IDM’s UltraEdit is arguably the world’s best text editor…for Windows. I first used it in 2002 as part of a basic programming tool set provided by my client at the time. I was hooked, and started to use it on other engagements. I even started ‘selling’ it to my colleagues, showing them how it could solve various problems. One of my colleagues, a statistician, had to routinely convert large data files of various formats (fixed-width, CSV, etc.). He did much of this by hand (i.e. in Notepad and/or Excel) until I showed him how to convert files painlessly in UltraEdit. He bought a license the same day.
Alas, my conversion to Linux several years ago forced me to abandon UltraEdit. For me, the most useful feature was the column mode (also called ‘block’ mode) and I could not find any GUI text editor that could replace that function. I use Vim most of the time now, which does have the ‘visual’ block mode, but learning the keystrokes and writing macros to do all of the things UltraEdit can do in single button-clicks is much too time-consuming for my busy schedule to allow. I tried running it under Wine (please don’t ask which versions of either – I don’t remember now), and it seemed like most things worked, but not the column mode. Crash and burn.
Still in denial, I check the UltraEdit user forums from time to time, and what did I see just a few days ago? A post written by someone on the IDM team claiming that they are indeed working on a port of UltraEdit to Linux! It is currently called UEx and is expected to hit the market in late 2008. Joy of joys!
P.S. To find the post, go to the UltraEdit website and navigate to the User Forums under the Support menu. In the UltraEdit General Discussion category, use your browser to search for the text, “UltraEdit for Linux”. The post was written by “penntap” on December 12, 2007, which showed up on page 9 when I found it.