Monday, November 14, 2005

PSPad - Product Review

I edit a lot of text files. Alot. The short list of file types that I open on a regular basis include plain text files, web pages, php pages, css files, and javascripts. That's just before lunch. I've had to juggle through various different programs to get the features that I need. For the most part, the integrated Notepad on Windows handles much of it, however, Notepad is terrible at formatting files that come in with distinct spaces. For those, I have to open in Wordpad. Overall, bouncing around through various file types and the software it takes to open them is a pain.

Then one day I ran across PSPad. Talk about a time saver. This little piece of Freeware is something I would definitely pay for. The only downside to this little gem is that it's only for Windows users. I saw this on their main page and my jaw hit the floor. "Wow..." was about the only thought in my head as I read:

"Editor PSPad supports file types: C++, Cobol, MS-Dos batch, CSS, Forth, Fortran, FoxPro, HTML, XHTML, INI, Inno Setup, Java, JavaScript, KixStart, Object Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, RSS, SQL, TCL/TK, Unix ShellScript, VBScript, Visual Basic, X86 assembler + 90 other languages included as user highlighter definition."

That's exactly what I was looking for. Okay, so I had pretty much already decided to download it right there, but I wanted to pretend that I needed to be 'sold' on it more. I also noticed the little image that was boasting "No Spyware, No Adware, No Viruses." So, I took a look at the 'Characteristics' page. A few things caught my eye specifically as features that would be really helpful to me. Integrated Tidy library, HTML preview, reformat and compress HTML code, syntax highlighting, and .... "Wait, does that mean what I think it means??"

"Text difference with color-coded differences highlighted"

*drools* Okay, now, if case you don't know what this kind of thing means to a coder, let me explain. This means that I can open two text files at once, and it will compare the two and show differences in code. This is extremely helpful, and I have had, two programs on my computer to handle that for different types of files. Okay. That's enough 'selling' to me. I hit the download page. I briefly notice that it's a pretty lightweight download, coming in just under 3 megs. Nice little perks.

Install was a breeze. Okay, so starting it up my first thought is "Wow, that loaded fast." It does still. It's a very slimmed down program which, in my mind, is superb. One of the reasons I preferred to use Notepad before was because it loads so quick if I just need to make a small adjustment. This loads in not much longer and gives me tons more features.

I've tried out plenty of them, and haven't found any problems yet. Overall, it's really a great program. Definitely worth the download if you do any kind of coding at all. You can pick up the little gem at PSPad.com.

~Nicole

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