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What is BBEdit?

BBEdit is a text editor from Bare Bones software headquartered in Massachusetts.

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BBEdit, a popular code editor and text editing tool, is highly valued by a diverse range of users including software developers, …
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What is BBEdit?

BBEdit is a text editor from Bare Bones software headquartered in Massachusetts.

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Product Details

What is BBEdit?

BBEdit Technical Details

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Frequently Asked Questions

BBEdit is a text editor from Bare Bones software headquartered in Massachusetts.

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 9.7.

The most common users of BBEdit are from Small Businesses (1-50 employees).
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Reviews and Ratings


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(1-7 of 7)
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Kevin O'Grady | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use BBEdit as much as possible for all our text editing because it does it much better than the standard default text editors that come pre-installed on PCs and Macs. Even after a couple of years of constant use, we are still learning the full functionality. That doesn't mean it is difficult, no, it just means it is comprehensive and worth every penny.
  • I love the SORT functionality of BBEdit
  • The ease of use makes it a superior product to every text editor out there.
  • BBEdit handles text like a pro, and like all text, editors should.
  • BBEdit is hard to learn
  • BBEdit is so full of functionality that it needs a better onboarding system.
  • It is fast and efficient at what it does.
Anywhere you have text, you need BBEdit. It handles complex text just as easily as simple text. It has an excellent search and replace functionality. Superb sorting, and it is excellent fast removal of gremlins. They call it Zap Gremlins on the menu, and it is one I use a lot in my daily work.
January 25, 2020

Great Text Utility

Michael Prewitt | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
As far as I know, I am the sole user of BBEdit at my organization, although I believe there may be a few users of its free sibling, TextWrangler. I have been using BBEdit for a long time, at least 15 years, maybe longer. The license I use at work is actually my own. Although there are many competitors in its space, I am still a devoted user. BBEdit is fast-loading, is powerful at many forms of text editing, supports GREP (regular expressions), supports many languages with the ability to add support for new ones, has advanced file system and internet tools, and works well for web development. I continue to use it because it gets the job done and I haven't found a better solution.
  • BBEdit has great file tools: access the file system, including hidden files and folders; direct FTP/SFTP support; access to Git and Subversion; support for projects (related files, such as the files for a website); access contents of ZIP archives; change file encoding (UTF, etc.); and more.
  • BBEdit has numerous commands for formatting text and especially code. There are many ways to select, copy, convert, format, search, replace, compare, and tidy up text and code projects. Its text processing is available to the OS X Automator app.
  • I've not seen that BBEdit is useful for optimizing code. That is, it doesn't give you hints about ways to improve your code, such as flagging inefficient or obsolete methods or commands. Its syntax checking is relatively basic.
  • The software is somewhat expensive (currently about $50 for a new license), although the price has come down from what it used to be. Other similar apps such as Brackets by Adobe or Visual Studio Code by Microsoft are free.
I'm primarily a graphic designer who does occasional web development. For me, BBEdit works very well. I use it both for developer projects (editing code, editing system files) and for general text processing (cleaning up, formatting, or extracting text). I like that it offers real-time previews of edits to web project files. It comes with some nice editor themes and supports adding more or customizing them. I expect that for some coders, it will be inadequate. It is not an IDE. On the other end of the spectrum, someone who expects an experience more like Microsoft Word will be very disappointed; or if they wanted something more along the lines of Windows Notepad, they may find it to be overkill. It is an ASCII text editor with many advanced commands and tools built-in.
Courtney Birnbaum | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
BBEdit is our go-to software for wrangling text into a usable form for our publishing work. Our department is the main user of this software, and we find it excellent because of its free option and its variety of script functions to semi-automate our process to get text from many sources to adhere to our singular standards. We run scripts in BBEdit multiple times a day to process text for rosters, schedules and other sports information.
  • BBEdit remembers what I had open, so I never have to worry about losing work when I accidentally close the software. It will hold onto information almost indefinitely, so that the next time I open a program, I can access the information that I may have forgotten to save. Thankfully, its save function is also very simple to use, so I recommend still saving your work as needed.
  • Scripts are the most important aspect of BBEdit for the company I work for. Being able to import scripts and create new ones all in the same location are great.
  • One slightly annoying thing about BBEdit is the Currently Open Documents sidebar. If you open a second document, all documents are now tabbed with this column on the left, making you need to adjust your window to return to the window size you were using. Even closing all but one document will not remove the sidebar; it is only fixed when you close the software and open it again. Not a big issue, but worth mentioning.
  • Many of BBEdit's best tools are behind a paywall. We do not need most of these functions for our work, so I cannot speak on them from my limited use during the program's free trial period.
BBEdit's free version is great as an update to the group's previous product Text Wrangler, which, as that name implies, allowed us to manage any text to remove odd formatting and adjust the text to our specific needs as a publishing group. The paid version, which I am less familiar with, has considerably better tools if you are seeking BBEdit for coding purposes, as its HTML ability is much better than the free version I use more regularly. If you are looking for a word processor or other more polished text files, this is unlikely to suit. But if you want a simple program with surprisingly complex uses for preparing text for another program or writing code, this may be the program you need.
Jeff Eaton | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our team is roughly 75% software developers; even strategists and architects need to be savvy enough to dip into the source code on occasion. Although full-fledged IDEs are common on the team, BBEdit is a popular swiss army knife that proves its worth as a code editor and a general-purpose text editing tool. When it comes time to process raw data files before they're imported into a database, BBEdit and its fast, scriptable text manipulation features can shave off days of troubleshooting and tool-tweaking.
  • Multi-file search and replace features that rival the most powerful UNIX command-line tools.
  • Source control and compiler integration for software developers.
  • Scripting and macro features that speed repetitive work.
  • It integrates with browsers for HTML preview, but it's a shame it can't do the same for markdown files.
BBEdit was born in the memory-starved days of the early 90s when monitors were black and white and some computers still shipped with a megabyte of RAM. Feature-rich IDEs like Komodo, WebStorm, and even VisualStudio IDE can bring more advanced features like debugger integration and automatic refactoring, but none can rival BBEdit's raw speed. Often, I'll launch BBEdit, open a multi-megabyte codebase, searched for the relevant function calls, and fixed a bug before the "full-featured" alternatives have even finished indexing the same code.

For anyone who works with large data files (tab or comma-separated data, JSON or XML, etc), BBEdit excels at the ugly work of scrubbing and formatting data before it's fed into an automated import or migration process. It puts a clean interface on top of powerful GREP tools, including the ability to save and recall common patterns; it lets me select "columns" of data in raw text files and manipulate them like a spreadsheet; it can call out to shell scripts and command-line utilities to augment its own built-in scripting and automation tools; it has canned tools for managing capitalization, line prefixes and suffixes, stripping and mapping high ASCII characters, removing Unicode "junk" characters, and more. And that's just scratching the surface.
Jeff Mendelson, MBA | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
BBEdit is a competent code editor, but I use it more for the auto-save feature. It's my note-taker, code editor, and scratch-pad, all in one.
It has a lot of macro and repetitive functionality as well, primarily when I work with CSV files, need to make a bunch changes, look for needles-in-haystack, etc.
  • The auto-save feature is killer for me.
  • Love the multiple color schemes which match my work style.
  • Loads fast and doesn't slow down my system.
  • It's still a little techy for my uses.
  • I have some issues with making my preferences stick. But they're minor.
  • I have tried other code editors, and this one is the best.
Code-editing, but all almost any kind of note-taking as well. It's straightforward for me to get started and write something.
Audrey Burn | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I am a freelance web designer, I love to use BBedit to edit code and any time I need to be sure I have clean text with no hidden formatting.
  • Very clean interface
  • Helps you tidy up your code
  • Compare differences feature
  • Find and Replace
  • You can't preview directly in the window, but that doesn't really make a difference to me.
I like to use it to view and clean up code, when Dreamweaver isn't as easy to view/edit if you ask me. I probably wouldn't use it with a large site/multiple pages, but I like how easy it is to view the different parts of the code.
Jason Smith, DPA | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
BBEdit has been around for ages. At one time you could say that it was the go-to text editor for those on the Mac platform. The basic problem that BBEdit addresses is that Mac OSX lacks an easy to use text editor that has lots of functionality. For example, TextEdit is too basic and vi (via the command line) is too hard to use for most users. Most of our developers use BBEdit because they have always used it, so it is familiar, and they know how it works. Is BBEdit the best? I would say it used to be the best text editor for the Mac, but not so much anymore.
  • Easy to use, anyone can use BBEdit.
  • Highly configurable and it is easy to create automated tasks.
  • The internal help function is really good!
  • The company is committed to BBEdit.
  • The cost of this product has just become too much for the functionality that most people need. You can find free or $10 tools that do what most people need to do.
  • The BBEdit program has lots of functionality, but could it be too much? Are there too many options?
  • It seems that there are too many upgrades.
BBEdit is suited for a Mac environment where source code or text files need to be edited. BBEdit also has a nice function where you can edit files via SCP so it is good for doing remote editing. I can't really think of a scenario where it is less suited except for doing modern HTML editing. Know that this is not BBEdit's fault, it is just how HTML has become a mess these days.
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