How to Edit Source Code on your Mac with the Great TextWrangler

Herbert Lui

TextEdit isn’t an awful program. It’s definitely suitable for getting light-text editing or previewing done. But when you need some light design work edited or want a better interface to look at, or some more extensive plain text editing features, you’re gonna want to step up to an advanced text editing program. A great piece of freeware, that has been featured on tons of lists, TextWrangler consistently stands out from the bunch. I took the dive, and I found out why.

Windows users, you are all very fortunate to have a slew of Notepad alternatives. Have a look at these notepad alternatives. Mac users, lets check out the features of TextWrangler.

TextWrangler Overview


Formatting can often be important even in a basic plain text editor. Luckily, TextWrangler has these features built right in. I particularly am quite fond of the separation between Hard and Soft Word Wraps (hard wraps change the text formatting to a certain amount of characters per line, whereas soft word wraps are temporary and adjust to your window), I think it’s a pretty neat tool and definitely have been putting it to use.

Soft Word Wrap in TextWrangler

Source Code Colors

I absolutely find color codes to be essential in a text editor. This is the deal breaker that pushed me to migrate to TextWrangler from TextEdit. In this example CSS file, you can see how the different colors come into play and how they affect the ease of use in the document.

Source Code Colors

Window Organization

I love the way that TextWrangler has its windows organized. Instead of a mess of separated Windows, TextWrangler lists all active documents out on the right hand side of the window. It makes it really easy to navigate through files and it’s a heck of a lot cleaner. Clutter be gone!

Tabbed Windows

Get TextWrangler now! Best of all, it’s free and it’s great. Gone are the days of editing source code in plain ol’ black and white text, and say hello to color. Enjoy! 🙂

Also See

Join the newsletter