A quick look at Smultron 2.0

by Giles Turnbull

Peter Borg recently released version 2.0 of Smultron, his excellent open source text editor. So what's new? Well, among other things...

Tabs Smultron has, until now, sported a left-side Documents List showing all open files. This is still around, but now you can optionally open some tabs at the top of the edit window too. The tabs replicate some functionality from the Documents List, but some people will welcome their appearance nonetheless. They act as proxies for the Documents List, which means the controls for moving around the list also apply to moving around tabs.

Projects Smultron lets you create a multitude of Projects, each of which contains any number of text files. By default the top-level project is called "All documents" and contains all files from all your projects. Click on a single project in the Projects Drawer, and you'll only see the files it contains; they'll be listed in the Documents List.

Full screen mode It does exactly what you'd expect, but cannot be customised to display text differently; if you want green-on-black and font size 18 in fullscreen, you'll have to change the main font/color settings to that first.


2006-07-31 16:53:05
Yeah, I've been trying it out... very nice. TextMate has far more than I need and I don't need SubEthaEdit's sharing abilities. Smultron has a nifty split level view for editing 2 documents at once which has proved useful. Basic templates and snippets are included and it is VERY easy to add new ones. Of course web preview is there... perfect for web work. I'm not too fond of the toolbar icons... that's being nice. Ugh. In fact, I removed them all to avoid looking at them since I prefer keyboard commands anyway. It's not hard to dig into the package contents of the app and replace the png/pdf icons if you want to use the tool bar and want it nice.

As you stated it is very stable even with lots of documents open and the tabs are a welcome addition. My current favorite text editor.

2006-07-31 18:51:04
Why does the world need so many text editors? Wasn't BBEdit and TextEdit enough? And with SubEtha and TextMate, good grief, there's 5 programs just to type into the keyboard.
2006-08-01 05:17:29
Why do we need so many text editors? For the same reason we have so many makes of car, or colours of paint. Choice! If we didn't have the choice then we'ed just have to be happy with what we had.
I'm a aquamacs man my self, but I also use TextMate (and I did use BBEdit, before I was priced out of the market!)
2006-08-01 07:10:33
For me it's skEdit all the way. I've used Smultron and TextMate, and neither of them compare IMO to skEdit. http://skti.org
2006-08-01 08:25:58
Smultron is a great editor. I use it almost exclusively. For those that wonder why there's yet another editor. Two things, first, BBEdit is antiquated, in my opinion, and TextMate isn't free.

Smultron is a small, fast, great editor that's free as well.

2006-08-01 08:36:08
Troubledwine, No, BBEdit and TextEdit weren't enough.

Well, in one sense they were, but that's a bit like saying that a Volkswagon Beetle and a dump truck shauld offer anyone what they need in a car. For years BBEdit was pretty much crap for editing any text that wasn't HTML (or maybe for short bouts of LaTeX or a smidge of C coding), but that was it -- want to program in something like OCaml or Ruby? Sorry man, you're in for a bumpy ride. And TextEdit is also fine for basic rich text editing, but it's really no good for any sort of coding.

And if you spend any time inputting the kind of text that an editor doesn't really support well, you will see a huge boost, in comfort, if not productivity, by switching to an editor that does support your needs.

2006-08-01 15:28:20
Check out "Mojo" by The Little App Factory:


Its about to go into beta...

2006-08-02 09:59:40
Thanks, I'll check it out.
2006-08-02 11:46:46
Why does the world need so many text editors? Wasn't BBEdit and TextEdit enough? And with SubEtha and TextMate, good grief, there's 5 programs just to type into the keyboard.

Because all suck.

Mike Ormsby
2008-02-05 09:18:57
I've been using Smultron for a couple of weeks now and I love it. Smultron fits my needs better than any other Mac text editor, even ones that cost money. I occasionally use jEdit, but it annoys me that it doesn't play well with Leopard spaces. I also use Eclipse when I'm forced to, such as when I'm using Flex Builder or BEA Portal Workshop. But most of the time Smultron is my favorite coding platform. The only minor nitpick I could bring up is that the Smultron documentation could be more complete. For instance, it took me a while to realize that if you want to check balanced braces in an existing file double clicking right on the brace in question will select the corresponding clause. But overall I'd say hats off to Peter Borg and the rest of the crew for producing a wonderful tool.