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My text editors

A text editor is just a text editor, right? Well, not really - and it turns out I use a variety of text editors for different purposes.

iA Writer is how I draft and publish my blog posts and short stories. It’s a beautiful, minimalist markdown editor that knows when to get out of my way. And it supports Micropub, which lets me publish pieces directly to my website.

BBEdit is a professional text editor. I use it as my scratchpad; features like regular expression search and replace and smart syntax highlighting make it an easy place for me to inspect and adjust text files.

Ulysses is a long-form writing app. I’m writing a novel in it, and have a few abandoned starts to other long-form fiction. I haven’t used its grammar checker or editing tools (in general, I hate and distrust grammar checkers), but I know they may come in handy later on.

Obsidian is becoming my outboard brain. Some of those thoughts are public; you can find them at I love that it’s completely cross-platform.

VSCode is my Integrated Development Environment of choice; if you’re a programmer, it’s a good chance it’s yours, too. If you’d told the me ten years ago that I’d be regularly using a product with “Visual Studio” in the name, I would have laughed at you - but here we are. It’s a testament to how much Microsoft has grown and changed.

Nano is the editor I use inside my terminal window. I prefer it to vi and vim; I just do.

Slab is how I write documentation to share with teams. It’s dramatically better than Confluence, which I’d used previously, for this purpose: lightning fast, with features that allow you to ensure documentation is current.

Apple Notes (in concert with Reminders) has become my place to keep track of work notes. It’s not perfect, but it’s steadily improving, and it’s always there, across my devices. The Quick Note feature is really neat, and I love that I can write in longhand with my Apple Pencil.

Google Docs is how I collaborate on documentation with other people. It’s easy, real-time, and cross-platform.

Microsoft Word is how I talk to lawyers and format fiction manuscripts.

What are your text editors of choice?

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