Bare Bones Software has announced the release and immediate availability of its free “Text Engine for the Mac Community.” TextWrangler 4.5 is a significant update to this high performance, general purpose text editor for Mac OS X.
I’ve been a relatively heavy user of TextWrangler, especially since I’ve been doing more and more drafting and editing on my iPad, synced via Dropbox with my three production Macs. Most iOS text editing apps (Nebulous Notes is an exception) require standard text document format with a .txt suffix added to file names, and TextWrangler creates, opens, and edits these files gracefully and without any added complication of formatted text. I just keep TextWrangler configured as the default application for .txt docs on the Macs.
TextWrangler 4.5’s marquee new feature is that it’s been optimized to look sharp on Macs with the latest MacBook Pro models’ high-resolution Retina displays. One of the benefits of using Mac-only software is that such things as Retina support tend to get attended to promptly.
If you’re not fortunate enough to own a Retina MacBook Pro, in addition, TextWrangler 4.5 introduces a Go menu, a new Compare Against Previous Version command, various bug fixes and more.
The new Go menu provides convenient access to Jump Point, Function, Line Number and Center Line locations for easier navigation within a document. This menu contains some navigation commands that were previously on the Search menu (thus shortening the latter).
There’s a new command on the Search menu: “Compare Against Previous Version.” If you’re running on Mac OS X 10.7 or later, this command gives you access to previous versions of the document on which you’re working; you can compare and integrate changes from those versions, as desired. A new version is created each time you save a file. The version history is arbitrarily limited by the system; if you wish you may disable version creation entirely with an expert preference:
defaults write com.barebones.textwrangler AllowVersionedSaves -bool NO
TextWrangler now requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, and the new Compare Against Previous Version command requiring Mac OS X 10.7 or later.
The “ASCII Table” palette has been replaced by the Character Inspector, which gives you live inspection of your selected text. Although it’s a static display, you can select any of the representations of your selection and copy (or drag) them as desired.
“Compare Two Front Documents” has been changed to “Compare Two Front Windows.” This more accurately reflects its behavior and provides for a more predictable set of rules, specifically—this command is enabled only if there are two or more editing windows open, and a text document is active in each of the frontmost two windows, and if neither window is blocked by a modal dialog box.
TextWrangler 4.5 also includes several new command keystroke equivalents and keyboard navigation adjustments to provide additional comfort for refugees from other platforms. TextWrangler 4.5 also includes other refinements and fixes for specific reported issues in this award-winning HTML and text editor.
Detailed information on all of the changes in TextWrangler 4.5 can be found at www.barebones.com.
A full outline of TextWrangler’s features is also available.