I’ve just bought a copy of [sublime text][st], a very pretty text editor for Windows. I’m a bit of text editor geek, but I think it’s justified, with the amount of time I spend typing. Between coding and writing fiction, I spend hours and hours a day typing, so a good text editor is as important as a comfy chair, a good monitor, or a cup of tea. It’s just not civilised without.
If you spend much time writing text, you may want to have a look. I’m using mine for both programming code, and for fiction.
These things make it well worth it, in my opinion;
1. **It’s gorgeous.** _Text Editing shouldn’t feel this good_, says the website, and it’s absolutely right. The colour schemes are lovely, especially _Chocolate Box_, which is shown on the screenshot. If simple text editors like [Notepad] feel like using a bic biro, and [emacs] and [vi] feel like using a technical pencil, [sublime text][st] feels like using a fountain pen.
2. **It’s functional.** As a programmer, you expect the ability to do serious things to your text. Sublime comes bundled with syntax highlighting for many languages, a python plugin system, a build system, it’s own macro language, [regex] searching, snippets, sorting… there’s lots here. The ability to write python programs means that it’s going to be possible to write, well, absolutely anything you need. And you don’t have to do it in [emacs lisp][elisp]
3. **The support is amazing.** It’s written by Jon Skinner, an Australian who left his job at [Google][gg] to write the editor. I wrote him an email yesterday suggesting a feature. Twelve hours later, he’s written the code and put it into the next beta. Twelve hours. And the reply email was chock-full of details he didn’t need to include, and an apology about the tardyness of the reply.
4. **Full-screen mode;** It has a full-screen mode that lets you blow the window up to occupy every available pixel, which makes it great for writing without distraction. If you’ve looked at rudimentary full-screen editors like [WriteRoom][wr], you’ll know the idea; replace your cluttered desktop with a single text entry window. Sublime Text does this, but still has the advanced functionality of a heavyweight text editor.
5. **It’s only just begun.** The [current version][download] is 1.01, and already it’s stuffed with goodies.
Anyway. Enough. [Go get it][download].
Update: Here’s a copy of my enhanced Markdown package, which I use to write prose: [Download link](http://www.stevecooper.org/documents/Markdown-Enhanced.zip) — unzip it to your Packages folder. In the file `Markdown – Enhanced.sublime-options`, the first line describes the extensions which will open and use this format. Change it to change the file types (.txt, .fiction, etc) which will use this package.