By Deane Barker on November 2, 2004

EditPlus Text Editor, HTML Editor, Programmers Editor for Windows – Welcome!: A while back, Cory Doctorow had a little love-in for BBEdit, apparently the greatest text editor for Macs ever made. Well, after mentioning it a number of times over the years, it’s time I did the same for the greatest text editor ever made for Windows: EditPlus.

Joe turned me on to EditPlus about five years ago. It was free then (it costs $29 today — worth every penny). I’ve been using it ever since. I use it every day, sometimes all day. Back when I was a programmer in a Microsoft-based shop, and everyone around me was using Visual InterDev, I was still coding away on my $29 copy of EditPlus.

Some of the awesome features:

  • Extensible syntax high-lighting. People write new syntax files all the time, and you just drop them in the program directory. I was looking the other day, and there’s about 200 different syntax files out there.

  • Great regex support.

  • Lots of cliptext options. Write a certain text structure a lot? You can save that structure, and insert it with a click of a button with the text insertion cursor at exactly the right spot.

  • Extensible templates. You can save “shells” of file types you work on a lot (a blank HTML page, an empty Java class, etc.) and start a new one from “File > New…”

  • Localized FTP. You can connect to an FTP site as if it was a local folder. Whenever you hit “Save,” the file is FTPed out. The defintion of the (over-used) word “seamless.”

  • Tons of macro options.

  • CYA backups. You can tell EditPlus that, whenever you save, save an extra copy of that file to a certain folder. You never see it happen, never even think about it, but on more than one occasion, this little treasure trove of old files has saved my a**.

  • Command line integration. You can configure a button to run a command line program with the file you’re working as the first argument. I used to compile Java classes this way. I’d hit the button, and Edit Plus would run:
    javac file_i_was_working_on.java

So, there you have it. EditPlus is the BBEdit of Windows. It’s easily worth the $29, and it has a lo-o-ong trial period if you want to give it a shot.

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  1. Ok, it’s time for me to be envious, but only of cheap Winders-only software. I have a copy of BBEdit, and it works great, but at almost $200 a copy, it’s not for everybody. A friend was looking for a text editor for the Mac that could read and write files directly to an ftp server; BBEdit was the only one that came to mind, but it’s too spendy for him. Bare Bones also has TextWrangler that shares a lot of features with BBEdit, but that’s still $50 (he’s even cheaper than me.)

    Developers are getting better about providing cheap and free software for Macs, but there’s still a huge gap in some areas. Of course, much of the freeware that’s available on the Winders side is worth exactly what you pay for it; still, I’d like to see a good Mac port of EditPlus. Please?

  2. Dave, I’ve never used it, but I’ve read a number of favorable comments regarding JEdit – http://www.jedit.org/ . It looks like it has most of the features you would need in a good text editor and it’s available for OS X, Linux and Windows.

  3. My editor-of-choice is UltraEdit (www.ultraedit.com) from IDM. At a very similar price-point ($35), it is a slick tool with a ton of features and syntax files. It also has one of the best features that I have seen in a text editor, Column Mode.

  4. I was an EditPlus user before I discovered PSPad. No real differences between the two except that EditPlus is no longer in development while PSPad is still in development and is free.

    (Though I admit I haven’t bothered to upgrade from the version of PSPad which I downloaded back in January – there has been at least two upgrades since then).

    PSPad can be found at http://www.pspad.com/

  5. I find myself bounding between BBEdit Lite and a freeware app called Creatext. Creatext has the FTP features and is very much geared towards web development, but it’s missing few features that BBedit has, and BBedit just has a certain polish to it. I also use another freeware app call Tex-Edit, mostly because it’s very, very Applescriptable.

  6. Over the past month, four or five developers at work have been experiencing random lockups when using EditPlus. I love the thing, but its been happening to me, too. No apparent rhyme or reason, just r-clicking a file and sending it to EditPlus is sometimes enough to take down my machine, although I can view the same file in Notepad with no problem.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience? Could some recent security patch be conflicting with EditPlus and the way it integrates with Windows Explorer? Will people ever stop voting for Daschle?

  7. for editplus enthusiasts, there’s a new editplus wiki available at: http://www.editplus.info/

    Kayode, granted the last version update of editplus came out in march 2004, but there was a bugfix patch that came out Oct 14th. There’s more information at the URL above.

    dz, i wonder if this patch would help with any of the crashes you’ve been experiencing. I use editplus on win2k and i’ve never had a problem. some people have mentioned that the built in ftp client can be pretty flaky, which i don’t use.

  8. Ok I am new to editplus and want it to do one particular thing that would really benefit me and need to know if it is possible. I am writing cobol on a unix box using editplus my copybooks are shown in the program as “copy somecopybookname”. Now the problem is that these books are in a different directory than the one I am in and in order to browse or edit them to see what is in them I must go to that directory . Now in MF Cobol Netexpress it has the ability to place your coursor/pointer on a copybook and because you defined a path to the libray that editor opens the copybook. Can editplus do this some way?

  9. I am interested in purchasing EditPlus v2 for my company. But i would like to know what the situation is with the licenses. How many? etc

  10. Actually EditPlus nowadays is still free.

    You can continue use it after 30 days’ eval period, other than a minor “nag screen” that reminds you how long you have used that software, nothing bad will happen to you when you are working with it.

  11. i am a Mac user by default, but i am very proficient in a Windows environment. as a web developer of 8 years (HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, etc), i need and have both platforms side-by-side in my office. at home, i’m a gamer – so i’ve relied on Windows for affordable platforms. but i often must work at home in the evenings and i have no Mac machine there. i’ve been using EditPlus2 for about 2 years as the best “simple yet concrete Windows editor for free or nearly free”. i have been using BBEdit for about 7 years. now that i have made the qualifying statements above, i will make this next statement: there is NO equivalent program for Windows to match BBEdit’s power and elegance and dependability and anyone who thinks so has NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE SAYING…

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