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Release Note Easter Eggs

BBedit Release Notes are always filled with hidden humor. On this Christmas Day, I thought I highlight a couple of Christmas references.

BBEdit 9.6.2 Release Notes

OMG did you see the Christmas episode of "Glee"? Was that awesome, or what?

BBEdit 10.1.1 Release Notes

Fixed a bug in which typing at the end of a line would fail to scroll the insertion point into view as it should have. Merry Christmas, Jim.

Have A Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and Santa brought everything on their shopping

Text Status Bar items

At the bottom of every BBEdit Window is a Status Bar. This bar contains some quick information about the current document.

BBEdit refers this as the Text Status Bar items

BBEdit Text Status Bar Items

These are the items that are available in the Text Status Bar. They are all enabled by default. This is the order that they appear in the bottom of the window, from left to right.

You can remove any item in the Text Status Bar by going under Preferences, then Appearance then unchecking the items under the "Text Status Bar items."

Cursor Position - The current location of the Cursor. It shows the line and character position. When you click on the Cursor Position numbers you can enter in a line number to "jump to." This is useful when navigating a large file, or when you're debugging a code issue on a particular line.

Language - This shows the current selected language. Clicking on the Language allows you to change the language type. BBedit uses this to determine how to map out the colors in the document.

Text Encoding - This is the document encoding. This is used to determine how to handle special characters. Click on the current encoding to change it. For most documents, the Unicode (UTF-8) should be fine.

Line Break Type - This is the line break format used in the current document. Most Macintosh users should stick with the Unix (LF) but if you get a document from Window users you will see it's in Windows (CRLF).

Document Lock State - This tells you if the current document is locked or not. You would lock a document if you don't want any changes being made. In addition, you may encounter lock documents because your user doesn't have write permissions on that file.

Document Save Date - Just the last saved date of the document. The only want to change this is to... well save the document. Sorry Marty McFly, you can't change the past in BBEdit.

Document Statistics - This is where you find out how many characters, Words, and Lines are being used in this particular document. Very useful when opening up a large document and wanting to know the size. Clicking on the numbers opens up a pop-up dialog box where you see the numbers with the title text and some additional information about that document such as Write Permissions and the location. When you select text the Document Statistics will display information about the active selection.

Magnification - This shows the text current magnification level. Click on the number that allows you to change the document magnification level. This is the only place to change the magnification level. In the Preferences, you can change the default magnification from 100% to any amount you want.

Assign Short Cuts

You can assign short cuts to many of the Text Status Bar items. Simply open up Preferences, then Menus & Shortcuts, then select the "Status Bar."

You'll see that Open Language Menu (Control Option L) and Open Text Encoding Menu (Control Option E) already have short cuts assigned to them.

If these are items that you don't think you'll use too much, remove the short cut and assign it to something that you may use more.

Navigation Bar

On top of the editing window is a small navigation bar. I usually ignore it. However, I thought I look into the features of the Navigation Bar and see if there's anything that might be useful for my use.

BBEdit Description

The navigation bar is a panel at the top of a text window that provides controls for selecting the active document and for moving to specific points with the current document. To hide the navigation bar, choose Hide Navigation Bar in the View menu, or turn off the Navigation Bar options in the Appearance preference panel.

Five Things I Learned about the Navigation Bar

You can simplify the items that appear in the Navigation Bar in the Preferences Panel -> Appearance. (For example, if you're not using the Functions pulldown menu, you can disable that.) Everything is enabled by default.

The Text Options icon, the gear icon, is a quick way to get access to common text settings. Items that are selected here only apply to the exiting editing window. If you want to make a change that impacts all open windows, use the Text Display menu (View -> Text Display)

The Counterparts option (square icon) is an easy way to navigate related files. One neat thing is that it will show similar text files in a directory. Simply click on the icon and you'll see files in the directory that the file is saved in.

The Markers functionality is a good way to manage a large document. If you're debugging a log file, you can set a Marker, continue scrolling, and easily get back to the placeholder. In 13.0, you can open up the Markers window (Go -> Markers) and see all the available markers in your current active document.

As of BBEdit 13.0.3, there are no "extra" advance features available for the Navigation Bar.

Lorem Ipsum in BBEdit

BBEdit has built-in Lorem Ipsum placeholder text. This is useful when you want to text but don't have the official version from Marketing.

Lorem Ipsum is located under the Edit Menu -> Insert -> Lorem Ipsum

B B Edit Insert Menu

Three Styles

You have three styles for your Lorem Ipsum content:

  • Normal - Typical Lorem Ipsum used since the 1960s.
  • Bacon - From the Baconipsum website: "Simply put, it's a take on the lorem ipsum filler text used when doing design mockups. I was mocking up a web design one day and needed a few words to fill out a link. 'Lorem ipsum bacon' popped into my head, so I plugged that into my HTML. Later that day, it hit me. Make a lorem ipsum generator but use types and cuts of meat."
  • Startup - From the Startupsum website: "Less boring. Slightly more relevant. A perfect blend of being professional and having fresh filter content."

Three Types

  • Words - Perfect when you want a filler word for a list item.
  • Sentences - Need a sentence for an image caption?
  • Paragraphs = Great when your trying to make it look like you wrote a lot of text. Using the "Start up" on the company about page is a neat trick.

B B Edit Preferences

Cool Tip!

You can add a short-cut to Lorem Ipsum. In fact, when you go to the Menu & Shortcuts section of Preferences, you'll see a second "Lorem Ipsum" without the "..." This repeats the last Lorem Ipsum action. I would recommend adding a Keyboard Shortcut such as Command Shift L.

Unix Worksheet

One of the neat features of BBEdit is the Unix Work Sheet. This is available when you right-click on the icon in the dock.

This is where you can execute common shell commands, simply by selecting the line and typing Control Return.

What makes this extra special is that when you right-click on the BBEdit icon in the dock and select "Show Unix Worksheet" you see the same document.

This means that you can save common Unix Commands and execute them whenever you want, without having to open up the terminal application and typing the commands.

B B Edit Unix Work Sheet

Sample Command

If you have imagemagick installed, you can create a empty graphic file using the convert command.

cd Desktop
convert -size 1200x628 xc:white blogimage.jpg

If you have ffmpeg installed, this is a cool trick to convert an ordinary audio file to a wave movie for YouTube.

ffmpeg -i Cleaning.m4a -filter_complex "[0:a]showwaves=s=1920x1080:mode=cline,format=yuv420p[v]" -map "[v]" -map 0:a -c:v libx264 -c:a copy Medicare1080.mp4

Again by keeping these and other common Unix Command in the Unix WorkSheet, they can be at your disposal whenever you need it.

Modify Multiple Lines

BBEdit 13 still doesn't support multiple line edits. This makes it a bit challenging when you want to change a lot of text.

For example, if I want to add a bullet point to multiple lines, it would be time-consuming to add it.

Simple Solution

I found the easy way to do this is to:

  • Select the lines to perform the actions
  • Open the Search/Replace Dialog box Command - F
  • Then apply the following Search/Replace commands (See screenshot)

Search Replace Bullet

Here's a break down on what's happening:

In the Find:

BBEdit searching for all the content on the line from the start (^) to the end ($). Its saving the content to the matching group.

In the Replace:

On each line there will now be a dash. The (1) is the matching of the find command.

The key thing is to make sure that the "Search In:" has the "Selected text only" enabled.

Don't Forget to Save!

I would recommend saving this search query. This is done by click on the 'g' and select the "Save..." at the bottom.

I would recommend using "Add Dash to Each Line" as the name - so it will be easier to find.

Quicksilver string ranking

As I was looking through the BBEdit's User Manual, one thing that caught my eye is the mention of "Quicksilver string ranking." This is only mentioned once in the document - in the Copyrights section and no place else.

This got me curious - just what is the "QuickSilver String Ranking" and why did BBEdit choose to use that Library.

QuickSilver BBEdit

What is QuickSliver

Quicksilver is a launcher utility app for Mac OS X which gives you the ability to perform common, every-day tasks rapidly and without thought.

Introduced in BBEdit 11

I had some old BBEdit User Manual and found the first mention of the "QuickSilver String Ranking" was in BBEdit 11. One of the Release Note's "New Feature" in BBEdit 11 mentions this:

There's a new feature: "Highlight instances of selected text". When you select something (that doesn't consist entirely of whitespace or punctuation), all of the occurrences of the selection are underlined; and the new pair of commands on the Search menu ("Next Occurrence of ", "The previous Occurrence of ") can be used to navigate the occurrences. (This navigation is independent of the text searching UI, although the string is added to the search history for convenience of future use.)

I believe that this is the purpose of the "QuickSilver String Ranking."

QuickSilver Code in GitHub

There's is this code example on quicksilver_score.php on GitHub, which gives a lot more insight to how the QuickSilver string ranking.

BBEdit sFTP Client

BBEdit has a light FTP client included within the application. This is useful when you need to make modifications to a file, and don't want to install/buy a third-party tool.

If your going to do a lot of remote file manipulation, I would recommend Panic's Transmit. It's a good companion tool to use with BBEdit.

BBEdit FTP Sample

Five Things I have Learned

BBEdit only supports SFTP and FTP protocols. If you're using Amazon S3, Box, Microsoft Azure or other protocols you'll need a third-party solution. (Although most cloud providers do offer the ability to connect vis sftp.)

Option Clicking on a folder will open the folder in a new FTP Browser. You can't drag and drop files between FTP Browser windows.

Once you connect to a location, you can add the existing viewing directory as a Bookmark, simply use the pull-down menu on the top of the FTP Browser window and select "Add Bookmarks." Additionally, you can access the Bookmarks manage section by going under the BBEdit menu and select "Setup..." Then Select the Bookmarks and then click on the '+' to add a new Bookmark. (You can add Emojis to the name of the Bookmark so that it sands out.)

You can edit a Bookmark simply by going to the Bookmark manager and then Double Clicking on the name to edit it.

When working with Project Files, you can configure the Deployment to upload the files to your FTP server.

Haunted Mansion Color Scheme

Wahoo! Halloween is tomorrow.

What better way to celebrate the season with a BBEdit Color scheme.

Dracula Theme

Zeno Rocha created a dark theme called Dracula for various editors - including BBEdit.

Dracula Theme

You can download the dark theme from the draculatheme.com site.

Disney Haunted Mansion Theme

I created a Color scheme based on the colors of Disney's Haunted Mansion.

Haunted Mansion BBEdit

Some Notes: The background is Black, The Line Color is Dark Green, Highlight text is purple.

Download the BBEdit's Haunted Mansion Color Theme.

Installing the Theme

Simple instructions on how to install your Halloween inspired theme.

  • Download the files
  • Unzip the files
  • Find your Application Support/BBEdit/Color Schemes/ directory. The "easy way" is via the BBEdit Menu. Select BBEdit -> Folders -> Color Schemes
  • Copy the file bbColorScheme into the Color Schemes directory

BBEdit Completion Data

In BBEdit, there's a little known feature called "Completion Data." This allows developers to put in common language-specific auto-complete text, which makes writing similar code so much easier.

Basically it makes it quicker to type in common function, class or variable names.

Completion Datab
Completion Data Folder location inside of BBEdit. Also an example of Completion Data in action.

How it Works

There is a folder in BBEdit called "Completion Data" that contains text files of common text used in your code. These are organized by folders by language types. So you would only see the relevant auto-complete suggestion for the language that your currently coding.

If you never used "Completion Data" chances are this folder is empty. The collection is using the standard ctags format.

Bare Bones makes it easy to create the ctags collection, you simply use the BBEdit command-line tool.

Creating your Completion Data Collection

Here's the simple steps to create your own Completion Data collection. This example will build on JavaScript:

In Terminal, Change Directory to where you have a lot of JavaScript Files.

Run the following command:

bbedit --maketag

In your directory you'll see a new file called tags, this is the output of the above command. Go ahead and check it out in BBEdit.

Make a new folder in ~/Library/Application Support/BBEdit/Completion Data/ and call it JavaScript and move the tag file to that directory. (or just type this piece of code)

mkdir ~/Library/Application Support/BBEdit/Completion Data/JavaScript
mv tags ~/Library/Application Support/BBEdit/Completion Data/JavaScript

Now when you type something in a JavaScript file, you'll get some autocomplete suggestions based on previous code that you used.

Some Notes

You can have multiple tag files under each language, for example tags1, tags2 etc...

The language folder names have to match what you see in the bottom of the edit, such as HTML, Ruby, Markdown etc...

The "fastest" way to access the "Completion Data" folder is to use the BBEdit Menu BBEdit -> Folders -> Completion Data.

Code autocomplete is a similar concept to spelling autocomplete, basically saving typing a few characters.

"Completion Data" isn't something that your always going to do. Basically useful to have setup up every once in a while.