Finally, an awesome text editor for Windows
Sure, there have been Notepad replacements for years–TextPad, EditPlus, Notepad2, etc. I even tried emacs for a while. Somehow, none of those ever “felt” right to me. Sorry, I wish I could put my finger on it.
TextMate on OS X came close, but try as I might I could never get used to Mac-style keyboard shortcuts–my fingers always want to do the Windows equivalents.
I finally found one that works for me: e. (Sorry, the single-letter lowercase name makes a tiny link target. You can click on this link instead if your mouse-fu is weak.)
Aside from the silly name, and the ugly [UNREGISTERED - 30 DAYS LEFT OF TRIAL] in the title bar, it looks and feels great. The syntax coloring is themeable and several of the prepackaged color themes actually look pretty good to me–that’s rarely my experience with Windows shareware apps. There’s no toolbar, thankfully. It’s a single-instance app, with all of the open files in their own tabs. If you try to edit a file that’s already open, it just brings you to the existing tab. Yes!!
In fact, it looks not unlike Notepad–plus extra menu items, syntax coloring, and line numbers.
Oh yeah. And tabs. If you only have one tab open, the tab strip disappears.
It’s got an extensibility story (via “bundles”) and a ton of functionality built in, as this screenshot shows [update: apparently the bundles system is lifted from TextMate--any TextMate bundle will work in e]:
And most importantly, keyboard shortcuts everywhere.
I’m still just scratching the surface of what this thing can do, but I’m already excited enough to have plonked down the $35 for it. These guys deserve to succeed.
Filed under: Programming | 22 Comments