Text editors

Text editors

I know, they are not sexy. However this is one of those posts. A, “it makes sense” to post it here. Not only that, but this way I can point my class to this post for more links, etc.

[This is] A mini lecture, if you will.

I primarily use TextEdit for quick things (mac) and TextWrangler for more in-depth items. If I’m just testing something out and it does not need to be saved, I’ve been known to try it out on w3schools.com ‘try it’ pages. Lately, also if I’m really not going to develop it into anything, I will use jsFiddle. See links below to all of these resources.

If you are a pc person, my students have said that Notepad++ is awesome. After that there are a variety of options. You can see the comparison of text editors at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_text_editors but this is an older document (2009 is almost ancient these days).

I really should do more of my programming in a much cooler tool, but if you want to geek out you can use vi, or vim. If you have a mac you can create and edit files using your terminal window.

Here are two quick screen shots:

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 10.35.03 AM

This is what the result is when I choose File > Open from within Chrome.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 10.36.24 AM

To use vi (on your mac) launch the Terminal program then type “vi filename.html” replacing filename with whatever you want to name your file. You will need to hit “i” to begin typing. It stands for insert; to exit the insert mode hit the “esc” (escape) key on your keyboard. Remember to save your work “:w” is the command to write the file.


  • all lower case (unless you like CamelCase)
  • use the extension .html
  • please NO SPACES
  • if you’re making something to turn into my class, I suggest the following McMahanM3Assignment.html or mcmahan-images-tables.html — I REALLY APPRECIATE having your name in the filename when it comes time to find something of yours that I have downloaded to review.