Bare Bones Software releases BBEdit 12

Bare Bones Software has released BBEdit 12, the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Macintosh.

What’s new:

• Improved dark-theme support – When using a dark color scheme, BBEdit now colors editing and project window chrome to match, for a more integrated overall appearance. (For customers used to the old behavior, this can be set in the “Appearance” preferences.) For customers who have never before used BBEdit or TextWrangler, the “BBEdit Dark” color scheme is now the factory default; this can be changed if desired in the “Text Colors” preferences.

• Improved platform behavior – Thanks to extensive internal overhaul, BBEdit now supports intrinsic OS behaviors such as Split View (and many others).

• Improved UI for FTP/SFTP Browsers, Text Factory, and Preview windows – many non-editing windows have been overhauled for improved appearance and behavior, and to add features.

• New “Canonize” tool – Provides a text-based model for batch search and replace, either within a single file or (by using a Text Factory) in multiple files.

• New “Columns” Editing Commands – Easily cut, copy, delete, or rearrange columns in delimited (CSV, TSV) text files without requiring a spreadsheet or complicated regular expressions.

• FTP/SFTP browsers now feature an outline view for improved navigation

• Text Factory windows now provide the ability to turn individual steps on and off

• Preview in BBEdit windows now provide runtime introspection of previewed pages using the WebKit Inspector

• Text Extraction – This powerful addition to BBEdit’s legendary searching capabilities allows you to locate and collect search results into a single text document. Extraction can be run on the active text document, or across multiple files and folders. Use of Grep replacement patterns during extraction enables transformations to the extracted text.

• Extensive Internal Modernization – Many internal subsystems have been rewritten or updated to support new features, improve performance, add refinement, and make future enhancements possible.

In all, BBEdit 12 contains over one hundred additions, changes, and refinements. The detailed change notes contain complete information here.

More info and download link (try before you buy; $49.99 for new users, $29.99 upgrade from 11.x) here.

MacDailyNews Take: It doesn’t suck™.


  1. Text Wranger (the free version of BBEdit from long ago) still does a fantastic job of text editing. When I need more than that, I switch to Code Wright (also long since orphaned) under Windows, which is probably the best programmer’s editor I’ve ever used.

    BBEdit got so heavy into HTML stuff that they lost their way years ago (well, unless you like editing HTML manually). Haven’t looked at it recently, but the “columns” editing feature looks like it could be useful. Would also like to see if their rectangular block operations have improved since Text Wrangler (Code Wright is an order of magnitude better in that department).

  2. Because of their implementation of grep, I used BBEdit extensively from the 1990s until just a couple of years ago when I retired. I had developed a large library of text factories, which are something Automator and similar utilities supposedly performed, but did so clunkily and unreliably. By stringing together regular expressions and applying BBEdit’s text functions, I was able to extract intelligible data from almost any legacy file – mainframe output, PDFs, OCR scans, old Word or Excel documents. A number of companies perform this sort of translation service for money. I built my own decoders using BBEdit’s tools, and saved my clients a lot of money.

  3. I’ve been using text editors since the TECO era (well before VI and EMACS). BBEdit is, in my opinion, the best text editor out there, bar none and has been for 20+ years.

    Yes, it now has many bells and whistles many people don’t need or will ever use. Yes, it is not the simple, fast, capable text editor it was 20 years ago, but it is still the best.

    It is unfortunate that Bare Bones Software dropped TextWrangler. For those that needed a free, simple version of BBEdit with more limited capabilities it was a great, light weight editor. Many are missing it and will continue to miss it. Yes, you can download BBEdit and use it in a free mode in a similar way to that of using TextWrangler, but it’s really not the same.

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