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Review of Two Editors: Sublime Text 2 and SlickEdit

Both editors also support recording macros that can be tied to a key sequence. Recorded SlickEdit macros are saved as Slick-C macros. If you're serious about extending your editor, you'll appreciate the built in profiler and debugger that SlickEdit provides for creating Slick-C macros.

One feature I really liked in Sublime is simultaneous multi-line editing. Multi-line editing makes it possible to create an array out of a list of values with a few key strokes. Figure 3 is an animated GIF that demonstrates this feature.

Figure 3.

The search features in Sublime are also handy. With a few key strokes, you can find a particular file, then search and select from a list of functions in the file. This can be accomplished by by typing "Ctl+p," then typing the first few characters of the file you want. Highlight the desired file in the list, then type "@" to view a list of functions in the file. If you type more characters after the "@," it will filter the function list.

Along the same lines, SlickEdit supports GOTO a particular definition. Sublime does not have this feature out of the box.

SlickEdit possesses an unusual feature called "dynamic surround." After creating a code block (if/then, try/catch, etc.), the editor allows you to add existing lines of code to the block with the up and down arrows. Code added to the block is automatically indented, and if you press the up arrow to remove a line from the block, it's placed back at the proper indentation. Figure 4 presents this as an animated GIF.

Figure 4.

The final SlickEdit feature I'd like to mention is beautify-while-typing. In addition to the ability to select and format code, SlickEdit will properly format code while you type. This feature is invoked when the user types a dot or a left/right curly bracket (it's off by default). This feature is currently supported only in C/C++ and Objective-C.


At several points during the review, I contacted support for both products. It was apparent that SlickEdit is prepared to provide user support, while Sublime Text 2 is not. The primary form of support for Sublime Text 2 is through a forum, which is active. E-mail questions to the main developer were answered days later or sometimes not at all. There are no options for support beyond the forum and the scant documentation. While Sublime is a very capable editor, be prepared to do some legwork if you need support.

SlickEdit has support staff that respond to queries quickly and fully. The company offers 30 days of installation support for free, and yearly maintenance and support for a fee. There is also a community forum, and a website with feature demos.

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