When I started programming I found some very common annoyances in using different text editors. I thought I would share my findings with the community here.
I started out using FrontPage 2000, which can be useful for a few things. What I liked most about FP 2000 was its ability to use both the WYSIWYG editor or edit the source directly. But as I began to program in PHP it lost its usefullness more and more. First there was no way to use the standard '<?php' '?>' delimiters without FrontPage trying to invoke its auto-correcting mechanism on the files I edited. It would try to replace and encode certain characters when I would try to use certain HTML tags. Very annoying. Then I realized that I could use the <script language="php"> style delimiters, which corrected the problem. FrontPage also by default didn't want to handle PHP files, I had to open the (Options->Configure Editors) panel and specifically tell it to recognize and open .php files.
The downfalls: No syntax highlighting. No <?php delimiters.
Useful for finding hexidecimal or RGB values.
Overall an 'ok' solution, but not the best.
Not long ago I got hooked up with a FreeWare text editor via a suggestion from someone here on the p2p forums. Its called Crimson Editor. Wow, talk about a night a day difference.
All syntax is neatly highlighted, brackets, parenthesis, braces are all highlighted when selected making bug tracking much easier.
And other features you would expect in a good text editor, numbered lines, a window showing the file structure. The ability to change what syntax is being highlighted, supports a good number of languages and the ability to write your own custom syntax highlighting config. file.
Some of the very cool features that are employed in Crimson Editor is the ability to do regular expression search and string replacement on not only the currently open file, but in all open files. (Search->Replace
) Which as luck would have it, all open files are layed out in tabs that span the top of the window. Which if you are like me and completely rebuild your entire architecture the moment you think of a better way of doing things is very nice to have.
The only drawback that I can even find is a very small one. I don't like that I can't drag an open file onto my second monitor, to be able to edit two files at once... I think I'll get by though :)
[u]Common Windows Hot Keys:</u>
I wonder how many of you out there have realized that shift + arrow
will control the highlighting of a line (common to most windows applications) combine this with ctrl + shift + arrow
, and the highlighter will move through entire blocks of alpha-strings only stopping at spaces (in other windows apps) or at special characters if used within Crimson. Well I only happened across these nifty hotkeys after a couple of years of struggling with trying to do it with a mouse... but what a difference it made!
Or try shift + delete
to cut an entire line, which has but one drawback, the contents of the line replace whatever object is currently being stored in the clipboard... to avoid this use ctrl + delete
[u]Windows Hot key summary:</u>
ctrl + c
ctrl + v
ctrl + a
- Select all text in the active window
shift + arrow
- Controlled highlighting
ctrl + shift + arrow
- Controlled highlighting, move through entire blocks of strings at a time.
shift + delete
- Cut an entire line, placing contents on the clipboard
ctrl + shift + delete
- Delete an entire line (without copying contents) after the cursor position
ctrl + backspace
- Delete up to the last space / special character
ctrl + delete
- Delete forward up to the next space / special character
Also worthy of mention is I gathered many of these hot key combinations from within Crimson Editor, some of them are universal, some have *slightly* different behavior when used in other Windows apps. while others still may have no uses at all in other Windows apps.
If anyone else knows of shortcuts or text editors that make life easier on us programming populous, please share your findings with the community!