I have to admit, it was love at first sight with TextMate. Why? It’s just a text editor! In fact, I spent about $50 on it – and there’s not shortage of powerful, free text editors out there. So what’s so special about TextMate?

Besides being the nearest thing to perfection out there, the simple answer is that it looks great. It’s fast, simple, and you can “fold” your code to reduce the information density of your document. In the example below, you see a CSS file I’m working on. I’ve folded up the sections I don’t need to look at, which saves space. I’m using here a font called ProFont which looks great at very small sizes. And the color highlighting is perfect – the parts I’ve folded up turn to black and white, so my eyes are only drawn to the stuff I care about right now.

Lots of other text editors support many of the features I’m talking about – Macromedia even added “folding” support to the newest version of Dreamweaver. But they get it all wrong. In TextMate, I can type one key combination to collapse all my code, and then just expand the sections I want to work on.

If you use a Mac, and do any significant amount of text editing, I highly recommend you give TextMate a try.

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