TextWrangler Substitute

I have just started learning python using Zed Shaw’s book and have finished the command line crash course and am in the setup process.I have installed TextWrangler on my Mac but am not able to open it.The bare bones website directed me to install the bare bones app but this requires a paid monthly subscription.Are there any free substitutes for TextWrangler that I can use on my Mac?

Hello and welcome @SaeyonSundaram

I think Atom is a good alternative to try.
Quite nice if you ask me.

Thanks for replying ulfen69 but could you help me out a bit more here I’m still in school and completely new to all this.Could you tell me how I can download or install ‘atom’ from?

Hello again @SaeyonSundaram

A basic skill all programmers need is to search the internet for solutions.
I Googled “atom for mac” and found this >>click here
I found the website for Atom and some videos how to install on mac.

I don’t want you to think you should not put your questions in here.
You are most welcome. There are many very friendly members in this forum willing to help.
But I encourage you to do some research before posting in here.
Its a vital skill for programmers.

Good luck and please tell us how you get on.

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Thanks for the reference ulfen69 I have installed atom on Mac.Will search the web for queries first the next time.


Hi @SaeyonSundaram welcome to the forum. You can also replace TextWrangler with BBEdit (Bare Bones Software | TextWrangler is now BBEdit -- and still free! It's time to switch.) the mother ship of Barebones Software. They integrated TextWrangler into BBedit and you can use it for free. Every functionality you had in TextWrangler is also in the free Version of BBedit. If you need some more advanced features like HTML power editing, etc. you can upgrade BBedit. It’s 49$ once and not a subscription.
I use the free BBedit quit a lot at work for years now when I need to do fancy things with a text or .CSV file and it does a fantastic job. Maybe only comparable to UltraEdit (BBedit is for Mac and UltraEdit for PC). You have killer features like regex search and replace, etc. For programming, I don’t use it. Instead, I use Vim but for a beginner I would, like @ulfen69, recommend looking into Atom or, as recommended by @zedshaw, looking into Visual Studio Code. Both are free and have a lot of features. For working with HTML and CSS I love to work with Brackets (live preview of HTML and CSS changes, etc.). You see, there are a lot of options. I would recommend trying out a bunch (first the free ones, later you can pick the free versions of paid editors and see if you like one more than the free ones). Be carefully with the IDE’s they are hard to understand first and need a lot of time to learn (like vim or emacs). As a beginner I would pick the one that comes the easiest to you and use that. You want to spend your time to learn how to program not learning how text editors work :slight_smile:

Here is a list of editors for a good start


Atom by GitHub (Linux/Windows/Mac)
Visual Studio Code by Microsoft (Linux/Windows/Mac)
Notepad++ (Windows)
Gedit installed on almost every Linux distro (Linux)
BBedit (Mac)
Brackets from Adobe (Linux/Windows/Mac)
Vim (Linux/Mac/Windows)


BBedit (Mac)
UltraEdit (PC)
Sublime Text (Linux/Mac/Windows)

IDE’s for Python (IDE = Integrated Development Environment)

WingIDE (with free edition)
PyCharm (with free edition)

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Thanks DidierCH for the references.I checked out pycharm and I think it should be very useful to me in the future.Regarding text editors, I have started using atom but will check out Xcode, BBEdit and Vim.Which of the four would you recommend for me at this stage?

I have started using atom but will check out Xcode, BBEdit and Vim.Which of the four would you recommend for me at this stage?

Hi @SaeyonSundaram I personaly would recommend that you stick to Atom or BBedit (what you like better). I wouldn’t use Pycharm or Xcode for now. They look appealing with all their features and styled user interface but you easily can get lost (try them out later when you have a good portion of Python under your belt. They really can help you to get more productive once you know what you do). And Vim I only would recommend at this stage if you need to do stuff on remote servers. Otherwise it is a whole topic of it’s own and would be waaay more distracting from learning to code than the other two options.
I would stick to the KISS principle and choose the one you like the most and have the least hurdles. I for my self go with my gut feeling. If I feel at home with WingIDE (for example) I would choose that, even it is a lot more popular today to use Pycharm. And I do it with my choice of text editors the same. You love it? Choose it!

I forgot to mention another very good option:

Sublime Text