Red Sweater Software has just released MarsEdit 4, the ultimate blogging tool. I’ve been using MarsEdit since the previous version was released, back in 2010. (Yes, it’s been seven years since there was a major update…) Just about everything I write for this site – and other blogs I manage – is written in MarsEdit.
It’s got great features for blogging. You can set any font you want in the editor, and use your own blog’s theme for previews. You can write with your HTML code visible, or you can use a rich text editor. It works great with WordPress – which is what I use for blogs – handling some of the unique features, such as post formats, featured images, and more. It can download and store a full archive of your blogs, so you always have the text of your articles handy. And it makes adding images to your articles easy, letting you choose the alignment, size, and even handling retina images correctly.
In addition, the great Safari extension lets you select text from an article on a website and open a new post in MarsEdit; that’s how I create posts here where I quote an article.
I’ve been using MarsEdit 4 for nearly a year, in alpha and beta versions, and it’s the best tool available for blogging on the Mac.
The venerable text editor BBEdit, which has been a staple for many Mac users for 25 years, had just reached version 12. This major update, the first in three years, ensures compatibility with macOS High Sierra, and adds some interesting features, such as the ability to cut, copy, and remove text in columns (delimited by tabs, commas, etc.), a Canonize feature, to perform massive text replacements from a word list, and new display options, including an improved dark theme, something the kids like. (My aging eyes don’t work well with dark themes.)
BBEdit is the tool I use whenever I work on code, or large text files. It’s a powerful text editor that doesn’t suck. If you use it regularly, update now; if not, you should try it out. It costs $50, with upgrades for $30 or $40 depending on how long you’ve owned a previous version.
“Technology evolves from raw, to complex, to simple. From the fist, to the hand axe, to the hammer. From carts, to the Model T, to self-driving cars. From switchboard-operated phones to digital phones to smartphones. From SMS to Facebook to Messenger. From the crude to the cooked to Sushi. After seven years of development, where on this trajectory is iA Writer?”
iA Writer is my text editor of choice on the Mac. I use it for most of my writing. (I also use Scrivener, MarsEdit, and Nisus Writer Pro, which are each used for specific types of projects.) They’ve gone from simple to complex back to simple, and it remains the easiest text editor for writing (i.e., not for working with code), and one of the most attractive to use.
In this article, the people at Information Architects discuss their design philosophy, and how important it is to keep things simple. There’s a constant give and take between simplicity and features that users want, but Information Architects has managed to keep their app one of the clearest, easiest to use text editors for Mac.
Bare Bones, the maker of the great text editors BBEdit and TextWrangler, is planning to retire the free TextWrangler, and make BBEdit free for basic features.
… last July, we released BBEdit 11.6. You can use this version unlicensed, forever, for free. Without a license, BBEdit now includes all of the features that TextWrangler offers, plus quite a few others. That’s right. You no longer have to pick between them.
If this sounds like TextWrangler will eventually be sunsetted, you’re right; it will. While the next version of macOS hasn’t even been announced yet, when it ships, TextWrangler won’t be updated for it—but BBEdit will. You could keep using TextWrangler, but why?
Try BBEdit out for 30 days, after which you can still use its text editing capabilities for as long as you’d like. If later you decide you need one of the exclusive features or one of the authoring tools, you can buy a license from directly within BBEdit.
It makes sense. They don’t need to maintain two separate apps when one can provide both the basic, free functionality, and the more powerful features with the purchase of a license. If you need a powerful text editor, get BBEdit.