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Friday, May 14, 2010

Switching back to jEdit from TextMate

TextMate is one of the best text editors for the Mac. But as a long time jEdit user, I couldn't get past its lack of a couple of features that I love: highlighting all occurrences of a word, and splitting windows.

With a single keystroke, jEdit's Highlight plugin lets me highlight all occurrences of the word under the cursor (“initializationVector” in the example below):

Highlighting all occurrences

This is useful for seeing at a glance all the places that a variable or method name is used in a file.

The split-windows functionality is also handy and quite flexible:

Split windows

One thing that TextMate does really well is its ⌘-T command, which lets you go to a file by incrementally searching on its name. It turns out that jEdit has a decent imitation of it, called the OpenIt plugin:

OpenIt plugin

There are a lot of great features in jEdit, so I'm going to return to it as my primary editor. It does take some tweaking to get it working satisfactorily in Mac OS X – that will be the subject of another blog post.


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