David Artiss

TotalEdit


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TotalEdit

Download from… http://www.codertools.com

Download size… 5.65MB
Installation size… 12.93MB

It isn’t often I try out a new code editor and get excited. But TotalEdit is doing precisely that.

Let’s see what it’s got…

  1. Resizable word wrap
  2. Line numbering
  3. Ability to easily add multiple browser launch
  4. Correctly syntax checks PHP embedded within HTML code
  5. Work on a USB stick
  6. It’s quick to launch
  7. Remembers previously opened files

What isn’t there? Well, there isn’t much else, including plugins. My current editor, Notepad++, has those and I don’t use them. It’s also rather bloated compared to others. But, then again, I’m putting it on an external USB drive where space isn’t an issue.

But, there is ONE issue. It isn’t much but that’s all it takes for a product to go from being the best one to being “nearly there”. Whenever I close the program and restart it the explorer toolbar resets back to the root directory structure. It’s remembered the files I was editing, but not the matching folder structure (and as I have my web development files neatly on a USB drive under lots of sub-folders, this is laborious).

Shame, otherwise I may have been switching editors.

I’m going to contact the authors and see if there’s a solution (I can’t find anything in the preferences)… I’ll wait until I get a reply (or not) before I give this software a final score. My hope is that there is a solution.

Update (27/02/2008):

I received a rather speedy reply yesterday from the authors of the software. There is no facility to do what I was after, but they were already looking at modifying the under-used project facilities to do something similar – as in, link the project to a specific folder. The current version was to include this but it didn’t make it in. They’ll hopefully now include it in a later update.

So, I’ll keep an eye out and re-check the program once the update occurs. In the meantime… the software gets 4 (out of 5) stars. So nearly there, but I’m sticking with NotePad++ in the meantime.

Update (09/09/2008):

Version 5 has literally just been released (after some beta testing, which I got involved with) and one thing that’s changed since that earlier review is my preference for editors that I can put on a USB key. Well, thankfully, TotalEdit has a portable version.

Unzipped it comes in at a shade over 11 MB, but this includes 4.5 MB for the spellchecker. In comparison, NotePad++ is a mere 4.5 MB, including a number of plugins that are included, but this doesn’t include a spell checker.

In use, it now has everything I need. It runs swiftly from my USB drive, I can get the display just how I like it, it remembers my previous file usage and, more importantly, the directory structure at the side remembers where I last was too – meaning I can return to exactly where I was everytime. You can even turn off the annoying “long line marker” off easily from the menus (most editors have one, but many have no way of turning them off, other than specifying a column that’s way off the screen).

Like many other editors, it’s been designed for any kind of coding and not just web development (although there is an HTML menu which has tidying options, as well an internal preview feature). Therefore there are no options to launch the current file in an external browser – however, you can create your own tool options. There are two things that now let it down – first of all, it’s not obvious how to do this without turning to the Help (for example, clicking in a blank area to add a new tool, rather than pressing an “add” button, for example). This extends to the shortcuts you can specify as parameters – even the Help isn’t very helpful, and a few examples wouldn’t have gone a miss. Secondly, and only minor, but you don’t get icons for any new tools that you add (picking up the icon from the .exe you specify, I wouldn’t have thought, wouldn’t be too difficult). Having said that, there appear to be a bug where sometimes the existing tools icons don’t appear, so at least it then appears consistent 😉

To launch the current page, say, in Firefox is

Command: firefox
Arguments: "$FilePath"
Output Capture: Dos Prompt / Run Externally

$FilePath is the entire path to the current document, including filename. $FileName, though, is just the filename. I was expecting $FilePath to be just that – the path of folders, hence my confusion. This is where I say some examples would help clear things up a little. Also note the quotes which are required.

Configuration wise, the whole editor is highly changeable (thankfully, in the portable version of the program it’s obvious which files contain configuration data, and therefore shouldn’t be over-written). However, you can’t assign keyboard shortcuts to the tools you create yourself. But otherwise, excellent.

There is a project facility, but this isn’t an option I use (I prefer to use folder structures on my drive as projects) – never-the-less it’s very welcome to have. The same goes for macros – again something I don’t use but it’s welcome to have.

One quick tip… I’ve changed the code font to Consolas, a TrueType monospace font which, if you’ve not got it already, can be downloaded from Microsoft for free.

[review]So, what do I think of it overall? Well, I said in my earlier review that it might usurp NotePad++ as my editor of choice if it remembered the folder structures. It now does. So it has.[/review]
All shook up » « Hit below the belt

1 Comment

  1. At the minute I use dreamweaver which is of course fantastically functional with everything you could possibly need. The downside is that it does take an eternity to load up.

    I’ve also got notepad++ but as far as I was aware it doesn’t do syntax checking and code highlighting. I only use it for searching for text in files.

    This wee program might be exactly what I was looking for. I like the idea that you can install on a memory stick too. I can think of a bunch of places that’d be handy for.

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