Well, OK,Â TextMate is a pretty good text editor. I’ve paid for it. I’m sure it has raised the bar for text editing apps, in some areas. But it has a few annoyances which grate against me, time after time. I’ll list my top two annoyances only.
1) Tab and shift-tab to indent / unindent.
Tab should indent, and shift-tab should unindent. Â Especially if I have text highlighted already. Â Please do not delete my selected text andÂ replaceÂ with a tab character! Â I realize cmd-[ and cmd-] are available for this feature, but forgive me, I am used to almost all text editors in Windows getting this right. Â Even when using TextMate’s chosen key binding, indent and unindent don’t work properly when only a portion of a line is highlighted.
2) Drag and drop a file won’t open in a new tab.
If I drag and drop a file onto the TextMate icon in my dock, TextMate will open the file… in a new window. Â Every time. Â TextMate does support tabs, just doesn’t make it easy to get a file to open in one! Â I know, I will drop the file into the TextMate window that I already have open. Â Then for sure TextMate will realize that I want to open this file as a new tab in that window. Â Wait, what just happened? Â You pasted the entire contents of my dropped file in the middle of the file I already had open? Â Really, TextMate? Â That’s what you thought I wanted to do?
TextMate is not alone.
For some reason, 90% of all text editors I’ve seen on the Mac can’t get these things right. Â For some reason, 90% of text editors I’ve used in Windows get this right. Â There is a lot to like in TextMate, but these things (and a few others) are constantly impeding my productivity.
In case you care, here are two text editors I really like in Windows. Â ConText, which is lightweight, powerful, and free. Â And Sublime Text, which is everything that TextMate is, could be, and should be. Â There is no question Sublime Text was inspired by TextMate, it even shares the same syntax coloring theme file format. Â Sublime Text is also free… to try. Â No time limit or crippled functionality, though. Â You can purchase Sublime Text for a similar price as TextMate, except that I felt like it is worth every penny. Â I will probably be purchasing VMWare Fusion soon so I can use Sublime Text to edit all my files on my Mac.
Update, July 2011: Â Sublime Text is now cross platform, and runs great on OS X! Â See my updated post about Sublime Text on OS X.