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No, I'm not bluffing. I really can't figure this out.

The setup:

I went to File -> Open, and then selected a directory rather than a file. As expected, a directory tree opened on the left side of my document. Hooray! I can easily view the files' structure in my Rails project. So, I make a few changes in a file, and then I click on a different file in the directory tree.

My problem:

TextWrangler then asks me whether I want to save my changes. Huh? I say "No", and the new document doesn't open at all. Great. I try hitting Command+N (new document). A new window opens. Ughhhh. How the heck do I open documents in a new tab?

Note: I have set the "New & opened documents" behavior to "Open in the front window". This does not change the behavior described (i.e. when a directory is opened rather than a single file).

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See also:… – mthomas Jan 16 '15 at 13:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

By selecting the directory you open a DIsk Browser (see window title).

When you create a new document, that document has no location on disk yet. But the Disk Browser window is associated with that folder. It wouldn't make sense to place it in a list of files of a certain directory as long as it's unsaved and has no location. In fact, it doesn't open in "in a new window", but in the window containing perhaps previously created unnamed documents.

Regarding editing, while this topic is a bit older and no longer accurate it highlights the limited capabilities of TextWrangler. While they implemented editing, it doesn't seem they implemented tabs/multiple opened modified documents for Disk Browser windows.

So my next question is whether there is a way to have multiple files open with the disk browser. I'm looking for an SFTP solution. ExpanDrive + BBEdit works great

The disk browser is browser focused; 1 document at a time with quick editing as necessary.

For working with multiple files, creating a Project will be a much better fit.

Projects currently can support reference nodes to things in locally mountable file systems, and individual URL based items.

Get a real editor if you're working with it a lot, not the free companion to a commercial product. While I don't use BBEdit, I know that at least the multiple opened, modified documents are possible in TextMate.

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+1 Do you know whether it's possible to open a "Project" in TextWrangler? I couldn't see any reference to "Projects" in the UI, and the following search turned up nothing: – Closure Cowboy Jan 7 '11 at 8:18
Regarding your last paragraph: I know I should. ,_, I was trying to avoid paying $50 for a text editor, but I might have to go with TextMate. I might also go with MacVim + NERDtree. – Closure Cowboy Jan 7 '11 at 8:23
@Closure Both the TextWrangler help and a menu item refer to "Project List", but I couldn't find anything either. If I'd have to guess, I'd say it's a feature no longer present, or the person I quoted is wrong in that regard. Since he was working for Barebones at the time, I say it's the former. – Daniel Beck Jan 7 '11 at 8:27
Ha! I missed that. Well, I suppose this is answered. Rats. – Closure Cowboy Jan 7 '11 at 8:33

How about this:

  1. TextWrangler Preferences
  2. Documents & Drawer
  3. New & Opened Documents
  4. Select "Open in the Front Window"
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