BBEdit 11: some things change, some don’t

As long as I can remember, I have been reviewing BBEdit. Now at its 11th iteration, the text and code editor seems to stand firm as one of the most flexible and useful text editors for the Mac. BBEdit 11 leaves much unchanged in order not to interfere with users’ habits. That what did change again makes BBEdit more efficient, but some features didn’t work as expected yet.

BBEdit just got more modern without going overboard. It has a new supported language: SCSS. It has three important new features: new syntax colouring, a new Find Differences system, an Extract capability that is available in the Search window and a new Clippings System.

BBEdit 11 Clippings

The new syntax colouring system is fully customisable and offers different colour schemes for different languages. Themes are included and customisable as well.

I was especially interested in the new Find Differences system. Previous versions of BBEdit’s Differences system resulted in cluttered result windows. The new system is much more user friendly and consists of a unified window from which it is instantly clear to see differences between files as well as folders. You can update (synchronise) folders as well.

BBEdit 11 Find Differences

Another nice feature is the Extract capability. Let’s say you have a big file with email addresses and you want to collect all addresses of a specific company. You can now search for these addresses — with or without grep — and then instantly extract them to a new text file. It works across folders too.

The new Clippings system has been improved so that you can make any clippings set available universally or per language. To be honest, I still prefer the clippings feature from Coda, but then again, Coda doesn’t support everything BBEdit does. The palette is great, but it sometimes didn’t catch my clicks immediately.

BBEdit 11 file info

Other improvements are less spectacular, but in some cases even more effective. For example, “Create Table Shell” takes the pain out of HTML tables creation entirely. “New Line Before/After” commands succeed in shaving off a few milliseconds off adding new lines before or after a paragraph. However, some commands didn’t work on my system due to conflicts with system-wide shortcuts.

BBEdit 11 languagesExcept for the new supported SCSS language, BBEdit 11 now also has specific PHP-with-HTML support, which should make it easier for web developers who use PHP inside HTML documents. A spring loaded Info panel allows you to set permissions, file name and creation/modification dates inside BBEdit. A new “Replace All in Selection” command expands on the “Replace All” command by working only on selected text.

As usual with BBEdit, there are a lot more changes and improvements — 200 in total, it is said. The above covered ones are the eye-catchers and the ones that should win over people to BBEdit 11. There’s a downloadable trial — this new version is a good time to give BBEdit 11 a try. You won’t be disappointed. BBEdit 11 costs approx. €40.00.

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