Replacement for TextWrangler

Slightly off topic, perhaps, but I’m starting, begrudgingly, to think about upgrading to MacOS Catalina, and obviously need to ensure I’m not running anything 32bit. The only thing that I can find which I use regularly is TextWrangler, which I tend to use pretty much daily. It’s a really simple text editor, it does exactly what I want, very simply, and very little else. And it is/was free.

What do you guys use for Text Editing? Any recommendations for 64bit alternatives to TextWrangler?


use BBEdit, the big brother!

I have it for over 10 years now.


Yup, looked at that, but it seems like it’s kinda expensive for what I’d actually use it for. I’ve found SubEthaEdit now - I remember this from the old OSX Training days, and it’s free! So I’m happy now :wink:

Hi @JamesG,
I use BBEdit for a while now and will upgrade when moving on to Catalina. It is not prohibitively expensive and a solid product. However, there is a ‘free mode’ with functionalities accessible after expiration of the trial period and without a purchased license. In the essence, barebones moved the features of TextWrangler to BBEdit ‘free mode’.

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Ahhh, that’s interesting, I wasn’t aware there was a free tier available.

+1 for BBEdit - both the free one as a TextWrangler replacement and the paid version to support the long-term Mac developer and the additional features

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BBEdit is great and affordable.
A free tool for Mac AND PC is:


One of our developers chooses to use Atom

If you want to handle serious amounts of text and do something silly like edit it, BBEdit is the king.

Atom doesn’t handle multi-megabyte data files as well as BBEdit does.


BBEdit here. Whenever I’m on Windows, I miss it…

It’s habit, but BBEdit does all others can - and it’s rock solid over years

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I use a few,

BBEdit for grep, code comparison, and searching files in folders.

If you need to work with Filemaker syntax and FileMaker clipboards then TextMate and textmate-bundle from Beezwax. beezwax > products > textmate bundle for filemaker. I like the clipboard extraction.

Same bundle has been converted for Visual Studio Code GitHub - jwillinghalpern/filemaker-vscode-bundle: Filemaker syntax and snippets for Visual Studio Code


Great, thanks for the Studio Code links!

I was a BBEdit user for many years. Loved it. Several years ago, Panic Software released an editor called Coda, which I’ve been using ever since. Panic is presently rebuilding Coda from the ground up and is giving it a new name (“Nova”). It’s in private beta right now, but should be available soon.


I too would swap TextWrangler for BBEdit, mostly because:

All that said, and as we are talking about mac users, if I am dealing exclusively with JSON, I like to use JAYSON.

If I am working with markdown, I like to use Typora.

Should BBEdit not be available and I was looking for a free text editor, I would consider looking into Visual Studio Code (yes on a mac).

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Yup - BBEdit

as they say - “It doesn’t suck”!


BBEdit now has a RegEx playground. Love it. Such a great power tool. I’ve written some python plug-ins for BBEdit to do things like pretty-print JSON and other things. Best editor I’ve ever used (outside an IDE).

Agreed. Nice chat with Rich Siegel on the MacAdmins podcast a while back. Episode 113: Rich Siegel and 25 years of BBEdit – Mac Admins Podcast

For many years I’ve used UltraEdit ( I mainly use it on Windows; it hasn’t been available on Mac for long which may be why it’s not very well known on the platform (AFAIK). I prefer the Windows version, but it may be that I’m not as familiar with it. It may be a good solution if you work on both platforms. It includes a FileMaker syntax highligher (but perhaps I found it and somewhere added it - I can’t remember).

I use various editors, but this is my favourite. It has a huge number of features. One I like particularly is the ability to edit very large text files quickly. I rarely have files of more than a few hundred MB, but it can handle files of several GBs. Another advantage is that it links with UltraCompare - an excellent file comparis/diff tool.

One thing I love about BBEdit is its ability to search multiple files.

Unfortunately, on the Mac there is yet to be a utility that will search EVERY FILE, including possibly nested zips, gzip, and related. On Windows (THE ONLY REASON I MISS WINDOWS) there is “File Locator Pro”. Although the utility: “File Locator Pro” sounds a bit contrived, this is the most amazing search tool I’ve ever used. I’ve used FLP for about 15 years.

So, if BBEdit can’t find what I need, I (still, in 2019) have to share a mac folder so WINDOWS (File Locator Pro) can do the search.

(Mac search tools, almost all of them, lazily rely on the spotlight index, which is not complete, does not search archives, and have other deficiencies.)

FLP is an amazing tool. Best utility ever.

BBEdit in my view is the next best (quite a way from FLP, unfortunately) for finding search terms in multiple files.

One of the main reasons I prefer to use Windows is due to similar missing utilities.

For me, by a long way the best file-related program I use is Everything ( I can type a few characters to find any of the million+ files on the computer in front of me - at the speed I can type. ‘.fmp12’ would find all FileMaker files, listed however I’ve set the default (eg mod date desc). I could type ‘eas run .f’ to check if I’ve already downloaded ‘EasyRuntimeSign v3.fmp12’ posted in this forum recently.

Everything can search within files but for that I use UltraEdit. 99 times out of a 100, I just want to find/open files.

Until recently I’ve been disappointed that nothing on the Mac comes close (IMO) and used EasyFind (a good utility, but glacial in performance compared to Everything). However I recently came across HoudahSpot; it’s the best such program I’ve found so far (but it isn’t Everything).

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