News: July 2011

Sublime Text 2 Build 2091

July 29, 2011 by Jon Skinner

Sublime Text 2 Build 2091 is available now, with a raft of new features. Many thanks to everyone who has tested the dev builds during this time.

Firstly, text rendering quality has been improved on OS X and Linux. Text rendering on OS X previously supported sub-pixel anti-aliasing, but not sub-pixel positioning. Build 2091 rectifies this, eliminating the too-wide spacing between characters. Text rendering under Linux has changed to have sub-pixel anti-aliasing enabled by default: it was supported previously, but had to be explicitly turned on.

Build 2091 also introduces support for some of OS X Lion's features. Overlay scroll bars are now in there, albeit without support for over-scroll yet. Lion full screen support has been added too, although old style full screen support is a just setting away. There have also been a couple of key binding changes for OS X, to make full screen (now ^⌘F), find (⌘F now shows the find panel only), and replace (⌥⌘F) match the Lion defaults.

Some of the more general feature highlights:

  • Blinking carets! This has been a long time coming, but is finally here. As with many things in Sublime Text, there's a setting to control it, too. Using the caret_style file setting, you can disable blinking altogether, or change a different fading style ('phase' can be fun).
  • File name disambiguators. If you have multiple files open with the same name, a short suffix will be appendend to the file name in the side bar and tabs to help you determine which one is which.
  • Tab labels have been reworked. They now fade, rather than elide, and will adapt better to the available size, shrinking the horizontal margins when space is tight. The end result is a more efficient use of space, so you can better see which files are open. There's also a setting, show_tab_close_buttons, to hide the close buttons on the tabs.
  • New windows have their sizes and settings copied from the current window, compared to earlier builds where their settings came from the new_window_settings global setting.

The above list is just a small sample of what's new or improved in build 2091 - the full change list is on the Sublime Text 2 page.

OS X Lion

July 23, 2011 by Jon Skinner

Just a quick update on OS X Lion: Sublime Text 2 is compatible with Lion - as far as I'm aware everything is working as it should. Sublime Text 2 doesn't yet take advantage of the new functionality in Lion, however I'm working on changing this for the next build, which will be out within two weeks. First up will be support for overlay scroll bars and Lion style full screen. Integration with Versions, Auto Save and Resume should come eventually, but won't be ready for the next build.

Sublime Text 2: Beta

July 1, 2011 by Jon Skinner

Since the first public Alpha at the end of January, there have been 12 new releases, and many more dev builds. On average, that's a new version every two weeks for the past five months. During this time, Sublime Text 2 has made great strides in functionality, and a correspondingly large increase in users. Sublime Text 2 has long outgrown its Alpha tag, so it's time to put a Beta label on instead.

There's a new release to mark the occasion, and it's got a bigger change list than any previous version. A couple of the highlights are:

Command Palette

The Command Palette provides a quick way to access commands that don't warrant a key binding, and would usually be hidden away in a menu. For example, turning Word Wrap on or off, or changing the syntax highlighting mode of the current file. It uses the same fuzzy matching as Goto Anything does, meaning most commands are accessible with just a few key presses.

The command palette can be triggered via Ctrl+Shift+P on Windows and Linux, or Command+Shift+P on OS X.

Distraction Free mode

Distraction Free mode is full screen, with an extra emphasis on your content. All user interface chrome is hidden, leaving you with nothing but the file you're working on. It's a great help when you want to ignore everything else and just write. Distraction Free mode is accessible from the View menu.

Now that Sublime Text 2 is in Beta, I'm planning to reduce the number of releases to around one a month, to avoid frequent update prompts. If you prefer living on the edge, the dev channel typically has a new build every 2 or 3 days.

Traditionally, the Beta tag has been used on software to indicate it's feature complete, and is going through testing before the final release. That's not the case with the Sublime Text 2 Beta, which is ready to use, but subject to change. New releases will be coming out, and they'll be adding new functionality and changing how things work.

People use Sublime Text 2 every day to get real work done - if you haven't tried it yet, now is a great time.