BBEdit 8.5 Turns Up the Heat with Indented Soft Wrapping

BBEdit — a “professional HTML and text editor for the Macintosh” — has just had its version 8.5 release and it comes with a healthy dose of new hotness:

  • […] The price has been dropped from $199 to $125.
  • […] The toolbar as been redesiged and some functionality moved around to make it look more OS X-ish.
  • […] Code folding has been added, and works great.

Most exiting to me, though, is the addition of indented soft wrapping. The feature goes by many names, but, even if the name of it doesn’t sound familiar, there’s a good chance you’ve seen it with other editors. The basic idea is that for a line which is wrapped several times — such as a paragraph of copy in HTML — the indented parts of the line will line-up with the indention of the original line.

I’ve been looking for an OS X-based editor that I can live with for some time now. Sure, TextMate has its strong points, but up until this recent BBEdit release, I haven’t been aware of any OS X text editors that included both indented soft wrapping and a tabbed interface. For what it’s worth, there’s been an enhancement request filed to add indented soft wrapping to TextMate but the TextMate team (which is to say, Allan) hasn’t quite gotten to that one yet.

A decent text editor is one of the last puzzle pieces in transition toward OS X. Up until now, it seemed that BBEdit was just resting on its laurels, virtually begging TextMate to take away its text-editor crown. With this most recent release, though, it looks like they’ve been reinvigorated. And, if BBEdit 8.5 lives up to the write-ups, I may just be well on my way toward a Redmond-free OS. Of course, if Uncle Steve were to release Merom-based MacBook Pros, that wouldn't hurt either ;). (Fortunately, that may be not be too far off.)

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