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TextWrangler 4.0 revamps interface, adds more programmer-friendly features

11 April 2012, Nick Peers

Bare Bones Software has released TextWrangler 4.0, a major new version of its free OS X text-editing tool. TextWrangler offers both basic text-editing capabilities for general users as well as a number of powerful tools for programmers and system administrators.

TextWrangler 4.0 introduces a major new streamlined editing window for simplifying access to all open documents, plus automatically reloads all previously open documents when relaunched. It also introduces switchable syntax colour schemes.

Version 4.0 now supports both full-screen mode and any-edge window resizing in OS X Lion to accompany its major redesign. Not only is the editing window revamped, the Preferences and Setup windows are redesigned too, along with a streamlined filtering and automation interface.

Version 4.0 streamlines the user interface to make TextWrangler even easier to navigate.

When launched, all previously open documents are automatically restored in TextWrangler 4.0, including any unsaved documents. Switching between open documents is made simple thanks to version 4.0’s new Currently Open Documents pane, which sits to the left of the main editing window. A Recent Documents pane also makes it easy to reload recently closed documents.

Customizing TextWrangler has also been simplified thanks to the redesigned Preferences window, which provides 11 Preferences panes including Appearance, Text Colors and Menus & Shortcuts. The Preferences window, along with the redesigned Setup window for managing bookmarks to FTP/SFTP sites, grep patterns and file filters, are accessible from the main TextWrangler menu.

The process of simplifying and streamlining is also found in the new modeless “Open File by Name” feature, which allows users to type in the name of the file instead of browsing for it manually.

Programmers will be pleased to see switchable syntax colour schemes, support for Verilog and VHDL, plus the added ability for TextWrangler to treat Automator, AppleScript and Unix scripts as co-equal, allowing all to be used as text filters as well as being run directly as scripts.

TextWrangler 4.0 is available now as a freeware download for Mac users running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.

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