Sublime Text – The Editor of My Choice

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is simply the best editor in the world. No doubt about that. It took me some time to realise this fact but eventually it happened.

Being a .NET developer means you are working almost exclusively in Visual Studio. This is a decent IDE with tons of features. Features that I hardly ever used while doing frontend work as most of my time is spent with writing code or markup. It’s been a while since I extensively did Windows Forms or Web Forms development where the built in designers and other tools are basically essential. Recently, however, I get to do a great deal of frontend work, which means a lot of JavaScript. There is just no need for a heavy IDE or anything else. All I need is a decent text editor. So what are the options out there?

Other than Visual Studio I used to use Notepad++ every now and then to quickly edit config files or do live-edits on a QA box to change some markup or fix a simple bug (don’t tell me you never did that). Fast and easy, this is still a great tool for these sort of tasks.

About a year ago I noticed a big buzz around Sublime Text when version 2 came out. It was small, looked slick and offered a free evaluation. I installed it, played with it a bit and started using it instead of Notepad++. It wasn’t until about half a year ago when I finally decided to give it a go as my main editor and use it for all my frontend work. I have never looked back since and I enjoy every minute working with it.

It has all the essential text editing functionality you would expect from a decent editor and so much more. I particularly like about it that

  • It’s blazingly fast
  • View layouts with easy navigation between them
  • Projects. Quickly switch between projects with the files open as I left them
  • Ctrl+p, Ctrl+r – quickly jump to file / function
  • F12 – go to definition in JavaScript – new in version 3
  • The lovely minimap
  • Quick Add Next (Ctrl+D) and multiple cursors
  • Massive amount of great plugins written in Python, there is even one for TFS
  • Extensible build system – I use it with JSHint and to compile SASS
  • Lively community around it – just take a look at the Forum
  • Multi platform – I use it on Windows and on Linux
  • It IS blazingly fast

As a paying customer I can use the latest Sublime Text 3 beta which has a bunch of extra functionality like the F12 jump and even faster. It is totally stable and all of the plugins I use work with it (with some tweaking).

All in all, I am very pleased with this editor and would highly recommend it to anyone who needs to write not just code but basically anything.


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