• Price: 70 . 17

  • Company: Bare Bones Software

  • Pros: Fast and efficient; non-modal search/find makes us grin manically; ability to edit in results windows.

  • Cons: Can be complex to set up and tweak; text-completion is and sluggish; .UI feels dated; no Windows version.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 7 out of 10 We rate this 7 out of 10

Other small tweaks also prove handy, making the programme quicker to work with: a live character- and word-count display (which can be toggled between a selection and the entire document) is great, and Find Differences provides more usable results for file comparisons.


Elsewhere, the update is more hit-and-miss. The new Scratchpad provides a constantly saved space for dumping text and notes, and everything’s automatically retained after a relaunch.

That sounds great, but it’s unclear how practical users will find it – we forgot about it pretty quickly. Projects – the revamped File Groups – are somewhat useful for quick access to a project’s files and rifling through them, but it’s too easy to end up with loads of open files. And, sadly, the new text-completion feature feels inferior to that offered by BBEdit’s rivals, rarely offering what you want, but regularly displaying lots of things you don’t.

Overall, BBEdit 9 is an essential update for existing users, but, regretfully, there’s little truly remarkable here to stop Web designers and coders with itchy feet defecting to the likes of TextMate and Coda.