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Editors' Rating:
Editors' Rating:
Average User Rating:
out of 145 votes out of 145 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
  • Total Downloads:
  • Date Added:
    Oct. 26, 2017
  • Price:
    Free to try; $49.99 to buy
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Editors' Review

The latest version of the much-loved BBEdit from Bare Bones Software might be the best text editor you can find on the Mac.


The same, even better: The text editor is 25 years old, but Bare Bones constantly updates and renews its popular BBEdit software to keep it an essential tool for coders and writers looking for an industrial-strength tool.

Basic to advanced text editing: BBEdit, of course, handles all the basics you'd expect in a text editor. You can add and delete text; drag and drop selections; and cut, copy, and paste selected text. BBEdit also offers multiple levels of undo and redo.

But it also has a few handy features you don't often find. For example, BBEdit has six separate clipboards. As you cut or copy text, the selection gets added to the next clipboard. You automatically paste your most recent clipboard addition, but you can navigate through the six clipboards via Previous and Next Clipboard commands. Or text completions. When you pause typing, BBEdit displays words that begin with the letters you are typing, helping for completing phrases or lines of code. And you can set up preferences for the programming or markup language you are using in a document.

Syntax coloring: BBEdit uses syntax coloring for a broad range of languages (from HTML and Python to Objective-C) to highlight different parts of code to make it easier to read.

Script editor: BBEdit is highly scriptable, with many of its features and commands controllable via AppleScript, Apple's English-like scripting language used to automate actions.

Find and replace and more: Sure, BBEdit does find and replace. And you can use grep to create powerful pattern searches. And through the Find Differences command, you can compare the contents of two documents and view differences in a separate window to review and reconcile differences.


Not cross-platform: If you only work on Macs, you may not find a better text editor than the Apple-only BBEdit. But if you spend some of your time on Windows, you will need to look for an equally capable text editor, such as Sublime.

Bottom Line

For those who have used BBEdit, the latest update should look very familiar. But Bare Bones Software has added a basket of new features that make the new version of the text editor an essential tool, whether you are working with code or just managing documents. A free trial version runs for 30 days; purchase new for $49.99 or upgrade from BBEdit 11 for $29.99.

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Full Specifications

What's new in version 12.0.1
  • Fixed the probable cause of a crash that was reported while running on 10.13.

  • Fixed a typo in the About box credits.

  • Fixed a crash which could sporadically occur when closing a Differences window after a compare operation that involved creating one or more temporary files (such as "Compare Revisions").

  • Multi-file search and text factory file filtering will now check a file's name first, to see whether it maps to a known language (in the Languages settings). If so it's assumed to be a text file without any further testing. This allows searching of text files whose filename extensions would otherwise map them to non-text file types, such as SVG.

  • .svg is now added as a factory default mapping to XML.

  • Fixed a case in which accessing the selection property of the application via AppleScript would not work if the application was in the background (and possibly on other occasions).

  • Fixed bug in which attempting to open a file from an FTP (not SFTP) server would report a -43 error.

  • Fixed a bug in which a couple of the options on the "Heading" HTML palette button menu would insert the wrong heading level.

  • Fixed a bug in which keyboard focus in the Markup Builder panel was not placed in the first attribute value in situations when it should have been.

  • Fixed bug in which setting the display font in language-specific preferences wasn't possible.

  • The FullScreenWindowsHogScreen and FullScreenWidthThreshold expert preferences have been restored to working order.

  • Fixed a bug in which changing a color in the Text Colors preferences after changing another color which caused a switch away from the selected color scheme would cause unrelated colors (including the one changed previously) to return to factory defaults.

  • Put in a change to guard against spurious "preference changed" notifications which have been observed on macOS 10.13.

  • Made a change so that if Git support is turned off (by turning off the Git menu) or if the Git branch status navigation bar item is turned off (in the Appearance preferences), we won't spend any time checking the SCM status of the active document in order to determine whether the Git branch status should be visible.

  • Fixed bug in which commands from the Markers navigation bar menu were executed twice, which in some cases was noticeable and undesirable.

  • Fixed bug in which existing keyboard equivalents for external items (clippings, scripts, etc) were not loaded. (The settings were still there, just not used.)

  • Made a change to the bbedit command-line tool to work around a bug in the OS (34995106) which causes unwanted logging output to the Terminal window in cases where the application starts as a result of using the tool.

  • Fixed a bug in which switched-off actions in a Text Factory were executed anyway.

  • Fixed bug in which percent-escaped characters in txmt: URLs were not decoded when they should have been.

  • Made a change so that startup items and system framework enumeration no longer query git-ignore, which improves performance and may work around a crash in the OS.

  • Fixed bug in which items within Zip archives were not filtered correctly during multi-file search/text factory processing, and so would be searched and/or processed in spite of a filter that would have excluded them. (Note that not all types of filtering are possible on items in Zip archives, but name-based filtering ought to work, and now does.)

  • Fixed a bug in which image drawing was not always aligned correctly to pixel boundaries, which would occasionally lead to fuzzy icon rendering, particularly on non-Retina displays.

  • Made a change to improve stability in situations that involve determining whether a given file location is within a Git or Subversion working copy.

  • Fixed bug in which BBEdit was supposed to studiously ignore /usr/bin/ctags, but in default OS installs it did not. The end result was that the system would prompt the user to install ctags at odd times, typically during automatic completion.

  • Fixed a case in which BBEdit would make an unwanted untitled document when starting the application up, even though there were already documents (about to be) opened, so that it would be unnecessary.

  • Fixed a class of bugs in which the application could crash after closing the Preferences window when running on macOS 10.11.

  • Made a change to significantly improve performance when multi-file searching inside of Zip archives with a file filter in use.

  • Changed the default keyboard focus in "save changes before closing" panels from "Save" to "Cancel", so that an inadvertent press of the Space bar doesn't perform a potentially unwanted save when Full Keyboard Access is turned on. (Command-D and Command-Delete[backspace] are functional for "Don't Save".)

Publisher Bare Bones Software
Publisher web site
Release Date October 26, 2017
Date Added October 26, 2017
Version 12.0.1
Category Developer Tools
Subcategory Coding Utilities
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Mac OS X 10.10/10.11/10.9, macOS 10.12 Sierra
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 13.53MB
File Name BBEdit_12.0.1.dmg
Total Downloads 153,598
Downloads Last Week 44
License Model Free to try
Limitations Not available
Price $49.99
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