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Faster web development with Textmate

When you’re a freelance web developer it’s important to be able to work quickly and accurately. If you’re working to a fixed price quote there’s a great motivation to get work done as efficiently as possible. Because of this I’m always on the look-out for tools that can make me work more accurately and reduce repitition.

I’ve used Textmate and Netbeans for many years – Netbeans as a full fledged IDE for version control and code debugger, Textmate for quickly banging out the html. Recently I’ve been moving more and more away from Textmate, but in the past couple of weeks I’ve been pulled back by some of the compelling features.

Firstly, the TextMate Zend Coding bundle is awesome. Zen Coding let’s you write css style syntax, hit a hot key, typically Apple + E, and expand it out into fulling formed html. It’s a hand saver.

Secondly, the integration with the OS X Command line enables you to pass entire documents or snippest of html through Tidy. Hit Shift + Command + H and you’ll magically get clean validated code. Beats flying back and force to the Web Developer Toolbar.

Lastly, if you paste text straight into Textmate from Word for example it doesn’t recognise and convert any html entities. But hit Ctrl + Command + 7 and your selection will get scrubbed nice and clean.

Remembering the shortcuts is always a hassle, but with the multitude of Textmate bundles out there, you’re sure to find one that makes your day to day programming life more pleasant.

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