TextMate, also known as the missing editor for Mac OS X, is a very powerful tool that is used by many of us web-designers, developers and programmers. It can be used to write PHP, HTML, CSS, Python, ActionScript and many other languages. Today we’ll have a look at some of the best plugins, bundles and themes that can help make TextMate an even better editor!
Plugins And Bundles
Even though TextMate comes stuffed with some very useful plugins and bundles that makes it better and more productive than most simple editors (like Apple’s TextEdit for example), it’s possible to install more bundles to better suit your needs (it’s all about being productive and saving us from as many keystrokes as possible, right?). Before we get to the list, here’s how to activate the bundles in TextMate. Note that many bundles are language specific.
- BlogMate – BlogMate is a plugin/bundle that enables you to create and edit blog posts for MetaWeblog-enabled blogs (like WordPress) from within TextMate. You can also post to your Twitter and Jaiku accounts using BlogMate.
- CSS Bundle – The CSS bundle from Minimal Design, as the name suggests, is the perfect addition to your CSS arsenal. It gives you access to every CSS properties just by typing its initials, thus eliminating almost all typing.
- HTML Bundle – The HTML bundle, also from Minimal Design, adds some very useful tab triggers and shortcuts to the original HTML bundle.
- WordPress TextMate Bundle – If you work with WordPress on a regular basis and you design themes, you’re going to love the WordPress bundle! It features auto-completion of WP functions and commonly used template tags.
- Joomla Bundle – The Joomla bundle is similar in many way to the WordPress bundle. It has quick snippets for building templates and extensions. Make sure you watch the video on Beauty in Design.
- jQuery Bundle – The jQuery bundle, even though it was first released in 2006, can still be very useful if you work a lot with jQuery. It features tab triggers for many functions and some nice syntax highlighting.
TextMate User-Submitted Themes
TextMate, being an editor, is rather plain looking right out of the box. Of course some people prefer to personalize the color scheme to set apart the different lines of code and languages. TextMate comes with a good selection of pre-made themes, but let’s have a look at some of the best user-submitted themes available. To activate a theme, simply download the file and open it, it will then be available from the Preferences menu under ‘Fonts & Colors’.
- Boys & Girls TextMate Theme – The Boys and Girls theme was designed for Ruby first (and then HTML and CSS). It features blue and pink on a dark background.
- Vibrant Ink – The Vibrant Ink theme features, you guessed it… vibrant colors! The theme comes with a bundle with support for Prototype and partial support for Script.aculo.us.
- Choco – The Choco theme has a brown-ish background color. It won’t necessarily make you more productive, but it’s a must-have for all chocolate lovers out there.
- Argonaut – The Argonaut theme was designed more for C files than for other languages, but I find it’s still a very nice looking theme even for writing HTML markup.
- Django – The Django theme was designed specifically for Django projects. There’s a mod of this theme that’s better suited for HTML and CSS.
About The Author
Tom Walker lives and breathes technology: as such he has spent far too many hours staring at text editors. He also blogs at CreativeCloud for a specialist in printer ink cartridges based in the United Kingdom. You can also follow him on Twitter.