Text editors, Mac or Windows are nearly a dime a dozen. There must not be much money in developing and publishing text editors on the Mac. Many are free, some have languished for years without updates, others are updated sporadically, if at all.
Most of the more popular commercial text editors add new features and functions, but don’t get complete overhauls. When they do, like Panic’s Coda, the results are disastrous for previous users.
What I like about TextEdit is that basic editing is almost distraction free. All the tools and bundles are a click away, but visual focus is on one screen.
Like BBEdit, TextMate is heavily menu driven, but fortunately menu selections are also embedded in the nearly hidden toolbars at the bottom of each page’s window.
One click brings up the hierarchical menu of tools and bundles. Unlike BBEdit, preferences are incredibly simple and straightforward, limited to a few visual options, file encoding, syntax colors and fonts, and not much more.
The handy project drawer is a pop out sidebar window pane which lists files and folders in a specific project.
TextMate has built-in recordable keyboard macros to automate tedious code entry. It supports snippets and columns and even features shell integration (bash). Built-in modes make TextMate good for coding, markdown, blogging, even word processing chores.
It won a design award as Best Mac OS X Developer Tool back in 2006 but hasn’t seen much in the way of major upgrades since. The TextMate community remains active, though, and there are numerous community developed bundles and plugins.
There’s also a 2.0 version that’s in beta, so the latest can be considered more of a minor update or tweak.