Text Editors - Mac OSX

Mostly when people start to type something in a rich client, most reach out for Word, it is like the de-facto standard for the windows world. Though in the past I have come across people that type letters in Excel, do not ask me why, they just did. Now after all the rich text editors, the trend has moved back to some lite editors. This is an attempt to list out some of the Text Editors that are available on the MAC OS X platform.

1. Text Edit [FREE] - The inbuilt text editor from Apple. It supports both plain text and rich text. It is quick and does most of the editing. It even had autocomplete if you press the esc key.

2. Smultron (now replaced by Fraise) [FREE] (http://www.fraiseapp.com/) - A brilliant light text editor that has inbuilt syntax highlighting and coloring. Instead of tabs has a list of documents open in it's sidebar for quick access.
UPDATE: Smultron used to be free and development was stopped, however today on the Mac App store, Smultron is back and selling for $5.99 AUD!!

3. TextWrangler [FREE] (http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/) - A free version of the popular BBEdit, TextWrangler is an offering from Bare Bones Software this has syntax highlighting and coloring, has a sidebar (drawer) to the right that contains the files open in the editor. The toolbar is a bit unorthodox, so from a regular editing software point of view, the toolbar is really very unfriendly.

4. BBEdit [$125] (http://www.barebones.com/products/bbedit/) -  the paid version from Bare Bones Software, similar to what Text Wrangler can offer plus more functionality. For basic text editing or code editing, Text Wrangler is good enough, but if you can please do support the developers by purchasing their software.

5. TextMate [$53] (http://macromates.com/) - This is supposedly the grand daddy of all text editors with bundles for new language syntax and clippings, etc. Discounts are available for Volume/Site licenses or Academic license.

6. Microsoft Word [$149/$249] (http://www.microsoft.com/mac/word/getting-started-with-word) - This is best gotten as part of the Office Suite, the latest version, 2011 is so much pleasing to the eyes and has new functionality and the new reworked ribbon interface that gels into the Mac OS UI rather than stand out sore like its predecessor in Office 2008.

7. Apple Pages [$79/$99] (www.apple.com) -  comes as part of the Apple iWork suite. Apple and its products have grown on me but for some reason the iWork suite has not really caught my fancy except for keynote. It was kind of funny that Apple presentations are called Keynote Sessions, is it because of the Software used being called Keynote? Think of the MS equivalent, they would have PowerPoint sessions.

An unlikely candidate in this list generally used for for code editing is XCode [FREE]. It is mostly used for C based languages and Java. Though the syntax highlighting can be extended by adding the keywords in a particular file.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of editors available for the Mac. If you have a favorite, please email us and let us know at reviewme@oz-apps.com

UPDATE: There is a new text editor that I wasn't aware of called Kod ( http://kodapp.com/ ) it is touted as the programmer's editor and a free version of TextMate, so need to try it out and see how it measures up.

Another one that kind of flashes back to mind, for the real programmer (the pioneers of computers) is VIM. It is available for all platforms.