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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 12.6.4

  • Made a change to reduce the chance of a crash occurring when generating sub-line differences results in a Find Differences window.

  • Fixed bug in which the Menus & Shortcuts preferences UI allowed you to hide the "Close Document" command, which usually ended badly. (Among other things, Command-W would fail to actuate "Close Window").

  • Made a change to eliminate application stalls which would occur when saving crash recovery state for documents that were open on spinning disks which had gone to sleep.

  • Added an AppleEvent entitlement so that BBEdit can send document-saved and document-closed notifications to the Mac App Store version of Transmit, in order for the latter's "Edit in BBEdit" feature to work correctly.

  • Made a change so that the "Add" command on the Subversion menu is enabled when a document is in a Subversion working copy, but has not yet been added to the repository.

  • Made a change to work around the presence of an ancient legacy font setting whose presence (and incorrect value) can cause all kinds of unwanted side effects such as inconsistent character spacing, shifting text when clicking on a line, and mismatches between where the click lands and what actually gets selected.

  • When moving autosave data to the trash while creating fresh autosave data, made a change so that if the trash was empty before, it'll continue to appear so in the Dock for the duration of the operation.

  • Made a change so that items in application support folders for folder-backed menus (Scripts, Clippings, Stationery, Text Filters) which are aliases or symlinks to folders will appear on the menu as the name of the symlink, rather than the name of the target. This fixes a crash when trying to use "Save as Clipping" when two or more symlinks pointed to the same target folder; but also helps ensure a consistent presentation between the UI and what's on disk.


Publisher Bare Bones Software
Publisher web site
Release Date May 17, 2019
Date Added May 17, 2019
Version 12.6.4


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_12.6.4.dmg


Total Downloads 178,240
Downloads Last Week 16


License Model Free to try
Limitations Not available
Price $49.99
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