Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why I still use UltraEdit when Visual Studio 2012 is such an Excellent Editor

While Visual Studio has come a long way as an editor (not to mention as an IDE) there are still a few features in UltraEdit that keep me coming back (currently on v17.20):

  1. right click the tab for any open file and you can copy it’s path into the clipboard. This is really handy when you need to type in an outrageously long path as an argument to a command.
  2. quick open (ctrl+q). Often I’ll use this to quickly open log files. The paths are long but included in troubleshooting emails.
  3. reload changed files. Visual Studio will prompt you but UltraEdit can do it automatically (with a configurable polling interval). It can also automatically scroll to the end of changed files – a great way to keep an eye on the spew.
  4. compare files. I never sprang for UltraCompare because the comparison functionality built into UltraEdit has been more than sufficient for my needs.
  5. Regular Expressions. As of Visual Studio 2012 this gap has finally been bridged but even as late as VS 2010 there was still no way to use .net/PERL (pcre) regular expression syntax in the various find dialogs. That’s ridiculous – good thing VS 2012 provides this feature.

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