BBEdit 12.6 Introduces App Sandboxing Ahead of Planned Mac App Store Launch

BBEdit, the popular and long-running HTML and text editor for Mac, was today updated to version 12.6. The new version of the software introduces important feature changes and bug fixes.

Starting with today's update, BBEdit is a sandboxed app, which is a change that Bare Bones Software needed to make because it plans to bring BBEdit to the Mac App Store in the future.


Sandboxing on macOS limits apps to their intended use and is a protection implemented to prevent malicious software from working. BBEdit will require explicit permission to access files and folders on the Mac.

To work properly, though, BBEdit often requires advanced access to file and folder contents, a problem Bare Bones Software is solving with a prompt to enable Sandbox Access. This setting, says Bare Bones Software, will allow for the full functionality of BBEdit without compromising security.
Without unrestricted access to your files and folders, many of BBEdit's most useful features, from the basic to the most powerful, won't work at all; or they may misbehave in unexpected ways. At the very least, this hinders your ability to work done.

In order to resolve this fundamental conflict between security and usability, we have devised a solution in which BBEdit requests that you permit it the same sort of access to your files and folders that would be available to a non-sandboxed version.

For this reason, the first time you start BBEdit, it will prompt you to allow this access. The prompt will not be repeated; so if you decline to allow this access and later reconsider, go to the Application preferences, and click on the "Allow" button in the "Sandbox Access" section.
Due to the changes, BBEdit is no longer able to access support folder items in iCloud Drive, so those previously using iCloud Drive/Application Support/BBEdit will need to make some manual changes as outlined in the update's release notes.

The new version of BBEdit also includes a number of tweaks to the app and a whole slew of bug fixes, all of which are also listed in the release notes.



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8 weeks ago

Very happy to hear about this. I'm still using TextWrangler, but I'll switch to BBEdit in a heartbeat if it becomes available on the Mac App Store. Glad to see they're returning.

I'm using TextWrangler too. Why is it helpful for it to be on the Mac App Store? I only use that to download Mac OS X updates.
Rating: 4 Votes
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8 weeks ago

I'm using TextWrangler too. Why is it helpful for it to be on the Mac App Store? I only use that to download Mac OS X updates.


It's a personal preference for me. I like a central store for all of my apps, particularly ones I'm paying for. I also like the fact that Apple is hosting the approved binary, so I there's less of a risk that I'll end up downloading some malicious software as a result of their signing key and server becoming compromised (like with what happened with a few apps such as Transmission ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/07/transmission-malware-downloaded-6500-times/'), or Transmission the second time ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/08/30/transmission-keydnap-os-x-malware/')). It also means my payment information goes to one less extra place.

It's all personal preference, but that's my reasoning for preferring Mac App Store apps.

PS: Shoutout to TextWrangler! I was a little upset to hear it's been discontinued :(
Rating: 4 Votes
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8 weeks ago
The header reads as if the Mac App store is about to launch
Rating: 3 Votes
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8 weeks ago
IIUC in its march to eventually require all MacOS apps to be in the app store, Apple is requiring sandboxing restrictions on side loaded apps, or they won't run. They have implemented app certification, and eventually you will not be able to run a non-certified app on OSX. It's not there today, but it will be because Apple has to protect the children.
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. . . . .
PS: Shoutout to TextWrangler! I was a little upset to hear it's been discontinued :(


The functionality was moved into BBEdit. You can use BBEdit without a license with reduced functionality (about the same functionality as TextWrangler had).
Rating: 3 Votes
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8 weeks ago
Very happy to hear about this. I'm still using TextWrangler, but I'll switch to BBEdit in a heartbeat if it becomes available on the Mac App Store. Glad to see they're returning.
Rating: 3 Votes
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8 weeks ago

I’m confused... how do apps like Pages support iCloud Drive if sandboxed apps aren’t supposed to access it? Seems like a weird thing to not allow.

I think it’s just weird folders like “Application Support” that the news article mentions, which the app will no longer support.
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 weeks ago
My livelihood for several years depended on the grep search/replace function of BBEdit. Without this application I would have been lost. Nice to hear they're still keeping at it.
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 weeks ago
I'm still using version 9.6.3.

I'll be motivated to upgrade when it gets added to the app store.
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 weeks ago

I’m confused... how do apps like Pages support iCloud Drive if sandboxed apps aren’t supposed to access it? Seems like a weird thing to not allow.

Sandboxed apps can of course use the iCloud drive, but they can't access everything on the drive. There are specifically certain top level folders like "Application Support", which the apps are not allowed to access (directly, at least).
Rating: 1 Votes
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8 weeks ago
I enjoyed BBEdit for many years. Gave me a certain satisfaction with how it handled text. I looked forward to coming home from my Windows-centric college and get to work on my projects in BBEdit.

Coda took the limelight for me after that, but I'll revisit BBEdit if the price is right.
Rating: 1 Votes
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