Get More from Your Web Browser

Discover your web browser's hidden talents, avoid annoyances, and search
more effectively with Take Control of Your Browser by Robyn Weisman.

Take Control of BBEdit
Mar 06, 2012

Take Control of BBEdit

Learn how to take full advantage of BBEdit’s text-processing power!

Is text a large part of your life? Do you write blog posts, code Web pages, search in log files, generate database reports, and regularly look for needles in textual haystacks? The best tool on the Mac for those tasks is BBEdit, from Bare Bones Software. But BBEdit is a deep program, and many people—even long-time users—are often unaware of or aren’t taking full advantage of BBEdit’s productivity enhancing features, such as grep searching, clippings, text completion, projects, context-aware HTML markup tools, FTP/SFTP browsers, version control software integration, template-driven HTML previews, and more.

Take Control of BBEdit, which was created in collaboration with Bare Bones Software, explains how to use BBEdit 10 to accomplish real-world tasks more efficiently than ever before. The book focuses on three main areas of usage: essential text-processing features for all BBEdit users, working with HTML from the level of the individual tag all the way to a dynamic Web site, and managing multi-resource projects.

BBEdit 11? Please note that this ebook is about BBEdit 10, which works with 10.6.8 Mountain Lion and later. See the Blog tab (below) to learn whether a BBEdit 11 title might become available. BBEdit 11 is compatible with 10.8.5 Mavericks and later.

More Info

Read this 199-page ebook to learn how to:

Set up BBEdit for maximum efficiency:

  • Configure key standard and expert preferences for optimal usage.
  • Sync BBEdit settings and support files between Macs using Dropbox.
  • Create text factories that automate sequences of text processing commands.
  • Create “clippings” of boilerplate text, complete with dynamic placeholders.
  • Use Dropbox or a version control system to track versions of documents.

If you use BBEdit at all, then buy Take Control of BBEdit, either for a head start or a tune-up… the information it contains is immensely practical and useful.
—Miraz Jordan, in MacTips

Start work on the right track:

  • Collect multiple resources—including files, folders, and URLs—into a single project window.
  • Use BBEdit’s many options for opening and saving files.
  • Work with remote files via BBEdit’s FTP/SFTP browser windows.

Type faster, search better, and automate repetitive bits:

  • Control BBEdit with keyboard shortcuts.
  • Write faster with text completion of words, code snippets, HTML tags, and more.
  • Clean up text with spurious tabs, incorrect case, gremlin characters, and more.
  • Search for and replace text across multiple documents at once.
  • Learn how to use grep pattern matching for powerful searches.
  • Write in Markdown, and preview Markdown documents.

Compare and collaborate effectively:

  • Discover best practices for commenting and revision tracking.
  • Compare multiple versions of documents.

Run your Web site like a wizard:

  • Create HTML and CSS files using BBEdit’s effective, extensive markup tools.
  • Preview dynamic pages locally with user-defined preview templates.
  • Clean up old or badly coded Web pages.
  • Build Web sites using templates and includes.
  • Connect BBEdit to Fetch, Interarchy, or Transmit to edit remote files.
  • Maintain Web sites in BBEdit using four different workflows.

Does this book cover ctags, scripting, and creating codeless language modules?

No, sorry, it’s 199 pages as is, and for this title we wanted to focus on topics (text processing, HTML, and projects) that would be useful to the vast majority of BBEdit users. That said, if this book is successful, we hope to be able to cover such topics in a future edition or title.

Update Plans

January 5, 2015 – We do not plan to further update this ebook, which covers BBEdit 10. Glenn may revise it for BBEdit 11 on his own, outside of the Take Control series. Should that plan come to fruition, I’ll post more information here.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. BBEdit 10.5 Simpifies and Adds Versions

    Our friends at Bare Bones have updated BBEdit to version 10.5. The program remains largely as we described it with a few additions.

    First, BBEdit now works with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Versions. Every document you create and save on a local drive with BBEdit automatically keeps tracks of revisions, with a new snapshot every time you save. The new Search > Compare Against Previous Versions menu item gives you access to check against previous drafts. This doesn’t replace version-control systems like Subversion (SVN); rather, it makes it easier to avoid losing significant changes by accident, such as deleting text, saving the file, and closing it.

    Second, the Sites feature, once in a palette, is now integrated into Projects. You can set a Project to map to a remote Web site, and use new consolidated preflight tools (syntax checking and other options) to make sure changes pages are ready to go before they’re uploaded to a site. Most of the Take Control book’s details on Sites remains useful.

    Third, a new Go menu consolidates a number of features useful to programmers (including those writing JavaScript) for identifying functions, global variables, and other elements, and jumping among points set in a file.

    Finally, the document toolbar has been simplified, with fewer icons and more features consolidated into one place. It also takes up less vertical space.

    These changes affect very little found in the book, with the exception of a few interface elements and a few menu items in the Text menu.

    For a fuller explanation of these details, see BBEdit 10.5 Adds Versions and Brings Web Sites into Projects at TidBITS.

    Posted by Glenn Fleishman (Permalink)

  2. Glenn Fleishman Talks Text on MacVoices

    BBEdit, the multi-bladed Swiss Army knife of text-editing, and the new Take Control book about it, is the topic of Glenn’s most recent interview with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices. As wide-ranging as BBEdit itself, the conversation between Glenn and Chuck covers, among many other things, the different uses and users of the software, some of the cool things Glenn discovered on his book-writing journey, and, a special treat for the TidBITS fans out there, a description of how BBEdit is used in the TidBITS publication workflow. As is always the case when Glenn is on-mic, it’s an entertaining and enlightening discussion.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

The Author

Glenn Fleishman is a veteran technology writer who has contributed to dozens of publications across his career, including Macworld, the New York Times, Wired, the Atlantic, and the Economist. He has also written dozens of editions of books in the Take Control series. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.