BBEdit Comparison Chart

This chart shows what you get when you buy a BBEdit license, compared to the features available when you use BBEdit without a license after the 30-day evaluation period.

All of the highlighted features are available during the initial 30-day evaluation period.

This chart is not an exhaustive listing of BBEdit’s features. You can find an overview in the BBEdit Feature Tour.

See below for a list of the differences between TextWrangler and BBEdit (after the 30-day evaluation period has expired).

TextWrangler 5 BBEdit free mode
(free mode)
BBEdit licensed
Compatible with modern macOS versions (see details)  
Runs natively on Apple Silicon  
Use Dropbox or iCloud Drive to share plug-ins, scripts, and setup data between multiple computers  
Multiple Undo
Multiple Clipboards
Splittable editing windows
Extensively configurable key equivalents
“Commands” command presents a quick search of menu commands, scripts, clippings, and more for rapid access to anything you can do from a BBEdit menu.    
“Repeat Last Command” to quickly re-select most menu commands, making it easy to repeat text transforms and other operations without a trip to the menu bar.    
Show and hide individual menu items or entire menus
Supports macOS Dark Mode, with automatic text color scheme switching  
Transparently reads and writes DOS/Windows, Unix, and legacy Mac line ending formats
Transparently reads and writes gzip (.gz) and BZ2 (.bz2) compressed files
Transparently reads and writes files stored within Zip compressed archives  
Powerful multi-file search and replace (even on files that aren’t open) with multiple simultaneous search and replace operations
Extract found text into a new document from a single document, or multiple files and folders  
Automatic backup of files when saving (optional)
“Document Rescue” recovers untitled documents that you’ve accidentally discarded  
“Quit” command saves the application’s state (including the contents of untitled or unsaved documents) and quits instantly; and picks up where you left off the next time you start up
Periodic auto-save to protect against data loss from system crashes, power failures, and locust infestations
Complete set of HTML Tools for fast, easy, and correct markup. Supports current standards including HTML5, HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, and XHTML 1.1.
  • HTML Tools accessible from menu or floating palette

  • Innovative “Edit Markup” panel helps you write correct markup according to the standard in use

  • Context-sensitive tag and attribute completion while typing

  • Apply HTML markup from contextual (right-click) menus, or use built-in contextually aware completion for tags and attributes

  • Standards-based document and site syntax checking—check single pages or entire sites for compliance

  • Preview in BBEdit — automatically updates a preview as you edit, or preview in any installed browser

  • Built-in web-server support allows you to preview dynamically generated HTML

  • Close Current Tag command speeds and simplifies HTML element creation and editing

  • Powerful include and placeholder options for easier site maintenance

  • Easily create file and image links with drag and drop

  • Comprehensive HTML Entities palette for easy insertion of Latin-1, Symbol, Greek Letters, and other special characters

  • Configure web site projects for “one-click” deployment via FTP or SFTP

Live preview HTML and Markdown documents without leaving the application  
Flexible ‘grep’ style pattern-based search and replace based on PCRE (the Perl-Compatible Regular Expression library)
“Live Search” highlights matches in your document as you type a search string
Use Grep patterns in “Live Search” for advanced searching on the fly  
Automatically highlight matches of a selected word throughout the document
Advanced PCRE support, including named subpatterns and other grep goodness
Pattern Playgrounds provide a safe environment for learning, building, testing, and experimenting with Grep patterns. Learn more.    
Grep Cheat Sheets provide quick access to common Grep idioms  
Comprehensive AppleScript support: scriptable, recordable, and attachable
Built-in file and folder comparison with Find Differences
Find Differences displays word- and character-level differences
Advanced single-window Find Differences presentation
Rectangular/columnar text selections
Open, edit, and save files in a wide variety of character sets (including UTF-8 and UTF-16)
Automatic source-code language guessing
Can be used as an external editor for Xcode
Unix command-line access for opening and comparing files
bbfind/twfind command-line tool provides integration of multi-file search with Unix scripts and workflows
bbresults command-line tool provides integration with Unix command-line workflows  
Authenticated saves (for editing system-owned documents and other operations requiring administrator privileges)
Emacs key-binding support
Instantly highlight and navigate occurrences of an indicated word (or selected text) in the active document
“Notes” feature supports rapid creation and organization of self-named, self-saving documents, accessed via a central Notes window    
Offers the Scratchpad, a convenient place to make quick notes and temporarily store text without having to create a document on disk    
Extensive FTP and SFTP support
  • Open and save text files located on remote FTP/SFTP servers

  • Supports use of alternate ports

  • FTP/SFTP Browser provides persistent view of remote site directories

  • Bonjour discovery of local servers

Integrated support for file transfers through Interarchy, Transmit, Fetch, and other third-party clients with “Edit in BBEdit” commands
Open files and view directory listings with Disk Browser
Disk Browser features hierarchical folder listing and file filters for advanced control
Explore contents of Unix tar and Zip archive files in disk browsers without needing to extract them first
Function-navigation and syntax-coloring support for more than 20 programming languages, including HTML, JavaScript, Java, Perl, C++, Objective-C, & more
Function-navigation and syntax-coloring support for R, Rust, Go, Swift, Lisp-family languages, and Pixar USD  
Function-navigation and syntax-coloring support for Ruby, object-oriented JavaScript, and SQL
Built-in support for editing Markdown, including syntax coloring and navigation
Live preview Markdown documents without leaving the application  
Enhanced coloring options, including factory-supplied color schemes
Loads and saves color schemes (including import from the bbcolors format)
Text completion, using ctags, clippings, document symbols, and language keywords as data sources    
Enable advanced code completion, code index navigation, in-window issue display, context-aware function parameter help, and language-sensitive formatting via the Language Server Protocol. Learn more.    
Support for Universal Ctags (a powerful tool for indexing and navigating source code), providing easy access to indexed symbols by means of contextual (right-click) menus and the Find Definition command    
Control editor behavior and display settings on a per-language basis
Code folding
Powerful Clippings system:

  • Store and insert frequently used text items and custom tags

  • Menu-driven and key-bindable item selection

  • Language-sensitive switching of clipping sets

  • Download additional sets from our web site for free

Run Unix scripts and filters (including Perl, Python, Ruby, and shell script) from a built-in menu
Check spelling as you type to catch embarrassing typos
Integrated support for Git and Subversion version control systems; work with source files from multiple repositories    
Optionally skip Git ignored files when processing for multi-file search, Open File by Name, and other operations  
Built-in EditorConfig support to control editor behavior and settings within a working copy  
Shell worksheets run Unix commands from an editable window (just like MPW worksheets, for you old-timers)    
Create worksheets to have conversations in-app with ChatGPT, Claude, and Ollama    
Use BBEdit’s legendary text processing power in any Automator workflow  
Use Automator workflows as “text filters” for transforming document contents    
Create and run Text Factories—apply any number of powerful text transformations to multiple files without programming    
Combine text factories, scripts, text filters, and Automator workflows into “packages” for easy distribution and installation    
Open multiple documents per window:
  • Each window presents a list of all of the documents that are open in that window

  • Navigation Bar contains a popup menu with a list of all of the documents open in the window

  • Previous Document and Next Document commands speed navigation using keyboard, menu, or mouse

Create Codeless Language Modules to add syntax coloring and function navigation for additional languages without writing any code
Use Projects to organize your projects, grouping files into a single browser without regard to their location    
Comprehensive PDF user manual provided
Price Free Free US$59.99
Discounted upgrade pricing from previous BBEdit versions n/a n/a (info)
64-bit application  

Differences between BBEdit “free mode” and TextWrangler

After BBEdit’s 30-day evaluation period expires, some of its exclusive advanced features remain available. These features are not present in TextWrangler.

TextWrangler 5 BBEdit
(free mode)
30-day evaluation period; “free forever” unpaid use  
Purchase a license to access BBEdit’s full feature set  
64-bit application  
Runs natively on Apple Silicon  
Compatible with modern macOS versions (see details).  
Automatic color scheme switching for macOS Dark Mode  
Use Dropbox or iCloud Drive to share app support items  
Optionally skip Git-ignored files during batch operations  
Live in-app preview of HTML and Markdown documents  
Built-in EditorConfig support  
Use BBEdit’s text processing power in Automator workflows  
bbresults tool for integration with command-line workflows  
Use Grep patterns in “Live Search”  
Give your brain a break with Grep Cheat Sheets  
Extract found text into a new document  
Transparently read & write within Zip archives  

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