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UltraEdit 11 - Best text editor?

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Another excellent Saturday review.  I've been a user of UltraEdit for many years and find it indispensible for day to day text editing use, such as logs, ini files, reg exports, config files, generic text and program dumps.  From my viewpoint the main strengths in its favour is its small size, fast handling of files of all sizes, unicode support, ability to run self-contained from a USB memory stick and cheap(ish) price.  I almost forgot to mention, the support is fantastic and IDM are always willing to listen (and often implement) new suggestions.  It also has a lively support forum with expert users who are always willing to help with any aspect of the program.

For developing I find the compiler integration and flexibility of MultiEdit a much better choice.  Almost the entire product is based on compilable macros with the source included.  It is expensive though, so unless you are going to spend a lot of time using it or your company is paying, it can be rather tough to justify the price.  Unfortunately it *still* doesn't support unicode format files despite myself and others requesting it over many years.

We'll see how well IDM competes with the upcoming version of UltraEdit for Programmers, UltraStudio.

Another interesting point regarding UltraEdit is IDM also offer an unlimited upgrades version for around the same cost of a single upgrade to MultiEdit ($100 approx).  I don't think you'll ever regret paying that much for a lifetime of support and updates.

Thanks for letting me express my viewpoint on such a great site!  :)

great post sentinel; nice to hear some other aspects of ultraedit that i didn't mention.

have you tried slickedit yet?  slickedit and multi-edit seem like they are going after the same audience; both are very expensive though.

ultraedit studio looks extremely interesting.
here's a little easter egg of sorts.  in the ultraedit help file, search for compiler.  you'll find some fascinating pages there that look like that are the begining of ultraedit studio help file and configuration dialogs.  really looks like its going to have very good compiler support.  as a c++ compiler junkie that sounds like heaven to me.

the surprise for me in this weeks review was how full featured this freeware pspad was.. i did not expect that.

very good point about the forum; i will add that to the review, as that is an important aspect to choosing a program.

Thanks for the review. I knew this one would be contentious, and I expected UltraEdit to win, but of course I still side with EditPlus. To be fair, I haven't used UltraEdit since around version 8 or so, but I've found no compelling reasons to give it another go over EditPlus.

One thing I would like to point out is that there is a column mode in EditPlus, by default it's bound to Alt-C, and it's the first item in the context menu if you right click in a edit window. I wish I had pitched EditPlus a bit more, in the hope it would take the top spot, but alas, I don't think I could shout over the top of all the UltraEdit fans around here. ;]

Another neat feature of EditPlus (which other editors have, I'm sure) is what it calls "Allow Virtual Space", which, when enabled (see Edit -> Allow Virtual Space), will let you place the cursor anywhere in the edit window and start typing, padding with spaces if you're not at the start of a line. I find this to be useful, and a real productivity saver in conjunction with column select if I'm working with column oriented data. KEDIT has a similar feature, but KEDIT is about as esoteric as text editors get on Windows, being essentially a souped-up version of XEDIT from IBM mainframe (MVS) days. I suspect there are way more people using VIM on Windows than KEDIT or other XEDIT clones. =]

I've updated the review to indicate that EditPlus has a column mode.

to me column mode is a really important feature and it's presence, or lack of, separates the top tier editors from the rest, so i apologize for missing it.  it is well hidden though.

EditPlus is indeed a nice editor.

In a way it's hard to do a review like this, focusing on a "best", when you have some very close contenders - the winner gets all the attention while the others get barely a mention.  i did try this time to be really clear about the fact that differences were not that great, and tried to list most of the serious text editors i could find, to give them some exposure.

For some reviews, like website watcher, it's easy to pick a clearly best app.  for something like text editor, it's much much harder, and personal tastes or small featureset differences could easily sway a particular person to prefer one over the other.  On the other hand, i still think there is value in choosing one app to focus on and making a recommendation in favor of it.

But perhaps in cases where things are so tight, we should consider some kind of symbol to indicate when an alternative program should really be considered.  It's a catch-22 really, if i only list the top 3 alternative apps, people get sad that their favorite app isn't listed. But if i list a large number of alternatives, then it's hard to separate the 2nd best from the wanne bes.

That's why for text editor i tried to list for each one it's implementation of those features i consider most important, in hopes that it would help people to more quickly filter out candidates.

The other thing is that these reviews/awards can sometimes be more about the general subject of task then the app.  90% of the text editor review could really be viewed as "Text Editors: What They Do and What Features To Look For", and written in a way that was agnostic about the actual tool; many of the features that are talked about in the center of the review are in fact features shared by most editors.. and then only at the end recommending UltraEdit.

It may be something to think about whether the weekly reviews wouldn't be better suited if they were done more like guides, with a final recommendation of best app, but not so focused on the winner throughout..  Although it does make it a little harder to discuss feature sets in general.


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