BBEdit 8.2.6, or I Knew I Wasn’t Smoking Crack


If there’s one program that I would consider to be indispensable, it would be BBEdit, Bare Bones’ ultra-powerful text editor, which I use for all of my (X)HTML and CSS coding. I’ve tried some of the other editors out there — skEdit, SubEthaEdit, TextMate — and while they all look promising, I’ve always returned to BBEdit for one reason or another.

One thing I’ve always liked about BBEdit, and this is purely personal preference, is its use of tool palettes (which, I realize, are nothing radically new). Specifically, the “HTML Tools” palette. Not only does it place all of the major HTML elements just a click away, but it can be easily customized to remove options that you don’t want or need, such as the “Font…” option or the “Dreamweaver” option (since it’ll be a cold day in hell before I use a <font> tag, and I don’t use Dreamweaver).

Unfortunately, when I installed BBEdit 8.2 during the “Great iMac Ritual Of 2006” a few months ago, it seemed like my beloved “HTML Tools” palette was broken. None of the changes I made in the “Preferences” took hold. I could customize everything else, just not the palette I use the most.

Granted, it wasn’t a huge deal. For one thing, another one of BBEdit’s lovely features is the ability to map virtually any key combination to virtually any action. And since I’m one of those who prefers to use the keyboard as much as possible to get around (one of the reasons why I love Quicksilver so much, but that’s another topic), it was easy to ignore the unnecessarily long “HTML Tools” palette.

But when I actually needed to use it, I had to spend a few more seconds trying to locate the option I needed, and then click on it. Not a deal-breaker by any means, and it seems pretty trivial, but it certainly was a wee bit annoying in the midst of a coding frenzy. Especially since the older version of BBEdit I use at the office worked just fine and was customized up the wazoo.

I scoured the various BBEdit forums and did many a Google search, hoping that someone else might have mentioned the same issue, but to no avail. So with a shrug, I went on using my fave app, albeit with a slightly heavier heart. Until today, that is.

Today, Bare Bones released the 8.2.6 update for BBEdit. Normally, I’m not a huge stickler for upgrades. Sure, I like to be as current as the next guy, but I also know the value of waiting and seeing. But as I perused the release notes, I saw this little tidbit: Fixed bug in the handling of HTML palette prefs on Intel Macs which would prevent changes from being recognized.

Needless to say, I’m now running BBEdit 8.2.6, and my slimmed down “HTML Tools” palette is looking mighty fine.

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