I have two favorite text editors. I wish I could combine their features together though. I have used TextPad (TP) for about the last 5 years, but for a few months I’ve been using UltraEdit (UE) more for a couple of handy features.

First is the FTP capabilities built in to UE. I can create several FTP accounts and select which one I would like to save to, or open from. You edit the files as you normally would, but when you click the save button or Ctrl+S as most would, it uploads the file to your server!

The second feature I really love is the ability to have a sorted list of functions when you open a PHP file. When I developed Nerdlance.com I created a function file to hold all my commonly used functions. I found UE quite handy when it came to jumping to the function I wanted to modify.

I think UE falls short of TP in a few areas.

First is the regular expressions. They just don’t work as I feel they should. I think they should work more like TP and perl, but they don’t. I can’t remember off what the issues I’ve experienced were, but I think it had something to do with newline characters, end of string characters and the like.

Secondly is the undo feature. UE remembers every keystroke and undoes ( <- is that a word? ) them one at a time. TP seems to have some sort of “smart” undo features that remembers blocks of keystrokes, which is faster and therefore more pleasing to me.

Third, is the macros. While I like how UE gives you the ability to edit macros, what I don’t like again is the undo feature. If you run a macro and it messes up, you can’t Ctrl+Z to get back where you started. There are work-arounds, yes, but I prefer the TP way.

Fourth is the way that they both read files. TP seems to open and fix files that have been messed up by some means or anothers such as wrong encoding or binary FTP. Again, I can’t point to examples, but I’ve seen it more than once, which leads me to bring it up here.

And finally, the clip library. Again, I prefer the TP way as you can organize you clips into categories, sort them by name, etc. UE just has one large template library available to everything.

On all other features that I use in both tools they seem to be fairly equal.