By Amit Asaravala
Helios Software Solutions
Text editor that's great for writing code. Does syntax highlighting, spell checking, and advanced search and replace.
People always ask me what software I use when developing Web sites. Is it Homesite? Dreamweaver? Visual InterDev? While all these packages are helpful, the truth is that I spend 95% of my time working within TextPad, a full-featured text editor from Helios Software Solutions.
"Text editor" is putting it lightly. TextPad 4.1, the latest release, will check spelling, sort data, compare files, and allow you to search using regular expressions. One of its best features is the ability to perform syntax highlighting for a number of languages like HTML, Java, PHP, Perl, and many others. If you ever want to "colorize" a language that didn't come configured in the original software installation, chances are you'll find a solution at the TextPad Web site, where users can submit and download new .syn syntax files.
For heavy programming tasks, I find TextPad's configurable "Tools" menu to be extremely handy. I have my menu set up with options to compile or run whatever program I happen to be editing. In fact, if you install the JDK correctly, TextPad will add a number of JDK commands to the "Tools" menu automatically.
UNIX users might be reminded of the Emacs, grep, and diff utilities. But if you prefer to work on a Windows system, with a single, small-footprint editor, TextPad is one tool you can't pass up. The final release retails at $27, and upgrades are $10.
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