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Review: UltraEdit Professional

Still searching for the ultimate HTML, ASP, PHP, C++ or Java editing environment? In this review Corbb takes a look at UltraEdit Professional. It could just be the new editor for you...

Author Info:
By: Corbb O'Connor
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 6
August 08, 2002
  1. · Review: UltraEdit Professional
  2. · Syntax-Highlighting
  3. · Conclusion

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Review: UltraEdit Professional - Syntax-Highlighting
(Page 2 of 3 )

One of the most powerful and versatile features of UltraEdit is its ability to color your code. This makes finding errors much easier. UltraEdit has many built-in languages, but you can also create your own language or program a language not installed very easily.

Built-In Languages
UltraEdit offers support for HTML, JavaScript, C/C++, PHP, Visual Basic, Java, PERL, and XML. The program is very intelligent; it knows which language you are typing in by the extension of the file. For example, if the extension of the file you have open is .htm or .html, UltraEdit knows that the language is HTML. If the program does not recognize an extension that you would like it to, simply click on the "Configuration" option in the "Advanced" menu. Then click on the "File Associations" tab. When editing PHP files for example, functions are colored in orange, variables in purple, and values of variables in green. Here is an example of a PHP file in UltraEdit:

The UltraEdit IDE In Action

Custom Languages
Now, let's say for example that a new programming language called "MyLang" comes out, and the UltraEdit team doesn't feel that many users want this language programmed into their editor. Well, if you want to have UltraEdit highlight the syntax of "MyLang", just program the language into the editor. All you do is go to the "Advanced" menu. Then click on "Configuration". Then click the tab that says "Syntax Highlighting". Under "Word List", click on "Open". The wordlist.txt file will open and be ready for your editing pleasure.

You may want to backup the wordlist.txt file before you start editing just in case you make a mistake.

Editing Plain Text Files
UltraEdit isn't just for editing Web files; you can edit plain text files too. Of course there is no syntax highlighting for text files, but there are features for editing these types of files. For example, if you’re writing a newsletter, you will want each line of the newsletter to wrap after a certain column number. UltraEdit can do the "wrapping" for you: click on "Configuration" under the "Advanced" menu and then on the "Edit" tab.

To have UltraEdit insert a hard return after the column number, make sureyouo click on the radio button that says, "Wrap after column #, insert CR/LF."

Search and Replace
The search and replace functionality included in UltraEdit is my favorite feature of the program (but then again, I like almost every feature in this program!). The search and replace window is very small, but very powerful. Not only can you search and replace regular text, but also you can replace special characters (such as tabs, line breaks, and page breaks.) You also have the ability to search for one of two things, but replace it with only the one thing. (i.e. you could search for "hi" or "hey" and replace either occurrence with "hello") For more details on what can be searched for and replaced, see the Help document entitled, "Regular Expressions."

I don't feel that this feature is 100% complete, however. I much preferred the earlier versions of UltraEdit in regard to the search and replace feature. In the earlier versions, when UltraEdit was done searching the document, the program popped up a box telling you how many replacements it made, in how many files, and asked if you wanted to close the search and replace dialog box.

Most websites use the same code repeatedly in each page (i.e. the HTML code for a header and footer). UltraEdit has the ability to store up to ten entire page templates (of unlimited size) within the program. For example, you could create a file with all the HTML code necessary for a page and then include a comment within the code (such as <!--content here-->) that would remind you where to place the content. Then, click on "Display/Modify Templates" under the "Advanced" menu. Paste the contents of the file and give it a name. Next time you want to use the template, click on "Individual Templates" under the "Advanced" menu.

I have found that this feature of UltraEdit is a huge time saver. It avoids the hassle of editing a tekmplate.html file, and then accidentally saving your changes to that template.html file before being able to make another page as easily.
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