Pre-release: Text Trix 0.7.1beta2, with syntax highlighting

It's been awhile since our last Text Trix update. We were almost ready to wrap up 0.7.1beta1 as the real, final release. But then I stumbled upon an open-source, GPL-licensed, Java syntax highlighting package that seemed a perfect fit for our little text editor.

Syntax highlighting is perhaps the single most requested feature I get for the editor. A good highlighter will identify keywords in text files and turn their plain text display into bold, colored text, and do so on-the-fly, without performance loss. Several syntax highlighters for Java programs exist, including JEdit and the Ostermiller packages.

The beauty of the Ostermiller package is its ability to integrate seamlessly with text display features already built into the Text Trix editor. Now we can view text with syntax highlighting, as with most source code editors, but we can also view it with wrap-indent, a feature that eliminates the need for horizontal scrolling while keeping the text indented for easier reading. This editor does all that without modifying the underlying text, giving you maximal control over your source code and keeping it portable for reading and modification in other editors.

Two other new features both have to do with search navigation. Word Find is a little box built into the bottom of the editor for finding text on-the-fly. It's been there for awhile, but now we've added reverse searching (Shift+F3, "Find Previous"). We've also added Contextual Scrolling. When text is found, it's scrolled to the middle of the window so that the text can be viewed in context. We've found that useful when the same search term is used in multiple places but we're only looking for one of them.

This release is of course a pre-release, which means that bugs exist and feedback is welcome (as always!). If you report a bug...hopefully now with our syntax highlighter and improved word finding, we'll catch that bug must faster!

Download Text Trix 0.7.1beta2 here.


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