50 Mac Essentials #20: TextWrangler

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TextWrangler is a well-named application. It’s there to do a particular job, and that job is wrangling text.

If you need to do complicated search-and-replace across multiple text files, it can do that. If you need to see and highlight the differences between documents, or two versions of the same document, it can do that. If you need to write code, or HTML, or strip out line endings (or add them in), it can do all those things.

Many people will think: “Why do I need a text editor? I have TextEdit on my Mac, that will do the job just as well,” and that’s an excellent point. Most of the time, TextEdit is all you’re ever going to need.

Until the day comes when you need that multi-file search-and-replace, or that diffs highlighting, or that coding support. You might only need the feature that’s missing for five minutes, and maybe you won’t need it again for another year. But at that particular moment when the need arises, you’ll be pleased you took the time to grab your free copy of TextWrangler.

Yes, free. Given the huge list of features and the fact that it is still maintained, updated and supported by the team at Bare Bones, TextWrangler is one of the best OS X bargains you can find.

(You’re reading the 20th post in our series, 50 Essential Mac Applications: a list of the great Mac apps the team at Cult of Mac value most. Read more.)