binaries for the more obscure platforms (like Linux/Alpha)

    The other editor I use is vi.
  20. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2005
    TextMate isn't pricey.. BBEdit is pricey. $50 for TM is money well spent if you do a lot of programming. It saves me a ton of time. I even take my notes for class in it. Combined with snippets, my notes are super easy to take.
  21. Runard macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
  22. Graeme A macrumors 6502

    Graeme A

    Aug 6, 2003
    Melbourne, Australia
    BBEdit has one thing that TextMate misses, (S)FTP support. I don't want to copy files across to my machine to edit them, and then FTP them back. I want to just go grab it and make the edit remotely.

    Once TM does that, I will gladly uninstall BBEdit. TM is fun to play with locally but, real work needs BBEdit.
  23. Runard macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    Actually there is a workaround.
    It says that it will cooperate with Transmitt 3
  24. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2005
    Just use Transmit. Click the edit button on a file and it'll open it in textmate. From there, any saves you make get saved right to the remote server automatically.

    Direct SFTP editing should be possible in 2.0, Allan has said he wants to do a plugin type of setup so you can edit files remotely over various different mediums and make it all feel seamless.

    Regardless, I don't edit files remotely unless they are tiny changes. All my edits go through subversion (which is one of those plugins Allan wants to be able to do in 2.0) and then I deploy them on the server. Unless you're toying around with code, you're gonna make life painful for yourself if you aren't already by directly editing files like you seem to want to be able to do.
  25. Runard macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    I have chosen Textmate as my editor.
    Mainly because it has:
    "Filter trough command"
    This option accepts unix commands like grep and sed and thus have great power in editing documents.

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