I’ve been doing hand-coded websites for more than 8 years now, since I was in high school. I started with the plain old Notepad on Windows, and shifted between many different products as time passed.
I was brought into the world of context-highlighting, modern editors with EditPlus. Though I don’t use that product anymore on Windows, it certainly got serious work done with it.
After making the switch back to the Mac in 2004, I went searching for a new editor with the same (or better) features as EditPlus. I came across a product called BBEdit, by Bare Bones Software. I used this editor through to the end of the 30 day free trial, and did something completely unprecedented in my computer use: I bought the full version.
I paid $49 for the educational edition of version 8 in 2005. I hadn’t bought software ever before, aside from that which was bundled with hardware. This was a new experience for me, but one I really don’t regret.
BBEdit is a feature-complete text editor with context highlighting supporting more languages that I could list here in short order. It has a unique “tabbed” interface, using a right-side “document drawer” rather than traditional tabs. This allows you, as in most modern editors, to edit multiple files in one instance of the program.
Though I haven’t found reason to upgrade to the newest 9.0 release, I would gladly pay the $30 price if I had income of my own. I’m not sure if the feature set is drastically different from the 8.x line, but I’m sure there are performance and other enhancements from Bare Bones Software.
This has been the most used program that I’ve ever purchased, and I would purchase it again in a heartbeat and support the developers, that is if I had the money.
If you use Mac OS X and are looking for a professional, feature rich text editor, look no further than BBEdit.