I’m looking for a good text editing program for Windows, for coding

As many of you know, I’ve been a Mac user for a good many years. As such, when I feel the need to do some coding (for example: xhtml, css, php, or javascript) by hand, I would just fire up BBEdit and have at it. Let me also say, BBEdit is a ridiculously great program. You probably already knew that.

Anway, next month I get to teach a course on XHTML, but it is going to be in a Windows computer lab.

And, I will not use Notepad, as some have already suggested. Call me spoiled, but I like being able to have more than one document open at once and, gosh-darn it, I like syntax coloring. I’m going to guess the students in the class will appreciate it as well.

So, I need a text-editor program that—

  • works reliably on Windows 2000
  • is free (at least for educational use)
  • allows multiple documents to be open at once
  • does syntax highlighting for xhtml and css
  • has an interface that is easy for a new coder to make sense of

Any recommendations?

I just downloaded jEdit, because Adam Richardson has given it some praise in the past. It seems…well, it seems nice. Not quite BBEdit, but if I were stuck on Windows, at this point it might just be my top pick for a coding program.

(I’m probably really irritating those of you who program on Windows by now. Really, you should start using a Mac. You’ll love life more.)

Indenting blocks of code in Dreamweaver

Code indentation in Dreamweaver
Code indentation in Dreamweaver

It is nice when you discover something new and useful in a piece of software you’ve been using for years.

For instance, this past week I discovered that in the Code View in Dreamweaver MX, you can highlight a big block of code and tab the whole thing to the right, uniformly, by pressing TAB. You can also take away tab indents by pressing SHIFT+TAB.

Of course, hindsight 20/20 and all, this seems a perfectly reasonable feature. I just didn’t know it. So now I do. And, I’ve already used it half-a-dozen times.

It’s helpful when you move a whole block of code to a new location, and you want to adjust it’s indentation to fit the new surrounding code.