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Sublime Text 2 now on Mac, gives TextMate a run for its money

Mac coders who are frustrated with the lack of updates to beloved text editor TextMate now have a new option to consider: Sublime Text 2. Sublime Text has been around on Windows for some time, and a new late-alpha version makes the jump to Mac and Linux for the first time.

There's a lot to like in Sublime Text 2, including compatibility with most of the TextMate themes we've come to rely upon. Navigation is especially snappy, thanks to the Goto Anything feature, which lets you hit Apple-P and start typing to jump to any file, whether it's open, recently closed, or a subfile of some other project. File previews load in the background as you type, so you can use Goto Anything to peek at something in another file without actually opening it. Sublime Text 2 also supports multiple selections, so you can make several edits at once. It's a more refined tool than a document-wide find/replace, and I think many coders will find it useful.

Sublime Text 2's UI is still not pretty by any Mac user's standard, but improvements to the polish of the app are coming "over the next few months," along with a full Python API, spell checking, and a "distraction-free" mode. On the plus side, the app does offer split-pane editing, so you can have side-by-side documents open, or even stack them 4-up. Tabs and sidebar navigation come in handy, but they can be used or hidden depending on your preferences.

All in all, Sublime Text 2 is a worthy addition the field of coder-centric text editors on OS X, with more improvements on the way. If it's already this good as an alpha version, the final release has the potential to really blow some Mac users' minds.

Tags: apps, coding, linux, osx, sublime text 2, SublimeText2, text, text editor, TextEditor, textmate, windows