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Text editor included with Mac OS X. Supports rich text, basic HTML display, pictures, embedded applications, kerning, ligatures and other such Cocoa text-related features. The full source of General/TextEdit, both in Objective-C and in Java, is included with the Developer Tools ([file://localhost/Developer/Examples/General/AppKit/General/TextEdit/] - has not been updated for Panther).

General/TextEdit made its debut with General/OpenStep. General/NeXTSTEP included a far superior (for developers, and IMO) editor called It had features like piping text to external scripts, code folding and so on.

General/TextEdit is also the name of the obsolete text handling manager that was used in the original Mac OS, and is now part of Carbon.

General/TextEdit is also a good example of how crappy the interface ends up when you use file paths as file primitives. If you move a file General/TextEdit will either complain it can’t find a file or it will passively overwrite whatever is at the old path. Not knowing this beforehand can result in data loss.

Compare this with any app using General/NSDocument or most Carbon apps.

Apple’s Aqua HI Guidelines are clearly incomplete since this has ramifications in the behavior of commands like Save and Revert.


Whatever happened to General/PaulBayley a.k.a strobe anarkhos? Did he discover girls? Or Chipmunks? Or maybe he just ran out of things to bitch about in OSX and has moved on to Windows?

It’s funny that every one of the projects listed on his page are either dead or stillborn.

You can enhance General/TextEdit into a fairly capable source code editor using General/TextExtras.

“embedded applications”? What does that mean? Also, General/TextEdit was also the name of the original General/MacToolbox text editing API. The one that couldn’t handle >32k at a time.

I think that General/TextEdit would be much more successful for Apple if they had a programmer sit down and rewrite it using General/NSDocument.

I don’t think it would be. Or at least, if they do they should keep the old code available. There are cases where you have to manually do things that the document architecture does automatically, and the General/TextEdit source is a good place to look for that. There are plenty of General/NSDocument examples around.

Well, I meant that they would be more successful getting end users to use it as a simple text editor.

Why? What do end users care what classes it uses? Does General/TextEdit’s current behavior differ from the standard General/NSDocument behavior?

Last time I looked at the General/TextEdit code it had a comment mentioning that they needed to switch it over to General/NSDocument. I get the impression there aren’t too many people working on General/TextEdit.

it’s a shame too; the editor that shipped with General/NeXTSTEP was in many ways far more advanced.

OSXHINTS has a thread with several suggested ways to change the General/TextEdit preset margins.

You can easily add regex matching to General/TextEdit by doing the following (taken from a mailinglist post by General/OgreKit’s creator)

FROM: Isao Sonobe DATE: 2003-12-14 09:06

It is very easy to integrate General/OgreKit’s Find Panel into General/TextEdit (or other applications). What you have to do is following three step with zero lines of code:

  1. Add General/OgreKit.framework to General/TextEdit’s project. (cf. )

  2. Open Edit.nib of General/TextEdit.

    Drop a header file General/OgreKit.framework/Headers/General/OgreTextFinder.h into the window of Edit.nib.

    Instantiate General/OgreTextFinder.

  3. Build.

From the General/PortlandPatternRepository wiki’s page on General/TextEdit:

Hidden functionality: To create a page break, type Control-q followed by Control-l (i.e. a lowercase letter L).