IDM Computer Solutions
Indian Springs, Ohio
UltraEdit is one of the longtime survivors in the shareware world,
having started life as a 16-bit application. Still shareware and with a
wide array of features despite the low price, it's worth considering for
your text editing needs.
What you get here is a syntax-coloring editor (there are nine common
languages in the default install, but you can download highlighting
files for many more from the Web site) that can open lots of files at
one time. It uses an MDI interface with tabs for fast switching between
files, and a treeview showing which files you have open. Files can also
be grouped into projects so you can easily open and close whole groups
of them. There are also various other windows that you can add to the
user interface, including an output window that shows you the results of
external commands and a tag list window. The tag list was designed for
languages like HTML, to let you pick tag names and get the appropriate
text inserted in a document, but there's no reason you couldn't use it
as a general code-snippet facility.
As you'd expect from a text editor that's been around this long, there
are lots and lots of features. Just a small selection:
- Hex editing mode
- Search and replace with regular expression support
- Column selection mode
- Incremental searching
- Support for working with files from FTP servers
- Unicode support
- HTML Tidy integration
- 100,000 word spell checker
There's also a full macro language, including a recorder and macro
editing facilities. You can edit macros just by choosing from a list of
actions, so there's no need to learn yet another programming language.
UltraEdit can set up any DOS or Windows application as an external tool,
pass it the current filename, and save the output, so you can use it in
conjuction with compilers or other tools. It allows you to double-click
on output messages and jump to the corresponding code lines, though I
had some trouble with this when the path was very long and included
spaces and numeric characters. But after this many years of accumulating
files, my drive layout is fairly baroque.
UltraEdit uses the disk for intermediate file storage, so it can
handle extremely large files even if RAM is limited in your box. If
you're looking for a snappy tool to edit lots of files at once, it's a
good choice - and you can try it out for 45 days for free.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.