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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 12.6.3

  • Corrected the appearance of the "Clear Markers" panel when in Dark Mode on macOS 10.14 and later.

  • Fixed a bug in which SFTP file listings did not honor the "Show items starting with "." option.

  • Fixed a bug in which the "Save [a Copy] to FTP/SFTP Server" listing didn't sort in the same order as FTP browser windows when sorting by name (or using the default sort order).

  • Fixed layout bugs in the "Find & Mark All" panel, and adjusted it to use the default editor font in the text boxes.

  • Made a change to ensure that a file being run using the #! menu is executable (u+x) and not quarantined, since otherwise the system may return a "permission denied" error when trying to run it.

  • Fixed bug in which the primary highlight color was used inappropriately for inactive text views.

  • Made a change to the XPC services that run shell commands to prevent them from terminating if a SIGPIPE occurs while running the command.

  • Made a change so that clients of the current Unix environment (shell commands, SFTP, worksheets) correct certain environment variables which are "helpfully" set to incorrect values, and to remove other environment variables which can interfere with the correct operation of cross-application Unix tools (such as Kerberos).

  • Added public.json to the built-in list of content types that BBEdit recognizes as text files.

  • Fixed bug in which the soft-wrap radio buttons in the "Text Options" sheet were unresponsive.

  • When restoring application state at startup, BBEdit will share FTP/SFTP connections as much as possible; so that it will need to open a single connection for all files opened from a particular server/port/account, rather than one connection per file being reopened.


Publisher Bare Bones Software
Publisher web site
Release Date April 09, 2019
Date Added April 09, 2019
Version 12.6.3


Category Developer Tools
Subcategory Coding Utilities

Operating Systems

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

Download Information

File Size 13.92MB
File Name BBEdit_12.6.3.dmg


Total Downloads 178,038
Downloads Last Week 41


License Model Free to try
Limitations Not available
Price $49.99
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