My wife and I have competing collections which we do not share. She collects purses, handbags, hats, and shoes. She says they’re a necessary component of a woman’s wardrobe, but we both know it’s just a collection.
On the other hand, my collection is more of the digital variety and takes up much less closet space. Among the many Mac, Windows, and Linux utilities which grace the desktops and notebooks cluttered throughout the Mincey Plantation, is a collection of text editors.
Old habits are hard to break and I still use BBEdit for many editing and coding tasks, but I have others. Too many. TextMate. TextWrangler. Textastic. Smultron. Plain Text. Far too many useless Markdown editors, at least two Mac versions of Vim and Emacs, not to mention a bunch of ancient editor options in Cathode.
If you’re new to coding and have a tight budget, then plenty of free text editors are available, including the popular CotEditor for Mac. I think of it as TextWrangler Lite (which itself is something of a BBEdit Lite).
CotEditor doesn’t come with the bells and whistles found in BBEdit (no grep, for example), but it is thoughtfully laid out and competent beyond the basics.
It comes with syntax coloring for 26 major languages ranging from HTML to PHP, Python to Ruby, even the deservedly maligned Markdown. Find and Replace options use the fast OgreKit framework, and RegEx is built in.
What I really appreciate is the split window view so you can see different sections of the same document at the same time. CotEditor is also scriptable, which means you can make macros for Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, UNIX shell or AppleScript.
Even keybindings are customizable.
If you’re already using BBEdit or even TextWrangler or TextMate, you won’t be wowed by anything but the speed and ease of use, but if you’re new to coding, or a part-time developer who needs a clean and simple editor, CotEditor is a very good choice.