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I have both a mac and pc (laptop) in my household. I'm currently using my laptop more out of convenience to learn php. I've always used notepad++ for my web projects in HTML and CSS. For the Mac I use TextWrangler.

What text editor do you use? And are the ones I currently use sufficient for php development? Keep in mind I’m just a beginner.

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I love the balancing braces function in notepad++ too. Not really sure what the differences are between a text editor and an IDE yet. I'm guessing an IDE has more complex programming functionalities built in? For a beginner I'd imagine a regular text editor like notepad++ or TextWrangler is sufficient?

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An IDE is an integrated development environment. They are often provide error highlighting and more in depth programming help like they can populate functions and language constructs, even custom functions. They usually provide good project overviews for including files and classes etc. Where as your regular editor provides a simpler kind of user interaction. I think what you have is fine, and its better in my opinion, it's better to type it all out by hand and get used to writing without prompts. I think context or Gedit provide better highlighting compared to Notepad++ which may help the code sink in better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have grown a strong liking to TextMate. It is not free, and is only compatible with Mac as far as I know, but if you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend using it.


I use Scribes on Ubuntu, and it gets the job done.


I also have Geany installed in case Scribes acts up.


I have never been a fan of Dreamweaver, especially if you are paying for it. It is too cluttered in my opinion, and for a beginner, one can get lost.


I do not really like Notepad++ either, but it has been a while since the last time I used it, perhaps updates has made it better. (For the record, unlike Notepad++, I have used a recent version of Dreamweaver recently)


TextWrangler is a good one too, as others have mentioned.


I am still searching for an editor as good as TextMate, so if anyone else on this thread knows one, please mention it.

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I'm using BBEdit, TextWrangler's "big brother". Mac only, and not free, but I like it. Braces and parentheses balancing. Syntax coloring. You can hide inner loops or conditionals when you have several imbricated conditionals (if (…) { if (…) { foreach (…)}}}), which makes it easy to check your code. As many clippings (also called snippets in other software) as you want. Templates. Multi-file search and replace, including searching with regular expressions. And many more features. In fact, too many when you really are a beginner, but great once you are familiar with another text editor. There are still many I need to explore!

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