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For those familiar with Windows, I used to use "Programmer's Notepad" and "TextPad".

I want a Text Editor, not an IDE, with the following few features (in no particular order):

  • Syntax Highlighting
    • Tabbed editing
    • Projects (groups of files together in one "project" file)
    • Spellcheck
    • Lightweight - I prefer something other than Xcode.


  • I am looking for something primarily for web development.
  • Must be Free. +1 For relevant link(s).
  • GUI Based only


I realized that gEdit is available for OS X. I met it back on Ubuntu 6. Something-or-other. We have a winner.

all for input.

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closed as off topic by KronoS, Oliver Salzburg, random Jun 26 '12 at 20:37

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Use appcode from jetbrains. jetbrains.com/objc The best ide. Only negative side is that for interface builder you have to use xcode. It has lot of features like spell check camal case check etc; –  gladiator2345 Jul 20 '12 at 10:51
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6 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

TextMate http://macromates.com/ or Aquamacs http://aquamacs.org/.

XCode isn't exactly heavyweight, but I understand why you might not want to use it... I only use it for debugging, and edit in TextMate.

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Why the downvote? Good answer, not complete with links though... –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 3:41
That better? Links now. –  Andrew McGregor Jan 7 '10 at 4:11
Yes. sing TextWrangler for now. TextMate is not free.. –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 4:42
First answer gets the check. I realized that my favorite Ubuntu Editor, gEdit is available on OS X, Now using that. –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 5:14
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Also already answered you should take a look at Smultron. It is very lightweight but can do anything you asked for. Second is Komodo Edit which is a little bit more powerful.

Both are free, unfortunately Smultron gets not further developed.

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Redcar is a cross platform, open source editor with a similar feature set to textmate, it works with textmate bundles, if you don't want to fork out for textmate.

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It looks interesting, but in early development. Right now, I've got a few other awesome options out there. Perhaps once this reaches a stable version I will play with it. –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 7:17
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Vim for Mac - http://macvim.org/OSX/index.php

Impress your friends and confuse your neighbors as you get used to this wonderful editor.

The gVim (i.e. Gui VIM version I use on Windows and on Ubuntu can show line numbers, do diffs between files, show bracket completion. If I really want a spellcheck, I could install CREAM, but for most programming/shell scripting, spellcheck isn't helpful.

I tried a number of text editors on Windows, but the REGEX search and replace in vi kept me coming back to the commandline, until I found gVIM.

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GUI Preferred... –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 5:09
Vim For Mac is gVIM, only with all the frufy mac eye candy stuff. –  pcapademic Jan 7 '10 at 5:44
Aha, Perhap's I'll give it a try. Thanks. BTW, I'm a PC - using this for iPhone dev. Learning the OS Slowly... –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 5:55
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Emacs is the text editor. Along with vi.

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Link please? - Also, GUI based only. –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 3:51
google.com/search?q=emacs+mac+os+x –  warren Jan 7 '10 at 4:16
aquamacs.org –  pcapademic Jan 7 '10 at 5:01
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Xcode is free for Mac OS X development.

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Besides for that. something lightweight. –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 3:09
Now that you've edited the question, try aptana.org or bluefish.openoffice.nl - these are probably a little bit "bigger" than your needs but I've used them in the past and they are pretty good. Otherwise try macromates.com or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smultron –  ta.speot.is Jan 7 '10 at 3:25
You can edit your answer too, instead of commenting on it. ;) –  Moshe Jan 7 '10 at 3:31
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