Venerable Text Editor BBEdit is 20 Years Old

by

BBEdit, a text and code editor for thousands of Mac users for years, turns 20 today. Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell published a long commemorative about his love for the software -- written in BBEdit, of course:

All of this would be an insane nostalgia trip were it not for this amazing fact: BBEdit’s still around. And not just as a relic of the old times, but as a modern, relevant text editor. Almost none of the other apps I used in 1997 are on my hard drive today. (I count two others: DragThing and Default Folder). BBEdit has grown and adapted over time, going from free to commercial, spawning a free “Lite” version that eventually became the free text editor TextWrangler. Now at version 10.1.1, BBEdit is sold in the Mac App Store for $50, much cheaper than it was during the early commercial era.

[...]

So on the occasion of BBEdit’s 20th birthday, here’s a toast to the distinguished old gentleman text-editor. I’d raise a glass, but since BBEdit’s still a year shy of legal drinking age in most states, I’ll say only this: I wrote this article in BBEdit, and I’ll be writing the next one in BBEdit, too. Nostalgia is great, but this app doesn’t belong in a museum—it belongs in my Dock. That’s the biggest endorsement I can give.

The software can be used for editing, searching, and manipulating text, code, and HTML/XML markup, among many other features. BBEdit launched at 2:19AM on Sunday, April 12, 1992 and is currently at version 10.1.1.

It is available via the Mac App Store for $49.99 [Direct Link] or via the Bare Bones Software website for the same price, with an option for a free trial as well.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
109 months ago

I used it till I got TextWrangler on a MacRumors special. Still installed of course.

I must have used it since it was under 3. :D

Rocketman


So...you used the pay version until you got the free version in a bundle?

TextWrangler == BBEdit - some features.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago
It also looks like a 20 year old application too... it used to be great but other text editors have passed by BBEdit in both functionality and performance.

( I used BBedit until version 10 ).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago

It also looks like a 20 year old application too... it used to be great but other text editors have passed by BBEdit in both functionality and performance.


Saw this same sort of comment over at The Verge, so please excuse the duplicate response if you're reading over there as well.

I've been a BBEdit fan for a long time, happy birthday, and long may it continue. It's still, in my opinion, the most powerful native Mac OS X tool for dealing with text.

I've heard this argument before, that the interface is dated, but I'm not sure exactly what these detractors would change to make it look more fresh. Granted, the icon is just a glossed over version of the same one it has had since the beginning, and thus has more than a sniff of classic Mac OS about it, but the actual guts of the interface look and function in every way a modern Mac OS X should do. In addition, there are toggle switches for just about any extraneous interface element.

I'm genuinely curious to hear a non-snarky response. What would you change precisely, while still retaining the same levels of information and economy of space?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago
I use it daily. I am surprised it is that old.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago
Wow. Played around with the first version on an SE/30 in the early 90s. What a great machine that was.
Think about what the PC landscape was 20 years ago. Now even Steve Jobs isn't around anymore, and Apple is on the way into the stratosphere.
Makes me pretty nostalgic for a 33 year old :o
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago
It's not the prettiest, but it is by far the fastest and most stable text editor out there. It allows me to open text file over 13MB in a breeze! tens of millions chars appear instantly :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Wednesday May 1, 2019 9:51 am PDT by
Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the ...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...