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Editors' Review

by   / October 18, 2017

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.

What do you need to know about free software?


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Full Specifications

What's new in version 12.6.6

  • When double-clicking on a folder item in a palette corresponding to a folder-backed menu (Scripts, Text Filters, etc), BBEdit will reveal the folder in the Finder instead of crashing (the latter being not terribly useful).

  • Fixed bug in which BBEdit did not set up Git and Subversion command execution with the current login environment, which in turn would cause commands to fail in specialized configurations which relied on specific customizations made outside of BBEdit.

  • Made a change so that the selection of wrapping points in CJK languages results in better outcomes when using "Soft Wrap Text" or applying the "Hard Wrap" command.

  • Fixed a crash which could occur at application startup, given a certain rare and obscure sequence of events.

  • Fixed a cosmetic glitch which would occur when vertically resizing sections of the sidebar in project windows, in such a way as to change the visibility of the vertical scroll bar and when Dark Mode was in effect.

  • If the "Recent items" setting in the General system preferences is set to "None", BBEdit will no longer attempt to add recent items to the list of recent items used by the system (including the Dock and the "Recent Items" submenu on the Apple menu).

  • Fixed a bug in which a file created using the "New Text File" context menu command in a project sidebar would not get selected in some situations.

  • Restored some old code to active service when running on macOS 10.14, to partially address a reported font-smoothing issue when printing. (Printouts still look strange, but this appears to be due to low-level OS behavior.)


Publisher Bare Bones Software
Publisher web site
Release Date August 08, 2019
Date Added August 08, 2019
Version 12.6.6


Category Developer Tools
Subcategory Coding Utilities

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Mac
Additional Requirements
  • macOS Mojave
  • macOS High Sierra
  • macOS Sierra

Download Information

File Size 13.68MB
File Name BBEdit_12.6.6.dmg


Total Downloads 178,380
Downloads Last Week 13


License Model Free to try
Limitations Not available
Price $49.99
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