Software Review: UltraEdit 11 and UltraEdit Studio 5

I have used UltraEdit from IDM Computer Solutions for the past 2.5 years at my job. At first unwillingly, when Homesite 5 failed to function properly on the “customized” WinXP install of which I had little control. *sigh* OK I’ll use UE. Over the years it has really grown on me, to the point where I want to purchase it myself. Many of these are available in UltraEdit, but the really cool stuff is only in UltraEdit Studio.

Features I like:

Editor Features

  • Quick Searching. Having a textbox in tolbar for search criteria, then back and forward buttons on the tool bar.
  • FTP/SFTP Accesss. Connecting via FTP to open a file, if you save it puts the file back on the server. You can also save as to FTP.
  • Editor color customizing. Sometimes I feel like blue or green text with red highlights for keywords, sometimes I feel like being girly and using dark pink and purples! The editor is fantastic about letting you choose different colors variables, functions, comments, operators etc.
  • Column editing mode. Sometimes, you have a list of array assignments and you wish you could just copy the first 15 chars of each line, instead of the whole line. Clicking the block mode on the tool bar toggles this feature. Copy, paste and then switch off the column mode. Sweeeeeeeet.
  • Bookmarks. Epecially in long files I will place a bookmark so I can find that place later, even work when you close and open the file again
  • Code collapsing. Clicking the +/- signs will close a block of code, function, decision statements, etc.
  • Find in files and/or directory. Can’t find where that function was defined? UE will search in a particular directory for you criteria and display the results at the bottom. Looks similar to grep output.
  • CVS Support. Interact with CVS servers and allows checkout, commit, update, import and export. No word on Subversion support though.
  • Column markers. I like to have column markers at 4 spaces and 8. I change the color of this to a really light gray, that way I can immedately see if my first two indents (most common) are lined up. Not a big deal, but just serves as an extra check to make sure things are lined up the way I like.
  • *ClassViewer (only Studio) / Function listing (this is in both), will display a list of functions/methods in a small window. Clicking on one of them, jumps to that place in the code.
  • Number Converter, click a number and conver to hex, dec, octal or binary. Save a step to windows calc when I do need it, not very often.
  • Artistic Style. Allows you to specify options and reformat your code, such as tabs -> spaces, placing of brackets, etc.

HTML Features

  • Convert plain text to list. Need a list like this? type it in, select the list item, click the icon with bullets and it converts it to a list, complete with "ul" tags. This is one feature I loved in Homesite. Although it seems to have a problem if the last char is a punctation, hrmm. :( in Studio, it puts the last char outside the ending li tag, UE is fine!.
  • Popup color chooser. No more opening photoshop to find the perfect color. You can swap red/blue values; get decimal values, hex, RGB(0xee,0x82,0xee) style, html #ffffff style and it will copy to clipboard or enter at cursor in editor. I don't like the standard windows color chooser, I would prefer something like Photoshop's color chooser -- but Ahh well, can't have it all huh.
  • HTML insertion. It has all the standard html code insertion tools like anchor, div, etc. I haven't had the chance to use these very much yet. But will save some typing when I do.
  • HTML Tidy. Haven't used it, but there's an icon for it!
  • HTML code protector. Converts the page to a bunch of javascript functions displaying everything escaped. Prevents prying eyes from casually snooping on your html souce, although not 100% secure.

PHP Features

  • *Taging. If your file is in a project, it will display a "Tree view" of your classes, showing members and methods. Sweeeeeeet.
  • *PHP Syntax checking, if you have php installed on your local machine, it will test your file for syntax errors. Much easier than flipping to the browser and clicking refresh. It can also run the script--but if your file has an include it won't be able to run propery. Appearently it doesn't see the file as part of a site.
  • Strip Comments. Strip those moronic comments and add new ones!
  • "Run" a php script, displays the output. However, if your file includes another file, this won't work. It doesn't run the include calls. :(
  • *Popup list of functions as you type, if you type "str_" you get a list of functions, select the one you want and click tab (this is a setting, you can select enter or tab in configuration).
  • Function list window - lists all functions/methods, clicking on one takes you to that position in the code file (doesn't show a tree view of the file as if the file were part of a project, but if you have a lonely php file not in a project, this is an alternative way to see the function/methods).

JavaScript

  • *IntelliSense -- doesn't work for object.methods like "document.write" but if you start typing "wri" it pops up with "write".
  • Function window list -- lists functions in a side window, this is configured by the view menu, clicking on one takes you to that position in the code file . Very VERY nice for LONG javascript files.

CSS

  • CSS style builder. Its ok, not as nice as Dreamweaver.
  • Also has IntelliSense for helping you out with propery names.

Other

  • Convert Visual Studio Projects to UE Studio projects. UE might be an affordable replacement for those of you that use VS.
  • Compile, build, debug and run options for those of you with compiled languages.
  • Resource Editor. I don't really know that this is. Guessing it has something to do with Window Programming.

* indicates features ONLY in UltraEdit Studio

Overall, the power of Ultra Edit combined with the newer features of Studio make this almost a all-in-one package for php, javascript, html.

If I missed anything cool, let me know! I'm always learning something new about this most excellent editor.

UEStudio '05UEStudio '05

UltraEdit-32 Professional Text EditorUltraEdit-32 Professional Text Editor

UltraEdit-32 to UEStudio '05 UpgradeUltraEdit-32 to UEStudio '05 Upgrade

UltraEdit-32 Professional Text Editor UpgradeUltraEdit-32 Professional Text Editor Upgrade

UPDATE: I sent a link of this review to the folks at IDM Computer Solutions to review for accuracy and after reading my review, they generous enough to offer me a free license for UE 11.0 - This was neither requested or planned in any way, but much appreciated! Thanks IDM Computer Solutions!

I really like reviews like

I really like reviews like this with just personal point of view commentary. Not sure why you put the promotional images in there though, may be that helped them decide to give you a free license.

Understood

That's why when Nola told me that they sent her a free license, I recommended that she disclose it and the fact that this was not planned, discussed, etc in advance.

As has been discussed privately, any company-references on CodeSnipers should be relevant to the topic at hand and not simply a promotional piece.

This is not a site for adver-torials.

Relevant Links

The images were linked to their site with my associate ID, similar to Amazon's associated program. So, I was "already getting something" from them - if someone were to order the product from my link, then I get some small percentage. So a free $40 product wasn't necessary OR EXPECTED. And I had already decided to do a review before I knew they had an associate program.

I showed it to them, because I thought they'd like to see what I said and offer any corrections (being as I am an imperfect human being) or comments.

If I wrote a software package and someone did a review, I'd like to see what they said too! And be offered the opportunity to make any corrections and comments.

How does Ultra Edit compare

How does Ultra Edit compare to a current incarnation of Visual Studio? I do like Microsoft's IDEs (and integrated editors) quite a bit...

I haven't used VS hardly,

I haven't used VS hardly, cept to play around with some C# projects for my PPC. I guess you'll have to download the trial and see. The trial is fully functional for 45 days.