TextWrangler FAQs

Note: TextWrangler is now part of BBEdit (our award-winning flagship text and code editor), and has been sunsetted as a separate product. We promise that you will feel right at home, because the two products are identical in every way that you’re used to. And you still don’t have to pay anything, unless you want to support us by buying a license. More information on this transition is available here.

This FAQ is maintained for archival purposes only, and the information here is out of date and may be inaccurate as a result.

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

The version of TextWrangler 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 are not possible in versions of TextWrangler obtained from the Mac App Store. If you desire this capability, please download TextWrangler directly from us.

Command-line tools: Any customer who has obtained TextWrangler 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 TextWrangler, and is not suitable for use otherwise.)

TextWrangler command-line tools installer: download

Should I download TextWrangler from textwrangler.onfreedownload.com or any other third-party site?

NO! Absolutely not. This site is distributing TextWrangler without authorization and may be dangerous so you should not, under any circumstance, download or otherwise obtain Textwrangler from it.

Instead, you can freely obtain a legitimate version of TextWrangler from the Mac App Store or directly from our own website so we encourage you to get TextWrangler from us (or from the App Store) and enjoy it with our compliments!

What system version does TextWrangler require?

TextWrangler 5.5 requires Mac OS X 10.9.5 or later, and is compatible with macOS 10.12 “Sierra”. (It will not run on any earlier version of Mac OS X.)

OS Compatibility Information

Does TextWrangler support “Split View” on OS X El Capitan and later?

El Capitan’s Split View feature requires that the OS allow TextWrangler to enter that mode, which it currently does not. We regret that this is not a feature we can add, nor a limitation that we can work around ourselves.

macOS “Split View” works correctly with BBEdit 12.0 and later.

Does TextWrangler support Japanese/Chinese/Korean language editing?

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

However, TextWrangler 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 can I edit really big files in TextWrangler?

Dealing with large files presents no intrinsic problems for TextWrangler. However, TextWrangler is a RAM-based editor, and it uses system memory to hold open files. TextWrangler also represents open documents as Unicode, which uses two bytes for each character. Combined with an internal Mac OS X limitation, this means that you can open files up to 384 megabytes in size (402,653,184 characters). To open a larger file, you will first need to split it into multiple parts, each less than 384M in size.

BBEdit 12.1 (and later versions) are able to open much larger files than this. It’s another reason to switch.

How do I select a column of text within TextWrangler?

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.)