The Maclab has come to love (or hate) a few text editors over the years. We’ve used both free and paid versions of editors and in this post we’ll talk about our favorites. We’ll give some PROs and CONs as well as why we have moved away from Dreamweaver completely.

First up is BBedit. 

We’ve been paying for BBedit for a few years now. A few years ago this was one of the few editors that was as powerful and had the “oohs and ahs” similar to Dreamweaver. Today there are other editors even free ones that preform just as well as BBedit. The current version is around $49.99.

BBedit Screenshot



  • FTP Sync without using a 3rd Party Plugin or FTP Client
  • Auto-Complete and Auto-Close Tags
  • Save “Workspaces” to quickly open multiple files or projects
  • Easy preview mode to see code changes


  • Install color schemes is difficult without the current version (10)
  • Have to set up wordwrap and text options every time.
  • Even though it’s only 49.99, there are free options that preform extremely well.


Next we have, Espresso.

Espresso was recently found about a year ago by one of the Maclab employees.  It’s simple, sleek, and powerful. The current version is $75.00.

Espresso Screenshot


  • FTP Sync without using a 3rd Party Plugin or FTP Client
  • Auto-Complete and Auto-Close Tags
  • Project Management with the ability to quickly manage and edit multiple projects.
  • Easy to install themes and plugins called “Sugars”
  • CSS3 Editor that allows to easily create shadows, rounded corners, etc.
  • Easy preview


  • $75.00 is a little expensive
  • Creates metadata files (optional) that can become slightly annoying if you constantly are working on multiple projects

Free Option #1, Text Wrangler 

Textwrangler is made by the same people who created BBedit. It looks pretty much exactly the same as BBedit. It still has a good bit of the same features as BBedit.


  • It’s a free editor with ftp synchronization
  • Open multiple files to quickly edit projects


  • Text wrap is still an issue and settings have to be set every time
  • No auto-complete or auto-close

Free-ish Option #2, Sublime Text 2

Sublime Text 2 is free while it’s being evaluated, however right now there is no time limit on the evaluation. If you would purchase it, it costs $59.99.

Sublime Text 2 Screenshot


  • Non-boring colors scheme out of the box
  • Best auto-complete features of all editors
  • Save project option (2 files though vs other editors 1)
  • Easy install plugins
  • Multiple OS support (Windows, Linux, and Mac)


  • Only evaluation so a time limit may be enforced in the future
  • No built-in FTP client or synchronization

Why do we dislike Dreamweaver?

If you know ever even thought about creating or coding a website, you’ve more than likely heard about Dreamweaver. While we may not like it or find ourselves using it, there is not denying that it has paved the way for the editors we use today. If you asked us to describe Dreamweaver in 1 word it would be “BULKY“. It’s loaded with unimpressive and sometimes useless features. It takes around 3 times longer to load than our other preferred editors. It’s also really expensive ($399) for something that can be done with free software.  The one feature that is actually beneficial that we like is Adobe’s Browser Labs which helps with compatibility issues that occurs across multiple browsers. We feel that one or two features can’t justify buying and using Dreamweaver.

 Staff Picks:

Pam : BBedit – “I find that it does everything I need it to do”

Koury : Espresso – “It runs really smooth and I’m always working on multiple things so I like the project manager.”

Adam : Any – “As long as it has a color scheme I’ll use it.”

Josh : Sublime Text 2 – “Because it’s awesome, the color schemes are better than other text editor. It’s easy to install plugins like Zen Coding and Lorem Ipsum Generator”

Caitrin : Espresso – “It’s cleaner and more organized than Dreamweaver. I feel like I learn more coding.”