Hackery, Math & Design

Steven Wittens i

My ideal text editor

Out of recommendation from a certain evil norwegian, I gave EditPad Pro a whirl. Took me 10 minutes to remove it again.

Am I too picky? Maybe. Here's what I want from a text-editor (in no particular order):

  • Runs on Windows 2000. Vent your anti-Microsoft anger somewhere else, I use Windows every day and I'm not likely to switch any time soon.
  • Native Unicode and UTF-8 support. This is 2004. Unicode has been around for ages, and I see no reason why I should occupy myself with encoding issues. I deal with multiple languages, so Unicode is the only logical choice. Unicode compatibility is no longer a problem thanks to the Microsoft Layer for Unicode (from now on I will shoot everyone who refers to a byte as a 'character'). Note: automatic conversion between Unicode and the current ANSI codepage doesn't cut it (that's what Editpad Pro seems to do).
  • IME-friendly, with bonus points for an integrated IME. Sometimes I type Japanese, and it requires indirect input and conversion of typed characters. Certain editors I've encountered do weird things which prevents the IME from doing its job, so that's why I mention it explicitly.
  • Advanced editing for web-development. I do a lot of HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL and JavaScript, so anything that can make coding easier is a plus. The least I want is syntax highlighting, but intelligent auto-completion, validation, previewing and other visual cues are very handy too.
  • Good user-interface. This one shouldn't really be necessary to mention, but so many programs seem to miss the point here: a program should be easy to use. I'm not going to go down to specifics, there are a lot of good references on the subject around. Because I'm picky as hell, reconfigurable toolbars, panels and hotkeys score good too. Don't confuse this item with the next one, which is:
  • Nice to look at. I don't need menus that whiz by, flashy windows with skins or other novelty visual effects, but that doesn't mean my applications can be butt-ugly. Things such as proper spacing and margins, aesthetic proportions and contemporary looks are big pluses.

I don't think these are such crazy demands, so if anyone who has suffered through this rant up to now knows a program which satisfies these conditions, please post a link here ;).

Update: I've settled for Notepad2 for now. It's a small, functional, neat editor and it's open-source too.

Meh  Unicode
This article contains graphics made with WebGL, which your browser does not seem to support.
Try Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. ×