BBEdit FAQs


Are there any differences between the Mac App Store version of BBEdit and the version available directly from your web site?

The version of BBEdit available in the Mac App Store does not support authenticated saves (the ability to save changes to files that you do not own) and does not include the command-line tools, in order to comply with Apple’s submission guidelines.

Authenticated saves: BBEdit 10.1.1 and later include a scripting attachment point which makes this possible. A script and instructions for installing it are available on this page.

Command-line tools: Any customer who purchased BBEdit 10 from the Mac App Store may use the following package to install the command-line tools on their system. (This package is only for use with Mac App Store copies of BBEdit 10, and is not suitable for use otherwise.)

BBEdit command-line tools installer: download

What system version does BBEdit require?

BBEdit 10 requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later (10.7.5, 10.8.5, 10.9.2 or later recommended). It will not run on any earlier version of Mac OS X or on Mac OS 9.

Does BBEdit support Japanese/Chinese/Korean language editing?

BBEdit supports opening and editing files written in most left-to-right writing systems, including non-Roman languages such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

However, BBEdit does not support editing content in right-to-left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic. (You may also encounter inconsistencies when working with languages that routinely employ conjunct characters, such as Devanagari.)

How do I change the line ending format of a large number of files?

If you have a large number of files which you need to convert from one line ending type to another, we recommend that you create a Text Factory with a single “Change Line Endings” action, and apply that text factory to any folder(s) containing the files you wish to modify.

How can I edit really big files in BBEdit?

Dealing with large files presents no intrinsic problems for BBEdit. However, BBEdit is a RAM-based editor, and it uses system memory to hold open files. BBEdit also represents open documents as Unicode, which uses two bytes for each character. At this writing, the largest single file you will be able to open in BBEdit will be in the neighborhood of 800-900 megabytes (838,860,800 characters). Files in the range of half a gigabyte (500-600M) will pose no particular challenge (though the range of actions you can
perform on such a file may be restricted).

How do I select a column of text within BBEdit?

Just hold down the Option key (the mouse cursor will change to a cross shape) and then drag to make a rectangular selection.

Please note the “Soft Wrap Text” option must be turned off in order to make a rectangular selection. (You can turn off soft wrapping in the current document via the Text Options popup in the toolbar, or in the Text Options sheet.)

Why does BBEdit’s syntax checker say my HTML files contain errors?

Short Answer: Because they contain errors! :-)

Long Answer: BBEdit’s syntax checker is based on language templates generated from published DTDs and when it reports an error, the odds are good that the checker is correct.

If you don’t believe that it is correct in doing so, please check the most recent available on-line HTML references, and contact technical support.

I updated to OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and now, whenever I start BBEdit, a dialog pops up asking to install developer tools. What should I do?

You may encounter the following dialog when launching BBEdit 10.5.5 or earlier on OS X 10.9 “Mavericks”:

This notification is due to an administrative change made by Apple in Mavericks and does not indicate any sort of error or problem.

Updating to BBEdit 10.5.6 or later will resolve this issue.