With the imminent release of Brackets 1.3 we now have the much-needed ability to easily start the editor from the terminal.
Setup of the command line shortcut takes just a couple of minutes:
1. Install Brackets 1.3
The latest version should be released for automatic update in a few days but if you can’t wait you can download the pre-release version right now from the Brackets GitHub repository.
2. Install the Command Line Shortcut
Start up Brackets then select the File… Install Command Line Shortcut menu item which now appears at the very bottom of the File menu.
You’ll be asked to confirm your password, then the shortcut will be installed.
If everything went smoothly you’ll see a confirmation message and Brackets will be ready to use from within terminal:
Notice that you can open a single file or switch projects.
3. Start Brackets from within terminal
As is common with other GUI apps started from the terminal there is one peculiarity:
- If Brackets is closed, it will be started, the file (or project) to be edited will be loaded and the app brought to the front
- If Brackets is open but not on top (or in another space), the file (or project) to be edited will be loaded and the app brought to the front
- If Brackets is minimised, the file (or project) to be edited will be loaded but the app will not be brought to the front. This can be confusing if you haven’t seen this behaviour before because it appears that nothing at all has happened.
More info about Brackets 1.3 can be found in the release notes on GitHub.
Command line startup can also be set up on Windows; brief details are in the release notes.
- Inline editing
Also called “the quick editor”, this is definitely an innovation worth having. With this feature we can place the cursor over, say, a body tag and click Cmd/Ctrl-E and a small inline editor overlays pops up showing all of the css rules that apply to that tag, even though they may be defined in multiple, external files. Better yet, we can edit them in place and save them back to their original files, all without leaving our main editor window.
This feature already works pretty well (it can be a little slow to open) – I’d really like to see it appear in other editors (Sublime Text, for example).
- Live Development
Live Deveopment allows you to make changes in the editor and instantly see them applied in the browser, without having to refresh the page. If you work with two monitors or a large screen this can be a very productive way to develop. Mac developers may already be familiar with this kind of syncing from apps such as the excellent Live Reload though this is the first time I have seen it built directly into the editor.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get this to work reliably using Chrome 20 beta on OSX Lion… changes would sync and appear in the browser, only to be followed by an error message and a prompt to reload Chrome.
Both of these features are shown in the following video from Adobe: