If you are willing to invest a few dollars, you can get the Cadillac of text editors: UltraEdit (http://www.ultraedit.com/). At forty dollars (US) this editor does everything. It can handle multiple files, has syntax highlighting, is totally customizable. You can create macros for repeated commands, and the coolest feature to me is the ability to edit columns of text. You can cut and paste columns, move them around, etc. Very handy when editing data files that are fixed length records.
Here’s an example shot, in it you can see I have two files loaded (see the two tabs, Program.CS and ReleaseNotes.xml). You can also see I have a column of text highlighted, the Application namespace.
There are far more options than I can document here, but I’ll list a few of my favorites.
- You can open files from, and save them to an FTP site. Great for editing files located on your Unix/Linux servers.
- You can configure UltraEdit to work with Visual Source Safe, checking files in and out.
- You can modify the dictionary to add your own words to spell check for. Very handy when you work in an industry that has a lot of special syntax.
- As previously mentioned, you can write macros to handle complex or repetitive tasks.
- Search / Search and Replace can use both straight text and Regular Expressions. Additionally, there are some special characters to represent often uses characters. ^p for example represents a carriage return / line feed combo.
- Has a Hex Mode.
- The toolbars across the bottom allow you to insert commonly used HTML tags, great for doing those tweaks on your web pages. I’ve gotten to where I do a lot of maintenance to my wesites using UltraEdit.
- Handles huge files with no problems. I once FTP Opened a 1.5 gig (yes GIG) log file. Because of the slow connection it took an hour and a half to open, but once it had it locally it literally zoomed through the file. I could go from the beginning to end in about a second. Like I said, big files, no problem.
- The ability to edit (cut and paste) columns of text. This is a feature I haven’t seen in any other text editor in a long time.
UltraEdit is the one tool I use every day. It’s shareware, so go give it a try. You can use it for 45 days with no issues. I’d bet after you try it you’ll be so hooked you’ll happily shell out the forty bucks. I’ve been using it since version 4, and am a happy camper.
Standard disclaimer, I receive no financial considerations and have no business affiliation with IDM (who makes UltraEdit). I’m just a happy customer who loves the product.