Venerable Text Editor BBEdit is 20 Years Old

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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

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112 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
112 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)
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112 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)
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112 months ago
I use it daily. I am surprised it is that old.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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112 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
112 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)

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